So I just returned from a little tubing and camping trip. Nine guys and two gals makes for quite the interesting trip. Having grown up in Missouri I’ve been on countless float trips (a float trip for those of you who don’t know, is where you chill in a canoe or raft down a slow river with friends, usually with some beverages). On the east coast and down in Texas they call this tubing because it’s more often done in tubes instead of canoes and rafts.

Tubing and floating is fun. It’s super easy to find a river to float on, get a cooler, some cold ones, maybe some snacks, and have a lazy day in the water. I’m all for tubing and floating for a day with friends (although I much prefer the beach or a pool).

Camping however, camping is another thing. I’ve been camping a few times. Mostly not really because I wanted to, but just went along with friends (and husbands) because they really wanted to go. I’ve never been a big fan of camping. So much work for what you get. The payoff just doesn’t seem worth it to me. You can be outdoors all day, hiking, biking, floating, sitting outside for dinner, even hanging out around a bonfire (I’m all for all of that!). But retreating to a cabin, with an actual bed, a bathroom, and no mosquitos or spiders seems so much better to me. Think of everything you don’t have to bring (and purchase, and carry, and clean up afterward) by just staying in a cabin — a lot.

And unfortunately for my husband for whom I’m sure would love it if I loved camping, it rained all night. So not only was I trying to be a good sport about camping, but then everything was wet and muddy. We had all the right gear, were super prepared, and he went out of his way to make sure I had everything I could possibly want to make my evening the most enjoyable (even an air mattress). Obviously the rain is no one’s fault. But bleh — the mud! All of the gear got muddy, the inside of the car (which he just cleaned) is now dirty, everything was wet, and we were all sitting in wet chairs around the fire when it wasn’t raining too hard.

I was able to see the fun in it. I love sitting around a bonfire, eating s’mores and hearing stories (not so much ghost stories right before I go sleep in a tent, but that seems inevitable). It was an adventure. I had fun with the people that were there. I think the sound of rain is beautiful. I even unplugged for 36 hours. I didn’t have my phone with me at all (so no photos!). I can see how people love camping, being outdoors, getting away from the city where it’s quiet, where you can see the stars and just relax — I love that too! But camping, camping is just not for me. My back hurts from the air mattress, I barely slept, and had six loads of dirty wet laundry and five pairs of shoes to clean when I got home. It just feels like a waste of time. Like I could have had a lot more fun with the same people at a backyard BBQ after an all-day float, but then gone home when it started raining to my own bed instead of sleeping in my damp jeans in a tent.

So I didn’t really go glamping, but I did go camping, and even though my feelings about it haven’t changed, it was a fun weekend and something I haven’t done in a long time.

What do you think, do you like to go camping?

If want to go glamping, camping, or even just on a picnic, or create a retreat in your backyard, I’ve found fun some fun items to do just that: 

Hammock // A lazy afternoon in a hammock with a gentle breeze — yes.

Citronella Candles // Anything to keep the bugs away. These citronella candles are just as pretty as they are functional. Perfect for your deck or patio.

Baby Bug Spray // For some reason, I trust baby products more than others. You can’t make a product for a baby that doesn’t work or the moms jump all over you, so maybe next time I’m outdoors I’ll try this baby bug spray — although I think the adult version I used did the trick as I haven’t found a bite on me yet.

Striped Thermos // What’s any type of afternoon outdoors without some sort of thirst quencher? Cold or hot, a thermos holds any drink you want.

Marshmallow Holders // I LOVE s’mores. Like love. Last night I made s’mores for everyone. Twice.

Picnic Tote // This tote unfolds into a picnic blanket.

Wine Cups // I mean, yes.