Our family tent has been used for 3 solid years now. It's well loved, and once or twice a year we pack it up and go stay overnight somewhere in the Virginian wilderness.
Camping in Virginia in the summer is a funny experience. There are bugs the size of small birds, you sweat for the majority of the day (negating any desire for a fire), and temperature may dip down into the high seventies in the middle of the night. Sounds delightful eh?
Hence why we really only camp in the fall and spring. We only risk the cold weather--but at least it's not sticky and humid right!?
We got to join our ward at the end of September, and this is what we were wearing:
It was the mid seventies during the day, with a low of 60 at night. We kept the fly off our tent and opened all the windows and had the most amazing view at 10:30 pm. Such a stunning scene of sky only 30 minutes from DC. The kids slept way better than at home, and we slept better than most camping trips. Despite the amazing weather forecast, I was paranoid about us being cold. We don't own sleeping bags, so I brought lots of extra blankets--just in case 60 degrees was going to make any of us cold. Luckily, it was super pleasant, and we didn't use all the blankets.
Our one hold up was wearing crocs and socks. Bad idea. Both kids should have been in tennis shoes, but we hadn't pulled out anything appropriate for camping--so alas, there were many stops along walks dumping out shoes. And those socks? Gross.
We ventured in mid October back out into the wild with some camping buddies. We brought camping shoes for everyone, and every warm blanket we own. It was still gorgeous during the day, but suddenly the nights are now in the low 40s. Having experienced this temperature last year, and getting no sleep, I tried to be as prepared as possible. Mark and I had acquired new knowledge about the cold air that lurks under an air mattress. I tired very hard to fight that air.
The battle was hard fought, and we came out better than last year, but we were both still cold for most of the night. Jackson and Allie again, slept way better than they do at home.
Post this camping trip. I decided that we need to purchase sleeping bags, and Mark decided we could go for longer than one night. We stay for one night to avoid double sleeplessness, but if we get sleeping bags... Perhaps we're entering another new phase or perhaps we're responding to our children's pleas. Jackson asked at least 8x, "Are we just staying tonight? WHHyyy...??" Followed with "I WANT TO CAMP LONGER!" and Allie piping in, "I wanna cyamp a long long long lodda nights."
So... sleeping bags it is! And maybe not a lodda nights, but we could venture for two. Especially if we can bring these awesome friends along with us.