One of our family goals is to go on a camping trip at least once every month. We did not achieve that in 2008, mostly due to my wife Lisa’s commitments in her Master’s program, so it’s a good time to refocus on family time for 2009 and start planning more monthly getaways.
Our typical camping trip is a Friday and Saturday night at some reasonably local location. Luckily, we have a lot of nice places to choose from, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, from beaches to forests in the coastal mountains. For short weekend trips, like these, it does not make much sense to spend a lot of time driving, so we limit ourselves to roughly a 2-hour radius around our home.
Organize our summer camping trip
Each summer we take one big camping trip with our friends from Oregon. Unlike our regular camping trips throughout the year, our big summer trip is geared more towards a destination. The first get-together was at the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park in the northwest corner of California, while our last two trips have been to Oregon locations, including Crater Lake National Park.
I think for 2009 we’ll come back to California, possibly to Lassen National Park, or Shasta Lake. We like to choose places that offer a lot of family activities, like hiking and sightseeing, so either of these two places would make great destinations.
Yes, it’s a sign of the times, but we’re going to have to spend less in 2009. Luckily, that does not mean less camping, which is still one of the great low-cost activities that families can participate in. Spending less next year will probably mean fewer home improvements and fewer sporting events (sorry, Sharks and Raiders!).
Spending less doesn’t mean there won’t be any new camping gear purchases, though! There are a few items that I would like to get, including a few cast-iron cookware pieces and some hiking gear for the kids. To date, the kids have been hiking in their regular clothes, but our 8-year old is starting to go longer distances with me. She could make use of more breathable clothes and some kind of hydration solution.