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photo courtesy Seth and Rachel Erickson, 6/7/2018

I had the pleasure of interviewing newlyweds Seth and Rachel Erickson about their choice to go tent camping as a honeymoon excursion. Tent camping as a honeymoon experience is something that I think more couples should explore, as it presents opportunities that would otherwise not appear on a honeymoon. I have personally known Rachel for over 10 years, and have been able to meet and spend time with Seth a few times before this interview, and both are fun-loving individuals as well as a couple. They were married on June 7, 2018, and this interview took place shortly after they returned from their tent camping honeymoon. Thank you, Seth and Rachel, for sharing your experiences from your tent camping honeymoon. Let’s get to it!

Let’s establish both of your interests in tent camping. How long have each of you been tent camping in your lives?

Seth: 12 or 13 years.
Rachel: As long as I can remember. Probably since before I was born since my parents did it. Pretty much my whole life.

What other honeymoon ideas or destinations did you consider before you settled on a tent camping excursion?

Seth: We talked about perhaps taking a short little trip and then doing a honeymoon later, like around winter time. But I don’t think there was much discussion for doing anything else, really.
Rachel: I think we talked about going to a bed and breakfast for a few nights but honestly, camping just sounded the most appealing. We didn’t really have other huge things that we wanted to do, but we both love camping, so that was pretty much our first option.

Where and for how long did you go tent camping for on your honeymoon?

(There was a few moments of silence as Seth and Rachel looked at each other)
Rachel: Oh, my turn, okay (laughter). We want to Amnicon Falls State Park (in Wisconsin) for 3 nights.
TTL (The Tenting Life): As an aside, did either of you see the raging river video? (that region of Wisconsin had experienced heavy rainfall, and the Amnicon River was spilling over its banks. In the State Park, someone had captured video footage of the now raging Amnicon River and water flowing over the roads)
Rachel: Yes! Yes we did.
Seth: Glad we weren’t camping then
TTL: That was like a week or two after you were there?
Rachel: Yes, right after.

Describe the tent you used, and your choice of bedding?

Rachel: We did use a dome tent, can’t recall the brand. It could fit six. Our family of four usually fit with plenty of room in it.
Seth: Perfect for two people…and an air mattress.
Rachel: Yes, air mattress and a double sleeping bag.

Prior to this outing, had you gone tent camping together at any point?

Seth: No.
Rachel: Other than at camp when we had group tents setup, when we were counselors at camp.
Seth: Yeah, during staff training.
Rachel: But we never purposefully went out to a campsite with friends or just the two of us. Never did that.
TTL: So this was-
Rachel: So this was the first one.
TTL: -you throwing yourselves together and its like “okay, we’re just going to sink or swim, we’ll find out”.
Seth: We swam (he’s smiling)

What were the reactions you received when you told people you were going tent camping for your honeymoon?

Seth: I don’t really know to be honest. It was like “Oh, that’s different!”.
Rachel: Yeah, it was very much like “Ohhhhh…. Okay.” I had a lot of friends who were like “Yeah, I’m not into that at all, so that’s not my cup of tea, so you have fun. Enjoy that, but I would never…” And then we had a couple friends that were like “Yeah, that’d be really fun. That’s really cool, you both enjoy doing that.” But a lot of people said “Oh, that’s different,” as their first initial reaction. “That’s not very relaxing,” and we were like, yeah actually it is.
Seth: Yeah
Rachel: “It sounds like a lot of work to me, I’d rather go ‘glamping’” (laughter)
TTL: So, it sounds like it was kind of a mixed bag
Rachel: Yup
Seth: Sounds like a fair assessment
TTL: I’m always curious about that (the reactions) because it’s not the norm
Rachel: It’s really not

What activities did you do while you were tent camping?

Seth: (big laughter after being asked this question)
Rachel: We played cards
TTL: Give whatever answer you feel like.
Rachel: (laughing) He’s not answering this one!
TTL: No, he’s already answered it with the look on his face.
Rachel: I know, you can’t tell!
Seth: Well, we’re on a honeymoon, so….
TTL: Well, that’s kind of expected, so I was thinking other than that. If there was time…
Seth: (laughing more)
Rachel: We played cards.
Seth: We went to the waterfalls
Rachel: Yeah, we went on a hike a few times
Seth: And took naps
Rachel: Lots of naps! We needed to recover.
Seth: We recovered from that (wedding) week, we were wore out
Rachel: Ooo, lots of cooking. Tacos, mostly tacos.
Seth: Had to make a Walmart run or two.
Rachel: Yeah, we forgot blankets and it was really cold.
Seth: We had a sleeping bag, but…
Rachel: It was 30 degrees at night. It was a little chillier than I was expecting it to be.
Seth: Night time is freeze time.
Rachel: Yup!
TTL: Did you do any other activities?
Rachel: We budgeted.
TTL: You budgeted? Meaning?
Seth: We came up with a budget.
TTL: Really?
Rachel: Yeah, we did.
TTL: That’s kind of crazy. Not that its a bad thing, I’m just surprised to hear you say that.
Rachel: FPU! (Financial Peace University)
TTL: There you go!

photo courtesy Seth and Rachel Erickson, 6/7/2018

photo courtesy Seth and Rachel Erickson, 6/7/2018

Did either of you plan anything special for the other during your honeymoon? Did you plan anything special together to celebrate your marriage?

