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Old 04-02-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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How to make/find time to camp?

I see folks listing their days camped on their signatures. Are you all retired? Live in condos?

We're lucky if we get out 10 days a year and that's if we spend a week of our vacation camping. We're determined with what we've spent on a new TT an TV to camp more but where to find the time?

So how do you do it? Don't you have a house that needs things, cut the grass and work in the yard, etc? Kids that play sports? Jobs? Add in a rainy weekend here and there and when do you have time camp 30, 40, 60 or more days a year?

Help me camp more this year!
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
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We go every weekend through the summer. The last couple of years we only had a tent trailer, but this year with the travel trailer we plan on taking a week long camping trip also. Rain or Shine. We do all the house work through the week. We have 1 daughter (8yrs) who loves to camp. This is what we love to do so we make the time for it
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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We'll camp about 30 nights a year. Most of our trips will be for 3 nights, a couple of trips will be longer and a few for only 2 nights. We do have a lake close by where we do most of our camping. Sometimes we'll head out as soon as I get home from work and be set up before dark. I work 4/10's, so I always have a 3 day weekend, but sometimes I do work from home on Fridays.
We have been empty nesters for about 8 years now so we don't have to worry about kid's sports or other activities except for a couple of our grandkids which isn't too much.
There's always something that needs done around the house, I do as much as I can after work during the week which helps to keep weekends free. I may take a couple of evenings mowing and weed eating the grass (I have 1 acres to take care of). I have also learned that if I don't get everything done in time, it'll be there when I get back!
To me it's really like anything else, you need to plan it and work towards making it happen. We always seem to plan ahead for kid's activities, work and about anything else, but seldom plan or make time for those "little" weekend get-aways.

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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Well, not sure this will help but I'll give you our situation and maybe there's something there that will work for you.

We have scheduled 17 days so far this year and will probably get in another 3-4 trips of 3 days each. So call it 25-30 days.

That's the absolute max for us due to where we live, taking time off work, our hobbies, and the kids' schedules.

We live in Wisconsin and the camping season here is shorter than many other parts of the US because we don't do any winter camping anymore.

May through October or maybe early November is the season for a hybrid. We don't have any out-of-state trips planned this year, but that would be one way to extend the season.

Rainy weekends are not so much an issue for us. We're outside folks so we would probably be out in the rain if we stayed home anyway.

Our house is in a pine woods so we have almost no lawn to care for. Get the gardens planted in Spring, a little weeding through the summer and sweep the pine needles off the drive. That's pretty much it.

As for work, I have more flexibility than most because I own my own business and have good employees to take care of accounts when I am not there. Plus, I can bring along my computer to keep in touch and do the occasional bit of work.

I should mention that we are often away from the house anyway on weekends in the summer. Most are already taken up with training or racing triathlon and we can choose to do this at home or away. We also try to coordinate camping around race weekends. There's a lot of races around here so that's one reason why we get out as much as we do.

But, stuff does tend to get pushed off until winter and spring. Winter is a busy time for us catching up on some of the things that we let go during the summer and fall.

As for the kids' other activities, ours are 9 years and under and right now we don't let them participate in all of the summer sports that would lock up every Sat and Sun on every weekend in June, July and August. Organized team sports at this age are just not that important to us.

So for us, its the flexibility with the house and job plus the choices we make in prioritizing our activities.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #5
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I grew up in a family of 6 children plus mom and dad. Dad worked, mom stayed home. We rode the bus to school, and back home. As for sports, what was said above, "we don't let them participate in all of the summer sports that would lock up every Sat and Sun on every weekend in June, July and August." We camped every week-end trough the summer form April till October. We had a Cox Cadet pop up camper, a tent, and a truck with a cover and 2 beds in it. I missed the sports when I was a child, but now, as an adult, I am glad mom and dad made family time to camp more important. Besides, we played ball, waded creeks, went hiking, rode bicycles, and got our exercise while camping. Set your priorities on family time. As a father who lost a 13 year old due to Cystic Fibrosis in 1993, you can never get back yesterday, or last week. The long hours at work, mowing the grass, fixing the house, somehow loose some of their importance when a loved one is gone. Take the time to be with your family, while you still have them.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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we never had kids, so didn't have that as an issue.

but we camp, come rain or shine. rain doesn't keep us from camping. we also camp during non-peak times, to avoid crowds.
i've also built up a lot of vacation time. working for the same employer for so long, so i have a lot of time to burn up and taking it off isn't a problem.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:19 AM   #7
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We do pretty much every weekend (our TT is parked Seasonal nearby to where we live - close enough to drive in for a shift a work - but away from the small city we live in) We also will spend time there through the week sometimes if my wife has a couple days off in a row. On top of that we spend heat waves out there as electricity is included in the site fee's - so we use there electricity and pool to stay cool. I think we had 10 - 12 weekends there plus 2 weeks vacation and a 3 weeks or so where we used it mid week as well.

