There is nothing like the old adage, “There’s no place like home”. Since buying a home only a year ago, we have discovered the truth behind this saying. I love exploring the far corners of the globe but you can also have an adventure camping in your own back yard.
Camping in your back yard is an exciting new way to enjoy your house! You still have access to the conveniences of your refrigerator, the bathroom and even your own wifi password. While I enjoy the challenge of roughing it in the woods, Mindy would much prefer not to have to navigate pit toilets, wet conditions and being cold. She would prefer to have a warm bed only feet away if it gets too cold, a fully stocked kitchen if she wants something you can’t easily make on the fire and a comfortable bathroom to use in the middle of the night. Curling up with a Netflix movie while snuggling in a sleeping bag doesn’t hurt either. Simply put, camping the backyard is the perfect compromise!
We did some searches online for vegan grilled dishes and narrowed it down. There is a LOT out there. Since we had recently enjoyed vegan hotdogs and hamburger (followed by s’mores), we decided to go in another direction: grilled veggies.
Our New Year’s feast included grilled slabs of tofu, grilled asparagus, grilled corn on the cob, grilled summer squash, roasted potatoes and onions and grilled pineapple for dessert. There were so many other great options, like grilled cauliflower, but we just didn’t think the grill or our stomachs would have room. As it was we were full way before we got to dessert.
After we let the fire die down, we stepped into the tent and got comfy. While I usually roll up a jacket or sweatshirt to use as a pillow when camping, this time I decided to go back into the house to get the comfortable pillows from our bed. Mindy was pleased.
We watched Mad Money on Netflix using my laptop. It ended shortly before midnight so we wished each other happy New Year and drifted off to sleep taking turns holding each other and investigating the origins of strange sounds that we heard throughout the night.
The Next Morning
Mindy made French toast with the challah bread she had made from scratch the day before. She added some fresh fruit and voila! What a great way to start the New Year!
Tips for Camping in your Backyard
1. Check the weather. Don’t go through the hassle of setting up the tent and food prep if the weather is going to make your experience less than great. Instead, try the next weekend.
2. Try to place your tent away from tree branches to avoid anything falling on it during the night.
3. Turn off or reschedule your irrigation timer if you have one. It would have been quite the interruption if our irrigation jets suddenly went off at their 1:30am setting (especially since our tent was actually sitting over one of them).
4. If you are using an air mattress to sleep on, be sure you have easy access to either a plug or enough batteries.
5. Set up as much as you can during daylight hours. This is true especially for the tent and it’s contents but it’s helpful to also have a fire ready to go. Place wood near where you’ll need it so you can relax about it later. Prep as much food as you can to eliminate having to run in and out of the house.
6. Place your fire pit/grill with only open air overhead. Be careful not to place it under tree branches or wires.
7. Have a bucket of water nearby just in case.
8. Your clothes (and hair) will smell like smoke afterward so plan accordingly.
It wasn’t the best sleep we’ve ever had but we got to experience our home in a completely different way. I would definitely do it again!