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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

camping 101 with a lil one




notice the rock going into his mouth? I then dropped the camera and ran over to remove it



As promised here are a few tips I learned along the way about camping with a little one.

01. The biggest mistake we made was not bringing some kind of play pen type thing to keep Noah safe at time when one of us couldn't watch him. This resulted in me having to keep my eyes on him 100% of the time and/or wear him in the sling the whole time. Do yourself a favour and bring something so that you can put them down safely and turn your back without worrying.

02. Expect your child to want to put many things in their mouths. I can't tell you how many times I said, "no sweetie, we don't put rocks in our mouths". This is why a play pen would be a great idea.

03. Bring along a sling or carrier. If your little one is still too small to do things like hikes then bring them along in the carrier. Noah was in the sling for much of our trip and you know what, it made him happy. Our stroller hardly made any appearances

04. Definitely bring a camp stove so that you can have hot food, drinks and warm water to wash up with. Such a comfort especially on cold evenings/mornings.

05. Go with convenience and use disposable diapers....I just don't see how we could've done cloth.

06. Also on the root of convenience....canned soup and canned beans made a great meal a couple of times for us.

07. Bring extra warm clothes especially for night time. Even though the days reached mid 20s, the nights got quite cold where we were. I was so happy that I had packed lots of sweatshirts and a warm fleecy bathrobe with a hood for Noah.

08. Think about camping with others.
We didn't do this, but I think it would've made the trip much easier to have an extra set of eyes on Noah.
Just when we were starting to relax a bit and I thought about putting Noah down on the ground, I started to hear some grunting and rummaging sounds. I looked over at the dumpster not 20 feet from us and there was a black bear looking for some lunch. Luckily I HAD NOT put Noah down on the ground. I quickly but calmly walked away from the site.
It was hard to have to be 100% of the time "all eyes on Noah" but really I had no other choice. I think that if we had had traveled with some friends or family, it would've been easier on us. That way one of us could've had a break or we could've had a bit of couple time and let someone else watch Noah for a bit.
Being in the outdoors is a fun but serious activity to do. Think about safety at all times. Think about animals, even bunny rabbits and raccoons can be dangerous. Think about water safety and poisonous plants or a small child wandering off.....just make sure someone is always watching the little ones.

09. Be adventurous but be realistic.
We had a great time doing some day tripping around but for the most part we were mindful or what Noah's limits were in terms of long car rides and the types of places that we took him to.
We were able to find some great parks and even a fun petting zoo in Victoria. Look for things that are age appropriate and remember to keep in mind long distance car rides.

10. Make it memorable.
Do at least one very special thing all together that each person can be proud of and remember. For us it was a hike that we took down to Botany Beach. I felt ever so accomplished having carried Noah all the way down (using our trusty sling) and we got to do some beach combing together as a family. It was fun to collect rocks together and have a little picnic on the beach. This is one memory that I will always cherish and keep in my heart.

Hope these little facts helped, even if it just gives you an idea of what camping with a little one under the age of one is like.
In the end, I am really happy and proud that we actually camped with our little Noah. It was something that I never tought twice about, I just knew that I wanted to start doing these kinds of things with our family, even with a small child.
We are learning about camping and still have a ways to go but we plan to continue to learn about the great outdoors and hopefully instill a love for nature in Noah by giving him memories to look back on.

7 comments:

  1. I haven't been camping in YEARS! It looks so fun! Rock eating and all.

    We have a rock garden in our front yard (I say "garden", but really, not so fancy) and when the kids were babies they were constantly grabbing them and sticking them in their mouths. "NO! WE DON'T EAT ROCKS! YUCK!" is what I yelled. I wasn't quite so patient as you are, haha.

    Is that sand and dirt all over his mouth, in one of the top pictures? Well whatever it is, it sure is messy and all sorts of cute :)

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  2. Great tips! (I would love to go camping with you guys someday!!)

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  3. ooooh, yes I took my 6 yr old and 16 month old camping in July luckily I went with my sisters so I had help to watch the little one. It was insane, the toddler wanted nothing to do with the Ergo or the sling once she realised the freedom she had. We're going camping again next week, only for 2 nights...it's exhausting with little ones (though they love it!) I think we may have the same tent as you is it a Columbia?

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  4. What a wonderful list! We've done beach camping, but not true woods camping, which was easier in many ways because there weren't as many things to get into. We're hoping to do some woods camping this fall and I'm bookmarking your page!

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  5. Good tips. My husband and I love to camp and I wondered how this would work when we have children. It's great to know it's doable with a little planning.

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  6. Would love to go camping with you guys! I'm sure we can find something cool somewhere in between! xo

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  7. Oh thanks for the tips! We are camping for the first time with our kiddos in a couple of weeks and have had an ongoing debate about whether or not to bring the pack-n-play for sleeping. Of course we will need it for more than that! This is super helpful and it does make me happy that we decided to go with (experienced) friends for our first time. Your pictures are fab as always!

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