Updated: Mar 15, 2019
That's not camping! These are the words I very smugly uttered EVERY time my parents informed me that they were “going camping” in whatever RV they currently owned. Starting with a fifteen foot starter travel trailer, the RVs continued to grow in size and level of comfort. Who were these people who happily packed up a trailer like it was a vacation home, hauled it off to a campground somewhere and called it camping?
These were the same people who would spontaneously pack a few essentials, toss their young children in the car with some sleeping bags, find a beautiful spot on the river and set up camp. Those were the early camping years. The tent came later.
Always packed and ready in the trunk of the car with a few camping basics, that first tent was pitched wherever the camping bug took them. Those words, “lets go camping” meant an exciting adventure or misadventure awaited. My dad and grandpa’s urge to fish would take us to the shores of the Umpqua River; a trip to the lake allowed for a relaxing weekend of water play with groups of friends; and a family gathering would often take us to a scenic campground on the beautiful Oregon coast. As a playground for kids, the rocky beaches and coastal sand dunes provided endless entertainment and adventure.
Then came the trailers and fifth wheels. Camping trips now became caravans of family RVs rolling south over snow packed mountains to warmer weather and California beaches, or to RV friendly campgrounds on the rivers and lakes on which we once pitched our first tent.
As my parents continued their RV lifestyle, I started my own independent camping experiences, first with friends, then with my own young family. These new camping and backpacking experiences also had their share of great fun and minor misfortune. Although breaking camp and hiking out of the backwoods in a rainstorm is not one of the experiences I care to repeat, that adventure has certainly provided plenty of memories and stories to share.
Continuing family tradition, my own sons began their tent camping ventures as babies and young toddlers. Trips to the Redwoods, the California and Oregon coasts, and beautiful mountain campgrounds became a tradition for them as they had for me.
My own transition into trailer camping began with a trip to the Oregon coast with friends in a motorhome borrowed from my parents. Staying warm and dry during a torrential downpour convinced me that maybe camping in an RV was legitimate camping after all.
My RV camping trips today continue to be filled with great adventure and endless laughter as the Sweet Dreams team enthusiastically answers the “let’s go camping” call. Waterfalls, rivers, lakes, bike paths, and hiking trails are all waiting to be explored by those who say yes to the call to new adventure.