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Camping rocks!

The key to a successful camping trip is planning ahead. And a lack of mosquitos. And lots of cold beer. It also helps to camp with friends, as we will soon be. Six families. All the kids and grown-ups are connected via our elementary school. I have been looking forward to this camping trip since we reserved our campsites months ago. In many ways, camping is the highlight of our summer.

So why is it that being covered with layers of sunscreen, bug juice and campfire smoke, coupled with not bathing for several days and having to put up with pit toilets, is so enjoyable? I really cannot explain.

Last year, all of our kids whizzed around the camp site loop on their bikes with joyful glee. Oh, there were crashes. Sure, but nothing serious. There was a hike in the woods where we sampled wild thimble berries. In past years, highlights included peaceful outings in inflatable boats on the gorgeous Lake TImothy, with Mt. Hood looking down on us as in blessing. This year, there's a possibility we'll witness some of the Perseids meteor shower, as we did several years ago in the crystal clear skies above the national forest. The stunning beauty of nature explains it in part. Factor in hanging out by the camp fire once all the kids are tucked in their sleeping bags, just talking and laughing with all the grownups. Life really doesn't get any better than that.

So today, I'm baking banana bread. Much easier to cook now, and just eat and enjoy while there. And grocery shopping. I've also been freezing giant blocks of ice to keep our cooler cold (although I'm open to any tips, as we've never been very successful at keeping the beer cold enough). And also wondering just what the heck is the deal with those GINORMOUS marshmallows on sale this year? They are about four times the size of regular marshmallows. Marshmallows in bulk? A candidate for DudeThatsNotFood.com? Or just a newfangled way to supersize us all?

Do you camp? What are your best camping tips (especially if it involves keeping beer very, very cold)? And your best camping memories? 


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