The grass gets cut by my daughter before we go out, and both girls collect our dogs landmines before as well. House projects wait for off season. So far as money - well the site gets paid in full at the start of the season and we spend on that what we would a cottage for a week. And food is the same whether we are home or at trailer (other than we splurge on junk food)
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Off season house projects, huh? I guess you all live in Sunny SoCal then?

I have windows to put in the house and some exterior painting that is overdue and both require 50F and no rain to do. Haven't seen that but one day since Thanksgiving. And that one day I had to work. Heck, we had 2 inches of snow overnite and I awoke to them plowing the road this morning. Things I would like to have done by now (get the mower ready, cars looked at, gutters checked, pick up the yard, get the garden started, etc) have not been touched. It was 15F earlier this week! (I'm in western pennsylvania folks, not Alaska!)

We have lots of other projects - some have been waiting a decade to be done . Time vs money issues of course. I suppose some an wait another 10 years (till the kids are grown) since as has been mentioned they do grow up fast.

Add in work and there little time left for anything it seems. I heard time goes faster the older you get but this year's been unreal.

Part of our idea was to buy into a resort and get a full hardside camper to keep there - little setup needed, no need to dry it out after camping if it rains (and it always rains some at least), room inside in case the weather is bad we can still 'camp', etc. My concern is finding the time to use it - and this late spring nonsense of late only seems to be compounding the 'honey do' list.

Could be a bit of cabin fever too. Avg high here today is 57...it's gonna make 43. Normal monthly rainfall is 3" and we've had .46 already today. Hard to feel I"m falling behind on things and that it will reduce the camping time (or add stress to my life that it's not getting done)
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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We are lucky that there is a national park right here in our county. Where it is and where we live is either to the west or the east of where hubby works. So we can actually camp, while he is still working a full time job. One day a week he will come to the house after work and mow the yard. I'll normally come up once or twice a week to pick up mail.

Last year the entire month of November and part of December we were camping. That really helped out my count for the year. But then too I was camp hosting, so that was why we were there so long.

Not gotten to go a single day yet this year. By this time last year we already had two weekends under our belt. I kept a record of days kept.

But I know that we are going to set up Easter Sunday and will be there for 14 days. It's Dulcimer time at Cumberland Gap!!!

Can't wait. Having major camping withdrawel.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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If we are lucky we will get maybe 20 or so. We have a 14 day trip down through Montana, SD and ND then home on the 5th of July. Also have a 3 dayer with the granddaughter to an amusement park in Alberta, 3 days at the treshing bee weekend in sept and a few camping weekends at the house with family and friends that we have an outdoor theatre on a 12ft screen, fireworks etc. Having to look after 16 1/2 acres with 5 to mow, a 400x200 garden etc as well as 3 dogs, 3 birds, 2 cats a horse and are adding a couple more ponies this summer that is about all we can do. Of course need to make time to swim as well.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #11
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Like "How do I save money? At the end of the month we are broke?"

PAY YOURSELF FIRST; then spend the rest.

Budget your time as well as your money.
Nothing "decompresses" like a weekend at the lake.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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Hi
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:12 PM   #13
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Hi
LOL sorry that was a typo

Hi!!!!

We have booked 16 days camping so far but am hoping for more!!!!!
Ideally I would love to go every other weekend for 2 nights (Fri/Sat).
I am self-employed and have a very flexible schedule, my husband however does not at the moment.
I am the one who maintains the house inside and out anyways so no worries there, and I intend on having everything packed up and ready to go so that all my hubby will have to do when he comes home is change his clothes and then get in the truck and drive=]
We have family who will check in on the cat daily and we are taking the dog with us. As for my daughters violin, skating etc..lessons, she can miss a week here and there no problem.
We also live very close to many campgrounds that are 1-2 hours away so that helps alot!!!
As for the to-do list....it never ends you know that, so just forget about the peeling paint for a week or 2....and go camping, it will still be there for you when you get back xD

