When D asked me if I wanted to do anything special for my birthday I told him I wanted to go camping as a family. My family grew up camping a lot. I think it was partly because my parent’s liked camping with us and partly because it was all they could afford to do with us for years. So our summers were packed with camping on the weekends. D and I have been camping 3-4 times but it has been a few years. I really wanted to go last summer but the thought of having to get up and walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night while pregnant deterred me. We also had a really busy summer, so there really was no time for a family camping trip.
I was a bit nervous about camping with Millie but really excited. I did a lot of reading on other blogs about suggestions what to pack when taking a baby camping and how to entertain them. We picked a weekend, organized our gear all week and packed up the car Saturday morning. The car was packed to the brim. I told D I wanted to just throw my rain boots in before we left and he said “That is easier said than done.” Not a spare inch. AND when we got there we realized we left several things at home we needed (our lunch for both days, bug spray and our cast iron skillet). Whoops. The weather was also calling for rain.
Despite all the setbacks we had a wonderful time and it really couldn’t go more smoothly. The campground we stayed at was really nice (It was a state park campground) and our site was perfect. It even had 2 wooden platforms to put the tents on, which was a huge plus considering it poured down rain all night long (not till after we got to bed though).
So how did we do it?
We picked a campground less than 2 hours away and decided to plan on leaving right before her morning nap so she would nap in the car. Which she did, which made the drive much more enjoyable.
We packed her pack’n'play and used it a lot! When we arrived we set it up outside so she could safely watch us set up camp. I was a bit nervous because we never really make her play in there at home. But I think the novelty of being outside in a new place made it very exciting and she was really happy to sit in there and play while watching us.
We took a short hike (about 3 miles I Think) and we planned that around her second nap. She napped really well in the Kelty carrier, until D stepped on some really crunchy leaves and woke her up… I really would have liked to climb the mountain, but she is HEAVY and we are both severely out of shape these days. Maybe next time.
She slept in the pack’n'play in our tent and we put some blankets on the side so if she woke up she wouldn’t see us and get excited. I thought about just co-sleeping with her, but since we don’t normally do that I knew it would make for a really long night. She gets really excited when she sees us in the night and wants to play. The rain did wake her up at one point and we had to console her and get her back to sleep, but then she ended up sleeping later than normal (till almost 7) which made up for the lost time.
We dressed her in lots of layers and luckily the temperature didn’t drop that much at night. I think the low was around 60. We both woke up several times to check her temperature, and were a tad bit paranoid of her getting too cold, but she seemed fine all night.
It was a really quick trip, we were gone from our house a little over 24 hours, but it was perfect and I can’t wait for many more camping trips in our future. It got D and I really excited about passing on our family traditions of camping to our kids. We both have so many fond memories of camping with our families growing up.