This last weekend was our annual Church Campout. This is a family tradition that we have been
enduring enjoying since 2003. Okay, we missed a few years when our church plant happened, and no one planned the campout. But we have never missed an actual campout. I love camping as a family, I really do.
This campout we had a brand new experience. Rain and a burn ban at the same time. That’s right, my friends, not only was it raining, but due to our recent wildfires, we weren’t allowed to have a camp fire. That made this trip a bit…challenging and character building. Well, everyone but me got to build character. I was on call for a birth, and there is no phone reception at this campground. I spent Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning with my family, leaving every two hours to check my phone (I had this prearranged with my client) and spent the evenings warm and cozy in a house.
But, you know what I mean.
I recently read a meme on Facebook (what do you mean those aren’t completely accurate???) that said: “For those of you who have trouble sleeping researchers say that one week of camping without electronics, resets your biological clock and synchronizes our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset” . Sounds perfect, right? Who wouldn’t want that?
Well, people who live in Alaska, for one…
Where the heck did they do this study? The equator? Tonight, in Anchorage, Alaska, where I was born, the sun sets at 10:51 PM and rises at 5:19 AM. That is 17 hours and 31 minutes of daylight…that leaves, what, 5 hours and 29 minutes if “night”?
Or consider Kotzebue, Alaska, where I spent several years of my childhood:
While I’ll admit I could probably accomplish much more if my biological clock where synched so I could stay up 24 hours a day…I somehow don’t think that is a particularly healthy sleep cycle…and I am absolutely sure I don’t want my children staying up 24 hours a day.
And lets be honest, shall we? If you have ever camped with children, you know they stay up extremely late and wake excrutiatingly early. Painfully early. When the sun in shining directly in your tent (or rain is pouring down) it is hard to sleep. And speaking of hard: the ground is hard.
Next month we are going camping for a whole week in Oregon…I’ll let you know how well it does of resetting our sleep cycles.
One thing that would likely help decrease the stress of camping with children, in planning ahead. The church campout started Friday afternoon. I woke up Friday morning and didn’t even have a meal plan for the weekend. But I’m pretty sure I’ll save that for another post.
As I said on my Facebook page, my children are suffering from a severe case of Post Traumatic Camping Disorder. It is characterized by: emotional outbursts, irrational anger, unrelenting hunger and lots of dirt.
There is no known cure for Post Traumatic Camping Disorder. The only course of action is to ease back into life, showers and laundry and good wholesome food.
If you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from Post Traumatic Camping Disorder, leave a comment on this post. It might just give me the courage to go on.