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Our Short Camping Trip


We did end up going camping over the weekend. I found a small cabin available on the Lake and snatched it up for Saturday night. We were thinking buying a tent, but the cabin ended up being cheaper right now once you factored in the tent cost and the site fee. There is also that fear of rain since I’ve slept in a leaky tent before. If we buy a tent, I want it to be a really nice one and that will cost quite a bit.

So we got a cabin. It was probably about 10ft x 10ft and had electricity complete with a small fridge and a hot plate. Because of that, we didn’t need any special food for our trip. Well, we did get some marshmallows for the fire. I thought the trip would run about $60 but it ended up being $83. $30 of that cost was from buying three of those fold up chairs. Now that we have some, we will be using them for going to the beach, fishing, parades and any future camping trips. Before we were just sitting on the sand, rocks or pavement. A bit of a luxury for our tushies, but we will use them and they fit with our whole downsizing/maximizing our space goal.

Now that the monetary consideration is out of the way – let me tell you…I needed that break from the “norm.” Everyone had a very nice time. Here are a few of the highlights:

1.) My son got to see his first flaming marshmallow. I tried to get him to take a bite of the charred remains but he wasn’t going near it.

2.) Our campfire was fueled by four containers of dead wood from our yard from the past few years. We were finally able to get rid of that. Yay!

3.) The only pair of shorts that fit me (the rest are too big now) bit the dust. They had a little hole near the pocket and it literally let rip. At the time, I was the only one at the cabin and I was starting the camp fire. When my husband and son came back from a water trip I asked my husband to get me a towel. “Why?” he asked. “You’ll see when I stand up,” I said. I wish I could have seen the look on his face when he saw it.

4.) We went for a hike and hit the jackpot. There were thimbleberries all over (they are sort of like raspberries but bigger and not as sweet). My son and I went crazy picking and eating. Yummy!

5.) My son’s pedal fell off his bike and we were about 3/4 mile from our cabin. Before I could even think too much on trying to fix it someone came up to us and asked if we needed a wrench. Kindness of strangers always puts a smile on my face.

And here was the one thing that happened that made me feel like we were in the right place at the right time (MB, you are going to like this one 🙂 ):

6.) My son was riding his bike around our cabin and I decided to walk out by him. I happened to notice something flying low on the lake. It didn’t take long for me to notice the white head and tail. I yelled to my son to get off his bike and run with me to get a closer view of the bald eagle that was probably looking for fish. We didn’t catch it actually diving for a fish, but I have never caught one flying low like that before. Usually I see them soaring high above or sitting on a rock or tree. It was a first for me and it was awesome. Too bad our camera battery died on Saturday night!

I am very happy we went camping, even though it was a short trip. All of us had fun and it was a change of pace that we needed. We had a special experience that we will remember for a long time and I’m probably going to hear about my shorts ripping for years to come 😛


  • Reply debtlessduty |

    Good for you and your family. Isn’t it great to be able to make those special memories with your son? My family love to camp, hunt, fish or hike. Out of all the vacation se ever take, my girls like camping and floating the river the best. Hope you are able to to again soon.


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  • Reply C |

    AHH, the beauty of getting away from the norm and enjoying the wilderness. Glad to see you had a nice time. We like to get away and escape. $83, not bad for the cost of the memories, priceless.
    Isn’t it nice to see the kind gestures of strangers. Camping seems to change people and I realize that “we” are all the same in so many ways.

  • Reply RTS |

    What great memories for your family! Maybe you started a tradition. Thank you for sharing the fun.

  • Reply Sandy |


    ‘So glad you had a wonderful weekend. Sometimes just getting away puts everything in perspective like nothing else can.
    As to a tent you might purchase — be sure you check the tents sold by the Boy Scouts. Just a few years ago when we were purchasing a tent for our family camping (3 boys), the tents sold by the Boy Scouts were rated by far the safest and most fire resistant tents being sold. The one we bought is still going strong.

  • Reply Megan |

    so glad you were able to get away and enjoy some family time.

    Now that we finally have our credit cards paid off (with thanks to you and your blog for inspiration) I hope to make some short little trips as well. sometimes all you need is a three day weekend to get away from it all.


  • Reply Ron@TheWisdomJournal |

    I love camping. It always does my heart good to see the kids figuring out a new game with a rock and some sticks rather than having 50 video games, toys galore, and saying, “I’m bored.”

    Nothing, NOTHING beats campfire coffee!

