July 2, 2017

Camping with small children: Northfork Campground

Indigo had her inaugural camping trip the first weekend of June.  The weather was wonderful, the campground empty (save for one other family), plenty of spring flora and fauna and s'mores...practically perfect.

Except the complete lack of sleep portion.

The first night, Indigo was up every 2 hrs, and James tried to be as close to Mama as possible by curling into a ball around the top of my head...yeah.  The second night I forgot to put a pull-up on him, so around 4am he wakes crying, soaking, and the tent is filled with a pungent urine smell.  Ahh, sweet bliss.  Lest I scare you off from tent camping, it usually goes so much smoother.

But there are really a few essentials that will make your camping with a baby/children so much easier.  
1.  Embrace the activity.  While my idea of a perfect camping trip involves laying quietly in a hammock by the fire, reading books, and eating s'mores and enjoying campfires with a walk beginning and ending each day...children, my children, groove less with this idea.  James needs to have an activity - he needs to be moving his big muscles, running, exploring, being loud, or throwing balls.  So we have a big full body activity in the morning and afternoon.  Yes, he ran almost the entirety of that straight stretch of road.  Lots of activity now, means tired children later. :)  Its almost my camping mantra. 
2.  Bring a ground blanket for the baby.  Seriously, do you want to be holding/strapped to/baby strapped in something for 48+ hours?  Neither does he/she.  Bring a big blanket to put out on the ground so baby can stretch, relax, and be part of the goings on outside of the tent.  This way they aren't eating too much dirt.  
3. Have an huge bouncy ball.  The cheaper, the bouncier and the more brightly colored the better.  Easy to spot if it bounces into the ferns/woods.  5 million game options - catch, kickball, volleyball, bouncing, bowling, dodgeball, throw it at the trees, kick it into the tent, the possibilities are endless here.  We scored ours for $1.00 at a local store on our way through town, and it was the only toy, besides a lovey, we had the entire weekend.

Thats it!  Those three things are huge lifesavers for us when camping.  Maybe these are common sense for you, but these three things really made camping with kiddos so much easier and more doable. And now a few gems from the weekend.
bracken fern
Cispus River
 wild lupine and bracken fern
Happy camping!

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