Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, June 10, 2011

Camping 101

We loaded up the kiddos and hit Elk River for a camp out last weekend. Here are some lessons learned from our first campout with little children. (For the complete syllabus, see Amy's blog).

1. The more, the merrier. Pick a fun bunch of people to camp with. Invite as many people under 5 as possible as this increases the chaos and risk of campground related injuries. (How many times can I say, "Walk, don't run, by the fire" and "Don't go next to the lake without a life jacket". In fact, I am still saying those things in my sleep).

2. So you don't lose your sanity (too much), also invite some responsible grown-ups. We selected the Kaufmans. Grandma was a campfire gourmet and spent her non-cooking time snuggling Andie.

3. Catch a fish to eat for breakfast. Noah preferred the catching to the eating, but Sam liked both. Also, bring a good-looking husband in a cowboy hat. I remember that hat from high school. Ah, memories.

4. Pack a play yard. Let me say it again: PACK A PLAY YARD. When you need to wipe a dirty kid, roast a hot dog, bandage and owie and have a 16 month old velcro'ed to your leg, you will thank me, I swear. Pop the baby in the play yard, attend to the task, and we're back to our regularly scheduled camping.

I bought this thing on clearance after pining away for one for a few years. I used to think it would be nice to have for the dogs to keep them safe on campouts. Hahahaha! The dogs. That was a lifetime ago. Poor neglected dogs. We actually left them at home.

5. Make friends with nature. Pine cones, rocks, tree boughs make wonderful toys. This is Glory with her "dog", Bingo. Don't rely solely on nature, though. We wish we would have packed a few more made-in-China plastic toys when our kids' imaginations were wearing thin and they decided mudbaths would be a good idea.

(Yes, that's my finger over the lens. It's hard to take pictures with a 16month old velcro'ed to your leg).

6. Go fishing. Bring life jackets. Bring life jackets for BOTH kids. We only brought one for Andie, so Sam ended up wearing a pink princess life jacket. Uncle Phil saved the day by also wearing a pink life jacket. We love our Uncle Phil.

7. Eat hot dogs. And marshmallows. Lots of them. We had to go back to town and buy more of each. Fortunately, this also gave us an excuse to eat ice cream at Huckleberry Heaven every day.

We ended the weekend dirty, exhausted...and ready for more camping!


Amy said...

I was overcome by a feeling of exhaustion as a I read your post. It was a little like PTSD...but still sign us up for the next camping trip.

lorettapox said...

Looks like an epic camping trip! I'm so impressed by your nerve--taking so many little ones camping. I don't know that I would be so brave! Hope you'll join us for the Selway trip on the second weekend in August.

Rae said...

Hmm, think I might nix the camping this year! :) Sounds like you all had fun, especially the mudbathers.

ChristinaLynn said...

Wish we could have been there! I'm glad you guys all had a good time. And I love that picture of Uncle Phil and Uncle Joe (?) in the boat!

Anonymous said...

Fishing at Elk river! That brings back some good memories :-)
Sounds like you had a great (but exhausting) time

Steve K. said...

Looks like a lot of work, but a lot more fun! We'll try not to be half way across the country next time!

Anonymous said...

It sure was a lot of fun!