Earlier this year, we discovered a pop-up camper online and decided we just had to have it. It was about an hour and a half away in Philadelphia, so we loaded up the kids in the car and went down to check it out. Getting a new camper was on our list to invest it and the opportunity was a great one. We found that the 1988 Jayco was well loved with perfect canvas and everything we needed it to be – so we brought it home!
We finally headed to the Poconos this last month and I’m so glad we did. The weekend before got it all cleaned at home, bought everything we needed to fill up our home-away-from-home so we could have it in there at a moments notice, and set a date. Finding a place to do dispersed camping (errr – primitive camping, is what it’s called here) is our favorite way to camp so we called to make sure we had to same rules here as we did in Colorado. Sure enough, we did!
So, we headed off out past the city limits and away from any campgrounds to find our own place in the quiet forest. We’ve only camped at a campground once since we’ve been together and our children never have. It’s always been forest camping for us and that’s our absolute favorite. We landed in the Tiadaghton State Forest and found a quiet place where our family could settle in for the weekend.
Forest camping here in Pennsylvania is a bit different than in Colorado. The forest in general is different. There are more deciduous trees than there are pine trees. The ferns grow wild & free and are about as tall as B. Colorado had challenging hikes and jaw dropping views. The scenery here reminds me a bit more of growing up in Kansas. We didn’t have to worry about the forest fire risk here like in Colorado which was a nice thing. We didn’t see the wildlife we did on our last trip in Colorado (that trip would have been hard to beat though.)
The weather was cool and kind to us other than the first night of rain but that graced us over night so it didn’t really effect us. In fact, it made it a little extra fun with some muddy four-wheeling that the kids thought was the funnest thing. Millie, our dog, loved chasing the squirrels and bounding through the ferns. We discovered caterpillars, frogs, butterflies and even a family of field mice that lived in the tree on our site.
I’m so glad that Ryan and I have made the decision to get our kids into nature and let them experience it. He camped a lot growing up with his dad and with boy scouts. I camped at the lake campgrounds and the backyard, so I’m really loving that this mountain man of mine is as wild about the adventures as I am. Watching him with our children teaching them how to use the saw for firewood, teaching them to create the fires but warning about fire safety, and including them in all the aspects makes me endlessly proud I chose this life with him. He has such a heart for our sweet family and I see it all the time but there’s just something about seeing it in the middle of the forest where there isn’t the distraction of daily life.
Our trip was a short one. We headed out Friday afternoon and back after lunch on Sunday, so it was one that made us feel like we were leaving just as we settled in. Honestly, we wish we could have stayed a week. There’s something so peaceful about being in the middle of nature, away from any one else and soaking in the quiet, nature God created, and our family. Our next trip out will be on a longer weekend and will be even faster prep now that our camper is packed and ready to go when we are. I think we already have the itch to get out and go again!