There Is 1 Way To Camp-Out

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There is one way and one way only to camp-out.

For real.

Here it is:





I’m not much of a “real” camper, happy or otherwise.

What I mean is that–in the last 35 or 40 years–I’ve only left my yard once before to go camping.


It was earlier this year when I took horses camping.

I’m an awesomely “real” backyard camper though. When I had a kiddo, I started camping with her in the backyard. Backyard camping in Atlanta had its drawbacks. We heard a constant roar of traffic, neighborhood air conditioning units kicking on and off, and we could see only the brightest stars because of the light pollution.

Backyard camping is much better here in the country. The problem here is that now my daughter is old enough to have her own opinions about things like camping. And her opinion is “no.”

So, I’ve been on my own in the backyard camping scene here. Which is fine; I’m not complaining; I don’t mind some quiet, alone time out in nature.

But this past weekend I wanted to go REAL camping, out of the backyard. So I bribed my daughter and she went with me. You go with me camping and I’ll take you to the mall. She agreed. As did Kermit. (Kermit required no bribery.)

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I jammed the car full of things I thought we’d need…for 1 night in the woods and we headed off.

When we found the campground and checked in, the Ranger said to me, “You’re a BRAVE woman!”

I was taken aback. Why would she say this? What is going on? What requires courage?

So after a few seconds too long of silence I finally said, “Why would you say that?”

And then she gave me a few seconds too long of silence.

She replied with a confused look on her face, “Because I see them. Because I am too…”

And she pulled the long braid from behind her back over so I could see it.”


She had said “braid” not “brave.” I was wearing my hear in two braids. I am a brave, braid woman.

The fee for the night was $18. Eighteen dollars for a night out under the stars and two days in nature. What a bargain!

We found our assigned campsite we immediately noticed a disadvantage. And it was rather large. And loud. You see, the Brady Bunch were camping in the site right next to ours. Very close. There goes our quiet camping trip. We heard Bobby yell to Cindy that the people next door were there. We heard Greg tell Marcia to shut up and Marcia tell him to do the same. We heard Jan and….oh gosh, what was his name? The middle Brady boy? Anyway, we heard Jan and the middle boy exploring the woods next to our tent. Oh goody.

But, whatever. I’ll take it any way I can get it. Brady Bunch or not. It was nice to be camping out of our backyard.

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Setting up the tent.

I love this tent, by the way. It is small and sweet and old-school.

Once we got the tent up and set up camp,


we headed to the lake to canoe.

We got out into the middle of the lake when the windy and chilly rain began. It didn’t stay long. It left this rainbow.

And all of a sudden it was cold.

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Yippee! I love the cold.

Don’t know what kind of bird this is. I’ve searched our bird book and the Internet and can’t ID it yet.

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We went back to camp and built a big campfire. Check this out. Great fire starters. As far as I know, I made these up.

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Save your paper towel rolls and stuff them with your dryer lint. Awesome! Really gets the fire going.

Then we made dinner: Hobo Pockets like we had at the Girl Scout Camp-out (in our meadow).

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Followed by hot chocolate and hot tea.

I always take bubbles, sparklers, and a candle every where I go that I think we just might want them.

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“The stars put on a show for free…” (quoting another song James Taylor sings)

They were stunning. The clouds cleared and we were awed with the number of stars we saw. Whoosh! A falling star! We both saw it and we both forgot to make a wish. (What in the world could I possibly wish for anyway??)

Before we went to sleep that night, my daughter said these words that made me smile:

“I’m having the time of my life.”

Can I tell you how that made me feel? No, I can’t. Because I don’t have words.

But let me just say. WOOT! WOOT! Maybe I’ve converted her! Wow, that would be awesome! We could go on adventures together!

The night was colder than we were prepared for. I went through the car and found a towel and also Blue’s blanket. Blue is my dog and his blanket was covered with fur. But. We didn’t care. We were happy to use both the towel and the dog’s blanket for covers.

I learned at the horse camp-out to always bring a hat to sleep in, so I had brought two toboggans for us. We needed them!

Before we break down camp Sunday.

Loved it. Loved every minute of it. Even the Brady Bunch.

So the one way to camp?

Just do it.

Whenever. However. Wherever.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah



PS I’m sharing this again. Just in case someone hasn’t seen it yet.



  1. Carol in NC says:

    We went camping a couple of weeks ago, just before our older son left for China. I’d forgotten how hard the ground is. The boys, thank God, had all the gear and did most of the work. It had been so long since I did all that! But great bonding time, and we went during the week so it was quiet.

