Friday, August 2, 2013

10 reasons every couple should camp

So hubby and I have been camping alone twice and with Brady twice since we got married on 9-10-11. I had not camped since I was a kid and it has been one of the best bonding experiences in our marriage.

Our first trip was on our honeymoon. Now let me tell you, nothing solidifies a new marriage more than camping! Lots of open, quiet togetherness with ... er ... less than modern bathroom facilities and no choice but to snuggle close on a little tiny bed.

When we have gone as a family - a blended family as Jason is Brady's step-dad - the two of them have  come home closer with some new joke just for them. Usually it involves teasing Mom in some way.

Here are 10 reasons I think every couple could benefit from a camping trip:

Chivalry

Camping gives guys a chance to be chivalrous. Guys seem to really like this. And most girls I know, modern day ladies or not, really do too. Whether it's gathering firewood, starting a fire, cooking food, keeping watch for bears or in the case of Jason in this photo, hauling out propane in the rain, they get to "save the day."

Close quarters

There's no couch to run to if he's snoring. He can't go off somewhere if we have a spat. We have a space about half the size of our back patio in which to slide past each other. We have to share that space in a much more intimate way than in our house. And whatever problems we have we just have to work through.
True sharing of work

Camping is very relaxing, but there's still a lot to do. Collect fire wood and keep the fire going. Haul in water from the well for drinking and washing dishes. Pour buckets of water over each other's head to wash our hair. Prepare food. Cook food. Eat food. Sweep the camper. Load the car for a day trip. We're in it totally together. Below is our dish washing set up.
Back to basics

Unless we go out to eat, we eat very simply. We have only a basic wardrobe. We learn every time just how little we can live on. Crackers and cheese. PB & J. Bacon and eggs on the cook stove. Spaghettios. It's like you're in college again! Whatever we can fit in a teeny tiny frig, next to our teeny tiny stove and in 2 cabinets. Life is simple there and we bring that feeling home with us.
 Blending of roles

Below hubby is fixing my necklace. He actually had needle nose pliers with him! Because we're together a lot and there are few distractions, we help each other with everything. We share grocery shopping in town. We share the cooking. I usually do the dishes. He usually takes care of the fire. We both haul water and wood. Our roles are less ingrained and we see each other in a different light.
Surprises

We learn a lot about each other in this different setting, sometimes new things. And when we take off from our campsite we have no idea what we might encounter, things different than the same old, same old at home. Below was something he liked and photographed - a ramped up four-wheel-drive van we spotted on the road. Hmmmm. I don't get the allure. But below that was something I liked and photographed - beautiful flowers.

Challenge and adventure

We four-wheeled 2,000 feet up and then down this rocky road to the top of Tincup Pass and had the time of our lives. Man, we felt like adventurers coming from flat old Kansas. It was exhilarating and we did it together.
Unplugged

We have super old cell phones, no i-anything or touch-anything. So when we camp, there is no wifi, no internet, no TV, no computer at all. We have friends who camp up at Tincup and there's no cell service there. We stayed there one night and it was amazing. There's nothing to take you away from one another. Our entertainment is each other and the land we're living in.
 Outdoors

When you camp, you feel as if you're a part of the larger world away from your hurried lives. It's as if the sky is your ceiling and the rocks your floor. You feel connected and you want to hike and roam and explore everything. The whole world is yours and you share it with each other. It's also humbling to reflect together on what God has created and how tiny we are in the shadow of its immenseness.

Communication

There's something about a campfire that gets people talking, about hopes, dreams, fears, worries. Without distractions between you, as the heat pours off the fire and the light dances and crackles and darkness descends until it seems as if you are the only two people in the world in this little tiny bubble of light, wow, you naturally draw closer to each other. What marriage couldn't benefit from that?


18 comments:

  1. I've never been camping before and I've always wanted to go. We're city folks but maybe I can convince hubby to take the plunge that is called camping. I love the pictures, it totally convinced me that I need to get out. Happy Friday.

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    1. I think you would enjoy it. Brady adores it. Next time we take him, I'll have to take some good photos of him exploring. Hopefully next month. It is so relaxing, like nothing else. And you're out in Colorado, right? So it would be easy! :)

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  2. That was excellent. Such marvelous inspirations and reflections. We used to camp a lot, but as we have 'matured' we haven't been in a very long time. Don't know that it will happen again. But this post brought back lots of memories. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks, Regina :) I'm always struck when we go how close it brings us.

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  3. We hope to get a pop up trailer before the kids get too old, love camping that way. :)

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    1. Those look like so much fun! We saw tons of them out in Colorado when we were driving around. They're a little easier than the fixed campers.

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  4. We have a camper. My husband is a terrible snorer, and I've actually slept in my truck to get away from him!

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    1. LOL! I am truly thankful to whoever created ear plugs. They work wonders for me!

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  5. This is a really good article for couples. There are so many distractions in life that tend to leads couples away from each other. When you are camping these distractions disappear and that give you the time and opportunity to reconnect with your spouse. My wife and I have not been camping in a long time. I remember some of the best talks we had though were around a campfire. My wife and I need to go camping again sometime. Thanks for writing a good article.

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    1. Thanks :) I agree, there are so many distractions. My hubby and I work together every day, so we are so lucky to have more time than most. But even then, when we camp we are not even working, so it is just one on one and it is fantastic. I hope you guys get out camping soon too!

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  6. My husband and I got a tent as a wedding gift from our registry and we haven't used it yet in three years of marriage, mostly because life happens and it really hasnt been possible. I am hoping to go before it gets too cool. I do love camping though. I went a lot with my family growing up.

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    1. It really is hard to carve out time. That's why we typically go out on a Friday and come back Monday. It's a short trip, but if we tried to plan a longer one I'm not sure we'd get to it. And this way we take 3 or 4 short trips in a summer rather than one long one. I love it.

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  7. Hubby, I and the dog want to go camping so bad! I use to go all the time in scouts and with my parents. Hubby loves to fish and I love to watch him do it. Great story to pass along.

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    1. Oh it'd be so fun with a dog too! We get to enjoy our Colorado neighbors' dog, a big old 1 year old bassett hound named Hedge :)

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  8. Was this in Colorado? It looks beautiful! My husband and I have been camping twice and hiking many times, and there really is something about being outside that opens up deeper communication. (And we have cheap phones too, which I think is nice, because it forces you to unplug from everyday distractions and stresses every now and again.)

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    1. Jane, yes it was in Colorado. I think it is my favorite place on earth. Hiking is fun too. Not many places to do that in KS though, LOL. There are a few, but you have to look for them. I love my cheapie ancient flip phone! Unless I can't use my old one or one like it anymore, I do not want a touch phone.

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  9. wow! It does looks like an awesome experience to be camping like that. I've always wanted to camp out. Only problem is Singapore's weather. Heeheehee.And we do not have nice caravan in Singapore too. Such a pity. Hopefully we'll be able to do it on one of our holiday trips abroad. that would be FUN!

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    1. Yes, weather can be a problem! We had a rain storm up there this time and for an hour, we just hung out in our little camper and read. It was so so so peaceful. More at peace than I've been in a long time :)

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