  • Reply arduous |

    Tricia, I’m glad you had a great time! Sounds like the perfect mini-break! 🙂

    Quality time with your husband and son is always time well spent. Sometimes making that time costs money. But I bet years from now, you’ll still be glad you took that trip.

  • Reply margot |

    My intention isn’t to critique since it sounds like you were thoughtful and financially responsible regarding this camping trip. But, from reading this entry I’d just like to share an overall observation. I suggest that people be careful about using one decision to justify spending on subsequent decisions. For example, the 3 chairs you bought were unnecessary for the camping splurge. As you said, you’ve certainly done plenty of outdoor activities without them before. Also, I suggest generally being cautious about deciding to splurge on a certain item and then allowing yourself to go over that budget. I find that for myself, it’s the hardest to get over the initial decision to splurge or make a purchase. But, once I get over that hurdle, it’s easier for me to decide to “upgrade” or spend a little extra. It sounds like that’s what happened to your camping budget. In fact, it sounds like you could have even been under budget since you didn’t need to go buy special food but then you went above budget due to the chairs.

    Glad to hear you had a good weekend!

  • Reply doctorS |

    AAAAh. Getting away with your people and nature. Sounds amazing and relaxing, I need to try this one day! What is a more lasting image in a young kids mind that roasting marshmellows? Not too many!

  • Reply danielle |

    I’m so glad you had fun.
    You need to do these little things with your son that only cost a little bit of money, because if he grows up feeling like you guys did nothing then he might go into his 20’s trying to “live it up” (and run up his credit cards).

  • Reply mapgirl |

    um, I don’t think Margot’s ever gone camping without chairs. I have, and I thought I could go cheap with getting a child’s chair because I’m so short and light. Wrong.

    Real full sized adult chairs do make a difference when you are around a campfire. The back support is a godsend. You can’t always guarantee a log to sit on anyway since you might end up tossing it into the fire eventually.

    Glad you had some awesome experiences out there. I’m trying to squeeze in one more camping trip for the year. (Now that gas prices are going down, it’s much more affordable than before. Not that it was an expensive trip anyway.)

  • Reply Matt |

    Sounds like a positively wonderful trip – I’m glad you had fun and got a break from the norm. Sometimes we need that little break from the every day or we might loose our minds and forget the reason why we’re doing the things we’re doing.

  • Reply margot |

    Mapgirl: I’ve done most of my camping, especially “backwoods” camping, without chairs or any other luxury. Apparently, so has Trish since she mentioned other surfaces that they sat on before they bought chairs. In fact, millions of people throughout history and all over the world today (like a lot of poor people in developing countries) regularly hang out outdoors and around fires without modern chairs. Given that Trish was worried about spending $60 for camping in the first place, it seems prudent to just give a second thought to the purchase of chairs.

  • Reply Natasha |

    I have just found your blog.

    My husband loves camping and going to the snow. I always say to him we can’t go it costs so much in fuel etc.

    We may give it go anyhow. I’m glad you had a great weekend. Would have been fantastic to see the eagle.

  • Reply My Daily Dollars |

    What a great trip! And a good time of year to go. We went ‘camping’ last weekend as well at a nearby cabin. It was a great way to create some family memories before we all rush into back-to-school mode!

  • Reply Kev |

    Sounds fun and more importantly… Relaxing. I would give anything to be able to get away and check out of my life for a few days. Relief is on its way though. I will have my credit cards paid off in December. I plan on doing the following as soon as I make the final payment:

    1.) Run through my neighborhood naked screaming like a maniac.
    2.) Have my girlfriend bail me out of jail (as a result of number 1).
    3.) Take my family out to dinner and actually pay for it!
    4.) Start planning a trip to the beach or a cruise.

    I cannot wait!!! Glad you had a great time though, it sounds like it was more than worth it.

  • Reply Jon |

    1. What in the world is wrong with buying a few camp chairs? Our family has used our (fairly cheap) camp chairs for the last ten years or so to attend kids’ football and soccer games, picnics, campouts, taken them on motorcycle trips, used them as extra seating for graduation parties, wedding receptions. The list goes on. I’m sure their family will use them for a long time, too.

    2. The bald eagle sighting sounds awesome. A few years ago, my wife and I and friends were water skiing, and got to see a bald eagle dive within feet of the skier, grab a fish from the water, and fly off again. It was spectacular, and an experience we will never forget. The skier never saw a thing.

So, what do you think ?