We generally like fresh air, sunshine, love outdoors, park and nature. So it is natural that we should try out camping We have done camping occasionally, but not enough to be called expert by any means. R and P love outdoors and nature like most kids and we thought we should be brave enough to try camping with 2 kids, now that P is over 1 year! Here is our wisdom and lessons learned from our recent camping trip in early August.
After having kids, we thought to try out camping about an hour drive from where we live, close enough to drive back home just in case of kids emergency. We thought one night was good enough to start with with 2 little ones. It was long overhaul for just one day and we learned a few things or two that we had not thought of. I thought of sharing our humorous experience and lesson here; If you are novice like me, you will learn and if you are expert campers, you already know this and give me lot of tips to make our national lampoon’s type camping to better one. Either case, this will provide you with some entertainment and laugh.
You can not be minimalist camper with family.
You will have to carry everything you need with you including kitchen sink plus more. I am sure some single guy will prove me wrong here, by saying they can camp with just one backpack. I will tell them to wait until they are married with kids and then tell me how much stuff those little ones seem to be need.
As a family with 2 kids, we need so many things, yes I said NEED these stuff. Those of you with kids will know, we parents will do anything, even give kid a candy if that mean having 10 minutes to drink tea in peace.
Here are some of the break down of typical stuff a family with kids need/want to take;
- Tent large enough to fit family plus all crap that we bring
- Bedding, pillows, blankets, jackets
- Tarps for undercover, door mat to keep dirt away from tent (even though it will not work)
- Clean and fresh water for cooking, drinking (Take more then you think you need)
- Milk/soy milk, Tea/coffee/sugar, salt, spices, fruits, vegetables, knife, cutting board,
- Can opener, Serving and Stirring Utensils, plates, cups, spoons, fork etc, Pots, Pans
- Cleaning liquid soap, washing soap, shampoo, towels, clothes, extra towels, swim suit
- Extra clothes, hiking shoes, regular slipper, torch, lantern, extra batteries
- Snacks, ice, other cooking supply, cooler1 and cooler 2
- Insect and mosquito cream, camera, video, extra batteries, radio,CD player
- books, fire logs, fire starter, camping folding chair, folding table,
- extra table to keep huge food supply you brought with you for 10 people, even though you are only 4 people.
- Extra papers, drawing supply to draw wild life which you will not get a chance to touch because your 1 year old is running around keeping you too busy to even eat.
- Bring cell phone, laptop just in case you want to check on your blog comment, which no one cares to read during weekend anyways.
- Toys, stuffed bears and loveys for kids as they will not sleep without it.
- Kids diapers, back up stuff for kids plan A through back up stuff to plan F.
- You need a huge extra caravan to fit it all.
- You need a day to pack it all and one day to unpack it all.
- Extra cash, just in case you forgot to pack something important
- ATM card just in case you forgot to pack enough cash
- Little bit sanity (which you find only after coming home for 4 days)
After you come back from your camping your own house/apartment will look luxury hotel.
- After using those coin shower that gives you 2 minutes of extra hot water for 25 cents, you will know luxury when you use your own hot water in your bathroom and do not have to worry about time running out.
- You bathroom is not wet all over and you can change your and your kids clothes without getting them wet.
- You will feel your bathroom is 5 star hotel after using camping toilets
- You do not need to wait in line at morning rush, you can be king or queen
- You do not need to worry about insect biting you inside your home
- You actually have a plenty supply of water whenever you need, not worrying about water or ice running out
- You do not need to worry about batteries running out and actually enjoy listening to music without time limit
- You are not living off suitcases/bags to find stuff
- You do not need to clean and put away things right away, you can let dishes sit in sink for hour or two.
- you will not to dress up on layers clothes as temperature changes outside.
Surprising things that I would have never guessed before camping;
- You will need a jackets and fire to warm you at night, in middle of hot summer.
- We do not know how to protect and survive if bear is outside the tent, no bear are not cute as teddy bears always.
- You will need more water and ice supply than you can imagine
- Without city lights, and night light, how dark it could be at night, pitch black.
- Your tent walls are not thick enough, so you will get to hear all sounds, such as cricket, animals (if any), someone walking by (night restroom use) or next tent snoring, your own kids crying and waking others in near by area, it is all fun and embarrassing sort of way.
When you come back and takes you whole day to unpack and 2 days more to recharge, you will swear you will never go camping again. Then you see all these wonderful pictures and friends call you and you think why not? It was not so bad. We can improve and have fun. So the vicious circle of camping adventure starts again.
Lesson here is that do not worry about learning any wisdom from here, just go out and have fun, camping, cabin, hotels, motels, vacations or staycations. Summer is meant to be enjoyed, so we are going to go again. Only this time we are prepared to know that no one should sleep close to our tent, until little P learns to sleep through the night or we have a silencer on our tent.
Did you enjoy this story? This is real account of our recent camping and we have gained no wisdom what so ever. We are planning to do it again!
Your Turn: How is your camping experience?
Image Source: Johnson outdoors