Happy birthday to my first camping buddy

Happy birthday today to my first camping buddy who was roughly my own age. It’s my little big sister’s birthday today, and I wish we could celebrate with a pack trip to our favorite camping spot.

Camping is usually a great time, no matter who you go with. It’s always special when it’s just you and your dad, and it can be either incredibly romantic or the exact opposite of romantic with your significant other. But camping with a sibling might be the best way possible to create those wonderful memories that stay with you the rest of your life.

That was certainly the case when both my sister and I got to go camping. Dad always made sure to plan at least one big camping trip each year, but after surviving his shortcuts that always added hours – if not days – to the trip, my mom decided she’d let the three of us have all the fun, and she opted out of all future outings.

So my dad, my sister and I got to spend loads of quality time together in the wilds of the Bridger-Teton National Forest each summer. We’d catch frogs in puddles in the trail on the way into camp; we’d catch fish in the lake that was our destination; we’d see all manner of wildlife and wildflowers on day hikes; and we formed bonds around the campfire that can never be broken.

And we had our share of mishaps, too. After all, we were camping with our dad, who is a magnet for disaster. But those challenges only served to bind us together all the more closely.

I wish I could celebrate her birthday by surprising her with a trip into the Bridger Wilderness, but then I’d probably be the master of disaster. This time of year is sketchy at best for a camping trip, unless you’re a survival expert, and neither of us are. Maybe we can take a rain check on it and go this summer. For now, happy birthday, little big sister.