There’s a lot said nowadays about getting your kids outside and breaking their addictions to games, TVs, phones…. anything with a screen. I’m gonna be honest, my kid’s aren’t really addicted. Well…. not yet. When we introduced electronics into their life, we set limits right off the top, so hopefully they wouldn’t become junkies, or at least it would take a bit longer to reach that much-needed rehab.
Now, this isn’t me preaching about being a better parent, or having all the answers. If you’ve read anything I wrote, you know it’s a constant struggle to keep my head above water in this thing we call “dadding”.
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“Christian, is this just some sponsored post? You shilling for some company to get a free camping equipment or some sort of new super-carbon-fiber-never-break-tent-poles? We’re on to you!!” You got me. It’s definitely a sponsored post, but as always, it’s something I’m proud to champion and would happily do otherwise.
You see, when we adopted the kids, one of the first things we did was go camping. It will always share a special place in my heart. When you didn’t have 10 months of pre-birth bonding, or the first years of them learning every life skill from you, one-on-one time is crucial. CAMPING TO THE RESCUE!!
You can’t get more bonding moments than being in the middle of nowhere, just your wits and some simple tools, a tent and nothing with cords or a glowing face. Well, unless you count shining a flashlight under your chin and telling (not so) spooky ghost stories.
Now, you’re not “one with nature” when you camp. That’s just a line city folk use to describe escaping the madness of day-to-day life and breathing fresh air. No, we’re interlopers out in the woods. We’re blessed to be among the trees and soak in the beauty of these majestic elders. If you’re lucky enough to go with a friend, or even better your children, you now have the building blocks for cementing future memories. Cornerstones in their subconscious. It’s not overly poetic to see this as the foundation they will build their character upon.
Dirty hands. Quiet until your hear a fish tail flap in the water. Clear skies with stars that scream out, “LOOK AND ADMIRE MY WONDER!!!” These are the nights you’ll remember forever, and hopefully so will they. Fondly. Affectionately. LONGINGLY.
MY ULTIMATE CAMPING HACK:
If Tom Hanks has taught us anything, it’s that if you’re nice and have a volley ball for a best friend, people will adore you for a lifetime. He also taught us that FIRE is a must-have when out-of-doors.
Multiple seasons of viewing ‘Naked and Afraid’ have driven this fact home for me, so I say this to you, dear reader: “Clean your Dryer!”
Clean your dryer. You know, the lint trap? Clean it. Then grab that ball of fuzzy wonder and store it in a bag. Why is it a wonder? Well, it turns out LINT is the perfect tinder. Don’t believe me? Why do you think they tell you to clean out the dryer tube periodically? You do that right….RIGHT?? It’s because it’s flammable. Yep, so keep your house fire free, while packing away enough for camping. Keep adding until you have a shopping bags worth. Come spring, you’ll have enough lint to keep marshmallow nights fueled until the winter season comes round again.
HERE’s ANOther tip:
You can make a hammock from a ripped tent or ripstock fabric – it’s the stuff parachutes are made from. Here’s a 2-part tutorial on how to do it:
YOU COULD WIN A TRIP FOR 5 TO THE JELLYSTONE PARK OF YOUR CHOICE!!: http://CampJellystone.com/2018Sweepstakes
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Christian has had many roles in life. He’s been a minister’s son, a poor student, a computer geek, a bible college dropout, a corporate suit, a traveling comedian, and a failure at much he’s tried. But he counts two huge successes in his life. He is husband to a wonderful wife, and father of two exceptional kids he wanted, a third ‘surprise baby’, and a In 2015, they met yet another surprise, as their fourth (and prayerfully last) child defeated birth control with her sheer will to exist.