amber, nora, and zara sleeping bag selfie with goofy faces

Backyard Camping


After our trial run last fall in the freezing cold with borrowed gear and a sick baby, we crazily decided that camping regularly was something we wanted to do…because it really could only be uphill from there, right?  The only problem we had was that we did not own a single piece of camping gear.  Initially, when planning for this summer, we were imagining that we could cobble a few trips together like we did last fall.  It wouldn’t have been ideal to go with borrowed and rigged up camping gear, but it would have been an experience, and that’s really what we were looking for anyway.

In early May, our adventurous side kicked in and we planned three trips for the summer, without knowing how we would find a tent or anything else.  Three weeks after we paid off the last of our student loans, our optimism that it would all work out paid off: I realized that I had savings bonds given to me as a child that had finally matured, which were without obligation because I had already eliminated their intended purpose.  After some jumping for joy, we cashed them in at the bank and then headed straight to REI, where we loaded up on everything from a tent and sleeping bags, to water jugs, a cooler, cooking implements, and more.

Last weekend, we decided to test out all our gear (and actually figure out how to put up the tent) in advance of our first planned camping trip later this month.  Of course, the best way to test camping gear is to camp with it, so, much to the girls’ delight, we decided to do some backyard camping.  We pitched the tent.  We ate veggie/hot dogs cooked outdoors.  We lit a fire and made s’mores. We got bug bites and sang one another to sleep. We slept in our sleeping bags in the tent, then woke up at dawn’s first light to watch Chris cook breakfast on a camp stove.  As far as weekends go, it was pretty awesome.  I’m getting more and more excited to watch the girls experience the real thing, coming soon…

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5 responses

  1. Fabulous!!!! What great planning!! Have a great summer with your family and new gear. And the food looks yummy too!!

  2. Marika Ujvari Avatar
    Marika Ujvari


  3. You really never think about saving, do you? You depend on charity (even if your parents’) to pay off your debt, even have a dangerous childbirth at home. Please start saving so that we taxpayers won’t have to carry you.

    1. Honestly, Anu, I’m not in the least bit sure how to respond to your comment. You don’t know us and you have no idea what our bank account looks like. I guess all I can say is, thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment, but please don’t assume to know anything about our financial situation aside from what has been explicitly said: we worked incredibly hard over the past seven years to pay off all of our student loans and our car loan well ahead of schedule, and, since we have never carried consumer debt, are living 100% debt free. If you are truly concerned about whether or not we save (which we do) there are certainly much more constructive ways to inquire about it.

  4. Having a child at home self pay vs having a child in a hospital on medicaid… Which cost your tax payers more, Anu? Our auther was very much aware of her risks – which overall are low in appropriate patients (see ACOG committee opinion on planned home birth). And as for charity – if you’ve never accepted a gift /money from ANYONE… Well, you’re lying.

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