I love camping. My husband loves camping. But, we have only been camping together a handful of times. I'm not sure why we didn't do it more when we were kid-less, but I can now appreciate why we haven't done it more as our family has grown. And yet, we vow to go more often. As in, we just got back, and we are planning another in about 3 weeks. That seems a ways off, but we have had a full summer, and I know it will be here before we know it. And this time, we are going alone.
Ok, maybe not totally alone. We hope some friends will join us, we just aren't planning on organizing anyone but us four.
But, I figured I should write out now what I learned on this last trip to make things easier on the next. I made a few rookie mistakes, but also planned very well in other aspects.
We went with my family: Mom, Tante and her boyfriend, and my mom's husband and his daughter. (Yes, there is a distinction between that and step-dad and step-sister. There isn't a point in explaining it here, as I hope as we all grow older and wiser we can eliminate that seperation. We just aren't there quite yet.) They brought the boat and we visited a beautiful area on Baker Lake. My mom's husband planned most of the food (I filled in for our food restrictions, but he mostly had it covered) and that was great to not have to plan, or cook all of it. Or any really: he precooked a LOT of meat, so it was ready and delicious with very little time spent.
Now, my list of things to remember:
1. Kids need things to DO or they will find something, including getting into trouble. We spent much of our time keeping L1 from running off to the lake to throw rocks in the water. I need to remember to bring things for him to do in camp. Snacks he can help make, cars to drive in the dirt, crafty things to utilize the amazing surroundings.
2. Non-walkers who are almost walkers HATE not being able to roam. L2 outgrew his shoes AS WE LEFT (I swear!) so we spent a lot of time keeping him off the ground. I don't mind the getting dirty part, just the scraped feet and knees. I need to pack better, so he can explore safely.
3. Pack tons of diapers. Then double it. I carefully packed the number of cloth diapers we would normally use, and all of our covers. So, of course, the boys changed their habits and we ran short.
4. Be ready to not do any of the things you planned. I didn't get out on the boat once. But, I did get to take long naps and read an entire book. A real one, with chapters and no pictures.
What I did RIGHT!:
1. Don't count on sleeping bags. We used some oversized ones opened and spread out. I brought pillows and blankets a plenty to keep us warm in as close to our family bed style as normal. It was great. I have never been so warm and comfy camping as I was will little bodies all around. And I knew they were safe and warm with me.
2. Bring a variety of clothes, as you never know what the weather will do. I had warm jackets, sweaters, lined pants and shorts. And more than one pair of shoes for everyone. Well, except L2. Sorry baby!
3. Babywearing. Always a must, no matter where we travel or what we are doing. Even L1 spent some time on daddy when he was tired and overwhelmed.
4. Bring good bug spray. With L2 being so sensitive to, well, everything, this could have been a hard one. Good thing I already had a trusted skincare product provider My Mama's Love, and she just introduced Bug-Off-Me, so I picked some up knowing that if her daughter's skin was ok with it, so would L2's and that her products are the best quality and they WORK! (I'm not affiliated with them, I just love-love-love every product I have ever tried and am quick to tell anyone who asks.) Now, I just have to wait for them to put out a sunscreen!
Overall, it was a very fun, but trying weekend. I really need to start realizing that if something isn't working it is usually my attitude that needs to be addressed first. Can't wait to get our family out again!