After the first disastrous camping trip three years ago, I didn’t have it in me to try for a second time. When my husband decided to give it another go I wimped out and took our not quite 2-year-old home to sleep at night. Last year I used the “I have a brain tumour” excuse (which got me out of just about everything that I didn’t want to do) and we didn’t go. This year I took one for the family, pulled up my big girl panties and went camping.
My kids have a small obsession with camping. I do not. Camping isn’t my thing. Going to the cottage or cabin is more my speed. I am a big fan of my bed, running water, electricity and flush toilets. Walls and doors are not overrated in my opinion. I like a lot of protection from mother nature and a piece of cloth between me and the elements isn’t quite enough.
I do however love my kids and I love that they use there imaginations when they play. One of their favourite things to play is camping. Sometimes this involves a couch fort, a ball tent or their teepee. Years ago I made the boys a teepee to play in and it now has a few miles on it. They have been roasting marshmallows on chop sticks over a red pillow with every camping adventure and I though that it was time to make them a campfire.
My timing could have been a little better because I finished it at midnight on Christmas Eve. I am guilty of running to the craft store on Christmas Eve to get supplies. Even among all of the store bought gifts that they received for Christmas this is what they were up to after Christmas dinner. My oldest opted for marshmallows for dessert in lieu of pecan pie so that he could try out the new camp fire.
For anyone that read my blog about our first camping experience, you might be questioning my judgement right about now. But rest assured I am a fast learner. For starters we camped 25 minutes from home at Goldstream Provincial Park which is very kid friendly, more so than Gordon Bay Provincial Park on Lake Cowichan. Stanko and Sasha headed up to set up camp while Logan napped and I finished work on Friday. Logan and I arrived once everything was setup, and Stanko was cooking dinner. After dinner we played in the playground.
Then Logan and I packed up and went home to our warm clean beds, hot showers, electricity and flush toilets. Told you I was a fast learner. If it wasn’t for the smoke detector going off at 12:30 (no fire) and my little toddler padding around the house at 2:00am, it would have been perfect.
The next day Logan and I headed up to the campsite to see how our campers made out, and to bring the many items that they had forgotten. We had a little bike ride, and then I left for a massage appointment. Now this is the type of camping I like.
After a trip to the mall for a little shopping I headed back to the camp ground in time for dinner. We ate and went for a little hike.
After our hike we roasted marshmallows over the BBQ because there was a fire ban on but what’s camping without the traditional smores. What a great camping trip! Maybe once Logan is old enough to enjoy sleeping in a tent I will be forced to once again, but until then I am loving this style of camping.
Last weekend we went camping. Camping means different things to different people, so to clarify, we drove to a campsite at a provincial park and pitched a tent. Sasha has been pretend camping for about a year, so it was time for the real thing. We were booked for 3 nights, and lasted 2. All in all quite an accomplishment. Logan at 21 months isn’t much of a camper. We brought him a playpen because he still sleeps in a crib, and it worked for naps and for bedtime but somewhere around 11pm each night he woke up screaming. He ended up in the middle of our air mattress both nights, and night two he would only sleep while being held. I should mention that he is 3′ tall and 30lbs, and without a wall to lean against holding/sleeping our “baby” didn’t work out well for any of us. On the second night it was clear that he had a cold. We had a choking incident earlier in the week that required I administer the Heimlich and call 911. So our littlest camper might have been afraid because he was having trouble breathing, or he was freaked out by sleeping in the tent, or he was cold (doubtful because he was keeping me warm) because it was freezing. Maybe not freezing but in the single digits overnight.
So this is what I learned from our camping adventure:
- A portable high chair that clamped on the picnic table was a brilliant idea to keep Logan away from the BBQ, and contained while we put up/down the tent
- Playpen was a good idea, Logan just had other sleeping plans.
- Keep a bottle in the tent so that no one is out in the middle of the night trying to find one with a flashlight, same goes for a snack
- Bring a second flashlight for when the kids break the first one
- We had “running” water using a milk jug with holes in the lid that I made before we left, it worked well.
- You can never have enough tarps, we used one under the high chair to catch-all of the food Logan dropped while eating and then fed it back to him i.e. an entire plate of food. It’s not like you can just make another burger when you don’t have one.
- Extra blankets are not a bad idea, I am still trying to get warm 4 days later or alternatively go camping when it’s warm out
- Camping in a tent is loud, so night 2 I used the Iphone white noise app to drown out the partying neighbours or alternatively camp during the week
- As you can see from one of the pics below, wearing Christmas jammies in June while camping is totally acceptable
- My husband is a very good cook at home and still is while camping 🙂
- Forget camping and buy a cottage
I was very thankful to be back home with everyone nestled in their beds, and me with a hot mug of tea that I only needed to press a button to make. Camping did make me thankful for all of the things that I take for granted everyday and a reminder that while camping is a back to the basics type of living, it’s a lot more work. I am a fan of running water, electricity and heat.