At the time you thought it was a pretty strange gift.
The personal portable hammock was a gift from your more nature-loving cousins. They even creatively wrapped the gift in homemade paper featuring pictures of themselves suspended between trees at various campgrounds near lakes. The pictures looked great and the gift was very kind, but quite frankly you have never really thought of yourself as someone who would chose to spend an hour, let alone a weekend, at campgrounds near lake cabins or anywhere else.
No. For you a nap is meant for a bed. In a house. A house with air conditioning with running water.
And just as you thought that you had sufficiently convinced them that you were indeed grateful for the rather foolish gift, you found out that the gift came with something else. Your cousins had given you the hammock because they had made some fairly elaborate plans with your parents for a family reunion camping trip.
Faking the thankful smile now became even more difficult.
Although the extended family camping trip seemed like a long ways off when you received the hammock so cleverly wrapped in pictures of campgrounds near lakes in the area, the weekend had finally arrive. Your cousins had been texting you off and on throughout the last week. They challenged you to skip the sleeping bag. Just bring the hammock. They would convert you they promised. The camp resort for the reunion had plenty of amenities, but the Cousin Camping Club was going to spent their nights outdoors. Away from the adults. Away from the crowd. Suspended between trees on one of the campgrounds near lake photos they had given you.
You texted that you could not wait. In reality, however, you could. For a very long time, in fact.
Camping Is Something You Have to Experience to Understand
To say that you were shocked to enjoy yourself was an understatement. And the hammock that was gifted to you really was pretty cool. In fact, your camping cousins were such experts at creating hammock sleeping creations that they had hand picked the cabin where the family reunion was scheduled. Like regular camping engineers, your cousins some how managed to string the personal hammocks between three trees. A couple of the hammocks were hung right above each other so that they nearly resembled the bunk beds at your grandmother’s house. One of the hammocks was magically hung in the middle of the three trees so that the funniest cousin in the group was in view of the rest of the crowd. His suspended bed served as a perfect stage for his wild stories and stomach hurting jokes.
By the end of the three day weekend these gift giving cousins had really convinced you that wooded campgrounds would be a must for any subsequent reunions!
Family Camping Vacations Can Easily Become Traditions
Although some people may never warm to the idea of sleeping in a cabin in the woods, on the beach, or by the mountains, a growing number of others fall in love with the outdoor adventure. Not surprisingly, the simple act of camping was the biggest motivator for many people taking a camping trip for the very first time. Furthermore, 47% of adults indicated that they camped just because they enjoyed it. This statistic, of course, is good news for the camping activity.
In many ways, taking a first time camping trip with other friends and family members is a great introduction to this different way of vacationing. With experienced campers along, it is easy to make the entire event look both more fun and more manageable. Whether families select tenting campgrounds or luxury campsites with all of the amenities, the first time is always more fun when it is experienced with someone who knows what they are dong.
A 2014 American Camper Report indicated that 14% of the U.S. population that is older than six went camping in 2013. This percentage represents 40.1 million Americans. As an indicator that these 2013 trips were enjoyable, each camping participant spent an average of 14.9 days camping. Some staying in tents. Some staying in RVs. Some staying in cabins. And yes, some suspended in personal, portable hammocks suspended between trees!