Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby + Camping = Success!

I have always loved camping. Camping in a tent, camping in a trailer, in the forest or the desert - for a party or as a quiet chance to reconnect with nature. Hell, I’ve even been a summer camp counselor, taking children into the forest for money. I freaking love camping.
Des was born in November and I knew immediately that we would be taking him camping as soon as we had the chance. Not only do we have a few weddings and festivals lined up where we will need to be camping, we also just wanted to bring him into the woods, show him clear crisp lakes and how excited birds can be in the morning. We wanted to show him how tall trees can be and how beautiful they look contrasted in the blue blue sky. That naps in the shade are spectacular. We wanted to get out of the city together.

Camping is an excellent experience, there is nothing quite like the magic of sleeping in a tent, waking up and not knowing the time, seeing the shadows of tall grass and leaves dancing in the wind.
Tent Naps are Peaceful
As a duo, we were seasoned-enough. We were mostly self-reliant campers, albeit not very organized. If we forgot something, we made do. If it was vital, we still tried to smile through it - after all, we never forgot the booze!

Add a tiny dependent non-verbal human into the mix and things get complicated, as usual. Booze will not fix a leaky cold tent, for a baby. Babies don’t just grin and bare it if something vital is forgotten.

Beach Babywearing
Thankfully, we found not too much is actually 100% vital for a little baby as young as ours. We were able to pack everything we needed into our small-ish Toyota and successfully camp for two overnights. Going into it I felt organized yet sure we would forget something, so typing it out like that? Well, it makes me feel pretty damn good.

We camped with our baby for the first time and it didn’t suck, world! It was beyond good, it was incredible.

And we are doing it again this coming weekend. We leave Thursday morning for Freezer Burn, which is our regional Burning Man event.

Over the upcoming weeks I’m going to be sharing some things that have been working for us while we explore camping with a baby. This means meal planning, packing for a baby under one, picking a campsite and creating a safe space for baby, outdoor crafts and activities for preschool aged kids, and other ideas. If there’s anything you’d be interested in seeing, I’m all ears!


  1. Sweet! I'm so glad Des did so well. I wonder (frequently) how A will do. And how her Daddy will do since we're backpackers at heart and it will be a few years before she can enjoy that with us! Can't wait to read some of your tips.

  2. I'm so glad it went well for you! I always enjoyed travelling with Harper. It's really so much easier than what you'd expect.

  3. Okay, you've totally inspired me. We're going camping!

  4. @Sarah: I can't imagine backpacking with Des. Yet. Hopefully someday, though!

    @Lindsey: I have a feeling it's a lot easier while they are still in this stationary stage.

    @Amanda: Do it! I mean... you have to stay really flexible and try not to have really high expectations of how the day will go. My major goals were to avoid bug bites and to eat yummy food cooked over a fire. Success! :)