Thursday, June 1, 2017

Backyard Camping Shenanigans

             Hey folks! Ever since John mentioned camping last month I have been dying to go. I'm not really sure why other than the fact that we went a lot the first year we were married and it was good times, but I am ready to rock this sh*t!...Two young kids and all, for better or worse...
             Because of the whole “having kids now” thing, we thought it would be wise to do a trial run at home. It would be good practice for us getting beds and whatnot set up and for the kids to get acclimated some to sleeping in the tent. (Especially Ripley since she will be slumbering in the pack n' play and she generally HATES being in it!)
             So, we moved the tent down to a flatter area. (We had set it up next to the big barn to let it air out and check for leaks. As it turns out, that area wasn't as flat as we thought it was. It got a wee bit wet on the inside during the crazy torrential rains we've been getting off and on for the past few weeks.) I even (finally) set up the badminton net in the side yard by the chickens and (amazingly) it was dry enough and the wind had died down enough to build a campfire. It was going to be a fun night!
             John gets home from work and I hadn't gotten nearly as much done as I hoped. I was still trying to play catch up on housework after our trip to Spring Mill. Anyhow, it's about 7/7:30 when we realize, “Hey, we should probably start bringing all of our stuff outside.” I roll in the pack n' play from the garage, bring blankets out to put underneath the air mattresses, bring the air mattresses out and blow them up, and get the rest of the blankies for everyone.
             Meanwhile, John has started the fire and cooked some hot dogs. We go inside and eat around 8:30/9. At some point during all of this, John even decided to run an electrical cord from the garage to the tent so we could run our fan. (Yes, we are those kind of people. All four of us.)
             Anyhow, Ripley and I are super slow eaters, so while we finished up inside, John and Myka went back out and were enjoying the campfire. As I'm putting my stuff up in the kitchen and getting ready to come out, John makes Myka come in, but he grabs a flashlight off of the kitchen table (It's essential to have a flashlight handy when you live in the country and have lots of critters. Lol) and goes back out. I get the impression he had heard some kind of wild animal and was checking it out. Coyotes, I was guessing, because it seems like we only hear them when we have a fire!
             I go outside and ask him what's up. He says he heard something big in the brush by the house. “Like a deer?” I ask.
“No, like a big cat or something.” Great. Are you sure you're not imagining it sounded that big? “Are you sure it wasn't a possum or raccoon or something?”
“No, it was definitely something big. It sounded like a big cat.”
“Why do you think that? What made it sound like a big cat? Are you sure it wasn't a deer?”
“Because it was walking real slow, like...” Couldn't think of how to describe it.
“Like it was trying to be sneaky?”
“Yah, it wasn't like a deer where...”
“It's like crashing into sh*t, being all loud,” Cue me making a spectacle of myself impersonating a loud deer crashing through the woods.
             He stayed outside for a bit, but didn't hear anything more. I kept bugging him, wanting to know whether we were going to sleep in the tent or not so I knew what to dress the kids in/whether I should go ahead and put them to bed inside because it was, like, 10 o'clock by this point and well past their bedtime. Before we decided for sure, I tried to explain to Myka that we would probably not be sleeping in the tent that night because daddy heard a big kitty that could eat her and Ripley. She was still very adamant and grouchy about sleeping in the “tent house” until sleep finally got the better of her and she willingly went to bed without a fight.
             Since we don't completely trust Myka to not go outside of the tent by herself, we ultimately decided not to camp out. We don't think she would have, but better safe than sorry. I'd rather my kid NOT be killed and eaten by a bobcat...Or a coyote, for that matter. And no, I'm not exaggerating. We do have bobcats around here. In fact, one waltzed up our driveway like he owned the place, looked at us nonchalantly, and kept on walking until he disappeared into the woods last year. Scary!
             So yah, all that work and trouble for nothing. :/ It would have been the perfect night for camping too. The wind wasn't too crazy, the temperature was just right, and it was really quiet. * sigh * Oh well. A for Effort and still good practice for getting everything set up? I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best when we do go camping for real. (Sooner rather than later, hopefully, so I'll have some new adventures to tell you about!) At least it won't be as scary at a campground where there will be more people around and less (big) critters to worry about!
             Have you ever had any camping mis-adventures, backyard or otherwise? What are some suggestions you have for camping with little kids?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


  1. Our first camping experience was in the backyard also. In the 60's we had the old wooden cots and canvas tents with stakes. The town wasn't built up like today so the nights were pitch black and you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. There is a highway, small, not far from the neighborhood just through the woods. My first night I ran into the house crying because I could hear a giant walking towards us. It took a couple tries before I was finally convinced it was just the air brakes from a random truck going down the hill. I then had a problem with giant bugs outside the tent. I think it was actually bugs on the flashlight inside the tent. I grew up to be quite the camper though! As for my children they camped since they were babies. My then 2 year old would not use campground bathrooms for some odd reason. I always brought a bucket and placed one of those toddler portable toilet seats on top that she would use. Upside-not having to walk to the bathrooms late at night. Downside-having to walk with the bucket, which had a lid, to the bathrooms to be emptied. Love your story.

    1. haha! My 4 year old was not crazy about the restrooms at first either...Then again, she doesn't like ANY public bathroom! I thought we would have more trouble getting our 1 year old to sleep because she generally hates the pack n' play. Fortunately, she was so worn out that she didn't put up a fight. The 4 year old, on the other hand...She kept saying she was scared the first night even though it was not dark by any means with our lights hanging up outside the tent and, you know, the fact that we were sleeping 2 feet away. lol They did a lot better than I thought they would, though!

  2. Oh Wow! That's a bit scary! We are going to camp at a Festival this year - camping for the first time as a family. Very excited but I don't think there will be any bobcat around - well I hope not anyway! A for effort indeed! :) Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost