An Insomniac Goes Camping (Nonfiction Version) — Steemit

An Insomniac Goes Camping (Nonfiction Version)

in nonfiction •  4 months ago

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For a light sleeper, the first night of camping is the worst. All those night sounds make it hard to get much shuteye. If you’re staying longer than a day, then you’re exhausted when the second night rolls around. You sleep better then and you start to adjust. But after the first night, my face probably looks like this pattern on the picnic table bench (see above).

In theory, there’s nowhere I’d rather be spending a night than outside in a forest, near a trickling stream in the serenity of nature, waking to the songs of the birds. So it’s somewhat unfortunate that I can’t sleep that well when I get there. Since we camp every year, I’ve learned to laugh at my camping insomnia. And since cell phones don’t work that far out, there isn’t a whole lot to do during a long night but to listen to the sounds and think (yes, I know I could download something and watch or read it, but that kind of defeats the purpose of being out in nature, doesn’t it?).

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Unplugging from technology for a day or two is quite healthy. Though I was in the same tent with my family, lying side by side, they were sleeping and I was not. Alone with one's thoughts, the sleeping noises of others, and separated from raw nature by one piece of thin canvas and a window made of mosquito netting, things can get interesting.

Here is a glimpse at my night. Times are approximate, since I turned off my phone/timekeeping device.

9:00 p.m.

Having eaten some smores and told scary stories around the campfire, there wasn’t much else to do. Someone (me) forgot the camp lantern at home. We had another small one, but decided that once darkness fell, we’d call it a day. We’d hiked a lot during the day, so everyone was tired and fell asleep easily. Including me.

10:30 p.m.

The trap was set and I fell right into it. If I wait longer before falling asleep, I can stay asleep for a lengthier period. But like a moth to a flame, I fell asleep as soon as I was tired, on the kids’ schedule and when darkness fell. My wife can do it and sleep through. So can my kids. But here it is 10:30 and I’m already awake again.

What woke me? Maybe a dream. There are other campers within hearing distance, but they seem to have turned in early also, even the large group that was drinking earlier. It’s remarkably quiet, except for the distant hum of someone’s generator. Thankfully, I can hear the trickling of the river above the generator sound.

We’re on a bluff about 50 feet above a river. And we’re camped within a grove of fir and redwood trees. This is my favorite environment for camping. I turn on my side and try to sleep again. No luck. These air mattress pads are good, but sleeping two inches from the hard ground is not ideal for a side sleeper like me. Tossing and turning will get me sore by morning.

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11:30 p.m.

Someone farts. I’m sleeping side by side by side by side with my family. I’m immediately next to one child, then there’s my wife, and the other child beyond her. We have one entire side of the tent completely open to the night, no canvas, only mosquito netting. Plenty of air circulation, yet it still stinks in here for more than a minute when someone lets loose.

12:15 a.m.

A twig breaks outside and I listen more closely. Sometimes, twigs break and leaves crunch, but if such sounds continue, it means there’s a prowler outside. There it is: a skritch-scratch. Creatures of the night always come through campsites looking for food. If I’m going to be awake, then I’ll listen and guess what each one is. For this one, I can hear its feet pit-pattering on the dry leaves. I’ll guess this is a skunk or raccoon.

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If it was bigger, I’d go with a coyote probably. Last time we camped, we saw coyote tracks through our camp the next morning. There are larger beasts out here, mountain lions and even a few black bears. I’ve had run-ins with bears while camping. But not in this area, where it would surprise me to see one.

The small creature puttering outside the tent doesn’t find any morsels in our camp, so it moves on. I hear another owl screech high above. Watch out, forest critters. There’s a true hunter on the prowl. Meanwhile, I’m doing eye exercises to relax myself so I can sleep again.

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1:00 a.m.

I’m lying on my right side again, where I got my earlier sleep. It’s magic. My small pillow actually feels comfortable. Dreaming of marshmallows as big as clouds, I’m about to drift off into sleep.

I’m just about asleep when I hear my daughter (the one sleeping next to me) stir and turn over. But she can’t quite get the position she wants. Something has interrupted her rhythm. I turn that way and notice she’s held back by her hair. She’s still asleep, but her unconscious mind is wondering why her body cannot take the simple action of turning over to fall back into sleep.

Her hair is caught in a strip of Velcro on the side of her bag. It’s one of those hoodie bags, probably more appropriate on the slopes of Mt. Everest than here. For some reason, it needs Velcro much too near the head for a child, but this bag was on sale and it’s a really high quality one, far better than the old blocky style bags that my wife and I have.

Hair, Velcro. I lean over and do my best to remove the hair from the Velcro strip without waking the child. It works. She falls back to sleep easily.

And here I am, wide awake again. Over my daughter’s head, I see a hand extend towards me. It’s my wife, who must have awoken with the sound and watched me quietly free the child’s hair from the Velcro. Silently, she gives me her hand. Behind our daughter’s head, my wife and I hold hands for a few moments. Soon, I hear my wife purring again and her hand loosens. I wish it were that easy for me.

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2:30 a.m.

I’m awoken from a nice sleep. How much did I get that time? I estimate it was about 30 minutes. The generator that was making a faint white noise in the background has shut off for the night. It’s very still and quiet with the river below us babbling on the rocks. The quiet stillness of the night helps me understand why the other distant sound I now hear – a baby crying – woke me up again. I continue listening to make sure it is indeed a human baby sound and not that of a coyote, fox, or owl, all of which can make some very humanlike sounds at night.

Who brings a baby to a campground? It’s one of those decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time to a young parent, but Jesus, have a little respect for the other people within a mile of you. Why do you need to impose your world on everyone else’s?

These are the same kinds of people who cut ahead in a line or bring their own loud music or cigarettes wherever they go, other people around them be damned. Did I mention I’m a light sleeper? I guarantee that baby just woke up 10 other campers, totally needlessly, all of whom were much closer to it than me. Your kid won’t remember camping with you until he or she is much older, so why not stay home for the first few years? Take a day trip to the wild instead of spending the night out here. Or find a babysitter if you really must go camping.

Here is the view out from our tent.

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2:45 a.m.

There’s a sound like a large leaf falling. I’ve heard several of these during the night. But this one continues as dry leaves crinkle on the ground. Something small is walking around the campsite again. Fortunately, we haven’t left any food out for it to get.

Just as I wonder what kind of animal it is, I hear a gnawing sound coming from the direction of our campsite’s wooden picnic table. Aha. Though I’ve been fortunate not to have lived much of my life among rats, I immediately recognize the sound. Rats are the only nighttime critters I know of that chew on wood that way. They have to gnaw on something because their teeth continue growing. Gnawing and biting are necessary if they want to counter this.

My kids won’t want to know there was a rat in our campsite during the night. It couldn’t have been something more glamorous, like a bear or even a coyote. Just a lowly, dirty rat.

I listen again. The critter moves on, but I hear some yells in the distance coming over the clear night air. Could be coyotes or maybe a wildcat. But it also could be those owls again.

4:15 a.m. (estimated).

My whole body hurts from tossing and turning over a thin air mattress pad on the ground. It gives me newfound appreciation for poor and homeless people who sleep on sidewalks and benches. Against the odds, and thanks to being really tired, I fall asleep again.

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5:45 a.m.

A rasping sound cuts the silence of the forest. And another. And another. Now I’m awake again. I know this bird song and it’s the Stellar’s Jay (Blue Jay). These jays have some of the prettiest blue plumages of any bird, but they also sing a horrible, grating song. Nasty. It woke me up. I'm guessing the banana slugs are out in force by now also; they love the morning in a redwood forest.

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7:00 a.m.

I cannot lie down any longer. Nature calls. With some effort, I sit up and step out of my sleeping bag. Seeing that others are still asleep, I dress and exit the tent to find my shoes. When I see the sun rising and peeking through the trees, I know this will be a good day. After a quick stop to empty my bladder, I'll go find some ripe huckleberries to eat with breakfast.

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Photos by the author or family members, except for owl, racoon, jay and hand sign pictures (all public domain).

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What a series of thoughts during your insomnia night lol.
One thing I like about camping holiday is you are "stuck" in the nature, you have nowhere to go, no reason to escape to the technology world. if you happen to be a light sleeper, it's even better, which boosts you thinking haha.

Now am about to read your version 2

Okay, I lost it at "someone farted". I'll admit it! :'D (I know, I'm childish)

As hellish as your night was, I really appreciate you posting the hour by hour of your silent insomnia. This was a really great read and I got lost in it. Actually found myself rooting for a "and I passed the hell out out dawn" ending!

