Commonly called “Camp Driveway” or “Camp Backyard,” if you are new to camping, introducing a child to camping, or if you have a new camping rig or RV, you would be wise to at least consider taking a trial run first. Camping just outside your home offers campers an opportunity to keep from learning things the hard way whether you are new to camping or an experienced vet.
The benefits are many but don’t be afraid to go full steam. Try to pack everything you need for the evening. This will give you a chance to see how well you identified what you will need for a camping trip.
Plan a meal and cook it outside. Make notes of things you had to go back into the house to fetch.
Those new to camping can practice setting up new and unfamiliar camping equipment. Realizing that the new tent you purchased didn’t come with enough tent stakes is much more of a problem when you are at a campground miles away from home.
For those with little ones, Camp Backyard gives them a chance to experience camping in a familiar environment. It also gives parents a chance to see how the kids will respond to that environment. Especially with children, there will inevitably be necessities that weren’t thought of before.
Camp Backyard isn’t just for novices. Experienced campers will want to do this as well to practice using new and unfamiliar camping equipment or a new RV. Owners of new pop-ups will especially benefit from this due to the extended setup required of these rigs.
On a personal note, my family is going to camp at Camp Driveway this coming Saturday. I’ve been renovating a 30 year old pop-up camper for the past six months and she is just about ready to see some action. Even though I have set up and packed up this rig hundreds of times, I have not actually packed it up and used it for camping yet. My 8 year old daughter has never slept in a pop-up camper nor has my wife. The potential for mishaps and identifying items that will inevitably make that “Gee, I wish I had brought . . .” list is massive.
We are going to cook a meal in the camper (we decided on Jambalaya) and watch a movie via a laptop and Wi-Fi connection. The new AC needs tested. The water needs testing. The gas stove needs testing. More importantly, using all this equipment in a camping setting needs to be tested so that maiden voyage next month will be guaranteed, as much as possible anyway, to be a success.
Will it be fun?
Will I learn valuable information that will make that first weekend outing easier?
Don’t be afraid to camp your backyards and driveways, Nashville campers. You might just save yourself some trouble. Mow the grass, grab a pack of hot dogs, and let’s go camping!