What Inspired Our Family To Start Camping

Our home away from home is cozy and comfortable and makes it a welcome place to rest at the end of the day.
Ask every person you know that camps what inspired them to start camping.  You will get a different answer from each one.  Many times, those answers are uncomplicated and unselfish.  You may even find unexpected responses.   For my husband and I, we have both similar and different reasons as to why we enjoy this hobby.  I even asked our son when writing this piece because it is important for me to always remember why we are on this journey together.
There are six main reasons that have inspired us to start camping.  It is never too late to keep a camping or travel journal.  Write down your camping goals, inspirations, and dreams.  Revisit your journal from time to time.  Here are the reasons why we why we wanted to begin this RV adventure together.

Almost every place we camp has nice hiking trails for us to explore and get outdoors.

Getting Outdoors

Our family appreciates spending time outdoors.  Sitting around a picnic table for a meal is life at its finest.  I like the evening campfire.  Hiking and biking are also favorites.  No matter what it is, we all like being outside.  Time outside is well spent for us.  I'm not going to claim that we are nature buffs, but we are outdoor enthusiasts.  It is a way to recharge from a long stretch of demanding work weeks.  Our son can entertain himself for hours playing creatively outdoors.  This is so much better for him than sitting in front of an electronic device.  We all benefit from this time and individually have things we enjoy doing outdoors.

We took a paddle boat ride while at Lake Lurleen on an Easter weekend trip.

Spending Time As a Family

When we first starting talking and dreaming about camping, we knew this was an activity we could all do together as a family.  Many campgrounds offer family friends facilities that include pools, playgrounds and more.  Our weeks, many times, are scattered and busy.  Camping trips are uncomplicated and slow paced.  We were seeking an outlet that we could grow into over time as a family.  Camping would provide us with weekend or weeklong trips together to both new or familiar places.  

Inexpensive Way to Travel

Our family camps primarily at state parks which are very inexpensive.  This alone really stretches our travel budget.  We cook most of our meals at the campground.  This also impacts the travel expenses that we incur throughout the year.  Camping is a way that we are able to travel more while spending less money to do so.

Going to the beach is a free excursion for the afternoon and a fun way to spend the day!

We sometimes take excursions and participate in paid activities.  However, nature within the state parks where we are camping or surrounding areas serves as the backdrop for our entertainment many times.  Exploring the natural beauty of unique swimming holes or other locations that we would not otherwise see at home are our type of sightseeing.  Simple natural beauty is often both free and fun.  We have found so many creative ways to indulge in local free places off the beaten path.  I feel like we have had richer experiences along the way.

Enjoy Being Casual

Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to be casual.  In my 9 to 5 life, I have to dress up daily.  At the campground, I don't worry about my hair or my make up.  It is one of my favorite things about camping.  I like to decorate my campsite and cook nice meals, but I don't want to wear fancy clothes or shoes.  It is probably the only time that I don't.  I zone out and tune in to the things that I enjoy doing.

Being Active

Again, during the work week, I'm struggling to schedule my workouts.  While camping, I'm constantly active.  It's a purpose-filled day that I enjoy on a different level from my work week.  And I love my job.  But I like the change of pace and mental shift in gears.  I can take my bike and take a ride whenever I like.  I walk the dog or walk to the playground.  Overall, I'm just more active throughout the day just going from place to place.  And I like the pace of that.

Taking a bike ride at Oak Mountain State Park

I'm not alone in this thought.  I asked our son why liked camping.  He specifically said he liked the playground and hiking.  These are two things he looks forward to on every camping trip.  I'm glad that our family finds some common ground in our camping inspiration.

Being Able To Take More Trips Throughout the Year

My husband and both love to travel and wanted to travel more.  But travel is expensive.  In order to make that happen, we knew that we would have to be a little more creative.  Camping was one of the ways we discussed to stretch our budget to travel more while spending less to do it.  So now, instead of taking 1 or 2 big trips a year, we take lots of trips throughout the year.  This makes us feel much more connected.  And it gives us something to look forward to throughout the year.  Our camping trips have been a good thing for our family.  When we pull out our driveway, our son is giddy with excitement.  He will cheer, "Whoo!  We're going camping!"  I'll be honest.  I feel the same way.  Even if it is only for a couple of days, it feels great to get away.

Wherever you are on your camping journey, ask yourself why?  Why do want to start camping?  Why did you start camping?  What is keeping you from camping?  Knowing the answer to this question will either help make your journey more fun or maybe help get you back on the road.

We had a deliberate plan when we started camping.  Several years ago, on the day after Christmas, my husband and I were shopping for a new vehicle.  A Nissan Pathfinder has just become available as a trade in that had a towing package.  We immediately started talking about how we could tow a small camper with that small SUV.  The rest is history.  We started making a plan and made it work for us, and I'm glad we did.

Until next time...

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