The first time we went camping we were fortunate enough to go with my brother in law, who has a lot of camping experience. He told us about the equipment we needed, the concept of a “control box”, helped D set up the tent for the first time etc. Now that we have gone several times since then (D could tell you exactly how many), we feel much more comfortable. The class we went to last week at REI was geared towards “beginners”; I guess now we would qualify as “intermediate”, at least in terms of family car camping. However, it was kind of fun to be with others who have a similar desire and/or love for camping and to swap some stories/experiences. It was late for the kids since it lasted over 1.5 hours, but I think they enjoyed it. They also provided some entertainment when they started laughing uncontrollably after the instructor said the words “long underwear” and “privacy” (don’t ask).
We also came away with a better idea of which tent we want to buy next—the REI Basecamp 6. (Not pictured here—this is the Hobitat). I’m hoping our Basecamp 4 will hold out for a couple of more years, though.