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Monday, 16 July 2012

If You Go Down In The Woods Today: Camping With Kids

The opposite of zen: five in the canoe, plus dog. 
For the past four years, my soul has been yearning for the woods.

In our years BC (Before Children) my partner and I would make at least one backcountry camping trip per year. It was always my "moment of zen."

But when our first child arrived life got a lot more complicated, and we haven't been camping since. Until now! Our oldest is five, the twins are three --and therefore listen to instructions somewhat-- and our youngest is relatively amenable, so my thoughts turned to CAMPING!

You see the vehicle? We were car-camping!
Having finished the trip and returned home to the city as a complete group, all sound in body and mind, I can say that we had a good time and I'm glad we went. I will also say that I'm glad we're not going again too soon.

A few lessons I learned from our experience:

1. Bring more clothes. Kids *love* water and mud.
2. Bring less food. Everyone's too excited to eat much.
Yep, they sure were enthralled by my nature lessons.
3. Don't plan on cooking. You can either watch the stove OR keep the kids from drowning. Hmm...
4. Just give in and roast hot dogs every night.
5. You will need a containment device. I actually brought a play-pen.
6. Marshmallows go with everything.
7. No one will sleep. Figure out a Plan B.
8. Be prepared with some low-key activities (drawing, reading).
9. Don't give your 5-year-old the camera.
10. Let go of all your expectations.

Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Yes. Do it again? ... Ask me in a couple of weeks... I'm kidding; I'm already planning our next trip.
Who's tired? Not me! 
Noooo! Don't eat those!
Important Photo Subjects for a 5-yr-old: #1 Up My Nose...
... #2 My Dog's Behind... 
... #3 My Water Gun


  1. Great tips and I am wowed that you did it! We haven't had a chance to take the girls camping, although we used to go with the dog all the time pre-kids. It is definitely on our bucket list! lovely photos.

    1. Bucket list?!? I know you may *feel* that old some days, but I assure you it's not that bad... :)

  2. Cool! How many days were you out for?

    1. Just 3 1/2 days. For our first trip, I wanted something manageable. And that was about right, as truly no one slept much. We were all pretty fried by the end.


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