Victoria does not return to school until late January, and on Friday afternoon we decided to go shopping for a new coat but ended up at REI shopping for a tent. YES…you read this correctly a
TENT…the thing you sleep in when you are camping. YES…I said camping. OMG!!! I am NEVER saying NEVER again!!! I really thought I would NEVER (Oh no I said the word…) go camping again. I really honestly thought Victoria would give up on this idea of camping and I would find some way to convince her “Glamping” would be a wonderful alternative. I discovered very quickly on our trip to REI, this camping thing she wants to do is a real deal! While LOOKing at tents feeling very unsure realizing HELP was needed we met Evan, a very knowledgable sales person. He was patient, kind, and more than willing to help. He listened to me (insert eye roll from Victoria HERE) because I do ramble a bit, and quickly realized “I” not “WE” needed coaching to survive this EPIC trip that apparently involves a lot of camping (edit by Victoria.) Fortunately Evan has taken many trips very similar to the route we would be taking while camping.
I give my girl credit, while listening to Evan I realized how much Victoria has planned and prepared for how this trip will unfold. Evan shared pictures of the scenery we would enjoy and talked about the snow covered mountains and we would need at least a 20 degree sleeping bag. WHAT???? SNOW??? Ok, its June so it didn’t even occur to me I would be camping in areas with possible snow and cold. WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO???? An EPIC adventure for sure!!!
I have decided to embrace the camping and have begun my research. Thankfully Evan shared campsites can be tricky and arriving early for “walk-ins” would be important. I decided making reservations would be crucial, because getting there early in the morning with our itinerary will not always be possible. On returning from our shopping trip I used Google and have begun the process of learning about camping.
Here is what I learned…
1. The website www.recreation.gov is an amazing resource.
2. Camping is WAY LESS EXPENSIVE.
3. Bear Safety.
“How do we plan ahead for bear safety in a Yellowstone campground?
Proper food storage is the most important precaution you can take to avoid a bear encounter in a Yellowstone campground. Be sure to store any food in a locked vehicle or in a provided Bear Box.” (Yellowstone NPS Website)
Evan had mentioned “DA Bears", which I will admit is a little scary but “Be Prepared” is taking on new meaning in my life with the idea of camping. He also said bears know cars have food. I think Yellowstone needs to update this information.
4. An Annual Pass for the National Parks is only $80.00 and it covers both Victoria and I, “all passengers in a personal vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas or up to 4 adults at sites that charge per person” AND… “Entry To 2,000 Federal Recreation Sites”
5. I found the pass and many other travel suggestions on:
Let me just be very clear… I am NOT camping the entire trip!! Our EPIC drink cups!
Let me just be very clear… I am NOT camping the entire trip!!