Why We Camp - Estes Park

Have you ever wondered why it is that we decide to camp? Why a certain percentage of us choose to spend nights under the stars on the cold hard ground verses in a warm comfy bed? 

I don't have the answers, but it's a question my husband and I asked each other occasionaly on our last camping trip in Estes Park, Colorado. 

 
 

We wanted to have a quick adventure and decided camping in Estes Park, Colorado would be a good option - so we started compiling what little gear we had!

I grew up camping, but to have a quick understanding of what my camping experience was like in our family of six, we often had a full-size flat bed trailer to haul all the things my parents wanted while camping. Sometimes that included bikes, tubs of food, the biggest green cooler you've ever seen (they still own this), multiple tarps, cooking stoves, our own firewood, chairs, everything...just everything!

It was great! However, Collin and I looked like minimalists compared to my childhood camping days. The world of REI camping gear has evolved and our gear money has not. We even had a guy one morning walk by and look into our tent as ask..."did that REALLY fit you two?" 

It was also our goal to be able to fly with our camping gear without it being a huge hassle. I think we still have a ways to go, but it was our first try at a weekend camping trip where we had to pack everything on a flight. 

CAMPING EQUIPMENT

Tent - Quarter Dome REI Tent

Hammock - Moosejaw Nappetizer 

Sleeping bags - Mountain Hardwear Ratio 15 

Sleeping pads - Self inflating pad / foam pad 

Jet Boiler - Best thing EVER 

Pillows - Target + Nappetizer Pillow 

Hiking Boots - Vasque Talus WP Hiking Boots

Sandals - Teva Originals

Head lamps - Petzl Headlamp

For this camping trip we stayed at Mary's Lake Campground. It was literally the last campsite in Estes for the weekend, but the staff was very helpful with booking over the phone. After setting up our campsite we drove into town to get a few things and stopped right across the campsite to watch the sunset over Mary's Lake.  

We were so proud of our little campsite, but did miss having things like a chair for the fire and maybe a few other kitchen tools, but we made use of our fire bundles for as long as possible. 

 QUICK CAMPFIRE MEALS

Since this was such a quick trip we used our Jetboil for dinner both nights. I have to admit we didn't go the healthiest route with dinners. 

DINNER - Quick & Easy

  • Instant chicken and rice meal (just add water)
  • Steamed Broccoli (in foil on the fire or in the jetboil)
  • Ramen noodles...yah we did that

For breakfast I had packed a baggy with some healthy rolled oats that I also cooked in the jetboil. 

BREAKFAST - Healthy & Hearty

  • Trader Joe's rolled oats
  • Hemp seeds
  • Cranberries 
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts 
  • Cinnamon 

After making dinner we sat and enjoyed the fire and made s'mores with chocolate chip cookies - YUM! 

We again talked about why we decided to camp. Not because we were unhappy, but why this process is so enjoyable. Even as we're balancing on our diminishing bundle of logs we turned into chairs, there is a happiness in being uncomfortable.

Something only nature seems to allow us to be okay with. How powerful is that? 

After our first night in our new Quarter Dome tent which to answer that guys question...yes we both fit! 

That first night I slept horrible tough. I got out of the tent twice, once to go to the bathroom and the second because I was determined in my sleepy brain that our hammock was going to rip a hole in it. In addition to those "out of tent moments", I also woke up to a herd of elk literally running past our tent. I woke up again because somebody in a nearby campsite was yelling about something and I laid there waaaay too long trying to figure out what it was about! 

Long story short...getting a good nights rest with only half an inch of cushion under you and a thin layer between you and nature's surroundings is bound to be impossible. Yet we can't wait to do it all again! 

Colorado_Estes_Park_RockClimbing_TaraShupe_017.jpg

So why do "I" camp? 

I love slowing down and finding enjoyment in the sounds, smells and processes. I love the rewarding feeling after I struggle setting up our tent in the wind. I enjoy a meal that would never be considered a proper meal at home, but here it's warm and tastes amazing! 

I could go on forever - but I'd rather know:

Why do YOU camp?! 

-Tara