June 23, 2016

Camping with Kids

The first heat wave of Summer smacked us in the face last week. 
Temperatures were well into the 100s.

My kids like dirt.
Welcome to camping season 2016.

Our family started camping years ago as a way to celebrate my husband's birthday. That first camping trip was a surprise for him, so I put the responsibility for planning the trip all onto myself, my infant son, and toddler daughter. I employed my hiker/camper/backpacker/explorer brother for advice. My second source of information was Pinterest.

After multiple phone conversations and many, many pins, I felt ready to take my family into the forest for a weekend of fun.

Not the forest, but a view of the Watchman in Zion National Park

Our first camping trip was awesome. Our kids (who spend most of their time playing in our condo) needed unlimited access to dirt and bugs and all things kids. My husband needed a 'no signal' message on his work phone.

We not only survived, we thrived. Camping is now a family tradition and our main source of vacation adventure.

Toddler backpacks are amazing.

Camping was made very accessible by our local REI. We rented tents, sleeping pads, and stoves until we were committed to purchasing our own. The employees there were always helpful, friendly, and encouraging. We quickly hit an REI Garage Sale and purchased our own camping palace: The Kingdom 8. We set up our tent for the first time in their parking lot, with an employee providing direction whenever we strayed.

See that stuff pocket way at the top?
It's perfect for keeping things away from the kids.

I love sharing our camping adventures with friends. The most common questions I get asked is: Isn't that A LOT of work? Wouldn't it be easier to go without the kids? Is it safe to bring a baby camping? Do you sleep in a tent?

Did I mention she likes dirt?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. AND it's worth it. My kids are growing up in a virtual, touch screen world. Camping for a weekend gives them a needed break from screens and a much needed dose of dirt. 
Our next adventure is Sequoia/Kings Canyon,.

Add string lights for ease of nighttime stuff searching.

Let's Go Camping.