In just a few short weeks, we are going for our first camping trip of the season. Yay! I am very excited but also a bit apprehensive, as our last camping trip with Savannah didn't go so hot.
It was last summer, and she was just under 2. I thought she would just adore camping, since she loves being outside and often cries when it's time to come back inside. She did love camping as much as I thought she would, but I had drastically underestimated how unrelaxing a camping trip with a toddler would be for Mommy & Daddy. See, toddlers don't really get the concept of a campsite with invisible boundaries. I mean, really. Why would you stay on or even near your campsite when, instead, you could run wildly across other campsites and in the road? I mean how else could you get back to the playground?? There is no need, in a toddlers mind, to worry about little things like large pick-up trucks pulling 30 ft. trailers that can't possibly stop on a dime. The other campers and oncoming traffic never bothered Savannah, but they terrified me!
This memory is precisely the reason that I wanted to do a practice camping trip in our backyard. You know, set up the tent in the back yard, maybe have a campfire, and just spend the night snuggled up in our sleeping bags right out our back door. That way we can easily bail if something something goes really awry.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we have recently moved, again, so finding our tent and all our camping gear was a bit of a challenge. But, I managed to find it all, and I decided to try to put the tent up with Savannah's help. Yes, I know, I am just asking for things to go wrong. But, she is really into this whole tent thing, so I am sure that I can pull this off.
I don't let the gray skies outside scare me too much, but I double check the radar to see that the storm that is coming still looks a good distance away. (Yes, another sign I should wait, but I like a challenge and I'm a bit of a determined girl. Once I get a notion in my head to do something, it's hard to convince me otherwise.) So we get all our our tent parts outside just in time to hear the roll of thunder in the distance. That probably should have been my final hint to bag this backyard camp-out for now, but I marched on anyway.
I did manage to quickly get the tent up, with Savannah my stake helper. I raised the tent just in time for the rain to fall. I secured Savannah inside so she would stay mostly dry while I struggled to get the rain fly on. Now, it's a bit tricky for a 5'2" woman to fling a huge piece of fabric, bearing many clips to get caught on things, to the apex of a large dome tent that stands over 6 ft. tall at the center.
I got soaked in the process, but I did it! Just in time to see Savannah coming out of the little Pet Den that juts off the back of the tent.
I coaxed her back into the tent and finally joined her to rest a bit. Before I could relax, I needed to zip back up that silly Pet Den, which our dog hated by the way. First to zip, then to rip. I was backing my way out of the mini-tunnel into the main area when I apparently got too close to a stress point in the tent. Rrrrriiippp!!! Not a good sound. Yes, a gaping rip in our tent in the middle of a thunderstorm! Lightning fast (sorry, I couldn't resist this pun), I run through any quick fixes I can think of, and here was my solution:
It's not pretty, but hey, it worked! It actually kept the inside mostly dry during the brief downpour. (Notice all the rain droplets.) Crisis averted!! The really funny thing is that, despite all my challenges to get the blasted tent up and keep it dry, we still haven't done our backyard camp-out. Our poor binder clip clad tent still sits quietly in our backyard waiting to be camped in...