My very first camping trip was when I was four years old. My dad had a tradition of taking each of his kids camping with him in the middle of the woods once they reached a certain age, and I’d been looking forward to my turn for a long while. Out in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest, we set up camp with a nice tent and a crackling fire. My dad had warned me that there were going to be strange noises in the woods and that I shouldn’t be scared. But I was a nervous wreck anyway. In fact, it was only a few hours in before I began to cry and made him to take me home.
We never tried again.
So when my kiddos started begging a couple of years ago to go camping, I was nervous. Not only had I never been camping since my disastrous trip with my dad, but I so didn’t want to go through the effort of buying camping supplies, hiking out to the woods, setting up camp with little kids and then having to pack it all up again when they got scared.
So I kept putting it off until very recently when Dexter came to me and asked me once again to go camping. That’s when I made a decision – if they could make it through one night camping out in the back yard, I’d consent to going on a REAL camping trip.
I began by doing my research about the best camping gear. I called my dad and asked his opinion, and I looked around online to see what the experts had to say. One brand kept coming up again and again – Coleman. It was a name I recognized, as we already owned many Coleman products, and I knew my dad did, too. I found a sale, and I ended up ordering a ton of new supplies!
Everything from a new tent (which is AH-MAZING!) and sleeping bags to camping chairs, portable picnic table, a portable grill and kitchen, and even potable water carrier! I got it all from Kohl’s.
And then it was time to set it all up…
My husband had promised to help, but three days had gone by, and the kids were getting antsy. So I decided to do it myself.
I began with our Coleman® Tenaya Lake™ Fast Pitch™ 8-Person Cabin with Closet tent! It came in a perfect little carrying case with the instructions sewn right onto the lid! I’ll admit, it did take me a bit of time to set up.
Getting everything placed the correct way was a little daunting, but I managed to figure it out.
In the end, it took me a little more time than it would have if I’d ever set up a tent before, but I still managed to do it all by myself in less than 30 minutes. I call that a win!
The kids were SO excited. They loved exploring inside, unzipping the windows and staring out the ceiling at the sky and trees overhead.
We set up our new Coleman Comfort Cloud Memory Foam Sleeping Bags and tested them out. Dex and DJ shared one because they share EVERYTHING.
We had the necessities ready for our backyard camp out, so it was time to set up the rest of our “camp site.”
This included a couple of Coleman Oversize Quad Chairs with Coolers, a foldable picnic table with umbrella, a Coleman Pack Away Camp Kitchen, and a Coleman PerfectFlow InstantStart Portable Gas Grill!
It seemed to me like we were ready for anything! We made plans to sleep outside at the weekend, and we counted down the hours. But when the weekend arrived, it brought RAIN!
So our little backyard camp out has been postponed for a while. Our tent is still set up in the yard, and we spend a ton of time in in just pretending at camping, and I love the my kids remain so excited about it! I can’t wait until we can do it for real. And dare I say, I’m even excited to go for a REAL camping trip out in the woods!
* This post originally appeared on amotherthing.com