Gay Dad Life

A Gay Family Goes Glamping

Glamping: shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.

"I ain't sleepin' in no tent! For real, I'm goin' glamping!” – Urban Dictionary

Time flies when you’re having fun…

Wait, I should say time just flies – two weeks turn into a month and a month turns into a year and so on.

Philip and I recently realized how fast Jacob is growing up! It’s funny, people we don’t see much ask us, “Where is that baby?”  “Um, he’s a kid now and is in daycare.” I think they see us as we were a few years ago, as if time stood still and Jacob was still a newborn. It makes us realize that we are so busy, if we don’t take the time with our son now, he will be off to college with no memories of adventures with his two dads.

Back in April, I happened to see a used camper for sale on Facebook, and I showed Philip. “This is what we need to get away from it all without going far,” I said.

“Yes,” Philip said. “I think it would be good for us to get the hell out of here on the weekends.”

So we started researching campers, went down to Denver a couple of times to look at campers, and discussed what we liked and disliked. There were so many models to choose from, and I had no idea. After looking at pop-ups and not liking the idea of the setup and the canvas sides, we decided on a hard-shell camper. Living in the Colorado Rockies, we need to factor in the weather, always.

Philip did tons of research online and found the perfect camper for our family: a Jayco JayFeather Ultralite X213. Talk about glamping!

This model comes with a king-size bed that slides out the back of the camper (we, of course, upgraded the mattress to memory foam), bunkbeds for Jacob, a full kitchen with an oven and microwave, a bathroom, a couch, a dinette table, a small television so Jacob can watch “Frozen” in the woods, and an indoor/outdoor radio!

Once it was delivered, I couldn’t wait until Jacob got home from daycare to show him the camper! But, to my dismay, he hated it! Each time we took him in it, he freaked out and acted like he was locked in a jail cell. As soon as we shut the door, he screamed and cried and wanted out. This was not good – we made this investment for our family, and now our son wants no part of it?


Our first weekend out was Memorial Day Weekend. We scouted what we thought was the perfect spot and, after setting up, realized it was a parking area for a trailhead. The dogs were running all over, and Jacob kept running towards the road. With continuous rain, our perfect spot, being in a hole, quickly became all mud, with the addition of deer poo and trash. Philip was stressed trying to figure out how everything worked, since it was our first time out.

Just then, a lady with attitude pulled up with her dog – of course, our dogs went nuts. After that, a mountain biker rode right through our camp spot. We looked at each other with frustration. This was not a good first experience. What had we done? We’d invested in something we might not ever use! I have to admit that after four hours of being wet and discouraged, we packed up and went home! At least we were only 20 minutes from home.


Another week went by, and we decided to be brave and give it another try. This time we ventured to a United States Forest Service campground in the Lake Granby area called Stillwater campground. At least we would have a spot that was ours, and our neighbors would be respectful of our area and we of theirs.

We get there and, I have to say, it was nice! We had 360-degree views all around, overlooking Lake Granby. We had hook-ups for water and electricity. The dogs were tied up but had plenty of room to roam, and Jacob even had a sandy area to play! We were finally able to relax a little. We came home that Sunday, and I really felt like we had gotten away from the daily grind and had our family time.

Since then, we have been out every weekend, for a total of five times, camping at campgrounds and dry camping, also known as boondocking. Dry camping or boondocking is camping somewhere without amenities. It has been an adventure – deciding where we will go and what meals we will make and just enjoying the great outdoors with each other. Two weekends ago, I was even able to camp, go down to pride fest in Denver that Saturday to volunteer for a Foster/Adopt booth, and make it back that evening to enjoy another night of camping with the family and a couple of our good friends!

It has been a joy to watch Jacob grow through our camping adventures and create memories that we would not have if we didn’t make an effort. It is not easy being busy all week and then plan on going out Friday night through Sunday, but it’s well worth the effort! Once we get to our spot and settle in, we realize it is worth it!

Jacob has overcome his fear of the camper, and sometimes we can’t keep him out of it! It’s even hard to get him to take a nap while we are camping because he is having a blast! Around 8 or 9 pm, Daddies are more than ready for him to be in bed, and it’s time for us to relax by the fire!

Over the fourth of July we are going to visit family in Nebraska, which is great, but I’m looking forward to several more weekends of glamping together. 

For more stories on foster-adopt:

Adopting 10 Kids Through Foster Care

Alec Mapa & Jaime Hebert: Fame, Family & Foster Care

Finding Life: A Documentary About Building Family Through Foster Care


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