Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day weekend backyard campout - pics at twilight

We had been meaning to purchase a cheap dome tent for our family for some time now.  The last one I had was a 3-man dome tent I purchased in 1987, which my wife and I used for some years during the early years of our marriage, then it got old and smelly and more or less dry-rotten.  Finally, about a week ago, my wife picked up a Coleman Rosewood 4-person dome tent at Target at a very good price with the intent of using it on occasion for camping, but also setting it up in our back yard for our daughter to play in it. Here's a link to the tent on

Here in the States we have an annual national holiday called Memorial Day, which mainly honors military who have given their lives for their country, veterans who have passed away, or police/firefighters etc. in service of community, and the 3-day holiday weekend also unofficially starts off our summer.   This year, tomorrow, Monday May 28, is Memorial Day.   When our daughter finally discovered the still-packaged tent sitting in its bag in our garage the Friday proceeding Memorial Day,  she immediately got really excited and wanted to know when I would set up the tent.  So yesterday (Saturday),  she helped me to set up the dome tent in our back yard, which didn't take us very long at all.  We had it completed in the afternoon, but it got really hot and humid outside just like in the  Philippines (about 92 degrees F or 33 degrees C), so it was too hot for us to go inside and play since it was in the direct sun.    I promised her that we would have a little camp-out in our back yard last night, which we did.  My wife got her new camera out and documented certain highlights of our little father/daughter outing, which are shown below.   My wife decided to enjoy a quiet evening in the cool aircon of the house (with an original plan to watch a Pinoy movies, but she later decided to surf the internet and watch TV), while we explorers were outside "roughing it" in the humidity and heat and mosquitoes.

When the sun started to set, I built a little impromptu fire ring in our back yard, and gathered up some sticks to build a "tipi" style structure that would make a small but intense and well-aerated fire.  With some good kindling from dry bark, it lit up quickly and soon we had a roaring fire.

My wife wanted to mention to my readers from the Philippines and outside of the U.S. what "Smores" are, and she laid out the ingredients to show.   They're actually spelled "S'mores", which is a contraction of "some mores", as in "I want some more of those".    S'mores are a campfire dessert often made at overnight campouts for kids.   You take a graham cracker to make a top and bottom like a sandwich, then put a marshmallow on the end of a stick carved to a point with a knife (or a long metal fork) and roast it over the campfire until it is blackened on the outside and hot and gooey on the inside.  Then, the partially melted marshmallow is put between the two graham crackers,  with a piece of Hershey's chocolate  put on top of the blackened marshmallow so that the chocolate will melt.   The whole thing is eaten like a little sandwich, with the top and bottom layers being graham crackers. 

My daughter and I intended to use a little lantern inside the tent to read, but by the time we were in the tent, it was already about 10:15 PM, and we both had a very active, hot and sweaty day.   Before we knew it we were both out like a light, slumbering away in our sleeping bags.   We had a good night's sleep, as it had cooled down a bit from the hot humid day, and 3e enjoyed our little "long-distance" camping trip a few footsteps away from the house.  Here are the photos; all of which were taken by my wife before she got run off by the mosquitoes!

Bring on the night!

Gimme Shelter
Checking out the new tent... backyard camping
Coleman Rosewood tent at twilight

A quickly constructed fire ring and fire

Twilight through the trees

Burnin' like a flame

Nothing like a hot fire to warm yourself up during 91 F/ 32 C weather

The 3 ingredients for S'mores

Dome tent illuminated by fluorescent lantern

Magic lantern

Contemplating the fluorescent lantern

Soft sleeping bag - pretending to be asleep inside the tent



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