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Old 04-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #14
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Managing to get in 10 camping days a year seems like a pretty decent amount for a busy family. As for us...we don't have kids, & this past year I just worked my way up to 3 vacation weeks a year. So my husband (who has more paid time off than me) can count on at least three 4 or 5-day long camping trips every year. We take at least one of our weeks off during the off season when campgrounds are nice & quiet (that's how I like it!) -- the only inhabitants being a few of those 60-day a yr. retirees. Enjoy your new trailer, however many days you get to try it out!
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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Before I retired, I would make one or two/yr that I would make a 500-1000 mile loop over a 14 day span. 4 or 5 times/yr I would make 3 or 4day trips within 100 mi. Kids were up and gone when I started rving. Grass would still b there when I got back. Longer trips were usually in spring or fall.
Now that I'm retired, I'm lucky to get out 4 times/yr. Or I'm working on something.
When I worked, I worked shift and would have 7 days off every 28. (I had 2 to 3 days off each week as well).
Grand kids and ageing parents take the time now.
I was better organized and made better use of my time before I retired.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:46 PM   #16
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we also have our camper at a seasonal site 17 miles fron our home the wife and i do our inside remodling through the winter we spent the last 25 years making our house exteiror self suicent with only spring cleanup and fall prep work i mow on my day off and we do our athome work a day or so during the week otherwise we live at our camper from may through oct 5 to 7 days aweek
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #17
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I work shift and my wife stays at home. I only work 14 days a month so it affords a lot of time off. My daughters sport is camping. I take all my vacation in july and august. We camp on my days off which could be in the middle of the week and we have many provincial parks close by. It is a priority for us because we love it so much. I can camp for a season for the price of a cruise. I get all my sites booked this time of year and have them paid for then its just gas. Food is the same except maybe beer consumption!! 63 nights in 2010 and I currently have 32 nights booked for this year and another 30 to book!! Thats to the end of august not including anything in september. The rest can wait until I get home. Like someone else pointed out (same situation for me too) life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Live the moments to the fullest! Do what is important to you!
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #18
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I am a single full time dad with a 4 year old and just picked up my 2306 March 9th and have camped in it twice now with many more nights to come even if the camp outs are for only one night we are still out in the camping doing our thing as a family.

I also live in a Condo so I dont have to worry about the yard or outside but I am the President and Treasurer so that keeps me busy.

I also do alot of side work - so here is the kicker - you have to figue out what you really want to get done and blow the rest of it off - if you have kids - this is the time to spend with them and not doing the chores all the time or you do them after you get home from work and not sit on the couch and watch tv.

When I was a kid it seemed like my father was working all the time but he also made time for us - juggling his schedule as we call it.

I could be doing side work or many other things but I choose to make time for my daughter and get the camper out when I am not on call.

I guess the point I am making here which I think got lost - is you have to manage your time and make time for what you really want to do and if it is camping then doing a night here and there or a full weekend here and there - I told myself that I wanted to do atleast one weekend a month to unwind myself
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I see folks listing their days camped on their signatures. Are you all retired? Live in condos?

We're lucky if we get out 10 days a year and that's if we spend a week of our vacation camping. We're determined with what we've spent on a new TT an TV to camp more but where to find the time?

So how do you do it? Don't you have a house that needs things, cut the grass and work in the yard, etc? Kids that play sports? Jobs? Add in a rainy weekend here and there and when do you have time camp 30, 40, 60 or more days a year?

Help me camp more this year!

One of my favorite campground is located in the city I live in. This helps me to get out more often for the weekend without taking time off work.

Like a previous poster suggested - don't sweat the small stuff. Think shorter trips (time & location). Take a look at your committments and see what can be changed or skipped here or there. Planning can be helpful with family members so they know what to expect.

Not everyone will be able to camp 30, 40, 50 or more days per year. I work for a school district and I have many holidays through the school year along with one week off at Thankgiving, three weeks off for winter break, two weeks off for spring break and about 7 weeks off for summer break. That said - I won't be able to camp for 40 or 50 days per year. Time wise I should be able but not comittment wise. I'm taking it one step at a time and starting to get out more often.

Sometimes its hard to get reservations during peak periods. I keep checking for cancellations and usually I will get lucky. If necessary I will check with fewers days requested to see what is available and go from there.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:28 AM   #20
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Well, here is my situation:

1) We live in Phoenix AZ, so we are not restricted by winter. We can camp year round and work on home projects throughout the year, so they do not pile up like they tend to do in colder climates.

2) We home school, so we are more flexible in scheduling for trips and our trips usually include educational opportunities.

3) I work a 9/80 schedule, so every other weekend I have 3 days off. Additionally when a holiday falls in conjunction with my 3-day weekend I have 4 days and if I burn just one day of vacation, I can have 5 days off for the price of 1 vacation day.

4) As other have said, we try to get as much done during the week as we can so it is not waiting for us on the weekend. This is not easy and requires commitment and dedication.

5) We have made camping a priority as quality family time, relaxation from stressful lives and educational opportunities for our children and ourselves. As a result we don't commit to a lot of other things people get tied up in. One simple thing is that we watch very little television. It allows us to get the things done during the week which we need to.

Even with all of that, we don't camp as much as I would like to, but it all helps. We usually only get one long vacation of 1 to 2 weeks in length a year, two on a good year. The rest are just weekends, whether regular or extended.

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