Last weekend we camped at Paulina Lake Campground in Central Oregon, we went on a beautiful hike around the lake via the Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail, we ate lunch at Paulina Lake Lodge, and visited the Paulina Peak at Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The experience was documented in the video below.
Why tent camping is great overall
There’s a lot of amazing experiences involved in taking the tent out for the weekend. On one hand, I deeply appreciate tent camping. It gets us out in nature, which I absolutely love.
A case in point was the hiking trail loop at Paulina Lake. It was a spectacular hike within walking distance from our campsite.
Mini adventures like these gives us a chance to de-stress from work and home commitments. We spend time reconnecting rather than watching TV or reading the news on the couch, discover new experiences that are joyful and educational, and we get to eat delicious food and enjoy drinks while chatting around the campfire.
I’ve also noticed that when we go camping on the weekends – or any type of travel for that matter – it feels like time slows down. When we camp, we are no longer in our monotonous routines, but living freely and exploring our natural environment – if just for a couple of days.
Why I (sometimes) dislike tent camping
There are definite downsides to tent camping as well, especially for a nervous nelly like me.
Here in Central Oregon, nightfall gets cold quickly, even in the summer. Mike and I purchased a heavy-duty sleeping bag, brought warm winter attire, and even a small propane Mr. heater portable buddy as a backup and I still woke up freezing in the middle of the night. Even though we had two sleeping pads, I was tossing and turning with hip pain (I guess I am getting old!).
Was that a bear? Does he smell something in the tent that he wants?
Since I’m not used to sleeping outdoors, any little “odd” or unfamiliar sound can start my mind racing about whether I’m safe or not. Luckily, Oregon does not experience many attacks from black bears or cougars, but I still get nervous when I see signs posted near our campsite that read, “bears and cougars are common sightings here.” These are unwarranted fears though, so I push myself to get out there and tent camp and it definitely pays off.
Sleeping arrangements, lack of plumbing, disorganization
Other inconveniences with tent camping include not having a water faucet or sink on hand, or a dedicated place for our stuff that inevitably ends up in random boxes or in the back seat of the truck. Our camping trips feel a little disorganized at times, although as we keep camping, we get more experienced with how to stay organized. This might not be so much a tent camping issue as an “us” issue. 🙂
Solutions to our tent camping problems
If we were to keep tent camping, rather than get the trailer we have on order, I would want to buy a cot for the tent, as well as a larger pop-up tent for a little more comfort, easier set up and maneuverability. A few more tools such as a battery charger, a better-quality cooler that keeps ice longer, a propane fire pit, and other camping aides could help make tent camping a lot easier and more fun moving forward.
Overall, camping is wonderful and worth it
I’ve been camping off and on since I was a kid. It provides immeasurable benefits that I would not want to miss because of temporary and minor inconveniences. Camping via any method that gets you outside and exploring is good for the soul, and a worthwhile pursuit, regardless of whether it’s always comfortable or not. In fact, being too comfortable all the time could be a danger in itself. Would you agree?
“Comfort is a stance of avoidance rather than the pursuit of excellence.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough
*This vlog is dedicated in memory of Aunt Elaine. Rest in Peace, Elaine. We love you.