Editor's Note: This column originally published May 2, 2017
I am not a camper. As a kid, my family did not camp regularly, if ever, and I became used to the comforts of a hotel room rather than roughing it in the wild.
I have camped before. My husband and I attended a music festival in Minnesota several times, camping for a week, and I have gone on an annual trip to Decorah for tubing fun, camping by the river and eating by the fire.
A main part of camping is the tents you live and sleep in. My family seemed to own a tent because during one camping adventure in my backyard with my friends we ended up moving it inside due to a thunderstorm.
Tents are often cramped with the many things we bring along to live while camping, including the always deflating air mattress. After we got married, my husband and I bought a large tent, one that you could stand in and had a couple of “rooms.” I’m not honestly sure why we purchased this, but we own it.
My favorite kind of tent and camping is the homemade kind that takes place in our house. With a couple of blankets tied and clipped to different anchors around the room, an all new area for adventure is created.
We have built many blanket tents in our house, from some in the living room, dining area and the girls’ bedroom. The latest tent covered about every square inch of their room and was almost tall enough to stand in.
After the tent was up, a pile of pillows and blankets were thrown and the girls snuggled in to “camp” for the night. I wasn’t sure if they would end up falling asleep on the floor in the tent, but sure enough, they did. And not only did they spend one night in their tent, the second night they climbed in again and slept side by side under the blanket sky.
Tents are also popular at my parents house. I have walked into their living room on more than one occasion to find a sheet spread across the room in various ways housing all of the girls toys.
My youngest daughter is really taken by tents and has a couple set up at my parents house at all times. It started with a tent in the bay window area where a love seat was located. She would climb in there to play and often take her afternoon nap while laying in her tent.
When it was time for the tent to come down in the living room, it moved into the game room draping the foosball table giving her a little area to collect her treasures.
The last installation tented an area behind their couch and was attached to the wall. To decorate the tent, my youngest thought it would be a good idea to carry a vase of flowers and place them on the a table inside. While a cute idea, she had a little trouble along the way and my mom found a trail of water leading right inside the tent.
I hope someday my girls get to go camping, first probably in our backyard with their dad and then maybe venturing out with their grandparents. I, on the other hand, will keep booking hotel rooms for our family vacations.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at firstname.lastname@example.org