As a kid we took an entire week to go camping in the Colorado Rockies. We planned the trip for months. We thought nothing had been skipped and that we were 100% ready for our very own family campout. Up to this point we went camping with all the cousins and only on big family reunions. This was going to be just us. Just our little family for 6 whole days. My dad packed up the car, my mom double checked to make sure all three kids had their clothes, sleeping bags and pillows ready. They double checked the cooler and lastly hoisted our canvas 8×10 1950’s wall tent into the back of the truck. We were leaving the world behind. Luckily in the 80’s it was a lot easier to leave the world behind. Nobody was plugged into their smartphones full time. We didn’t have the on-demand life we currently all enjoy. So we set off into the mountains for what would become a wonderfully misfortunate family campout.  Thankfully this wouldn’t be the last family campout.

We arrived at our destination and paid for our spot, said “hi” to the ranger and circled the campground to our oasis in the woods. We quickly begun to unpack and my dad and I spent the next 2 hours setting up the tent. The first problem was we didn’t bring a hammer to get the stakes into the ground. We also found a hole in the old canvas tent. We were missing connectors and a whole mess of problems quickly arose. After a few failed attempts we finally used a rock to get the tent secured to the ground and my dad rigged a few branches into missing tent poles and we were in business. Note: It is vital before a campout to ensure you have your whole tent kit and make sure it’s in perfect working order.

After we finally got the tent up, the clouds rolled in and opened up on us. I think from that point on we had 3 total hours of daylight without rain for the next 6 days. We quickly learned that old canvas needs to be waterproofed yearly if not more and that we needed a solution or we’d all be soaked. So we packed everyone into the car and drove into town where we found a Walmart and begun stocking up. We grabbed duct tape, a 100 feet of cordage, a 12×20 tarp, and all the forgotten kitchen utensils we neglected when we packed up. With lots of laughs we packed up the car again and headed back into the woods.

Successfully securing the tarp over the tent we were no longer worried about the rain. My dad used the duct tape to close the hole in the wall (dad actually patched it when we got home and dried out). With no hope in sight of the rain stopping my mom begun to read aloud “summer of the monkey’s” If you haven’t read it, you need to. It’s an epic tale of a young boy in Oklahoma who loves the woods and stumbled upon a band of escaped circus monkeys while out exploring. The rest of the story was mixed with excitement, chaos, and shenanigans.  We finished the entire book that week thanks to the rain and enjoyed the most cramped campout in family history.

Now that I’m grown up, if I want to go camping I have a few choices, I can pack everything up including my tent, kitchen, and food, or go glamping. Image rolling up to your tent that’s already set up and furnished with a comfortable bed, table and chairs and a small mini fridge. Yes, a tent, not a hotel room, but a tent. It sounds weird, but it’s wonderful. The best experience though is glamping in a dome.  Most Glamp sites have tents that are 12-20 feet long and 10-14 feet wide and that’s great for you and that special someone, but what blows me away with domes is how roomy they are. Looking back on my family trip we were cramped and when it was time to eat we all had to huddle in one corner, move th
e bedding out of the way and set up a cooler as a kitchen counter. Glamping in a Vital Domes geodesic dome shelter is entirely different. There is 425 square feet of space to explore and stretch out. The eating area is away from the beds, there is room for up to 8 in comfort and we have the most beautiful views out of the water proof bay windows. Check out the image below.  My challenge to you is find a place with a Vital Dome geodesic shelter and make sure to book it for a few nights. You’ll be glad you tried it.

I’ll still go traditional camping but now that I’ve been spoiled with a water tight rain proof giant dome, I’ll always choose that as my first choice for a family getaway. Camping now is my go to for backpacking, hunting, and of course those scout campouts with my BSA troop.