I love camping! It is one of my most favorite things to do. I have been camping for as far back as I can remember. As a little girl, I have memories of camping in and all around Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas. I remember playing family games in the tent, hiking nature trails and sitting by campfire with my sister and parents. We would go quite often and it was always a great time.
Now I share my passion for camping with my husband, Todd. We both enjoy setting up camp as often as we can! We recently even celebrated Thanksgiving while camping in Joshua Tree with my sister, her boyfriend and our grandparents. When we have a short time off between work shifts and the demands of life, we will simply go camping a couple hours east of San Diego in the desert. When we have more time off, we plan scenic road trips to some of our favorite camping spots throughout California.
We enjoy camping amongst the unique geology of infamous Joshua Tree National Park or amongst the wide open spaces of Anza Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County. Besides the few rustic campgrounds with a fee, you can camp anywhere (other than a campground) within Anza Borrego State Park limits, for free! There are a few rules that go along with free camping; you can’t park more than 100ft away from any road way – dirt or paved – or fires must be contained to an above ground metal container (we actually have an awesome one made out of an old washer!) or pack out what you packed in. Of course there is no running water, electricity or bathrooms, but it is all worth it to enjoy the freedom of camping alone in the vast, peaceful desert.
One of our other all time favorite camping spots is amongst the giant Sequoias and Redwoods of California. It is interesting and beautiful to find thick Redwood forests on the coasts of Northern California and lush Sequoia forests amongst the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have favorite spots all along the majestic sister trees, from Fernwood Camp Resort in Big Sur to Armstrong Redwoods of the Sonoma Coast to rustic Yosemite in the Sierra Nevadas. It is always worth the drive to spend a few days among the grounded, ancient giants.
What is it about camping that we love so much?
First of all, we enjoy little getaways together, just the 2 of us. For us, camping is an inexpensive and adventurous way to take a mini vacation together. We have all the equipment we need so after a little planning and packing we are easily on our way to fun, relaxation and rejuvenation.
We love getting away from it all, taking a break from the hustle-n-bustle of the world. It’s nice to go somewhere that doesn’t have cell phone reception or electricity so we can unplug from technology. We enjoy just being together, without distractions, playing cards and talking or telling stories. We enjoy quietly sitting together listening to and observing nature, watching sunsets, moon phases or star gazing while enjoying a glass of wine or cup of herbal tea.
We love grounding and connecting to Mother Earth, it feels so natural to eat, play and sleep outside. We enjoy the endless supply of healing vibes from the Earth along with fresh air, warm sun and a cool breezes. We find joy in hiking and exploring Mother Earth, finding all her natural treasures like special rocks or gemstones, interesting geologic areas, streams, artifacts or even new natural campsites. Camping and spending time outside allows us to fully embrace all Mother Earth has to offer us.
Something Todd and I notice we both tend to do while camping is stick to a routine. Which is opposite of our “normal day to day life” because we both work in the community service industry and our shifts keep us on a varied sleeping and living schedule. While camping we enjoy getting up with sun and planning our day around it…when to find shade, make a meal, head back to camp or start a fire. We go to bed fairly early to be sure to get enough sleep for the next adventurous day. We stick to the same type of meals and camping activities each camping trip, since we are already prepared with our usual camping, cooking and hiking gear. Having a routine is out of the norm for us but while camping it feels balancing.
And what better a place to do the wild thing than in the wild!? There’s no place better and we, of course, love that part too!
Our next 3-5 camping trips are already in the works, I’ll keep you updated! Maybe “Nurse Sierra’s Guide to Camping” is in my future.