@sammosk and I went camping when we first hit the states. It was beautiful but also frought with bad luck. We couldn't sleep. Turns out the air mattress we had just freshly purchased had a hole in it. No problem, right? Just patch it up. Well, it was on the actual seal for where you fill it up, and thusly, was angled to where we just could not patch it with what we had on hand to save our lives.

So needless to say, we were sleeping all night on a flat mattress, basically on the ground, and struggling as we sweat each other out in the 90 degree heat. That was... special.

Let's not even get into the absolutely smashed people that kept turning their car's headlights on right into our campsite all evening. (Really, dude?)

The part about the crying baby also killed me. I know that feeling all too well and have that internal monologue all too often.

By the way, I loved the sweet bit about your wife holding your hand. That was super precious.

Cheers, Pong! Loved the post!

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Let's not even get into the absolutely smashed people that kept turning their car's headlights on right into our campsite all evening

Were you camping next to a highway or something? I've never camped in view of a place where cars could come unless they were very daring 4x4's

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Some campsites have roads nearby. I try to find the deeper sites, but for the best spots, they must be reserved in advance.

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Haha. That's a great story also!

Wow, I think this is the most intimate piece I've read by you. It's such a human moment, like stepping into your mind for the night.

I just woke up, 2:29 am, I can't remember what woke me up but I couldn't sleep again. I spent about 30 minutes tossing and turning in my bed, thinking of hypothetical scenarios with faeries.

One of my favourite activities as a young teenager was camping. I used to camp a lot with the scouts. I loved building stuff out of wood, the campfires, the songs, the camaraderie. There is a lot of beautiful tropical nature here in Venezuela, and there aren't any big wild animals. There are snakes and such, but I imagine we were in controlled environments near civilisation where these are not big problems.

I loved to read the moment with your daughter's hair on the velcro. In a certain sense, it was some sort of sacrifice, like "I give my sleep for your sleep". I also have a lot of trouble sleeping while camping, especially because, being a tropical country, at least half the days of camping have rainy nights and the tents are roaring with water splashing above and around us, and if the tent is old, they're also leaking water and we have to cover up from the tiny droplets of nightly cold.

Thank you for sharing this. Really. I feel like I'm back at those pleasant times, despite the anxiety of not being able to sleep.

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Camping at night is really amazing to me. The whole article seems me a dream as you have given details the time you could not close your beautiful eyes for your family. This is natural to human being. You are actually a good father @donkeypong who take care their kids so much that you forget sleeping. silent insomnia is natural because people are naturally scare of wild animals into the forest. Finally, I feel that you had amazing camping this time with your family and I enjoyed every words like virtual reality.

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Thanks. Glad you liked it. Stay tuned for Version 2.

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Obviously, I am waiting for the next. Thanks a lot.

@donkeypong, Actually interesting to reading your night camping schedule time wise. If we have opportunity to spend night time, inside forest with camping It would be better moment for our memory and getting best result for our healthy. I have big experience stayed middle of the national wild park in SL. I had fear first night. I think you got those experience better than me. It is scary that night approaches animals.

Unplugging from technology for a day or two is quite healthy.

Yep..fully agree with you. Currently everyone spend time much with new technology without impressive nature musics. Think better...How sweet is the birds sounding? And how cozy the music that flows from trees by streams of streams? Feeling so light for the body? In fact, we feel like going to heaven.

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Lol, you reminded me of the dystopian horrors where people think there is nature around for months, then one day the machines break and they notice that the sounds and the images were just screens and speakers hidden around. I've met many people who would rather watch a documentary about nature than go out and explore it by themselves.

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Going to heaven, sleeping on a rock.

I can personally attest to this. I have had insomnia since I was a child. When I spent 30 days in the desert doing survival training, after one week, I was tired about two hours after sundown and woke with the sun each morning, on my own without an alarm, and feeling more refreshed than I ever have in my life. I wish I could do it again, because it reverted as soon as I went home. It's 6am and I haven't yet been to bed from yesterday. :(

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That's interesting. There have been studies of sleep habits when people are moved from the modern world to where there is no electricity. Their rhythms do adjust to the time of the sunset and sunrise, though if I recall there also is a break in the middle of the night where many people wake up for one or two hours (because it's too long for some to sleep).

I suggest to you keep yourself away from the technology for at 1 or 2 days, 2 to 3 times in a month, and live near nature, it will take you away from the tension keep you, Happy, healthy and sound. Technology has positive as well as negative effects in our life, So to overcome Negative effects we need this kinda activities @donkeypong. What a beautiful place <3 I would love to visit it one day sir.

