A couple of weeks ago we were going to take a camping trip as a family. We haven’t been on one as an entire family in ten years. I actually had never been camping until after I was married. I was a bit skeptical when my husband proposed it. We had two children – one not quite three and the other thirteen months. Kind of like being thrown into the deep end to learn how to swim. What I didn’t expect was that I fell in love with camping. We went camping quite a few more times after that, but then life happened and now it’s been ten years since we last went. My husband has gone for one to two nights with various children. As a family though it’s been too long.
So we were going to go camping. The only problem though is that it turned out to be rainy so we cancelled. My husband unexpectedly had this week off so we decided to try again and go camping for a couple of nights but. the. BUGS. Let me just say that we have never seen bugs so bad. We had commercial bug spray and essential oils – a blend specifically for repelling insects. We wore mosquito nets, had long sleeves, socks and shoes, etc. We still ended up being eaten alive. We all have multiple bites some worse than others. The baby doesn’t seem to mind his bites, but he just cried and cried because of being surrounded by bugs. It was so disappointing. I was so looking forward to getting back to camping.
Speaking of the baby, I ended up using our main tent as a giant playroom for him. We have a huge ten-man tent that is so high my 6′ 7″ husband can stand up straight in the main part. We let down all the screens so the walls were just basically windows. We always kept someone in there with him to play with him, but he still got tired of it. I figured though it was better if he was a little sad every once in a while as opposed to being bitten. He cried when I put the essential oil on him and refused to wear a mosquito net. Overall though I believe he enjoyed himself. I know he slept the best. He took advantage of the situation to nurse off and on all night. ~sigh~
So we cut our camping trip short and broke camp after a quick breakfast this morning. It was sad but none of us could handle the bugs any longer. Otherwise it was just as good as I remembered. Beautiful scenery, my husband cooking all the meals, a campfire and roasting marshmallows (worth braving the bugs for), children running freely around, going without technology (I was surprised how little I missed it), not worrying about dirty clothes, reading a novel with no guilt (because there was nothing else to do). I’m looking forward to doing it all again but later when my husband assures me the bugs are gone. ☺
On the way home we discussed what we did right (having plenty of water), what we did wrong (waiting too long to set up the tent so the baby was beyond tired for his nap) and the things we need to bring next time to make our life better (more marshmallows – just sayin’).
What are your best bug repelling and/or camping tips?