We’re in the final stretch of our Camping FAIL Contest. We want you to send us stories and photos. We’ll pick a random entry to win two camping chairs, a lantern and a Lodge-brand dutch oven from Washington Hardware and Furniture in Kennewick to use on your next trip (which will hopefully not be a FAIL). The winner will be announced June 4. Standard contest rules apply.


Here are stories we got over the weekend!

We left last Wednesday to Twin Lakes, WA. We left eight hours late so a bad start to a bad weekend. Heater didn’t work on our tent trailer and we had a 9 month old with us. It rained, hailed and was windy and cold. We’re talking 29 degrees for lows. Fishing sucked. I rolled my ankle the first full day we were there. The the rest of the family got up there and brought drama and fighting so we left Sunday instead of Monday. Tribal police were ashore. And from Fort Spokane to Ritzville we followed a semi truck so it took 3.5 hours instead of 1.25 hours. So 3 miles from Pasco last night at 11 pm the tent trailer’s tire blew out we almost wreck. Thank God we had a spare. I broke a knuckle changing it. Should have just stayed home. This pic is the only nice thing about the trip: double rainbow and we could see the end of both.

Wow! We pulled in to our camp spot at Driftwood Campground up on the north fork of the John Day and this boxer comes out of nowhere and bites my son’s friend! Poor kid! We are at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton right now getting him treated.

My husband and I thought it would be great to go camping in our motor home with his two oldest boys and their families. Boy, were we wrong. The boys argued the whole time. The oldest stepson, his pregnant girlfriend and his daughter all had colds. The middle stepson, his wife, and their two boys came along with an unexpected surprise. My husband’s ex-wife “just happened to be in the neighborhood” (mind you she lived in Tacoma and we were at Packwood) and wanted to drop off birthday presents for the grandchildren MacKenzie and Jacob. The kids were fighting over the toys and the ex-wife finally left. It seemed like a dam burst as it was raining so hard that it collapsed the kid’s tent. After we got the tent up and finished eating dinner we all decided it was time to sleep. Trying to sleep was crazy as oldest stepson can snore while he is awake and his girlfriend had a hacking cough so, I felt like I was sleeping in wild kingdom with a grizzly bear and a seal. After about 2 am I finally start to fall asleep only to be woke by the sound of “Welcome to Home Depot *Grrrrrr*” — the sound of the toy being left out in the rain and going crazy. I got out of bed and brought the toy into the motor home as it gave up it’s last “Welcome to Home Depot.” The following morning we all decided to go home as none of us were having much fun. As we left the park my husband turned to me and said, “No more camping with the kids,” as this was the worst camping trip either one of us had been on. Whenever he thinks about camping with the boys I bring up, “Do you remember the camping trip from hell?”


One bad camping trip many years ago: we had friends over from Seattle area; it was a 4th of July weekend so we decided that the four of us would meet up with other friends at the Palisades, which is between Ephrata and Wenatchee. It is a dry canyon but has a great creek that runs through with good swim areas. Well, needless to say, a guy from Seattle is not used to such dry ground and was tossing firecrackers towards the roadside. Within about three tosses it started a fire and the wind was blowing straight up the canyon packed with other people camping. We tried to warn him but it was too late. We all ran to the creek with anything that would carry water, and started throwing it at the fire; we finally got it out after it burned an area about 30 yards in diameter. Oh, I forgot to mention I was 9 months pregnant! My husband and I were on a motorcycle and I had my son two days later. I guess that’s one way to get that baby out of you in a hurry!


For three days it was: “Can we play with the hammock?” Followed by “NO.” On the fourth day they wore us down,

so we said, Yes, you may play on the hammock, just don’t do anything to ruin it:


We went camping a few years ago at Tucannon. My husband wanted to go hunting, and thought we should come along too. At the time, our two oldest were 3 and 18 months and my husband had just broke his foot.

When we went it was mid May and the rain was pouring down, and it was so cold! We could barely get a fire going most of the time! It was so cold, our kids slept in their snowsuits! Our water froze, and the kids had to sit in the tent because of all the rain and mud.

The second day, my husband went hunting… and came across a snake. He took off, shotgun in hand. He jumped and stumbled down a steep incline. He got back to camp, and told me his story. All I could do was laugh and ask him why didn’t he use his shotgun. “I wasn’t thinking, I just jumped.”

I don’t think we’ll go back, unless it’s during warm weather.


About five or six years ago when we went camping and the weather decided to pour down on us for about three days. The people we were camping with decided to dig a trench around the canopies we put up so we wouldn’t get flooded. Well that all backfired. Everything was wet. Our old RV we had leaked and my poor son had the top bunk and got his sleeping bag all wet. To top that off my husband left out helmets for our ATV in the rain and they got filled up with water along with the gloves and goggles. We had mud puddles everywhere, so when it finally stopped raining we did some mud bogging with our ATVs.

My in-laws tried for years to get my husband and I to attend their annual family reunion. I detest camping but begrudgingly agreed to go with them, including not just my in-laws, but two sets of grandparents, two sets of aunts and uncles and seven kids. My own kids were 18 months and 3 years of age. One aunt continually complained that I let my kids get dirty and the prearranged menu went out the window because meat thawed at different rates causing heated discussions. Rotting fish was strategically placed around the campsite to keep the yellow jackets away. Several days into the trip, we went into town and bought a few groceries, including salami lunch meat. That night I found myself running to the outhouse frequently. Soon after, my husband was racing me. The next morning, grandma was sick, too. The only thing we had eaten in common was the salami. My husband and I packed up the kids and headed home, only to stop every 20 minutes or so to throw up. Nine hours later we made it home. I ended up in the hospital with severe hydration. My husband should have been hospitalized, too, but stayed home to take care of the kids. Now, fast forward to the next family reunion. This time we camped near a beach, but we stayed in a single wide mobile home. (Now that’s my idea of camping!) Several days later my husband and father-in-law had food poisoning from an oyster. It was a number of years later before I went to a family reunion again.