Think You Can't Go Camping Every Month? This Mom Did.
Find out what worked for mom and Washington Trails editor Jessi Loerch.
Jessi Loerch is editor of Washington Trails, WTA's bimonthly magazine for members. She's also mother to a 7-year old daughter. Having a full-time job and a child to care for can be time-consuming, but last year, Jessi balanced the two and still found time to go camping for one weekend each month.
While that's an impressive accomplishment, the keys to getting it done are rudimentary: make a plan, then stick to it. No excuses.
If you're hoping to get outside a little more often in 2018, read on for some tips on how to make it happen.
Make A Plan
Jessi got the idea a few years ago, when she decided to hike at least once every month. In order to make that happen, she had to have a set plan. She selected locations and dates ahead of time, and had friends help keep her accountable. After successfully completing that goal, she decided to step it up.
Last January, she set a goal to camp every month, and once again, friends and family helped her stick to that promise. Like hiking every month, scheduling dates far in advance was key to her success:
"In January, my husband and I booked dates for the busiest months, especially during the summer. We coordinated with friends we wanted to camp with and made reservations for busy weekends."
Stick to the Plan
Making those dates and having a friend to keep her on track was crucial, particularly when her schedule got full or the weather was bad. Knowing there was someone else counting on her, Jessi fiercely protected the weekends they'd reserved for camping. If an unavoidable conflict came up, they were allowed to reschedule, but it had to be within the month.
Jessi also needed a healthy dose of grit in order to pull this off. Weather in Washington is infrequently ideal for camping; she weathered torrential downpours and muddy trails, but her sticktoitiveness paid off: one particular weekend in April, when most of Washington was hiding from rain, Jessi headed out for her scheduled camping trip, and was rewarded with a glorious, clear weekend on the Olympic Peninsula.
"Working on this goal has really changed how I feel about camping. I used to only head out when conditions are perfect--and that's so rare. Now I pick a time and make it happen."
For the most part, Jessi ventured out solo this year, seeking some quiet time and an escape from the bustle of day-to-day life. One of her favorite memories from these outings was when she pitched camp after a four-mile hike in the rain, crawled in, and listened to the downpour all night.
"The quiet solitude was precisely what I needed after several busy weeks."
But she loves sharing the outdoors with her family, too. They joined her for five of her overnights, which created a good balance between solitary restoration and memory-making with her husband and young daughter.
"Getting out by myself, with my friends and with my family gave me a variety of experiences that created a year full of rejuvenation and fond memories."