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Camping with my two sons is my absolute favourite part of summer. I love it. And I hate that I love it. Because, secretly, I hate it.

Our weekends are filled with road trips from the badlands to the mountains. Sometimes iPads are brought along for car enjoyment but, for the most part, these adventures are a chance for me and my sons to break from routine, explore the world, and connect.

Connect.

It’s the most important thing I can do with my sons. When camping, we’re a team. There’s equipment to be set up, garbage to be lugged, food to be cooked, and if it’s not a team effort to get things done it doesn’t get done easily.

So I get to connect with my boys, and explore.

I love digging in the beach with them.

digging in the beach at Writing On Stone

I love the cold mornings in our fleece hoodies having breakfast on a damp picnic table.

camping breakfast

I love hiking the trails of the campground. (Here’s a backpack to take along when you’re out wandering)

hiking in the campground

I love playing catch, inventing games, and photoshopping light sabers into their stories.

camping lightsabers

I love listening to nature talks and seeing their love of animals as they chase them around the sites.

hanging with a prairie dog

I love s’mores.

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I love sitting in the tent watching Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

watching star wars camping

I hate sleeping in the tent.

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And that’s why I hate that I love camping with my sons. I love all the things about the camping experience, except the actual camping part of the camping experience. It’s why I endorsed uncamping a number of years ago. (Check out this article on camp chairs to make things a little more comfy)

Uncamping is a very long day trip where you do all the things you do when camping, from sitting around a fire to going on hikes to swimming in rivers to eating over an open stove except .. you drive home and sleep in your bed.

Over the past 4 years since I’ve rediscovered camping as a way to connect with my kids in the summer, I’ve probably escaped from more than a third of the trips that were scheduled to be camping trips.

Sometimes I forgot equipment, other times storms were coming, still others I called off because the campground was too noisy. This past weekend, we camped one night but I negotiated an early return from the second because our air mattress had flattened, and rain was coming.

I hate sleeping on rocks in the tent, I barely get any sleep as it is, and I definitely do not enjoy Sunday morning camp tear down when everything is wet.

I’m a fair weather camper on the best of days. But even though I hate camping, I love it.

So, as I furiously check the forecast for this weekend’s camping trip (that calls for as much as an inch of rain), I’m also scouring Kijiji looking for old trailers. Just a simple tent trailer, something that would be more sturdy than a tent, something that wouldn’t need loading and unloading with gear, something that might make the nights more bearable so I can get out and do all those things I love about camping with my kids.

What about you? How do you camp with your kids? Are you tent people? Trailer people? Do you go for a week? A weekend? Or do you uncamp?

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