Hope for your financial life and beyond

Do I Get Gold Cuff Links With That Tent?

There is nothing that quite excites the heart of every child like summer vacation. At my school, we begin the countdown right after spring break. (FYI to administrators and parents – don’t expect teachers to accomplish much after spring break. The kids minds are completely blown after that.) Now usually, when school is out each day, kids mingle around, talking to one another near the lockers, shooting hoops in the gym or hanging out for a few minutes in the parking lot. On the last day of school? It’s like cockroaches scrambling in the basement when the light is flipped on. They move at light speed off the school grounds not to be seen anywhere near the premises for the next two months.

Yes…summer is finally here!

For my family that means some vacation time. This year we are taking our bold, first steps into the realm of camping with our kids.

Now my family went camping twice a summer growing up and Mrs. Luke1428 has some personal experience in leading wilderness expeditions. So we are going to be fine. We know how to prepare. But the 12, 10, 6 and 5 year olds…I’m not sure they know what they are in for.

REI Base Camp 6We did take a trip this past week to REI to purchase a tent. Holy mackerel! Do I get gold cuff links with that tent? I should for that price. Seriously, camping gear is pricey. I saw some 1-person backpacking tents there for $300+. And the hiking GPS units we thought we were going to use for our new geocaching hobby – well they were much to much for beginners. Good thing we had been saving for these purchases for some time so it did not set us back at all.

After reading all the reviews and considering the options, we bought the REI Base Camp 6-person tent which will sleep my wife and I, plus the two little ones. Hopefully this will last us for years to come. The two oldest get to share our three person dome tent we have had for some time. I like to have extra room in the tent for gear and stuff so we are just going to spread out a bit.

I had a great time this week learning about my new blog design and writing down the dozens of things I need to do to make this more successful. The more I do, the more I realize how much I don’t know. But I’m pleased with where I am at and know it will come along piece by piece. Thanks to all who commented on my change and have supported this site the past 11 months. I really appreciate it.

Tomorrow I am going to have a fun post about why I chose the Genesis framework and the Eleven40 theme. They won’t be the typical reasons you read about so check back for that.

Here are some great posts from bloggers who knocked it out the park this week.

Surviving a Bear Market Encounter in the Wild at Club Thrifty. The stock market goes up and down. Sometimes it feels like a roller coaster. Greg shares some ideas on how to handle the tough times.

The Power of Money Conversations With Kids at The Heavy Purse. Shannon’s daughter Taylor had something awful happen with a piece of technology. But it’s obvious she has already learned some great money lessons at only age 7.

Say No to Your Children Now So You Won’t Have to Later at Eyes on the Dollar. Kim shares an eye-opening story about the dangers of wild spending and giving your kids everything they want.

How to Save Money on Groceries at The Frugal Farmer. Who doesn’t needs some tips about this considering the rising cost of food. Guest poster Jenny shares her thoughts.

Hope you enjoy those reads. Have a great weekend!

Next Post: Thesis vs. Genesis – It’s All About the Cupholders

Prior Post: Geocaching: Our New, Cheap Kid Activity

I hope you enjoyed that post. Want more?
Sign up to receive my blog posts via email and get your free gift...
99 Ways to Spend Less and Save More

Privacy Guarantee: I will not share your email with anyone.


  1. Yay for camping!!! Thanks for the mention!

  2. We’re going camping next weekend! We have a little pop up camper, so no roughing it at all. It’s fun to get out and unplug for the weekend though. Thanks for the mention.

    • You bet Kim. Loved the post you wrote! Pop ups are fun. The great benefit of the pop up is protection from the weather. Much easier to survive the rain when you can go indoors into something completely water tight. Have fun!

  3. It seems a shame to invest so much in a tent because of the technological advances that occur within years of purchase… I wonder if there are some rental companies out there for those who camp infrequently.

    • I’m sure there are companies that specialize in that. I know when we were at REI, we saw they have a program of renting equipment like tents, camp stoves and sleeping bags. I think the items they rent varies from store to store and region to region.

  4. This is Marcus. CAMPING IS ONE OF THE FUNNEST THINGS EVER!!!!! they’ll have a good time I think.

  5. I have bought a few tents from REI, but after getting caught in a snowstorm on the Appalachian trail, I know why they are expensive. That tent saved my life and I glad I didn’t skimp on it. Thank you much for the mention and I look forward to hearing your post on why you went with your theme and framework.

    • Snowstorm on the trail? I think I would like to hear that story sometime. I was OK to spend a good deal on this tent as I think it will last for years to come. I especially like the rainfly which literally envelops the entire tent like a cocoon. Should stay high and dry if we get any inclement weather.

      • Oh yes, it was a crazy trip. We started out in 70 degree weather, the next day it was raining, that night it was sleeting, and by the next morning, it was snowing with high winds. Talk about hitting all of the weather patterns. This was all within 2 days time. Just a crazy trip.

  6. Shannon Ryan says

    Thanks for the mention, Brian. I appreciate it! Camping is expensive. I admit we don’t rough it often, but my father has a cabin that the entire family tries to go to once a year. No electricity, no cell phone reception. It’s fantastic! Good luck on your camping adventures.

    • The cabin sounds fun. It’s nice to get away from it all from time to time. I think many people don’t realize that the world won’t end if they don’t have cell phone reception.

  7. Brian, we LOVE camping with our kids, and you will too. That is, provided the weather is good and none of the kids eat too many s’mores. Trust me, then camping is NOT fun. 🙂 Thanks for the mention, Brian. Have a great weekend!

    • I know. We are really praying for good weather since this is our first venture. We want them to have a good experience. There are not too many things more miserable than being wet in your sleeping bag on a camping trip.


  1. […] Heavy Purse was mentioned last week by Monster Piggy Bank, Luke 1428, Matter of Life and Debt, Financial Carnival for Young Adults and Carnival of Financial […]

  2. The Weekly Personal Finance Digest – Race For the Cure Edition says:

    […] Fearless Men, Cents and Sensibility, Prairie Eco-Thrifter, The Heavy Purse, Common Cents Wealth, Luke 1428, Girl Meets Debt, Eyes on the […]

  3. […] Fearless Men, Cents and Sensibility, Prairie Eco-Thrifter, The Heavy Purse, Common Cents Wealth, Luke 1428, Girl Meets Debt, Eyes on the […]

  4. […] Frugal Farmer, Luke 1428, The Heavy Purse, Twice, Thanks Shannon!, Monster Piggy Bank, Fix Em Up Rent Em Out, I Heart […]

Speak Your Mind