Trail Life USA’s National Backyard Campout
Over 5,000 Families Across America Created Memories in Their Backyards
On Friday, April 17, 2020 my three oldest children and I participated in Trail Life USA’s National Backyard Campout, a national event that encouraged families across America to camp out in their own backyards or living rooms and create memories together. Here in Clayton, North Carolina, the overnight low temperature was 60 degrees with no rain, at least overnight. Although there was a burn advisory until 8:00pm, we were still able to have a campfire, roast marshmallows, and make s’mores later in the night. We had planned to roast hot dogs on the campfire, but we ended up just grilling them outside on our propane grill for dinner as part of our camping experience.
This was our 3-year old daughter’s first time camping overnight in a tent and she had a blast! When we woke up on Saturday morning, she told me “I had very fun camping, Dad!” This is what it was all about for me, creating fun memories with our children, especially during these difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My first camping trip was at the age of 3 also, so being able to pay that forward to our 3-year old daughter was so fulfilling and rewarding for me as a father, camp and outdoor professional.
For families new to camping, this is a great way to get started: camping in a tent in your own backyard. For us it was really “Glamping”, with our new 3-room Ozark Trail tent from Walmart.com and our inflatable air mattresses. Although my wife and our 1-year old son did not camp out with us, we are hoping to get out camping to a local state park in the Raleigh area as a family within the next year. This is the next best step for our growing family as our children get acclimated to camping. There are several state parks in the Raleigh area with camping, including Falls Lake and Jordan Lake State Parks. We hope that camping will be permitted again the summer or fall once restrictions are lifted from COVID-19.
As a father of four who grew up camping as a child, I would encourage other families to consider camping as a great option for exploring North Carolina. Happy Camping! 🙂