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For sure. It's important to unplug and reconnect with the outdoors occasionally (even regularly).

I'd definitely be up for ditching electricity to get better sleep. I've had issues sleeping for years because even if I put everything off, I get light under the door and the light from other buildings. I actually have CFS right now and it might be interesting to see if it would help because I'm at the point where sleeping isn't helping me. I'm off to Thailand Wednesday though and I'll be doing bush camping :) Might be beneficial.

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Enjoy your trip!

But after the first night, my face probably looks like this pattern on the picnic table bench.

lol, nice start of your post.

there’s nowhere I’d rather be spending a night than outside in a forest, near a trickling stream in the serenity of nature, waking to the songs of the birds.

I’m the same. I love to spend as much time as I possibly can in forest and with nature. My recent trip I’ve been to was amazing. You can see here.
I completely agree with you about taking time off from all this technology we are everywhere surrounded by. At some point, everyone needs break and the best way to do that, is to spend time with family and the nature.

yet it still stinks in here for more than a minute when someone lets loose.

lol, I can imagine your face😷. Anyway, I know exactly how it is when you sleep on 2” thick mat. The following morning is pretty painful. Once I do my morning exercise and drink my coffee, I’m just fine.
BTW: Unless I missed the answer in your post, when you camp, do you carry something for your protection such as pepper spray? You know bears... I do!

It is extremely difficult to spend the night in a jungle at night. But it's a time when we're adding a lot of experience to our life. I really enjoyed hearing your story. Because I have not faced this experience. Thank you for giving me that opportunity. It is a great scenario to stay in a forest in the dry season because the animals who are allowed to come to us can come to us.

However, the opportunity to enjoy natural aesthetics is a great opportunity for us to enjoy life. Living in a forest is sure to save our busy life.

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The jungle would really frighten me at night. A temperate forest has fewer animals.

There is nothing better than to do this type of visit to nature and to be able to leave all the technological things at home, although many times we don't have any signal in the area, the best thing is to forget about these things. I think that in that kind of environment, sleeping can be a little more difficult, between the sounds, the insects and any play that our mind can play on us.

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It's healthy to get away from those things for awhile.

Hello Tom, i hoped this was you cos i wanted to ask about how you do this "Dreaming of marshmallows", I'd love to.
Well, maybe you should spent the night...praying.
But those timelines could actually be within an hour or two, especially since there was no time tracker.
Beautiful piece

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If I prayed, you wouldn't know it, because that wouldn't be in my post. :)

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Lol...😁
That's really good to know Tom!

Camping is one way to really truly connect with the family because in that way we can share experiences and interact with our family and create a lasting bonding and sweet memories @donkeypong and you are doing it perfectly with activities such as camping and such.

I remember when I had my first camping with friends for 2 days I havent slept. Though I took some shots of tequila and vodka, I just could close my eyes. Plus, the 12hrs hours spent travelling back and forth with my bike. Maybe its too hard to fall asleep with that place because in your mind, you dont want to miss any single moment when you are with nature. :)

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Yes, I don't really mind staying awake.

Wow, someone will actually sit down to write all of this beautiful stuffs about nature? @donkeypong this is really nice, I will save some of the pictures with your permission, I love the bird, the hairstyle is really cool and the owl is somehow really scary creature, it tales in my place is not really wonderful, it comes out only at night, wonder how you are able to see it at daytime. Very nice pictures I will take this kinda adventure when I go home for holidays, studies has all my time
I made this post shortly after i saw your post, I don't know any discord to send you a link I decided to come here sorry if you don't like it
https://steemit.com/birds/@melissaofficial/after-going-through-donkeypong-post-i-saw-a-white-owl-our-people-say-you-are-evilmrowl

If this camping trip includes my soulmate, who I haven't even met yet, and a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, then I be willing to give up most of electronic devices. I'm a songwriter, so I usually record my music on a computer, and wind up sleeping for 2-3 hours, or not at all.

I want to go camping now

Congratulations @donkeypong sir...People who love nature, love nature very beautiful, have discovered different types of nature, the nature of invention is the most contributing nature..

