Camping 101 Pop Quiz

I wrote this after a family camping trip 11 years ago. It somehow seems appropriate to re-post it. 🙂

Originally posted in May 2000

Pop Quiz! Camping 101

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the LORD,
for He comes to judge the earth.
Psalm 96:11-13

My family had several memorable camping trips when I was growing up. We did “real” camping in tents at primitive campsites. My older sibs lashed tables and a latrine. We cooked over a campfire, went on hikes and collected more than our share of mosquito and chigger bites and poison ivy.

Most of the trips it rained steadily enough that daily trips to a laundromat were required to dry out sleeping bags and wash muddy clothes. It was quite an adventure! But I don’t remember the hassles of family camping. I remember having FUN! My mom remembers forgetting the tent poles, hiking with occasionally recalcitrant children, midnight trips to the latrine in the pouring rain, and muddy sleeping bags.

We have done quite a bit of family camping and enjoy it, for the most part. Some how, we forget the minor aggravations that come with a camping trip when we’re packing the car. The memories come screaming back, though, as you try to tend a fire in the rain or swat 747-size mosquitos. You laugh (sort of) as you ruefully discover that a third washing just doesn’t get out the smell of slightly moldly wood smoke!

Yet, we still go camping! Perhaps we are deluded by the fresh, clean faces of the models who sell camping gear. Perhaps we simply LIKE dirt. Despite my kvetching and complaining, we love to camp! It brings a quiet space into our busy weeks and a chance as a family to enjoy each other and the world God has made.

Bring your sense of humor and try the following quiz to figure out why YOU go camping!

Completely tongue-in-cheek,
From our home to yours… 



1. What is the purpose of camping?

  • to enjoy the out-of-doors
  • to get back to nature
  • to experience life as the pioneers did
  • to create laundry

2. What is the average temperature for camping season?

  • 90 degrees
  • 9 degrees
  • 70 degrees

3. What is the weather forecast when you plan your camping trip?

  • partly cloudy
  • sunny and pleasant
  • 70 degrees with a light breeze

4. What is the weather really like when you go on your camping trip?

  • raining cats and dogs
  • blazing hot
  • hurricane-force winds

5. What kind of people do you meet when camping?

  • friendly, nice folks just like you
  • noisy, beer-drinking party animals
  • long-bearded recluses
  • no one! it’s just and your family communing with nature!

6. What kind of wildlife will you see on your camping trip?

  • lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
  • deer
  • skunks
  • mosquitos, biting flies, chiggers, ticks and fleas

7. Cleanliness is:

  • next to godliness
  • impossible
  • all relative
  • over-rated

8. Your diet on a camping trip consists of:

  • burnt, half-cooked fried chicken, under-cooked potatoes, lukewarm Kool-aidTM and applesauce mixed with dirt
  • take-out from the closest fast food chain
  • culinary delicacies such as “beanie weenies,” “pocket stew” and “s’mores”
  • poached salmon, dilled haricots vert and fruit compote

9. You will forget to take with you:

  • your camera
  • the tent poles
  • sunscreen
  • toilet paper
  • ibuprofen

10. The time it takes to clean-up from a camping trip is approximately:

  • two hours
  • two days
  • two months

11. When will you go on your next camping trip?

  • like childbirth, as soon as you forget about the pain the last one put you through
  • during the next heat wave
  • during the next monsoon
  • when your youngest child is out of diapers

12. Why was camping invented?

  • to give laundry detergent manufacturers a market for their products
  • because parents have no discernment
  • to end the drought
  • to help you eat a pound of dirt before you die


  1. OK. This is Mom.
    Camping happened when I had children who ASKED to go camping.
    I developed better methods as time went along. I had never, never camped as a child and relied on books and Girl Scout directions to learn.
    Also, I learned not to care whether the food was properly cooked. Children hungry enough ate everything in sight, anyway.
    and isn’t automatic laundry equipment wonderful?


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