Camping with kids is always an adventure, right? The pee breaks, their energy, the s'mores, the FIRE. It's exhausting but worth it... I think.

For The Love Of Camping

Camping with kids is always an adventure, right? The pee breaks, their energy, the s'mores, the FIRE. It's exhausting but worth it... I think.

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By Gizelle Arriola of Dearest Mommy

Every year our family goes camping. Sounds fun, right? It can be, but if you’re not careful it can turn into a hot mess—fast.

First off, it usually takes around two hours to get there. That’s two hours locked in a car with two excited, little, crazy people! It won’t be long before they are ready to kill each other and you’re only twenty minutes in. You know what they say: pent up excitement breeds irritation.

Maybe it’s just me who says that.

My number one rule is always, ALWAYS, make sure everyone has used the bathroom before leaving. A no-brainier, right? Of course in the midst of packing everything up, my number one rule gets lost in the shuffle.

My kids are what I like to call “public restroom connoisseurs.” They love a good public restroom. Or any public restroom for that matter. It’s like they intentionally hold their little bladders until just that right moment when you’re in the middle of nowhere, not a restroom in sight.

So, of course, good old GPS takes us thirty minutes in the wrong direction to find the nearest restroom and we end up in one that looks like a wet, shaggy dog shook itself off in it.

As you delve further into the abyss of piss (while simultaneously trying to not touch anything) you notice a lovely note on the wall from a nice girl named Sadie who’s looking for love in all the wrong places.

Having fun yet?

Then, after the many weeks you spent preparing, you finally get to the campsite and discover you forgot the bug spray.

Heaven forbid you have to stay out there for four days with no OFF! I did this one year; by the end of the trip my girls and I looked like the Elephant Man’s wife and kids. It wasn’t pretty.

Next comes the fun part: setting up.

If you’re lucky, you get the tent that someone who knew what they were doing put away. If not, Lord help you. You will end up spending the next three hours trying figure out why there’s no door only to realize you were missing the pole that holds up the door to begin with.

And then by the time you’re done setting up the kids are all ready to go swimming!

Yay! Swimming!

Everyone loves swimming right? Except you’re in the mountains and the water is freshly melted snow water that’s 30 below.

Good times.

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Once your kids’ lips are pleasantly purple, with hands and feet that look like they’re ready to fall off, it’s lunchtime!

Who doesn’t love lunch?  I don’t know about you, but by this time I’m ready for everyone to shut the hell up and go the fuck to sleep. A nap is the only thing on my mind in this heat. I don’t want to grill hot dogs and hamburgers or wait on little people. Of course, they are little people so you’re kinda forced to make lunch.

Guess who gets to sit in the shade for a few and relax? Not you because you have little people who now need entertaining. It’s time for a walk, some kickball, and who can forget sand castles?

Just when you think it’s finally time to take a load off, (hey you’ve earned it right?) it’s dinner time! If you’re lucky like I am, this is where the hubs really shines. He’s a barbeque master and you watch him master that barbeque.

Once all the dishes are done—because who wants unexpected visitors in the middle of the night?—you finally get a little me time.

Wait. What’s that, Lassie? The littles want to go on a hunt for wood to build a fire?

Of course if they want a fire, they’re probably going to want to make s’mores.  And if they want s’mores, you can’t go relax because they’re going to be near fire.

Fire is bad.

We like to take a stick and draw a huge circle around it. No one is to cross that line. EVER.

This whole event goes on for four days and three nights.

Don’t get me wrong; the memories we make with our children will last a lifetime. Each year my children get a little bit bigger which makes things a little easier. The best part is, once a year, we get four days off the grid together without distractions. Mostly.

I must be a glutton for punishment because I’m already excited for our annual camping trip next week. Time to go finish packing!

This post was originally published on Dearest Mommy.


About Gizelle Arriola

Gizelle Arriola is a mother of a wonderfully chaotic blended family with two wildly funny and equally crazy little girls who always keep her on her toes and her extremely talented stepson who is on a scholarship for music at S.F.S.U. She enjoys reading, poker and long walks on the beach as well as blogging about her life and the joys of motherhood (not necessarily in that order), and whenever possible, she takes her handsome and at-times impossible husband along for the ride. Look for her on her Facebook page, Dearest Mommy and on her blog