Many of you who are subscribed to my Facebook linked to this blog know my husband was gone for training. You also got to see the happy reunion pictures:). If you missed it click HERE. Anyway, shortly after those were taken, I met up with my friend Shamberly and her son Garrett. We had a camping adventure awaiting us. My husband didn’t attend this adventure because after many days of “camping out” with the Army, him returning and going camping was pretty difficult. He was exhausted because they don’t sleep much on their “camping” trips. His feet was a mess from all the rucking and walking they do on their “camping” trips. His face was pretty sun burned and lips were cracked. He also had to stay later at work to get all the weapons turned in and things squared away.
So why did I go without hubby? In the past, I would have stayed home and used him coming back as an excuse not to go…lol. However, my boys recently joined Trail Life USA. Previously, we were very active in Boy Scouts and you can read why we left the Boys Scouts HERE. Anyway, the Trail Life USA troop that we are a part of had a camp out planned for this weekend. We were not sure when my hubby would be back, but I agreed to take my boys even if that meant facing the great outdoors without him. My younger two boys, while they LOVED camping out, would have been okay to stay home. However, my oldest is at the age where he wants to be with his friends and has a need for those connections. He understands Dad going away but he also needs normalcy of being able to attend events. Actually, they all do, but at his age it affects him the most to miss out on these things. So that is what lead me to the great outdoors.
Let me stop and talk a bit about my relationship with the great outdoors. I was raised in the country – the deep country – where a leaf blows the wrong way and the power goes out. Sometimes the power would stay out for days and sometimes weeks. It is really so country out there that because of this we keep kerosine lamps like the Amish use so that we can light the house. I grew up climbing hills, picking berries, raising chickens and horses. I am almost as country as they come. However, while my Dad did all the boy things like camping and scouting with my brother, my mom is the one who attended the girls things with me. So that meant we never camped growing up. Although, I did attend a camp out one time with the girl scouts, but I hated it so much I begged for my mom to come and get me lol. My idea of camping is cabins or a hotel-with temperature control lol.
The only other time I have camped was with my husband and older two boys several years ago. It was August and I was pregnant with our third son. I pretty much thought I would die from heat exhaustion from the extreme heat in Tennessee. Not to mention I worried if I would ever walk again normally after sleeping on the ground. It was different, that is for sure!
So fast forward to a few days ago and our camping adventure with Trail Life USA. My husband is a miracle worker wonder at packing for camping trips. He folds or rolls everything really tight and places what he needs first at the top so it’s easily accessible. I don’t know how he situates the van when he packs it all, but he does it. Me, on the other hand, by the time I got it loaded, Shamberly and I ended up in 2 vehicles because I couldn’t get it all to fit right. Of course, we did have a mega cooler for a trip that would last less then 24 hours. But, hey, you never know what you will need right? lol
Lets look at some of the things we took in our mega cooler and with us (also, did I forget to mention that all the meals were provided at the camp?):
1. Peanut Butter
3. Hot dogs and buns (they served hot dogs for dinner that night too lol)
4. Peanuts (various flavors)
5. 5 bags of special glazed peanuts
6. Potato chips and various other snacks
7. 2 boxes of breakfast bars
8. Whole packages of cheese sticks and pepperoni
9. I had about 15 different kinds of Young Living Essential Oils– you just never know! lol
10. Books-several and we had nooks and kindles.
11. Make-Up don’t forget the make-up!!! These necessities weren’t in the cooler, but I had to mention them for their importance….lol
( The above picture is of my make-up bag lol)
Those are the things we had and barely touched…if we touched them at all. So we unloaded all this and got our campsite picked out. Then we realized that we had no idea how to set the tent up. The tent didn’t really have instructions (at least the type of instructions that we understood). There was a picture inside the bag, it was in some foreign language known only if you’re a male. Thankfully, there were adult male leaders who came with their sons and they graciously helped us get the beast assembled.
So we got set up and things were looking good. Then the natural order of things (for lack of a better word) came upon us. In laymen terms, where are the bathrooms?! Yep, nature!!! I am really not a nature’s bathroom kind of person. I really don’t even like port-a-potties but will use them when I have to, but no bathroom at all? Thankfully, when we went to dinner, the other leaders let us in on the secret location of the facilities….shew!!!! 🙂 However, it was a hike to get to it-so we prayed no one would have to go in the middle of the night!
I get cold super easy! So I had taken a lot of extra clothing. I knew layers was a good thing. Also, I had taken a couple sleeping bags and a mat to sleep on. I figured that I could sleep on one sleeping back and cover up with the other one. I also grabbed my husband’s old Army sleeping bag. I am so glad I did. I ended up sleeping on one sleeping bag, covering with two others, placed my coats on top of that one, added more layers of clothing and I was still cold. So, I did what any mother in her right mind would do, I made one of my children sleep with me so we had more body heat..lol. I still woke up several times at night freezing, but we made it!!! We survived until morning.
After breakfast, we broke down the tent and packed everything up because we were going to need to head back after lunch. Right after packing up our campsite, we went on a lovely hike! I love hiking!!!! Here are some of the pictures taken…..
So here it is in a nutshell. I am not a camper by any stretch of the imagination. While we brought make-up, we forgot a pocket knife. :). However, we Army wives have learned to adapt and make-do. Life is always changing for us and places us in areas where we need to learn to bloom, even in a camp ground in fridged temperatures, and no husbands lol. This is most definitely not our strong point but we love our boys. Because of this love for our boys we were willing to sacrifice and make the best of the situation. We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, and we made a lot of memories. We have boys who know that while Daddy is the best for camping, especially camp fires, (My oldest loudly proclaimed he needed his Daddy there because he knew how to build a really good camp fire:)) that they also have moms who care enough about them to do things they normally wouldn’t, so that when they grow up they have those memories filed away. That is what it is about folks. Teaching my kids about the beauty and nature of God’s creation and teaching them about sacrifice and selflessness. I am so blessed to be a momma to my three boys. Bugs, tents without legible instructions, mud in my sleeping bag, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I am also a blessed lady with friends who will be a battle buddy with me.
So what did I wear?
Well ladies I wanted to share with you pictures of me camping out in a skirt and possibly many many layers at some point, but in a skirt none-the-less! You can glance at the pictures above but here is a list of what I had on 🙂
The Black and White Outfit
T-shirt: Bought at the Christian bookstore
Skirt: Ordered off easy. I wore it before HERE
Jacket: Not sure but hubby bought it for me
Shoes: I originally had on coach flip flops and decided they were not foot for camping lol. So I switched to rain boots from Wal-Mart 🙂
Other items: I had on leggins from various places. At one point 2 pair and PJ pants under the skirt too lol
The Blue skirt and Yellow shirt:
T-shirt: I got that at church camp last year
Boots: Same as the day before
So there you have it folks. You can dress modest and camp still. I hope this post helps :). I want to leave you with a final picture. God’s creation is amazing….this was taken on our hike. I am so blessed!!!
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