I’ve always hated camping. I’ve only done it a couple of times and it’s always been a bit of a disaster!! Rain, mud, car breakdowns, arguments…..you name it….it’s always been crap.
Which has led to one of my favourite sayings…
“I’ll camp. As long as it’s on the floor of the Hilton!!
Let me tell you there are plenty of people who agree with me when I shout this pearler!!
Fast forward to our arrival in
Of course we hadn’t planned too much in advance – that’s just how we roll!
So when it came time to get a hire car we were horrified to discover that our previous investigations of $17 per day soon became over $55 once you added in a new, higher price than we had previously found plus insurance, taxes and fees. There are those that think this is one of the biggest rip-offs in the travel industry. I’ll let you be the judge of that but I certainly agree!! We then had to cough up for fuel on top!
There’s just no way we were going to be able to pay that!
We also discovered we would have trouble accommodating the 5 of us for less than about $80-120 per night. Our budget is $70!! Unless we fibbed and said there were just two of us and then all crammed in, it just wasn’t going to work. That really hurt after paying $30 per night in SE Asia!
So I jumped onto a travelling facebook group that I’m a part of and asked everyone what the hell we should do.
The overwhelming answer?
To cut a potentially long story short we bit the bullet and are now the proud owners of a giant Ford E150 van!
Plus 2 tents, 5 sleeping bags, 5 camp mats, a gas stove, plastic plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, 2 coolers, cooking pots, gas bottles…..and a fishing rod!! (That last one was to satisfy Jono’s urge to commune with nature!!)
Our camping expenses for the night range from the odd freebie (we’ve stayed at roadside rest stops in our tents!!) to around $45 per night. A big improvement on our previous figures and well within our budget!
And the verdict?
Camping isn’t as crap as I remember!! It turns out I quite like sleeping in the tent.
- I like hearing the kids whisper and giggle in the dark.
- I like the challenge of keeping the grass on the outside though it’s not always successful.
- I like eating camp food.
- I especially like eating it when Gert cooked it!
- Doing the dishes in substandard conditions is really fun (who knew?)
- I like seeing birds, rabbits, squirrels and deer just walking by. (I most likely would not enjoy seeing a bear close-up but that remains to be seen!)
- I really like meeting other campers – some are lovely and normal – some are just completely mad!! (One had a gun!)
We’ve now camped in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico!
And tonight we are camping in Yosemite, California with our online friends Family Trek! We are so excited to meet them and their kids!!
We’re off to Walmart in a little while to stock up on supplies for our next 2 nights!! The kids are excited to be roasting marshmallows again and maybe we’ll have a Walmart story to add into the mix!!
Tune in for our next post on Friday, assuming we haven’t been eaten by bears at Yosemite!!
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