“Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” ~ Louis Schwartzberg
It’s Not About Comfort
We are fortunate enough to have wooded space by a creek for pitching a tent. Aside from the past few years as development has encroached on our nature oasis at home, it is a serene, quiet and reflective place in which to commune with nature.
But when we start to get too comfortable with privileges of suburban home life, out comes the tent.
As a family, we have camped every year (since our youngest was a 3-yr-old), in every season, no matter whether it’s rainy, snowy, hot, or cold, mosquito-infested or any combination thereof. Being slightly inconvenienced by it all is the entire point.
A tent with screened doors and windows is merely to keep the bugs and water out. When it’s humid outside, you can’t stop that from coming in; endurance is the game. And any comforts from home are kept to pillows, foam pads, and some familiar bedding.
Winter (Big Bend NP)
Summer (Zion NP)
The best path to daily happiness is to count your blessings, I’ve been told. When you’re a regular tent-camper, you certainly won’t forget to include air conditioning, running water, and a toilet on that list; there is a whole host of other things we regularly take for granted.
Away from home, a few extras will come along for the campout as well: a gas-burning stove, mess kits, lighting, wash buckets, a deck of cards, board games. Most of the time, we just make do with what we have and enjoy our time together as a family exploring the world around us, right where we are.
Appreciate the Little Things
Occasionally I will go out summer camping in the yard all by myself rather than sleep in my comfortable bed. Learning to sleep with heat and humidity is the best way to keep from getting too accustomed to air conditioning. An 80-degree set-point indoors not only saves on the electric bill, but it feels and dry cool compared with 95 degrees and 75% humidity on the outside.
Plus, the night chorus is the best for drowning out the traffic noise that continues until the wee hours of the morning. Deafening and soothing all-at-once.
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Some people go to malls, sporting events, churches, indoor summer camps. We look instead to nature to find other things to adore and explore for a short time. It minimizes our impact on the world around us, and being a part of of that world costs us nothing at all.
To see these wonders, you have to get outside first.
Teeny Nest Up High
Wake Up With The Sun
Nature always gets going first thing in the morning, and it’s these hours where most of the action is happening. While my teens are busy snoozing in comfortably indoors, I lay in the tent listening intently to the sounds of life all around me, before the human world wakes up.
I use my senses to triangulate where everyone is, then I quietly step out of my tent with my finger on the camera shutter.
Good morning, everyone!
Peck peck peck In the Canopy
Peep peep peep Newly Fledged
Carolina Wren Mother and Baby
Birdie birdie birdie Mate Calling
What’s your favorite thing about camping?