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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Survived! (Camping with an Infant and a Toddler)

We did it!! I'm thrilled to report that everyone survived our mini-camping trip and I'll venture to say we even had a good time. A few tips from our experience if you want to take your (little) kids along for your next camping adventure...

Bring a BIG tent. Our loaner had room for an air mattress and TWO pack-n-plays. It was seriously big. I'm pretty sure the kids slept as well as they did because it was so similar to being at home.

Pick your camp site wisely. Ours was at the far end of the campground next to the playground (clutch!) and faced the lake. We had a gorgeous view, only one set of neighbors to annoy and the white noise from the water lapping against the shore helped put everyone to sleep. Oh yes and we were a short walk away from the bathhouse. Very important when you have the newly potty-trained with you.

Make peace with dirt. Your kids will be dirty. Your tent and gear will be dirty (our kids never quite mastered taking their shoes off before coming in the tent.) You will be dirty. Get over it. This is camping. It's just a day or two and clothes and hands can be scrubbed up.

Keep meals simple. For dinner my sister pre-prepped chili, so all she had to do was throw the dutch oven on top of the fire while we were setting up camp and dinner was ready. For breakfast I made muffins ahead of time, brought bananas and cooked a big skillet of scrambled eggs in the morning. (My mom had the brilliant idea of cracking and whisking the eggs together in a gallon Ziploc ahead of time, which was key in getting breakfast served quickly.)

Make S'mores. Duh.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Sweet B has been in the habit of waking up SCREAMING at approximately 4am for the past several weeks. Here at the house we just let her cry, as she's not sick and there's really no telling why she's doing it. We crank up the white noise in our room and she quits eventually (she's silently sleeping when we wake up). We figured this might not go over well at camp, so we mentally prepared to get up with her immediately and walk her around camp. This was my privilege at 5am. And I think I handled it rather well (if I do say so myself) because I was expecting it. She fell asleep after 10 minutes of walking, so I headed back to the tent, where she woke and started screaming again as soon as I tried to lay her down. So off we went again...this time accompanied by B Daddy. It was actually quite romantic, walking in the dark early morning, holding hands and looking at the stars. The best part was the sleep I got after she went down at 6am...I think it was the soundest sleep I had all night.

Bring your Camera. I forgot mine. So the only pictures I have were these, taken on my iphone.

Do any of y'all have a camping trip planned soon? Or tips of your own to share about camping with little ones? The weather in so many places is absolutely perfect for camping right now! In fact, B Daddy and I enjoyed it so much, we're skipping a hotel one night on our upcoming long weekend away and pulling out the tent again.


  1. Great advice. As the years pass, you can tell your stories with laughter and forget the hard points. I personally love camping (my have a screw loose somewhere)


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