Our first time camping together was slightly spontaneous and outrageously under-planned. We did little to no research, left much later than we intended to, brought no smaller bills to pay for our camping spot, and ending up setting our tent up with the use of flashlights and the very last bits of orange on the skyline as the sunset had already passed.
Parker Canyon Lake
The camping spot was actually super cute and had a great view. It’s five or ten dollars a night, all the spots have easy access to the bathrooms, and the break in monsoons had left the place nice and green for us.
As far as we could tell, the camping sites were first come first serve. We packed up some odds and ends for breakfast, brought some extra water, and then stopped at Subway to grab dinner on our drive out. Unfortunately, our navigation took us the long way to get there so it took twice as long as anticipated. We watched the sunset during our drive instead of from our campsite.
Despite a somewhat frustrating start to our spontaneous camping trip, we made the most of it. We resolved to be a little more prepared next time, because a camping trip without firewood (and s’mores) may not even be a camping trip at all.
Despite having purchased my tent almost two years ago, I had never actually used it. It was super nice to break it out and realize that the six-person tent is huge for just the two of us.
Will is a very experienced and avid camper and backpacker. He has all the gear. Despite having brought all of it to Arizona with us, we unfortunately didn’t plan well enough in advance to use most of it. The consequence of spontaneity, I suppose. Hopefully in a few years we’ll have this down to a science.
We woke up a little after six, as you do while you’re camping, got dressed and ate breakfast. We didn’t bring any kind of camping stove or firewood, so I made do with a few creative food items from our hotel room back home. One item on my wish list is definitely a french press, or at minimum instant coffee and a means to heat up water. Your girl had the worst migraine of her entire life later that afternoon and starting off the day with zero coffee didn’t help.
After we ate breakfast, we packed up the tent in the already eighty degree weather and then drove down to the lake to take in its views and enjoy its peace for a bit.
Items I added to my camping wish list:
- Table cloth
- Bug spray
- Tiny broom
- Better stakes
Let’s be real. It was NOT the best camping trip in the world. Hopefully we’ll do better in the future, but hey, not every adventure and spontaneous trip is going to be golden. Despite some loud neighbors (who arrived after we did and left before us as well—what a whirlwind!) the camp site was great. You can rent boats at the lake, go fishing, or even swimming. It seems like a great way to spend the weekend, honestly! Next time we’ll arrive earlier, bring fire wood and coffee, and it will be ten times better.
Any suggestions for whirlwind camping trips? I’d love to hear some easy ideas! I’m used to tent trailers and campers, so tent camping as an adult is new to me! I need all your advice in the comments!
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