Asombroso @donkeypong
Es extremadamente difícil pasar la noche en una jungla por la noche. Pero es un momento en el que estamos agregando mucha experiencia a nuestra vida. Realmente disfruté al escuchar tu historia. Porque no he enfrentado esta experiencia. Gracias por darme esa oportunidad. Es un gran escenario quedarse en un bosque en la estación seca porque los animales que pueden venir a nosotros pueden venir a nosotros. Sin embargo, la oportunidad de disfrutar de la estética natural es una gran oportunidad para que disfrutemos de la vida. Vivir en un bosque es seguro para salvar nuestra vida ocupada.

Gracias por compartir esta increíble experiencia con nosotros.

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Sí, estoy de acuerdo contigo, es un momento en el que estamos agregando mucha experiencia a nuestra vida... Buen cumplido...

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Directamente dijo @steemrobot en realidad, la oportunidad de disfrutar de la estética natural es una gran oportunidad para que disfrutemos de nuestra vida personal / familiar

An interesting experience with the family, leaving technology and gathering together in the middle of the forest, hearing a lot of noise in the forest, I read your experience of @donkeypong and I feel that you are awake always to protect the family in the tent, not easily through hour after hour until sunrise . A wonderful experience with family, I will try it with my family.

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The night watch! The one who watches out for the family. No rodents may approach while he sleeps, lest they face his unstoppable rage!

Why didn't you take me too ?
Looks like you have had fun and thanks for sharing everything. Awesome photography by the way

I give up electronics all the time to camp. Love camping! Though I haven't been able to go in a long time. It's too expensive to go camping anymore. And I don't mean I buy a whole stuff, I mean by traveling to a good camping spot is costly. There's none close by where I live that are good. Or cheap.

it really becomes an experience at night,

It does - I went camping outside my house a few weeks ago for a few nights and although I was on my laptop since the wifi stretched out to my tent, I had it dimmed and I fell asleep 2 hours earlier than I usually do! I can only imagine what I'd be like without any electronics at all.

this is an amazing post mate. i love it!

Nice article

There's a lot of things that happen on a camping trip that are different from normal life. Exercise for instance. Most people would get more on a camping trip than when they've got all the conveniences right next to the easy chair.

It could also be that just being away from TV and computers is so boring that people go to bed rather than talk to each other around a campfire. There, of course, they find that going to bed with each other is kinda fun, and we all know what happens after that,zzz

Never been to a camp of this kind, but has you all have said it would want to, sound interesting and fun to go.. .. Nice post boss

@donkeypong sometimes it is not easy to get sleep outside your favourite place i.e your own bed. I hardly manage too. And sometime the excitement and adreline of exploring new place keep us awake till tge next day begins. During such time tiredness hardly matters....hopefully you had a pretty well camping onwards.....enjoy👍

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Wow. Very interesting read. It can be hard to fall asleep on some nights.

I would be scared to sleep in a first where there are raccoons or coyotes.

Your final words struck me.. I think I am gonna chill from my phone today and have more meaningful discussions with my momma...

Have a great camping experience

Friend, how are you? You had between a good and bad experience but really a bad night, quickly reading your story I moved just last night without asking permission fell a tremendous downpour for several hours and the lightning flashes did not stop lighting and make noise, I lay down acostame and spend a while when I almost fell asleep was the light wow not long ago the light was on, I hear so many things in the total silence that had and had stopped raining in venezuela there is a lot of delinquency so that there is no light electric fence that protects a little the house is disconnected spend the night between asleep and wake up fearing that a thief entered, my alarm sounds at 3am time to get up, after reading your story and tell you mine I get ready to sleep a while are the 6.20 am so I'll sleep a little longer.
Greetings from Venezuela!

Being an insomniac I totally relate. I wake up countless times at night, turn over every few minutes, and when I finally sleep, it's never more that 3 hours in a row. And all that is in the comfort of my own home. Your detailed narration conveys no bitterness at all, though. I've read that when you cannot sleep, the best option is just get up and do something. Of course that's not possible when camping in the wild.

I really envy people that sleep as fast as their head touches a pillow. They don't know how fortunate they are.

Great narrative. You are a writer.

Very beautiful nonfiction I like this post and great camping I appreciate your valuable post thanks for sharing this nonfiction

Reading this looks more lile a diary, which it is, the nature scenery in the pictures speaks volume.

