Boys Trip

May 5, 20180

One of the things I enjoy most about camping is spending quality time with the kids while also teaching them more about outdoor activities and the various mechanical tasks required for camping away from civilization. My son and I just got back from a boys camping and biking trip where we had a perfect opportunity to focus on both.

While we always camp pretty well off the beaten path as a family, we stray even further from blacktop and bathrooms when going without the girls. This road was full of tight turns, sandy washes, and large rocks that I needed my son to scout outside the truck for me to properly navigate. He proudly used the arm width technique to tell me how much space I had going around or over a particular obstacle!

Once we found this beautiful camping spot, I let him set up most of the popup camper, from leveling the frame to the stabilizer jacks and installation of the bunk-end poles. Now that the kids are a bit older, I try to delegate certain camp setup tasks to each of them to make the process go quicker while also getting them more comfortable with the mechanical tasks involved with a camping trailer. I try to also involve them with most planned maintenance activities as well as the impromptu repairs sometimes required while traveling. This is exactly why my dad took me camping or to the farm every weekend, and as a father myself now – I see why.

We were both excited to have a bed to ourselves, especially with this view out my son’s bunk window and an equally beautiful perspective while looking out mine. And since it was just a quick 3-night trip with only half the family, we could splurge on both water and battery power consumption!

That next morning we got a chance to explore an 8-mile singletrack loop running right beside our campsite. The combination of a full suspension demo bike paired with confidence from yesterday’s camp setup leadership duties became visible on the trail. The time and money spent on these types of camping excursions were yet again validated as a worthwhile investment.

Over the course of 3 days, we enjoyed 4 different trails in the area, most of which required a certain amount of both courage and care to enjoy without going “over the edge.” Simply put, there are certain trips where mom is better off staying at home, not worrying 🙂

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My dad took me camping as a kid at least monthly, from Cub Scouts through Eagle Scout. I realized the importance of camping with kids after taking ours at the age of 3 years and 18 months and hearing them talk for weeks about building campfires, going potty in the woods, and roasting marshmallows. 5 years and 100 camping nights later and our kids have learned to help set up the campsite, navigate a topographical map with a compass, and so much more . For our kids, camping is about more than staying the night in the wilderness but also teaches them valuable life skills, respect for nature, and mechanical know-how.

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