With practically the entire world under some sort of stay-at-home order, people of all ages are looking for a way to ‘get away’ without actually getting away. Camping has traditionally been an excellent way to get back to nature without necessarily spending loads of money. In the United States, many public and private campgrounds are closed for the season until further notice, so if you want to get out camping, you’re going to have to get creative.
Spring Break Camping Trip CANCELLED (or is it??)
Our camping trip to the Blue Mountains of Tennessee was the latest casualty of the Coronavirus swath of destruction to normal life. Our family has been home together for the past month as we do our part to help society flatten the curve and bring Coronavirus infection rates under control. But after a month of hanging out together non-stop, and watching our spring plans, summer plans…and who knows how much else be systematically cancelled – we decided we weren’t going to let Coronavirus cancel our Spring Break Camping Trip – we’d only let it MODIFY it. Spring Break 2020 – we’re Going CAMPING! (in the backyard)
Camping in the Backyard
Our family loves camping – but I’ll be honest and admit I don’t love the prep as much. We aren’t minimalist campers – at this stage in our life with 3 kids – we’re most definitely car camping/glampers. We bring a lot of stuff and a major puzzle of the packing is how to get everything inside the car for the trip! Now camping in the backyard is a whole different story! There is no worrying about packing lists, no arranging and re-arranging the car, no concern that we’ve forgotten some essential item! We just opened the garage and started hauling all our gear to our chosen campsite right in our backyard. Even Leo (the cat) wanted to get in on the camping action.
Setting Up Our Backyard Campsite
We hauled out our gigantic 8-man tent, our cots & sleeping pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and everything else needed for a comfortable camping trip. We lined our tent floor with the 8×12 Mountain Mat and set up our cots and sleeping space. The cushioned 5 mm thick polypropylene mat feels soft on bare feet and it protects our tent floor from the cot legs. After we got the tent set up we moved our ‘campfire’ over to the campsite. Set up the camp chairs, a few trips in and out of the house to get the picnic supplies, and before we knew it – we had a complete campsite ready to go!
Chad got the campfire going and soon we were having a traditional campfire cookout – hot dogs, chips, and s’mores! Another benefit of camping right in the backyard? No need to haul a heavy ice chest around – we can just pop in and out of the kitchen for food, condiments, drinks, and after meal clean up.
Hidden Benefits of a Backyard Camping Trip
Sure, a backyard camping trip doesn’t exactly check the ‘adventure’ box – but it does have its own benefits.
Bathrooms. Indoor, warm, clean, stocked with TP. Not to mention warm showers. Yes – bathrooms are one of the great luxuries of backyard camping.
Easy-set-up/Tear-down. No need to pack, just pull out whatever you need from the garage. Forgot an item? Not a problem either. And when its time to pack up and head home- its just as easy!
A comfortable bed is only a short walk away. Camping is lots of fun. But sometimes in the middle of the night, you are cold, or the cot isn’t comfortable, or just the novelty of camping has worn off – its only a short walk to the house, and you can be snuggled in your own bed, on a nice mattress in mere moments! Hardcore campers will scoff – but families who camp with little kids know what I’m talking about.
Anyone else attempted backyard camping yet? Tag us #mountainmat in your social media so we can see your set up!