Updated: Jan 11, 2020
An event I look forward to EVERY year is New Year's Eve, a day every year where my family is out in the desert, camping, well beyond cell phone service or other humans. It is a place, physically, where our animals and little human can explore, run, nap in the sunshine hours and enjoy quiet + creative moments. It is also a place where I find emotional calm in the midst of madness.
We all have our attention completely on whatever task we are doing, we are creative, more quiet, more adventurous + find joy in the simplest of what life has to offer. I also see God in everything around me: sunsets, each rock formed uniquely in it's own way, and the serene peace only He can give my weary soul. Overall, camping out in the desert every year is the perfect opportunity for our family to be at it's very best to ring in a brand new year...and I could't ask for a better tradition because we get to do it with some of our best friends (our local family), Mysha + her JettyRat!
The preparation leading up to camping has become fine-tuned for us at this point, after years and years of "oops, hope we can figure out another way to open this can since I left a can opener at home...let's add that to our camping list for next time". So, we thought we'd save you all some heartache and create a Camping Checklist. A starting point for you to create your own on whatever adventure suits your creative soul best: surf trip, camping in remote areas, camping at a campground, road tripping across country! Mysha + I both keep a notepad on our phones with a working list we add to and edit as we learn new things that work/don't work for our families and as we begin compiling lists, we review it together to cover whom has what so there's no unnecessary packing or things forgotten because we think the other might have it (but let's be honest, we call Mysha "Mary Poppins" for a reason..she always has EVERYTHING or can get Amazon to deliver it ASAP)!
The first thing Mysha + I do is meet up to make a meal plan. We look at how many days we will be "on location" as well as when we plan to travel so we can plan snacks/food for the journey as well. The spot we head for New Year's is several hours away from where we each live, so it's essential! Once we lay out all our meals, the two of us divide + conquer. Sometimes we split it by "you take breakfasts + lunches and I'll do dinners + snack food" and sometimes, like this most recent time, we split it by the day + our specialties or interests. We also always split up shared necessities, such as wood, ice for all our coolers, etc. We've also learned that it is so much easier + enjoyable when we do the majority (if not all) of the cooking upfront in our own kitchens and then all we have to do out in the desert is heat it up and serve. This last trip, our guys raved about how amazing all the meals were and I think it had a lot to do with the love we poured over each item in our own nests before traveling!
Some have asked what we do while camping and the best answer I have is "whatever the heck we want!!!". We usually spend the first afternoon and evening getting settled in. Moving totes around near our table, setting up the stove, arranging chairs and coolers around the fire to avoid the smoke, putting out bowls and pet beds so everyone feels comfortable and safe at "home camp". Then the remainder of our time is spent searching the land for new treasures (geodes, fire agate, gems, shaped wood) or simply enjoying the journey of exploring wherever we make camp.
We take at least one hike a day usually with the little human and our pets. We take one long nap, either in the sun (if it's warm enough) or in our vehicle/tents. We play games, we color, we enjoy the quiet, read, snack, chat about all the "what ifs" Mysha could ever dream up! It is glorious! Outside of the nest we've built in our hometown, I call wherever we set up camp "my happy place" and it is truly where my soul grows and flourishes most! Like in all things we partner in, Mysha + I compliment one another in an extraordinary way and I absolutely love planning things with her!
I hope you find our Camping Checklist attachment helpful and please let us know if you think of anything else along your adventures that could be added or help others on their journey! Happy 2020, OCNers + happy camping!! Remember to tag us on FB + IG with your camping, packing adventures with #naturallycreative
P.S. Check out the make-ahead breakfast burrito recipe on our instagram, @our.creative.nest