The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, October 10, 2011

Camping 101

This past weekend we went on our annual family camping trip.  It was a memorable experience to say the least!  Here are ten things you should know when taking a camping trip with toddlers.

1.  God made dirt.  Dirt don't hurt.

This summer was particularly hot and dry, resulting in the dirtiest camping experience ever.  Molly was tripping over rocks and tree roots and.....okay, she tripped over everything.  In the process she became one dirty child.  She was covered in dirt pretty much all day, every day during our trip.  Belle wasn't quite as bad, but she got pretty dirty also.  I had to surrender to the fact that they were going to get VERY dirty on this trip.

2.  When an airbed gets a hole the size of your finger at three in the morning, everyone will wake up.  It will not be easy to get back to sleep after that.  Perhaps having a backup airbed would be a good idea!

3.  This is more for pregnant people than people with children, but when said airbed gets a hole, and you have no backup bed, sleeping on the ground produces very sore hips.  (Children don't know the difference between the bed and the ground though, so don't worry about the kids.)

4.  Bring lots of helpers.

Having lots of extra hands can allow you to not be taking care of children the entire time you are camping. 

5.  No matter how horrible something might seem at the time, kids only remember the good stuff.  My example:  Belle and Molly were so filthy that I thought taking them to the showers to wash them off was a great idea.  They screamed and cried like someone was torturing them.  It seemed very traumatic at the time.  I am assuming that since Isabelle has already asked to go camping again it didn't scar her for life.

6.  Bring lots of donuts.

Molly asking for more donuts.

Belle posing with her donuts!
On the morning we are packing up to come home we usually bring donuts for breakfast.  They are fast and easy and don't require any dishes or clean up.  Molly put entire donuts in her mouth and after six!!! (mini donuts) she still wanted more. 

7.  Taking good family pics is hard. 

I suppose this is true for all of life and not just camping, however when camping you feel you should capture a moment with everyone looking like they are having a GREAT time.  Not going to happen.  Check out the kids faces.  Not really the portrait of sheer bliss.  We were on a nature walk, and they were having fun, just doesn't come across in the picture.  Oh well.

8.  Bring food that everyone will eat.  My kids are picky eaters.  I should have planned better for mealtimes.  Instead I planned normal camping food.  Lucky for me we had pb&j also.  I am pretty sure Belle had a sandwich for lunch and dinner two days in a row.

9.  Relax.  Camping is supposed to be fun, right?  Who cares if the kids eat a few more cookies than normal, or cheese for breakfast, or miss their normal nap time?  Try to be more relaxed than I am and go with the flow.  I am working on it, but it is a slow process.  Go to the playground, let them play in the water, get dirty, and don't freak out if something doesn't go exactly right.

10.  Keep your trip to a reasonable length.  We go for two nights and with both girls that is a perfect amount of time.  Any longer would not be fun and any shorter would be a waste of energy!  Maybe someday when they are older I will brave a longer camping trip, but for now the close to home, short trips are best!

We had a pretty good time overall!  This time was better than last time and that has to be a good sign, right?  I will probably avoid camping while preggers in the future, but otherwise I am glad we are getting our kids into the camping tradition early.  They love it and it is good to get away from it all once in awhile.

Do you camp with your kiddos?  What tips do you have to make the trip more enjoyable?


  1. "God made dirt, dirt don't hurt!" I love it!! Looks like a fun time. I cannot believe you did it, with toddlers and a fetus - God bless you!

  2. love the dirty kiddos and the shower, sounds like Roxy every. SINGLE. TIME I wash her hair. It's always so dramatic. Seriously.