Camping Season is Almost Upon Us!

Though this week is cold and miserable, with interminable rain enlivened only by gray skies, blustery wind, and possibility of snow, yes snow, Friday. Still, our thoughts have turned to planning our first tent-camping trip. Last fall, we camped in an RV for The North Face Endurance Challenge — we loved it, the kids did great, so this year we’re upping the ante and roughing it a bit (if you consider car-camping roughing it).

There is nothing quite like getting our REI dividend each Spring, almost like getting free gear! The possibilities are endless, sometimes nearly impossible in all of the possible amazing and adventurous permutations rushing through my feverish brain.

REI Siesta +30/40 Double Sleeping Bag
Laim, Munchkin, and Teo – trial run

This year, however, common sense (with a dash of romance), led me to order the REI Siesta +30/40 Double Sleeping Bag. The Siesta is a warm weather sleeping bag that features Over-Under construction, which provides different amounts of insulation on the top and bottom; flip the bag over for more warmth or less, as conditions warrant. Testing it on the family room floor makes it feel like it will provide comfortable snuggling for 2, though it more likely will be 3 with Little Worker joining me and Laima. 🙂

Coghlan's Camping Gear

Coghlan’s (The Outdoor Accessory People) sent us some freebies to try out this year, adding to our growing stashbox (when you have 4 kids, a stashbag just doesn’t cut it). For necessities, a wind-up flashlight, dry bag sized for phones, and a magnesium firestarter stick, the perfect addition to the FireKnife we tried out last year. For safety, a manual air horn, which works by blowing air over a membrane, creating a loud, droning sound. The packaging says it can be heard from a mile away and, while I can’t attest to that, I can definitely promise you local dogs don’t like it. 🙂

Not sure where we will end up this summer, but 2 trips are in the initial planning stages. The Blackwell Forest Preserve, not far from home, is not only a nice place to trail run, but also has a family campground, which seems like a no-brainer for the first trip. The second trip is a little further afield, with a trip down to the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois — camping for the family and wine tasting for Laima and me. Win-win.

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4 thoughts on “Camping Season is Almost Upon Us!

  1. We lucked out with two beautiful nights of camping for the non-race. It's funny…Jeff and I started out tent camping, moved to pretty much strictly using the pop-up, and now with races I'm back to the tent.

    I'm sure your kids are going to love your camping trips, and the Shawnee area is beautiful. Looking forward to hearing how it all goes.

    That sleeping bag sounds super cool, too.

  2. REI has the best customer service on the planet and if you go into the store and talk to them nicely, I'm 99.99% sure they will let you use your dividend. They let me use my 20% coupon after it had expired.

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