I suck at camping. My kids love it. So I camp for my kids.
Our usual routine is a Father’s Day camping trip as it is safely away from the random snow and frost that always ravages Calgary on the May Long Weekend.
This year, however, I told the boys we were pulling the plug on our annual Father’s Day campout. With a big trip planned for Australia the weekend after Father’s Day, and me in the midst of half-marathon training, I asked the boys if we could take a rain cheque on this year’s adventure. They sheepishly agreed. We made this agreement months ago as I was planning out the rest of our summer camping adventures.
Since then Charlie has been begging to go camping. We’ve had an unseasonably warm spring, and after he joined me for some tv camping segments with Energizer, he’s been anxious even more to get out under the stars.
His Father’s Day card for me was a picture of us camping, and he was counting down all week to Saturday night.
I know the first rule of parenting is stick to your demands when you draw a line in the sand, but .. I love keeping traditions alive more than I love the first rule of parenting. So we made a compromise.
Instead of packing everything up into the truck and heading out of town, we’d pitch our tent in the backyard. All the camping adventure my son wanted, none of the time consuming stress that made me hesitant.
So we pitched a tent in the backyard.
We set up our camp chairs around our new firepit. We unpacked our sleeping bags (check out this article for some kid friendly ones) And, for the first time ever, Mama joined us at a campout!!
Can’t you tell how much Mama loves camping? We made campfire smores
We played with Snapchat (username: buzzbishop) filters and giggled ourselves silly way past bedtime.
By ten o’clock the sky was still blue, and we were still awake.
In the morning, after a sleepless night of tossing and turning on a cold air mattress, and pounding rain on the tent, I got up exhausted.
Yup! That’s what real camping feels like too!
It was camping without camping. The kind of camping you can do on a weeknight in the summer when you still have to go to work in the morning. The kind of camping that doesn’t result in a 3 hour drive back home when you forget something (like tent poles, I’ve done it).
I talk a lot about going uncamping with your kids in the summer. Doing all the sorts of long daytrip adventures that you would do on a camping trip away from home, but sleeping in your own bed at night. Really, backyard camping is the ULTIMATE in uncamping. All the adventures, with everything right near by when you need it.
I’m all for climbing mountains, getting bitten by mosquitos, and peeing in the woods, but I must say I absolutely loved backyard camping with my sons and keeping a Father’s Day tradition alive for a 4th year.
Go pitch a tent in the backyard. School’s out, summer is here, and there are 10 weeks of adventures waiting.
Here’s a contest where you can win a $500 gift card to get the backyard camping supplies you need (like batteries!). Energizer Recharge® are the world’s first rechargeable batteries made with 4% recycled material.
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We use Energizer Recharge® batteries as a great way to keep our lighting options charged:
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Stuff some of these in your camping buckets and you’ll always have juice to light your way to the potty (or back to the house) in the middle of the night.
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Disclosure: Thanks to Energizer for making our Father’s Day backyard camping weekend brighter and for sponsoring this branded content.