5 Camping Lessons I Learned By Visiting Disney World

by Andy Amick on October 25, 2011

in Bikepacking, Cycling, Personal

My family and I just got back from our first trip to Disney World.  There is not anything that is simple, practical, biking, or camping related about the trip, but somehow they convinced me to spend 6 days in the “happiest” place on Earth.  We did have fun, and as usual, I still managed to relate anything in life to camping and biking.


Here now are my top 5 lessons I learned while on the trip:


5. Cold hands are much worse than cold feet.  It rained all day for the first two days of our trip.  We were soaked from head to toe and had to dry out our shoes on the hotel heater each night.  Spending two days being soaked made me realize I don’t mind having wet feet (especially when wearing my Smartwool socks) as long as I don’t have wet and cold hands.  A micro towel or a few towel tablets to dry off my hands will definitely be on my gear list for the next outdoor trip.

4. Kids can walk farther than you think, especially when it’s their goal they want to reach.  We were at the park for over 12 hours each day and my kids walked everywhere I walked.  Only at the very end of the night did I have to give them a “free ride” on the way out of the park.  My kids are young, but they easily covered several miles each day without complaint.  Now, I need to get them out on the trail and somehow find a goal THEY want to reach so we can have some nice hikes.

3. Ponchos are cool and functional.  Good thing I value function over form.  I’ve used ponchos from time to time, but never for 2 days straight.  The poncho worked great (if you can forget the outrageous price Disney charged for the thin plastic) and it provided enough ventilation to prevent me from being overheated.  I may have to break out my poncho/tarp combo and investigate how to incorporate it into more trips.  The poncho doesn’t translate well to biking, but for a hiking trip, it may be more useful than a rain jacket and pants particularly when you consider that the poncho can be put over your pack to keep it dry.

2. Have fun regardless of weather.  You can’t change the weather so you might as well enjoy the moment regardless of the weather.  On the first day, we were all kind of grumpy (Snow White pun intended) at the weather.  But once we got soaked, accepted being wet, we realized it was a blessing in disguise.  The parks were almost deserted and the longest line we waited in was 10 minutes.  That’s great news and a welcomed tradeoff for a guy that doesn’t enjoy the crowds.


This leads into my #1 camping lesson learned while at Disney World.


1. No real big surprise here, but I prefer being in the woods with less crowds.  All in all, we had a great vacation and my family is still talking about the trip.  I on the other hand, could only take so much of the Disney magic.  Disney does a fantastic job creating the illusion of another world, but I much prefer the natural world and it’s beauty.  Maybe next year, the family will agree with me and we’ll head to Yellowstone or Moab for a week.  A guy can at least dream, can’t he?


There you have it.  A Disney World trip morphed into camping lessons.  Crazy yes, but my camping/biking glasses are always on and always view the world just a little be different than most people.


About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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