An intriguing knowledge with the family, leaving innovation and assembling amidst the backwoods, hearing a great deal of clamor in the timberland, I read your experience of @donkeypong

Es fascinante leer cada palabra tal como si estuviera viviendo contigo en ese lugar y en cada momento, tu lectura se hace muy fluida, narrativa y descriptiva, me encanta la analogía de tu cara con el patrón de la mesa de madera jajajaja, me encanta eso.
Te agradezco mucho la oportunidad de (a lo lejos) vivir estas experiencias a través de tu escrito.
Gracias por compartirlo con nosotros.
It is fascinating to read each word as if I were living with you in that place and at every moment, your reading becomes very fluid, narrative and descriptive, I love the analogy of your face with the pattern of the wooden table jajajajaja, I love that.
I thank you very much for the opportunity to (from afar) live these experiences through your writing.
Thanks for sharing it with us
Thank you for sharing it with us. @donkeypong
Again...
THANK YOU!

It is to a great degree hard to spend the night in a wilderness around evening time. Be that as it may, it's a period when we're adding a considerable measure of understanding to our life. I truly delighted in hearing your story. Since I have not confronted this experience. Much thanks to you for giving me that opportunity. It is an incredible situation to remain in a backwoods in the dry season in light of the fact that the creatures who are permitted to come to us can come to us.

Lovely post and beautiful pics

As someone who spent many nights in a tent while growing up, I feel your pain. Things normally do get better by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th night, but that first one is always a pain for me. And when I was doing it, we didn't have 2 inch air mattresses, we had the 1/4 in foam pads. Ha ha. It was important to get a spot that had lot of natural padding underneath it. Otherwise you were just sleeping on rocks.

Hopefully you had fun even though you didn't get a lot of sleep the first night. Maybe you still got out there and had a great time exploring... and appreciating the camp coffee. :D

Oh how those pictures are making me nostalgic for our west coast trip! Those trees! Camping is my favorite thing in the world, and until this year your post could have been my post-- but we invested in cots this time around, and I strongly urge you to do the same, it is a huge difference for sleeping :)

Wow very wonderful nature. I like it your great post sir. thanks for sharing your post.

Wow very wonderful nature. I like it your great post sir. thanks for sharing your post.

When you can't sleep try to listen to the instrument's music, soon you will be relax and sleepy. It was a good alternative for me 😊

Like to travel. Many new things can be seen from which we can get a lot of new knowledge. Whoever knows the beauty of nature, we all know that it is a memento. Let us all be traveling because beyond the boundaries, we can see something new.

I am usually a very good sound sleeper, but I have been there. I have been on a camping trip when you count the minutes and the call of nature means a long creepy walk through the dark encountering the creatures whose work days begin at midnight and whose eyes glare green like a ghoul when your torch light hits them!

In my opinion this is artistic idea

In theory, there’s nowhere I’d rather be spending a night than outside in a forest, near a trickling stream in the serenity of nature, waking to the songs of the birds. So it’s somewhat unfortunate that I can’t sleep that well when I get there. Since we camp every year, I’ve learned to laugh at my camping insomnia.

Wow, I think this is the closest part to you that I've read with you. It's a time such a human
I wake up early in the morning. The songs of the birds filled my mind. I liked your post afterwards. Thank you very much for sharing the post among us.

You pretty much summed up every night of camping for me...lol I do enjoy it but definitely don't sleep well. I don't even sleep well in hotels. I only sleep well at home, in my bed, with my pillow and my big fan by my ear. lol I even have a portable battery operated fan that I bring with me camping to see if that will drown out the noises. It doesn't. But I still bring it. haha. Thinking that maybe it will work wonders one time. My Tempurpedic pillow I bring, always seems to harden up, with the cool weather, so it takes awhile for it to form to my head. my air mattress is comfortable, but comfort is never really the problem. And for some reason I have to sleep on my left side on the edge of the bed or in this case air mattress. Oh no, I can't sleep in the middle of my bed and make use of my queen size bed or in this case camping, my mattress. haha I feel your pain haha, and so relatable. So I usually average 2 to 4 hours of sleep camping regardless how long I allow myself to sleep. haha. But the food always tastes better camping. Anyways, glad you had a fun camping trip with the family! :) I love the redwood forests!

You only have to have one bad night during camping to fully understand what you're talking about here! The closeness, the thick air in a tent, with or without ventilation, or farts for that matter, and all the little noises outside! All of that aside, you and your wife holding hands for a brief moment ... that feeling when your fingers touch and all the unspoken words, memories and feelings that go with it ... so beautiful!

I do have some wonderful memories camping with my boys as they were growing up; and they have some of the same! Such lovely bonding time and a chance for everyone to just be in nature.