Sunday, February 6, 2011

To Camp Or Not To Camp?

I want to hear from all the parents out there. . . do you go camping with babies and young children? Or do you pass on the camping tents and the campfires and the bugs and everything that goes along with it?

We never took Kirsten camping as a baby, but I decided to try it when Kirsten was 2 years old and Natalie was just 4 months old. I say *I* decided to try it because Stephen was kind of against it. He thought it would be too much work and not very enjoyable. And it was difficult, but we also had so much fun and made memories that we will never forget! And really isn't that what life is all about?

Here's Natalie on her first camping trip, at 4 months old! My gosh, she looks SO different now! Isn't it amazing how little hair she had compared to Brooke?

Some things we did that made that camping trip easier were:

1. We overpacked! We took TONS of camping gear with us and every other thing I could think of that we might possibly need, because I figured it was better to be prepared for anything.
2. We slept in two separate tents. One was for Kirsten in her pack 'n play, and the other was for Natalie and me on the air mattress.
3. Since Natalie was only 4 months old, she wasn't crawling yet and was happy to be held. I think it would be much more difficult with a crawling or newly walking baby!
4. We camped with friends. It's more fun that way, plus there are more people around to entertain the kids and help out with anything else you might need.
5. We had multiple camp stoves that we shared between a few families, which made meals very quick and easy to prepare.

Last summer we went camping again, and this time I picked an amazing campsite right on the shores of Steamboat Rock State Park in eastern Washington. The place was stunning!

The awesome thing about camping right by a lake is. . . you can play in the lake all day! The kids had such a blast digging in the sand and playing in the water, and I'd love to go camping at this exact spot again.

I realize that camping with THREE small children will be infinitely harder than it was with two, so one big question on my mind is. . . should I start looking for some campsites to reserve for this summer? What do you think?


  1. G0 - my kids are in college/grad school and I was so glad we made the effort! Now they want to still go as a family -hiking, kyaking and caving with "the parents" still! Somewhere different every year for a family camping experience!

  2. Camp - our family LOVES camping!

  3. I love the traditional camping, but now days I have been thinking about the 6 to 7 day trips of hiking and camping. I know that would not be even possible with three kids.

  4. I agree that it would be harder to camp with young children, but I think it would be well worth it! So many great memories will be created! By the way- that campsite is breathtaking! I want to go camping now!

  5. Definitely go camping! We took my daughter camping for the first time when she was around 3 months old! We LOVE going camping, and it's such a great way to bond and get away from all the electronics and other distractions.

  6. With beautiful scenery like that, how could you say no! Our family LOVES to camp! It makes for a very inexpensive but memorable vacation! We waited until our youngest was 17 months, but it sounds like you have it pretty well organized. Go for it, but stay close to home just in case it doesn't go well.

  7. We have been talking about this because we go to Soda Springs every year and our baby will only be 4 months old. I kind of worry about him freezing to death in the tent. But your experience makes me want to do it!

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