If you know me at all, you know I am more the glamping type than the camping type. I came to the Arkansas, the ‘natural state’, for college, and camping was a common outing on the weekends for my peers. Growing up in Dallas, camping was never something my family did, and definitely wasn’t something I did with my friends. With Devils Den State Park only 20 minutes away from my college campus, I would frequent for hikes with friends. Somehow, though, I made it a full four years without ever having had the experience of camping.
On my senior year bucket list, I scratched in the words ‘go camping!!!’ along with other activities that I thought would be my last. Well, I never went camping, and I am now living post-grad life in the town I spent my college years in. Two things I didn’t expect. That same desire to have the camping experience stuck around and as fall rolled around and the leaves began to change, I knew I had to make this happen.
I picked a weekend, got a group, and hopped onto the state park website to reserve a campsite, when I realized that, unfortunately, the weekend I was trying to go was all booked. Luckily, the group I was going with was a little more optimistic than me and suggested that we camp in their backyard! These two, Sarah and Josiah, are friends of Clayton and I. They live in a cute little house on a big property, fully equipped with a fire pit, firewood, and room to set up a tent. So, that’s just what we did.
This Boom Chicka Pop kettlecorn made the perfect around-the-fire snack. Plus, that packaging, right? Couldn’t pass it up.
For our dinner, we did Sweet Potato “Cheese” Fries. I pre-cooked some homemade sweet potato fries and brought them along. We each made foil into a little bowl and piled in sweet potato fries, Daiya dary-free pepperjack ‘cheese’, crumbles of bacon (also made beforehand), and green olives. We stuck it in the fire for the cheese to melt and WOW. A perfect paleo-friendly camp dinner. So yummy. Who doesn’t love guilt-free cheese fries!?
For breakfast in the morning, we had a potato breakfast hash. We definitely utilized the house for this meal. We made roasted potatoes and vegetables topped with an egg, green onion, and bacon. yum.
Backyard camping turned out to be a great first step into the camping world. I got to experience sitting around a fire, cooking hobo-bag dinners, going to bed early because there’s not much else to do, sleeping outside in a tent, bundling up in a sleeping bag, and waking up to birds chirping and the crisp air of an early morning. But, there was the luxury of a bathroom and kitchen and a convenient place to change and brush my teeth. It may be camping for wimps, but it was just right for me. Next time, I’ll bring an air mattress too 😉
Have you ever been backyard camping?