There is often a toss-up between wanting to do a lot when you’re camping, and wanting to do nothing.
We’ve had camping trips where I literally fell asleep on three different beaches! Sometimes you don’t realize how drained you are until you’re there and everything is unpacked. You have a bite to eat, and you suddenly cannot keep your eyes open a minute longer.
We’ve also had camping trips where it’s been literally one physical activity after another, and it can be so exhilarating! (I believe the saying goes, “sleep when you’re dead”.)
To make your trip enjoyable and relaxing, be sure not to forget to do these five things:
Most public campgrounds have trails specifically for hiking, or you can explore on your own, depending on how well you know the area, and if you have a GPS or a map with you. Make sure to bring bottled water, something to snack on, and definitely your camera, because photo ops are literally everywhere. Scenic nature shots and wildlife photos are just waiting for you.
Some trails are good for biking, and some are definitely too rugged. Be sure to plan ahead and plan accordingly. Biking along some simple trails at a leisurely pace soothes the soul, and offers the same kinds of photo ops as hiking. Really notice your surroundings… pay attention to the sound of the wind through the pines, breathe in that fresh air and enjoy your ride.
If hiking and biking are just not peaceful enough for you, pick one of these activities and head for the water. Check ahead of time to see if there are any rental facilities nearby, if you aren’t able to borrow from a friend. You can paddle at whatever pace you desire, and because the activity is such a quiet one, the chances of seeing wildlife are that much greater than being on a bike or stepping on twigs on a trail. Some animals to watch for could include herons, beavers, frogs, turtles, ducks and geese, to name a few, but you may get lucky and see something even more awesome!
2. Visit the Beach
When my family and I go camping, we make sure to block out one entire day for the beach. Look at the weather forecast and try to plan it around any days that include rain. We bring beach toys, a picnic blanket, towels, snacks, sunscreen and the camera and we make a day of it. Laying on the beach, soaking up the sun’s warmth while keeping an eye on the kids building their castles and moats. Just make sure to keep reapplying that sunscreen and drinking water!
Seriously, is this NOT what vacation is all about? A couple of hours of shut-eye in the middle of the day, whenever you feel like it, just makes your entire vacation feel that much more successful, because you have actually RESTED. If you and your spouse can’t nap at the same time, see if you can work it so one takes the kids for an hour while the other naps, and switch when the nap is over. Who needs a spa day when you can nap in the fresh air?
I feel like our trip is a huge success when we’ve ticked all of these activities off of our unspoken list. We come back feeling pretty refreshed from our vacation!
Do you think I missed anything? Please leave your ideas in the comments!