Back Yard Camping
Updated: May 28, 2021
As more and more things around the country and the world begin to open up, the part of me that wants to explore is starting to wake up with it.
I do have to admit though, it will probably still be a while before I start trying to plan big trips again because I am still not totally comfortable with the thought of getting on a plane at the moment.
But one thing I have started to realize through all of this is just how much cool stuff is available to do in the state that I live in.
I live in the state of Georgia in the US, and we have so much here that I can still see, whether it be nature or interesting locally owned cafes in the city.
Through the next few months I am going to work on starting to explore even more of the state I call my home.
One of the most expensive parts of travel is always finding a place to stay, hotels and Airbnbs here cost around one hundred dollars a night on average.
Since my friends and I are all still semi-broke girls in our 20's, it is hard to justify spending that much money on a hotel unless there is a big reason for it.
Especially when I already live in the state, but one thing that is almost everywhere in Georgia and the surrounding states, is campgrounds.
Camping here ranges from around $20-$50 a night, and while that still adds up quickly and may not be as fancy or luxurious as staying in a nice hotel or Airbnb.
It is definitely a way to save money and makes it easier to go places for longer without spending an arm and a leg to do so.
A few weeks ago I texted one of my friends with a question, if I found a cheap campground somewhere cool, would you go with me.
Of course, she said yes, but there was one thing I was lacking at the time. Confidence.
I have gone camping many many times in my life, but every time I went was with my dad and sister, and normally they would put up the tent and cook most of the food.
Part of me was worried that if I went all the way to a campsite for the first time in 6 years (yes, it has been that long) that it would end up being too much for me.
So thus, we created a solution.
My backyard is a good size, I have a grill, fire pit (which we didn't end up using), and shady flat areas which honestly are the perfect size for setting up a tent.
So before the two of us fully committed to driving around the state to camp, we set up for a night of nature fun in my backyard!
That morning we went up to Buford Highway, a large strip of road with different shops and restaurants.
This road also has a Hmart, which is a large Korean grocery store where we bought some food to cook up on the grill.
A package of pre-marinated meat, kimchi (pickled vegetables), AND a candy bar for dessert cost us around $9.12 each.
What we got was not the typical camping food, and if we go to a campsite we will definitely end up eating ham sandwiches and hot dogs like every other camper out there.
But we decided it was going to be a perfect time to treat ourselves and try something new, and it was AMAZING!
We got the Hmart brand for both of the meat and the kimchi because it was the cheapest, and both of us (and my dad who had some as well) were shocked by how good the flavor and quality was with how little it cost us.
So I may have to make more trips to Hmart to try more of their foods because it was definitely a good first experience.
We cooked it on the grill, and whenever a piece would get fully cooked we would just pull it off and eat it right there instead of sitting around waiting for it to get cold.
The sweetness of the meat paired amazingly with the spice of the Kimchi. Perfect meal!
The tent was much easier to set up than I expected it to be, it always seemed so complicated to do when I watched other people do it, but it only took us about five minutes to do!
Taking it down was the most difficult part of the whole thing, neither of us could figure out how to get all the air out of it so it took us a little bit, but it eventually made its way back into the bag!
Since we were at my house we were able to bring certain luxuries that I would normally never take outside, like my laptop.
Since we were just close enough to reach the WiFi we were able to rent movies from amazon to watch while wrapped in our sleeping bags.
If you're curious about our selection of the night, yes, we did watch two barbie movies, and yes, we did spend $3 each to rent them.
Sometimes everyone needs to watch a silly kid's movie to de-stress and that night Barbie Fairytopia and Barbie Mermadia were the perfect fit.
Between movies we had a mini photoshoot with my Polaroid camera, some of them turned out really cute, some of them... not so much.
Instant film is one thing that has always been hard for me to master and I feel like these pictures we took reflect that.
I used a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, which has a tiny mirror on the front so you can take selfies with it.
Honestly I have never been able to make them turn out how I wanted, but maybe that can be another thing I work on while spending so much time at home!
The two of us each had a sleeping bag, and even though it cooled down to a comfortable temperature once the sun went down, the June weather still made it a little bit too hot and the sleeping bag was a little bit too constricting for me personally.
So I decided to unzip the sleeping back and use it as a pad to lay on and covered up with a different blanket which made the whole experience much more enjoyable (and WAY less sweaty)
Our tent was a four-person tent, and honestly, I couldn't really imagine having four people sleeping in there at once, I like to spread out when I sleep and if we had four we would have been packed in there like sardines!
It was oddly calming to be sleeping outside, part of me thought all I would be able to hear was my neighbors.
At times I can be very sensitive to sounds, which can make it hard for me to fall asleep, but the only thing I really heard was the sound of my air conditioner running and it lulled me off to sleep.
I would wake up randomly throughout the night to adjust myself or rollover, there was only one time something startled me awake.
Only because my next-door neighbor has a very very loud truck he cranked up at around six-thirty in the morning and it sounded like we were about to be run over.
No, we did not get run over.
The next morning we woke up at around ten, which gave us around ten hours of sleep we both desperately needed.
Honestly, we probably could have slept even longer than that, but a bird landed on top of the tent and started cawing.
I never realized just how loud birds are until that one was directly next to my ear.
One of my dogs was outside that morning, and it was funny to see her reaction to me calling her while still in the tent.
She was very confused as to why she could hear my voice but not see me anywhere.
Once she realized where I was hiding, she ran over and as I unzipped the bottom of the entrance she crawled through and decided it was time to lay right on my face.
Which to be honest is one of the best things to wake up to.
After a few minutes of doggy cuddles, it was already starting to get hot outside.
Georgia summer heat shows no mercy, and my friend and I both knew we should get the tent back down before the heat was full blast or it would be just miserable.
Once we had finished yet another mini photoshoot.
The two of us began to deconstruct our make-shift campsite.
After around twenty minutes of us making trips inside and to my friend's car, and accidentally letting both my dogs out of the gate for a jaunt around the street before having to take them for a small car ride, we had everything cleaned up.
The most challenging part of both putting up the tent and taking it down was trying to get it to fit back into the bag it came in.
There is probably a technique we didn't realize, but after some effort we got it to go back inside!
Once finished, we decided to treat ourselves to some Panera Bread Co, they have really good coffee so if you like coffee you should definitely try it out one day if there is a Panera near you!
Overall, I would say this camping experience went very well and definitely removed some of my nerves about the possibility of doing it somewhere else. For the first time we had ever
gone camping together it went pretty smooth, I will for sure have to make sure I plan better when we do it in a different place.
Because it was in my back yard I was going in and out of my house a lot to get stuff, but of course, I know if we go somewhere else we will have to be more planned out with what we bring.
I will for sure plan to do something like this again, although I do know that bringing a tent to cities I fly to is a hard thing to do, for local trips around Georgia and the surrounding states I feel like could turn out to be a very affordable and rewarding option!
If you have a place to set up and a tent I highly recommend you try this out, who knows, it could also help you discover new cheaper ways to explore!
Thank you to everyone who has read this far, I appreciate you, and if you would like to stick around to see what happens on our next adventure, make sure to subscribe to my email list to get notified! Because I am sure we will do this again sometime soon!