• Shannon

The Great Garden Campout

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

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A few weeks ago a YouTube account I follow held a special event, aimed at getting people outside (in their back yards or "gardens" as they say in the UK) to enjoy a campout with others (virtually) from around the world. I've followed Spend More Time In The Wild for a while now and enjoy the channel immensely. I dream of being able to hike in the places she's hiked, so until I can, I live vicariously. I especially appreciate her candid talks about #mentalhealthawareness and lessons in perseverance that come through in her videos. She has great passion for the outdoors and it shows. So when she announced the first Great Garden Campout and started a facebook group so that everyone from around the world could be #alonetogether , I knew I had to join in.

It was the perfect time to start working with Khan on getting him used to being in a tent. All the state parks, state forests and campgrounds are closed, but our back yard is still there and provided a perfect escape from all the #quarantine madness and constant talk of #covid19. So I dug out the old Embark 2 Person Dome Tent (definitely not the new ultralight one I'd gotten for Christmas) , my new Thermarest Neo Air X-Lite sleeping pad, an old sleeping bag and headed out back to set up.

I don't currently have an UL sleeping bag. I actually sold mine last year after deciding I'd rather go with an UL quilt. So for the #greatgardencampout we just used our regular old heavy sleeping bags. The Embark 2 Person Dome Tent is really roomy and allowed for myself, one kid and 2 dogs comfortably. Granted one dog was a Chihuahua mix, but still. It fit their beds and ours as well as a small fan and an iPad for movie night!

Eating Outdoors Is Best

Who doesn't love a good meal outdoors? I know I do! Watching everyone else around the globe cooking over their fires, enjoying a meal outside with their families despite everything going on in the world right now, I felt inspired. I dug out my Jetboil Flash and my Bear Vault BV500 full of camp meals that I had ready to go for this summer and found an awesome vegan Kale and White Bean Stew. I added a package of seasoned tofu I had in the fridge and within minutes had an amazing dinner for two!

Campfires & Quality Time

As the sun went down we lit a fire and roasted marshmallows before settling into our sleeping bags to watch a movie. Khan was super excited to be in the tent with us. He was a bit too excited. He is quite large and gangly now so him bouncing about in the tent wasn't exactly conducive to relaxing. We were unable to get him to settle (he kept trying to play with Clara who wanted nothing to do with him) and after a while he went back inside and we brought Freya out. She does very well in the tent now. Khan needs a little more practice. I didn't want the experience to be negative for him and have all of us frustrated with him. We will try again soon.

We watched a movie and then some hiking videos, and fell asleep dreaming that when we awakened our view would be of mountains and green rolling hills. Sadly that was not to be (yet) but we did have a nice time forgetting about all the craziness that's gone on in the world lately. It was nice to know we were doing the same thing as many other families across the globe, all in the name of enjoying the healing power of the outdoors together.

Check out the video of our experience below and stay tuned for the next #greatgardencampout !

#backyardcampout #quarantine #quarantinelife #neoairxlite #sleepingpad #goodtogo #veganbackpackingmeals #camping #campingwithdogs #jetboil #bearvault #mentalhealthawareness #greatgardencampout

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