Seth: (after several seconds of silence) I can’t think of anything.
Rachel: I made the bed. (laughter) That was more for my own sanity. (everyone laughing now) I still did it!
TTL: That’s funny right there.
Rachel: I mean, it’s true, I had to. Couldn’t get into the bed without it made. Um…no.
TTL: And that’s okay, that’s why I asked the question. I was wondering if you might have decided to go to a nice restaurant, or anything like that. Tent camping can get kind of grimy, so…
Rachel: Well, we didn’t shower for 3 days. So, we showered once we got to the hotel in Duluth (Minnesota). So that was nice.
Seth: We thought we’d spend one night in a hotel AFTER camping. Freshen up a little bit.
Rachel: Yeah, we did THAT for the other person! And for ourselves. And then we went out to dinner!

Would you recommend other people doing this kind of honeymoon and why?

Seth: I think-
Rachel: Yes! (several seconds of silence, then looking at Seth) Your turn! (laughter)
Seth: I think it depends if they really enjoy camping.
Rachel: That’s true.
Seth: I think even if you enjoy it a little bit, I would recommend it. I think one of the reasons is you learn a lot about the other person, like skills that they have that you didn’t know that they had. Rachel learned a lot about me.
Rachel: We learned to communicate a lot on this trip. So that was really good.
TTL: That’s good!
Rachel: I just love camping so much and I’ve done it for so much of my life I would say yes. But if you’re anti-bug, anti-nature, it’s probably not going to be your favorite thing. But if you like the outdoors and you’re okay cooking over a fire and can stand a few bug bites here and there, then, yeah do it. It’s inexpensive, it’s great to be outdoors and not have to look in a mirror for a while. But it’s good, I highly recommend it.

Now that you’re back, what would you have done differently?

Seth: Longer.
TTL: Longer?
Rachel: Yup.
Seth: Probably also…
Rachel: Pack blankets?
Seth: Yup! Maybe…do two campsites and pick one that has showers.
Rachel: So you mean if we did Amnicon (Falls State Park) for a couple of nights and then go to a different one (campground).
Seth: Yeah, a different park where we could shower.
Rachel: Yeah.
Seth: Going three days was a little long.
Rachel: And it was a little too chilly to go (swimming) in the falls. I mean, we went in like knee-high, just waded in, but it was a little too cold to go full-on swimming in there. So, do that.
Seth: Firewood
Rachel: Firewood, bug spray. We have a whole list now of things we added to our camping pack. You learn by trial and error.

What did you guys cook? (this is an inside joke because for their wedding reception they had a taco bar, and there were plenty of leftovers from it)

Seth and Rachel: TACOS! (laughter)
TTL: Okay, I wondered if there was anything else that made it into the mix other than the tacos.
Seth: Some eggs.
Rachel: We did a burrito pudgie pie (order “Pie Iron Recipes” book for your next tent camping excursion!). So instead of bread we used tortillas.
Seth: I also put marshmallows and peanut butter cups in a tortilla shell for a pudgie pie. That was very good!
TTL: That sounds amazing!
Rachel: We did do a few s’mores, a few pudgie pies. Um…breakfast burritos, nighttime burritos… (laughter) tacos. Pretty much tacos.
Seth: I think I’ve eaten tacos the last… two and a half weeks straight.
Rachel: It’s true. It’s good though.
Seth: I’m not sick of them yet!
Rachel: Yeah, we really like tacos so we did a really good choice.

Any last thoughts from either of you?

Seth: Rachel found out that I’m good at making fires.
Rachel: Yeah, and I’m bad at keeping them alive. (laughter) For real.
Seth: I only left for 45 minutes and sat by the waterfalls and prayed and then came back.
Rachel: I was like yeah, I’ll cook dinner.
Seth: And I was like, where’d the fire go? Okay, I’ll rebuild it.
TTL: Did you (Rachel) come up with anything funny to explain it?
Rachel: No, I was too upset that I let it die. But it was definitely a good experience, would have made it longer. (after a second of thinking) More tarps!
TTL: More tarps?
Seth: Well, it only rained one night.
Rachel: Oh! We should have brought the pop-up tent to go around the picnic table. You know what I’m talking about, right (gesturing to the host)?
TTL: Yes, I do. (a screen tent)
Rachel: I really liked it (tent camping for the honeymoon).
Seth: I loved it. I’d go again right now.

photo courtesy Kitty Terwolbeck, 12/1/2017. Photo was taken from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittysfotos/

Wrap Up

While tent camping is not common for a honeymoon, I think it should be.  Seth and Rachel not only had a great time, but they learned about each other and want to get back out there to do more.  If you are wanting to do a honeymoon that most others aren’t doing, or you know an engaged couple who love camping, I suggest a tent camping honeymoon will be something that you’ll look back on with fond memories for years to come.

If you want to get into tent camping or take your skills to the next level and how to best outfit yourself with the right gear, check out my best-selling book “The Best Tent Camping Guide”.

Got some feedback on this topic? Do you have a unique story that prominently features tent camping? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, send me an email or share it on social media! Happy Tent Camping!

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