A couple of weeks ago, Josh and I decided on a spontaneous—we decided a few days before and packed the day of—camping trip with our nuggets. It was our first camping trip ever. Josh and I had never even been camping alone.
Josh, Little Nugget and I were all excited—Z Nugg being so little had no clue about what was going on—but being a short-planned camping trip, things were off to a rocky start. To tell you the truth, I went from feeling excited to cautiously optimistic to this-was-the-worst-idea-EVER! I literally text Josh on my hike up to the camp site, “Worst idea ever.” I guess it could’ve been worse, though, as I ended my text in a period instead of an exclamation mark. (Punctuation says a lot.)
I drove the nuggets to the camp—it was only a 20+ minute drive—and Josh rode his bicycle there. What is that cliché? “You live and your learn?” Yup! Well, I learned that I shouldn’t leave at the same time as Josh leaves (on his bike!) because then I arrive about an hour before he does with an extremely inquisitive toddler and screaming infant. I definitely lived it and learned for the next time.
Being our first camping trip, we had no gear, but we figured it out. Josh went to Big 5 and scored a four-person tent for $29.99, its usual price was $89.99. I’m sure there are better quality tents out there, but this one worked perfectly for our overnight stay. Josh slept in his hammock, and the nuggets and I slept in the tent which allowed me to have more than enough room with them. We didn’t have sleeping bags, so we took blankets. The blankets kept us warm, but were not a great idea because of how bulky they are. Bulky items are not great to hike up a mountain with in addition to two children. For food, we took sandwich stuff and had sandwiches at almost ten at night. We most definitely overpacked for a night’s stay, but again, we experienced and we learned.
We spent the night at Musch Camp located in the Topanga State Park. To be honest, I don’t even feel like I can consider it a full camping trip since our campsite was set up at 9 pm and we left by 8 am the next day. Let’s just say it was a trial camping trip. Although it was quite an experience—our three-year-old and seven-month-old made sure it was an experience—I am extremely happy that we did it because the nuggets proved to be spontaneous and resilient…like us. Little Nugget is, according to him, looking forward to going back and sleeping under the stars, listening to the crickets and eagles (apparently he heard eagles), and hike up the mountain (which he cried for at least half of the hike up).
I’m happy that we experienced the frustration of planning a last-minute “camping” (overnight stay in nature, really) trip as this allowed for plenty of learning and memories. I’m happy we were able to laugh about all of the mishaps afterwards, and am grateful that we stayed the night instead of surrendering to the frustration and heading home. I am looking forward to making more memories with my little family, and am confident in knowing that we will survive whatever life-nuggets are thrown at us…together.
Cheers to living, learning, and enjoying!