~The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Hey there everyone! I hope this finds you well, the kiddos and I have been out and about this summer hiking and camping, it's been such a blessing and good restart for us with the world right now. We love getting out and being out in nature! The rugged road trip ending in dirt roads, endless tart red huckleberries, that magical sound the fire makes as it crackles under the blanket of stars in the woods. The owl off in the distnace calling out at twilight. Camping opens our eyes and awakens our senses to our natural environment. I thought I would share a few of our adventures and some tips to help you on your next adventure! I never went camping as a child until I was 17, it was hot and sticky and ugly in north Texas. haha So summer time in the PNW is such a treat for us to enjoy some cool waters, endless cascading mountains and our beautiful lush forests.
Going camping and hiking I'm always over prepared, the car is way overpacked, things are piled in the back, we have pillows and blankets, way too many sleeping bags, the car has different bags for every acitivity, swiming, snacks, spare clothes, more snacks, toys ect. This is me just over excited that we get to go on an adventure! I've gotten somewhat better at this with the kids. We have a science to our madness and it works out for us well. We each have one bag we take with our belongings, then the other 10 bags are activity/food bags, maybe overexaggerated a bit on that one...We do however have a big black camping box, with all the 10 essentials plus some. Some freeze dried meals, an ax, smore goodies, dry cereal, lighter fluid, fun twinlkly lights, hot coco, foil, wipes, a multitool, fire roasters, oatmeal packets, water, and canned food. That may be a little overkill, but that's just what I keep in there in case of an emergency as well.. Our go to for dinner is always going to be hot dogs, I like the simplicity of them, yeah if i'm feeling fancy I'll pack a can of chili and maybe some fritos for chili cheese frito pies the next day. We've tried steaks, chicken kababs, but again when camping I try to make things simple as can be, minus the 10 bags I throw in the car.lol
Here's the 10 essentials to have while going on a hike and camping
2. Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
3. Sunglasses and sunscreen (a sunhat also helps in this department)
4. Extra food and water
5. Extra clothes
6. Headlamp (outdoor)/flashlight
7. First aid kit
8. Fire starter
When we go hiking since I have a little one, we use a toddler carrier, this is good in case they get tired which they will going 6 plus miles at 1600 ft plus elevation gain. I like to take a back pack as well filled with those ten essentials, and some gooodies for the kids.
I can't stress this enough but a good mosquito repellent will save you, we've tried off, deet, deep in the woods, the bug bracelets but none of it works on us. We made a homemade one with some alcohol free witch hazel and lavendar essential oil.. It's a facial toner and makes you smell so good while repelling those bugs.
I'm all for multifunctional things as a busy working mama of two with two jobs I need any extra little thing that has more than one function. A multifunctional tool or knife is good to have on hand as well. You just never know what kind of situation you will run into, either yourself or a fellow hiker needing help.
Layers are super important here too, in case you run into some bad weather or stay out later than expected into the twilight hours. Which in this hike below we did use our headlamps for the last few minutes of the hike! I feel like this is just a given living in Washington, it can be cold one hour and hot the next, then all of a sudden a mist or layer of fog is coiming in. So those layers will save you. I like to hike in groups as well, if you can. Especially with the kids if your in new territory, you never know what could happen, extra hands are very helpful at times.
Activites we love!
Well I like to tell the kiddos use your imagination, at their age, they like to make fine cuisine outdoors with pine cones and dirt. This keeps them busy for hours sometimes. Which is so relaxing and nice, this is when I usually have some me time and just sit and be still with nature. Throwing rocks by the river, picking flowers and hanging out by the fire are just some simple and fun things we do. Sometimes I will up my game and bring cards and tie dye stuff, but I do like to keep things simple so we can relax.
Taking in God's beauty and our surroundings and elements around us does something specail. It restarts us, gives us inspiration, and also makes us super grateful when we get home for a warm house, cozy beds and roof over our heads. Those warm summer days and cool summer nights under the stars is what I look forward to every year, I hope my kiddos do too.
Some of our favorite hikes and camping spots!
Bogacheil State Park for camping
Hoh River trail for hiking and camping
Baker Lake for camping and hiking
Mora State Park for hiking
Mora Park area for camping
Deception Pass for Camping
Bowman Bay and Rosario for hiking
Fort Ebey for hiking
Wenatchee for camping
Hope this was helpful and fun info for any of you wanting to get out just not sure where to start!