We went camping this weekend. We left Friday shortly after lunch and set off. We were camping about 15 miles from home at a small private lake. The weather was expected to be in the 60s both days and in the 40s both nights. A little cool, but not bad camping weather. When we arrived, we started our fire. Then we set up the tent. This was the first time we had used this tent so we had some work to do. It came with those cheap plastic tent stakes that don't work well in most ground types. So H ran into town for better stakes and more firewood. When he returned, we moved into the tent. By now, the coals were ready, and we put our food on the fire. Foil packets work well for camping. We even made a peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Everything was going well. By nightfall, about 40 tents were set up. We were camping with the boy scouts. It was a cold night, reaching about 45. Just what we expected. We got up and built our fire back up. The morning went well with hiking and other activities.
By lunch, we knew there might be a problem. The clouds had not broken off and it was not near as warm as it should have been. We continued through the afternoon, but it was growing colder. Reports kept coming in that it was going to be much colder than expected that night. By 5:00, we had made our decision. We weren't going to stay the night. That was a hard decision to make because we like camping. Nevertheless it had to be made. The girls were shivering already and the forecast was down to below 40 and drizzle was beginning to come down. We didn't leave immediately, but we did start tearing down our campsite. Others began to do the same. There were some who thought we were wimping out and perhaps we were, but we didn't care. By the time we left, at 7:30, it had gotten even colder. Reports were now that it would be in the lower 30s and freezing rain throughout the night and morning.
We woke up Sunday morning nice and warm in our own beds. We looked outside at a ground that was covered in water from the rain. It was 33 degrees. We knew that we had made the right decision.
I like camping and we plan to go again, but tearing down camp in the freezing rain is never fun. Rolling up the tent, and reloading the car, in the freezing rain, is never fun. I'm not sure how many boy scouts and their dads (and some moms) stayed that night, but I do know that they were cold. Overall, we did enjoy the time we spent at the campsite and we still consider this to have been a good trip.