Our family vacation to the Smokey Mountains got us all in the mood to camp. I was able to get a weekend off from work so we took the opportunity to head into the woods. There was very little planning for this trip but it all worked out. We loaded up the bikes and hit the road.
Besides the trip being last minute so was my idea to film only the kids. I purposely filmed to create the illusion that the kids were bike camping by themselves. Whenever I do some tricky or deceptive editing we call it Movie Magic. Obviously, when I am solo camping I do all the filming but I also do 99% of the filming when I camp with friends and family.
I once received a comment about my fire still smoking while I rode away (Bike Camp 2016). Apparently, this person didn’t wonder how I was going to retrieve my camera. Sometimes I film the ending of my video but I don’t actually leave. I also film multiple takes. When the shoot shows me moving away from the camera and taking a turn then the next shot is me moving towards the camera completing the turn that is not a continues shot. It is actually at least two shots from a single camera. In my last video, I cooked two burgers but I’m seen eating one. The first burger didn’t flip well enough so I used footage of the second burger.
So, don’t be alarmed that the kids appear to be alone in this video it’s just some Movie Magic.
The kids had the tent while I slept in the hammock.
Our first meal was a simple fare of fruit and a sandwich. One of the ways I get the kids excited about camping is letting them prepare some of their meals. They used plastic bento boxes to store their lunch.
Because of Facebook’s genius and creepily accurate ads I stumbled on an incredible offer by Wise Company. Wise Company specializes in emergency meals; something more for preppers than campers. Still, I couldn’t pass up the deal. For supper, we tried the Creamy Vegetable Pasta then for breakfast Apple Cinnamon Cereal. The pasta was as good as any packaged pasta I’ve had. The cereal, actually more like oatmeal, was very good and nutritious. It has much more than just oats in it.
We had Mountain House’s Raspberry Crumble for dessert. I thought the raspberry taste was overpowering and the texture weird; both kids loved it. Before we left the site we roasted some smoky hot dogs. Hot dogs are typically enjoyed by all kids and incredibly easy to cook. Hot dogs and various sausages are my go-to when I don’t have much time to plan or prepare fancy meals.
Keeping kids entertained while camping can be challenging. I’m not against electronics, after all, I bring my Nexus and phone with me on every trip. I do however limit the device time. I want my kids to enjoy nature without forcing them into it. If that means compromising, then so be it.
On this trip, we went to the beach and did a lot of hiking. On our hikes, we did scavenger hunts and played camping bingo. I also gave the kids a camera to film there own adventure. My son, Jack, particularly enjoys that (check out his video here).
I usually avoid camping on the weekends, especially holiday weekends. The campground had a party atmosphere which led to late-night shenanigans. Golf carts and UTVs cruised the trails with merriment. Also, randomly throughout the afternoon and into the evening, fireworks boomed.
Because I am a veteran it is assumed that it is PTSD that makes me jump every time I hear a boom. I don’t have flashbacks; I’m not transported back to Kandahar every time I hear an explosion. I do, however, flinch. It’s an involuntary reaction, like if someone throws a ball at you.
I don’t begrudge anyone for enjoying our nation’s independence. I knew what I was getting into and it was my choice to camp on a holiday weekend. The only thing that truly upset me was the amount of broken glass I found on our site. I camp for the love of being outdoors, I believe some folks camp as an excuse to party. It’s disappointing.
Please camp responsibly and keep the timber clean and safe.