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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Camping with bobblers* 101

As many of you know, my family and I just got back from a four day camping trip.  Yes, this trip included Addie and one other 10 month old-the daughter of our friends, and Addie's birthday buddy**  Traveling with bobblers-much less camping with them-is quite a different ball game than traveling alone.  There is a whole new check list that comes with being away from home with babies and young children.  I am here today to share the lessons I learned about camping with bobblers, because I feel that everyone can benefit from getting away for a week with as few stressors as possible. 

Lesson #1: Pack more than you think you need.  Seriously.  This seems to be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised.  In fact, pack more than you think you need to pack.  Usually, when camping, there isn't the time or the resources to stop and do laundry.  I packed three outfits for every day that we were camping.  I used two each day, and the third came in handy as extra layers at night.  Addie wore everything I packed for her, with the exception of two nicer onsies I was holding off as "just in case" clothes-no need to ruin the nicer clothes in the dirt!  Other than clothes, can you believe we ran out of formula?!  We had to run to the nearest town-thirty miles away-to buy a new can.  Pack more than you think you need.  I cannot stress this enough!

Lesson #2: Set up a play area with all the toys you think can withstand the dirt and possible moisture.  This will be a lifesaver!!  There is nothing worse than bored bobblers for four days straight!  This really helped wear them out after a day of hiking and being carried around.  Bobblers need to expell their energy, too!  What better way to do this than in a safe area with a few familiar toys?  They do enjoy looking at new things, too, but sometimes it's great to feel a few comforts of home.

Lesson #3: Bring shoes-even for non-walkers.  It's amazing what grass, dirt, rocks, and trees can do in the way of encouraging a 10 month old into being on their feet all day!  Not to mention the added bonuses of making it harder to pull socks off, and adding an extra layer of warmth on chilly days or evenings.

Lesson #4: Bring lots of snacks and easy-to-pack foods for children. Sandwiches, canned fruits, graham crackers, cheese cubes...all great stuff!  It's a big pain when you have a full day planned out away from a campsite with a hungry child and nothing but sit-down foods to offer.

Lesson #5:  My final tip.  RELAX!!!  Enjoy the trip.  Don't worry about everything.  I learned this week that you can't control every aspect of a child's life.  I cannot stop her from trying to eat rocks, or rolling around in the dirt, or hitting her head on the pavement.  I can try- I can try really hard- but I cannot stop everything, and after a few days, I realized I didn't really want to.  Relaxing and letting go just a little bit helped Addie to open up and thoroughly enjoy her first camping trip.
I hope this short list of tips I've compiled can help another set of nervous parents enjoy a trip outdoors.  It is truly a great feeling to know that the major parts of my life have not changed by having a child, and that-for the most part-I can still enjoy all the same things I did pre-baby.  What's even better is that now I can share them with someone new!


*Bobblers-not quite baby, not quite toddler
**Birthday Buddy-Good friends that share a birthdate

1 comment:

  1. You are a brave soul taking a little one camping. I couldn't imagine bringing Jayden camping and he's almost 18 months! Way to go mommy!... I still think you're crazy tho. haha

    -Danielle S.