    We went to Lake Jocassee in SC. That’s the lake with all the waterfalls falling into the water that can only be seen by boat. My husband has wanted to see it forever but we’d never been. The falls were spectacular! But a bit of a treasure hunt even though we had a map. I don’t think we ever would have found what ultimately became our favorite falls if another boat hadn’t been there as our ‘trail marker’.

    I’m so glad you had fun!

  2. Denise Ross says:

    Fabulous camping trip Rebekah. I love camping for the simpleness of it, the slowing down, back to nature aspect and the reconnecting with those who are with us and the savouring of the time. Looking forward to doing some this summer. I live in Australia.
    I love the video too. Really struck a cord with me to really savour, experience and be grateful for every single moment of each day, thanks for the share.

    Love your brave braid. Made me chuckle 🙂
    Have a fully alive week

  3. Deb Bosworth says:

    We ( I ) haven’t camped in years. Almost 20 years, now that I think about it. We tried to camp when our kids were babies and we just weren’t cut out for tent camping with toddlers. I bet there’s been an entire library published on how to do it by now but, oh well. My husband has camped with out son at Boy Scout Camp and our daughter has camped out in the yard with friends a few times. It’s not ” her thing”. But my next door neighbors daughter ( who I believe is in her 20’s ) has camped out every Friday night in the backyard all summer long with her dog, Bella. I finally thought to give her my copy of Glamping With MaryJane so she’d have some fun reading to do by flashlight. She was so thrilled she gave me a big old hug! I think it’s wonderful you bribed your daughter to go camping with you and I’m glad she had the time of her life. 🙂 Sweet words indeed!
    Keep on keeping on you brave, braid girl!!
    Hugs from Deb, the Beach Farmgirl!

  4. Diane Van Horn says:

    What a great camping trip! Even with the Brady Bunch. By the way, the middle boy’s name is Peter. I am so glad that your daughter is open to camping adventures. Sometimes we just need to unplug and sleep in a tent. I also want to thank you for that video. Makes me feel humble and grateful for this life and each day of it.

  5. Rowena Philbeck says:

    What a great time you must have had. I was a girl scout leader for many years and those pockets brought back memories. It is so much fun to camp out but lots of work getting ready but well worth it for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Marcie says:

    Glad you got to go camping and happy that your daughter enjoyed it.

    Rebekah, your mystery bird looks like a Double-crested Cormorant; a very common water bird.

  7. Bonnie ellis says:

    Sounds like a great trip. I think the bird is a cormorant. Yes the ground is hard and I can’t sleep on it any more but all of us need nature more than we realize. Your daughter will remember the good stuff. Remember, farm girls are tough. Tee here.

  8. Joan says:

    So very happy you got to go camping and that your daughter enjoyed it too – this opens a whole new world of adventure. Thanks for sharing. God bless – oh my idea of camping is no less than Motel 8 – must be the age thing.

  9. Diana Henretty says:

    Packed up our homemade Redneck camper, and took off to meet our son and grandson in Disney Ok last week. Beautiful trip, beautiful memories made! I looked out in the night and our campground was invaded by raccoons, many of them, sniffing and being nosey thru all of our things!! So precious. There’s nothing like campfire coffee, pancakes and sausages, then we said our good byes. Just an overnight trip, but how special it was and will always be tucked away in my mind to go back and remember.
    Hugs from Noel, Mo….diana

  10. bonnie b says:

    Thanks for sharing your camping experience. Talking about “the Brady Bunch” being right next to you reminds me of a time we were camping and thought similiar thoughts about those next to us. It turned out to be a wonderful evening of sitting around a fire with the dad of the group playing a small accordian and all of us singing. Made new friends and sm’ores!
    Did your daughter still want to go to the mall? Bet it was not nearly as much fun!!
    Really enjoyed the video. Thanks for sharing that also.

  11. linda says:

    The bird is a cormorant! Glad you had an excellent time. I too used to camp with my kiddos and loved every moment of it.
    Best from Northern California

  12. Suzanne Obloy says:

    Definitely a cormorant!

  13. Nancy says:

    Your bird was either a blue heron or an American bittern also known as a mud hen. Did you hear it?

  14. Judi says:

    Neat story I loved it fun!!

  15. Julie A. Weaver (ClaireSky) says:

    I loved your post! I haven’t gone camping in maybe 25 years… I believe you have converted me. [:)]

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