Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camping With Little Ones

My husband and i have been camping for year now.  I camped right up until the week before Jonathan was born and we have been determined to keep at it every year since.

Camping is still a lot of fun in our house.  Granted that things are different now that we have a little one (and arguably a little more challenging); however its a family tradition that we feel is an important one that we'd like to keep up in our house.  So here is some information on how we do it!

Tip #1 -- Plan in advance!

We camp on long weekend in order to maximize the vacation time my husband gets off of work.  Long weekends tend to be very busy but also a lot of fun!   So for this reason you will find me booking for July long weekend camping in January and for August long weekend in February.   Its hard in the depths of winter to be thinking about your summer plans; but its a must if you want to make your life easy and your site!  Mark the date in your calendars and set it up to recur each year to remind you!  You won't be disappointed.

Note that we only camp at Ontario Parks and that their policy is to release camp sites 6 months prior to your check in date for reservations; thus the reason for us booking as early as January :)

Tip #2 -- Be Smart about where you camp!

Long car trips + tired mommy and daddy needing a holiday + cranky toddler DOES NOT equal a good start to a camping trip :)  For this reason; we try and stick really close for our camping trips.  Our favourite while I was pregnant and even now that we have little ones is Sibbalds Point.   For us who live in Newmarket, its only a 40 minute drive away; however its on beautiful lake Simcoe and we feel like we are in the Muskoka's (without having to drive 3+ hours!). 

Ontario Parks I prefer as they are equipped with flushing toilets, running water stations and showers which are a must for us!   We like to rough it up but not that rough :)

Tip #3 -- Make a List... and check it TWICE (or three or four times)  ;)

A lot of stuff is required to camp.  Especially with little ones.  Each year my husband and I squabble over how we manage to fill our full size truck for a 4 day camping trip!  But we do!  What are we going to do when we have 2 kids we always wonder?

To make it easier on us over the years; I slowly created "camping bins".  These are 2-3 CLEAR Rubbermaid-type large bins that have dedicated camping things in them. i.e. misc. kitchen utensils, gadgets, sunblock, beach items, etc.    I slowly created these bins with old items from my kitchen and home that I replaced with new items so that I don't have to raid my homes "good stuff" each time we go away. This has been our saving grace!   Highly suggest that if you plan to camp regularly (yearly) with your family that you create such bins.

I also have devised what I like to call "the best ever camping list!".   You can get a copy of it here.   Follow this list and you won't forget anything you need to camp!   **you may wish; however; to customize it for your family**   Save it on your computer, update it each year you go with things you'd like to add / change and check off each and every items before you leave the house.

Jonathan Playing In The Sand @ The Beach
 *SPF bathing Suites come in really hand!!  Also sand toys!

Daddy providing for his family by cooking up a campfire meal :)

Mommy Sporting his nursing canopy while camping!  How easy it was when everything I needed to care for my child was attached right to me :)  lol

Family Camping Trip

More Fun At the Beach.   This is one way to keep the kids still :)

Family camping Trip Hike.  Jonathan chooses to take a nap instead :)

Camping Bellies :)   *left* --> Daddy's belly contains beer.   *right* Mommy's belly contains a baby who was delivered 1 week after this camping trip!  YES YOU CAN CAMP WHILE VERY VERY PREGNANT.  I did :)

Best thing about camping while pregnant --> all the FOOD!  And I got to go first!

There is lots more to consider when camping. This is just to get you started!  Share your ideas and tips too!