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:
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?