Camping with Chronic Pain

We spent last weekend up north, camping on Matt’s family property with friends. It was supposed to rain the whole time, but miraculously the weather held out, and we only got a little rain early Saturday morning.

It was so much fun, even if I was the main course for black flies and mosquitos all weekend. Seriously, they feasted on me–even holding one of those mosquito coils didn’t deter them from snacking on my blood.

Still, nothing beats falling asleep to the sounds of loons and bull frogs.

But camping when you have a chronic pain disorder isn’t always, well, easy. Even if the weather improves and is great all weekend. I’m not very good at camp set up or take down, but I’m proficient at meal prep and packing. So my job is always meal prep and packing.

We need a hell of a lot of gear to get through a two night camping trip, and I almost cried when I realized we forgot the new sleeping cots (raised, so that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground. The elevation is easier on my ribs). Luckily, Matt’s dad had a spare cot that I was able to borrow.

We swam in the lake, fished, went for ATV and buggie rides, made s’mores and banana boats, stayed up way too late and none of us wanted to leave. I’m already counting the days down to our next trip!

But man, did my body ever take a beating! I’m covered in bruises. My legs got the worst of it, and I can’t even remember exactly what happened to cause such damage on my poor body.

As such, I’ve spent the last several days nursing my aching body.

I’ve been asked before by people who want to know why I bother “putting myself” through the agony of a camping trip, knowing full well the days of recovery will be brutal.

But views like this make it more than worth the pain to me. Seeing my kids appreciate nature is worth the additional days of slow movement and aches.


If you get a chance to visit Ontario, I definitely recommend checking out the rustic Muskoka region. It’s just north of Toronto, and the sunsets there are out of this world.

There’s plenty of great parks–like Killbear Provincial Park, a dog friendly camping site in Parry Sound.

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