10 Things to Know for Camping with Tots

This past week was spent with R’s besties camping out in the woods and celebrating the little ladies 2nd birthday! I can’t believe she’s 2!

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A tradition Matt continued from his childhood is waking up to a room full of balloons, so even though we were camping we kept it going!

Outside of celebrating her birthday we spent lots of time enjoying the great outdoors.

Ok, so let me preface this by saying that I haven’t been camping in YEARS! I went a lot as a kid, both with family and Girl Scouts, but it was probably high school the last time I camped. This camping was “supposed” to be easier because it was in cabins. But I swear tent camping would have been easier than these cabins. It was nice to have a stove and electricity but otherwise these cabins were basically death traps waiting to happen! Okay maybe I’m over reacting a little but seriously there were nails sticking out, broken benches, ugh.

We had such a blast! But I gotta say I’m quite happy to be home. Sleeping in my own bed and having a playroom to “lock” my kid away in is pretty damn awesome. We were too ambitious, we planned on staying 7 nights, we lasted 5….barely. So here are a few things I learned while enjoying the great outdoors with the little ones:

10. Don’t Do It!
If you’re thinking of going, just don’t. Instead put up a tent in the backyard and play outside. It’s much easier

9. Wrap your Kid in Bubble Wrap
They are toddlers. They fall a lot. Enough said.

8. Don’t forget the First Aid Kit
Believe me, you’ll need it. The bubble wrap I suggested above will help but I swear you’ll still need it. Likely for yourself too. One of our mommas cut open the bottom of her foot on the first day, not a fun way to start out the trip but she was a trooper and stuck with it.

7. Man on Man Coverage versus Zone
As often as you can, try to have just as many parents as there are children, or at least older children who can help the tots. The ground is uneven, there are hills to fall down, streets to get run over on, animals to get stung by, and a million other things to mess up the kids so you need as much coverage as possible

6. Lots and Lots and Lots of Spray
Bug Spray – I swear everything bites while you’re camping. We had flies, mosquitoes, freaking everything! I hate the damn bugs. Sunscreen – apply, apply, apply! I know, applying sunscreen to toddlers usually ignites lots of screaming but imagine trying to apply sunscreen to a burnt toddler. Give yourself a chance of avoiding a crispy lobster child by applying constantly

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5. Remember, it’s Camping
That means it’s dirty. Really dirty. And toddlers attract dirt. They also really love putting dirt in shoes and then pouring it on each other and you

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4. Go During the Week
This will allow you the weekend to recover from the crazy. Originally we planned Saturday to Saturday but after 5 days we were totally done. The last day was spent sitting in the grass entertaining our kiddos in the campground laundry room. That’s right, the laundry room. But the good part is we then had Friday-Sunday to get ourselves back to some semblance of alive before the hubby had to go back to work Monday

3. Nap Isn’t Just for the Kiddos
The kid takes a nap so you should too. The sun is exhausting, it’s hot, and you deserve it. It’ll keep you ready for more beers (see below). Plus it’s a family trip (not a vacation because anything that requires you to chase toddlers and be up by 7am is NOT vacation)! The perfect time to attempt to catch up on your missing sleep

2. Bring Lots of Booze
After chasing your toddler for hours all you are going to want after bedtime is a very large cold alcoholic beverage. But don’t drink too much, you need to be prepared to wake up in the middle of the night when something “scary” wakes up your little one and then again at the crack of dawn with a tot screaming in your face for breakfast

1. HAVE FUN!
Even though we were EXHAUSTED by the end of every day, we had such an amazing time. R had SO many firsts and it was exciting watching her explore. She went on a boat, she went tubing, had lots of ice cream, played horseshoes, played tether-ball and more.  The adorable factor was on  point for 80% of the week (the rest was spent sleeping or stressing about safety). It was the longest and most fun week I’ve had in ages

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In the end it truly was a great trip but my final recommendation? Don’t plan on going for a week.  I think 2 nights tent camping would have been perfect. Next year we will still enjoy a 4th of July #bestiesweek, and R’s  birthday, at a cabin but more VRBO or AirBnB style. (We might be wimps but oh well)

Enjoy a couple nights of outdoor fun and excitement and then head home to relax for the rest of the weekend. It’s totally worth it!

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