Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How To Survive Camping With Children

Are you planning a campout with children?  I have some tips that might come in handy.
1.  Plan for the worst case scenario.  Don't think that this won't be the night your child vomits, because it could be, especially after they fill up on roasted hot dogs, smores, etc.  I speak from experience.  Wandering around in the middle of the night looking for something for your child to throw-up in is not fun.  Neither is hearing him yell, "Ugh!  I missed!" in the tent. 
2.  Don't pack light.  My husband's philosophy for camping is to pack light.  That works fine for him, but it doesn't work well for toddlers who fall in mud puddles and have exactly one change of clothing.  Packing light can work for older children (but maybe not if they vomit or wet the bed).
3.  Bring baby wipes.  These come in really handy dealing with tree sap, dirt, food messes, and yes, vomit.
4.  Bring a portable crib.  Even if your smaller child sleeps fine on the floor, this will come in handy while you're preparing food and not wanting to worry about them getting near the fire.
5.  Bring entertainment.  Most likely, your children will be thrilled with the outdoors, but it helps to bring some toys to play with in the dirt and some books for quiet time. 
6.  Bring easy food.  Or at least easy back-up food.  If you have a lousy night of sleep, you might regret the elaborate meal you planned on cooking, followed by a difficult clean-up.  The kids will think you're awesome anyway if you give them doughnuts for breakfast.
7.  Bring a first aid kit.  You think your kids are accident prone at home?  Just wait until you have them on uneven ground with rocks, tree roots, etc.  Also, bring treatment for plants you might run into in your area like stinging nettle.  My boys all encountered it last week.
8.  Pick a site with children in mind.  You might think it's great to camp right next to a river or lake, but it becomes a worry with small children who can wander off before you know it.
9.  Expect rain.  Even if the forecast says it won't, it's good to pretend it might happen. 
10.  Bring plenty of sunscreen and bug repellant.  If you're at high elevation, use a higher SPF than you normally would.
I hope you create many wonderful memories on your camping trips this Summer. 

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