Camping is something that has always been in my blood. I think I was only about 6 months old when my parents took me camping for the first time, as they loaded down our Volkswagon with one of those old impossibly heavy canvas tents, and a kayak that my dad had built from a kit. Later on our camping trips grew from weekend excursions to month-long journeys all the way up the California coastline to the Pacific Northwest. Yes, you can definitely say that camping is in my blood.
My hubby and I have carried on the camping tradition with our children, beginning when our daughter was only a couple of months old. Our trips have always centered around the food we bring. Food takes on new meaning when you are outdoors 24/7. Our whole trip revolves around preparing the food, cooking the food, eating the food, cleaning up from the food mess, then deciding what we are giong to eat next!
As we continued to camp, our equipment arsenal began to grow exponentially too. First the giant tent, so that we could fit all of the kid's toys and necessary stuff in there, then more cooking equipment and a larger cooler and big, bulky air mattresses. It all felt so necessary at the time, but we were completely loaded down. It's truly a wonder that my husband was so patient with all of the stuff that I insisted on bringing. He was a camping minimalist at heart; just a single bowl that doubled as a cooking pot, a pocket-size single burner for cooking and a fork and a knife. Ha! He never knew what hit him!
Now that our kids have gotten older, we are slowly finding ourselves scaling back on our camping essentials. Our tent has gotten smaller (and miraculously morphed into a small tent trailor), the cooking equipment has gotten sparser and forget those pesky air mattresses that continually sprung a leak. I think that the work load has even lightened up a bit too.
So if you're wondering where I'm going with this, last week we were able to sneak away for a 6 day adventure near Bend, Oregon, meeting up with some old friends that we hadn't seen in several years. Getting together two families with 5 teenage kids was no easy task. But somehow we pulled it all together, and as we sat there laughing and playing Apples To Apples by the roaring fire, I found myself reflecting on the evolution of our camping trips. We've come a long way baby.
ETA: I put up our camping food list on Everyday Dish (on the "Dish" page).