My brother and I spent last week camping in Jasper and Yoho National Parks (recaps are here and here) and we spent a bit of time reminiscing about our family camping trips when we were younger. Our camping gear that we’ve used as a family has migrated it’s way into my possession as our family did less and less camping together and I started to do more and more on my own. I can’t quite remember if I ‘stole’ the camping gear from my parents’ garage or if they suggested I take it… which likely means I stole it. That said, it meant that some of what we used last week was gear that we had been using since we were little.
I am so appreciative of my parents for taking us camping as a family every summer. I don’t think I ever realized how much work it was to plan and organize a camping trip until I started being the one to do it and now I have a whole new respect for how much effort it is to take young kids camping, keep them entertained, make sure they get decent sleep, and have three thousand back-up plans for when things went wrong. Looking back, some of my favourite memories of summers growing up are when my parents would take my brother and I camping with other family friends, relatives, or just the four of us. My brother didn’t fall in love with the camping-in-tents, unshowered, sweaty and gritty weekends like I did, but we still found ourselves chatting about how much we loved those summer weekends as kids sleeping in tents, playing, and running around campgrounds.
We stopped to pick up more ice for our cooler in Lake Louise half way through the week last week and we found the pack of mini cereal boxes that we would get when we went camping and it brought back so many memories we had to pick it up. Remember these? The cut-the-cardboard down the middle, mini boxes of cereal?
Things that haven’t changed since we were little kiddies: I still rep some outrageous colours of fleece and my brother is always rocking some Habs gear. I go for Froot Loops and Stuart goes for Corn Pops. I am unreasonably happy to be outside in the morning after crawling out of the tent while Stuart is, uh… less so. 😉 I thought I would dig up a few flashback Friday photos to share some of the history of my love of camping!
Rocking that fleece. When I bought my current Patagonia fleece I found it funny that it came in hot pink with turquoise trim and that is likely the colours I once wore in the 90s. I love it!
We were always provided arts and crafts entertainment by my mom. Our camping gear was stocked with markers and paper and crayons, and when I was a little older I would always bring a book to read. Things haven’t changed much as I read through two Emily Griffin books on our latest camping trip.
Okay, so he was more helpful when he was like four? 😉
Purple, red, and turquoise fleece – eerily similar to the one I have now. We explored so many mountain campgrounds when we were young as Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise were super close. It’s crazy how much they’ve grown as tourist hot spots since we visited in the 90s!
In case you were wondering, I’m 94% sure my mom got a 2-for-1 discount on a boys haircut… maybe that’s why I carried a doll around… compensation.
Lake Louise, Alberta
Bow Falls, Banff, Alberta… and we still like chasing waterfalls together.
I think that about wraps up a trip to the past. I am not really a materially sentimental person but I do love looking at old photos every once in a while and this camping trip with my little brother (who is not so little at 6’5″ now) totally was a blast to the past that I couldn’t help but think about our camping trips we grew up taking as a family. Thanks mom and dad for teaching us that nature is freaking awesome, sleeping under the stars is the best, and being outside in Canada is an incredible privilege.