Saturday, June 6, 2009

Camping with a toddler (part 2)

Part Deux: I completely over packed. We had spent the weekend before horseback riding with Uncle and I had barely unpacked from that trip. We packed for the entire camping trip the night before and shoved it into the car the morning of. I had a bag of toiletries for the family, including Clay's emergency bag. I packed a backpack of board books, scratch paper, crayons, bubbles, one soft animal that I could throw in the washing machine, a soccer ball, and plastic dinosaurs that I had purchased at garage sale the day before. I also brought along two big trucks to share with the 4 yr old and a pop up tent to put the toys in. Then there was a large bag of Clay's clothes and an even larger one from my husband and I. We were expecting warm weather but the forecast had changed to include light showers. I packed for warm and cold weather. We also brought our 'camping ala tub' plastic tub. All of our camping essentials are in it. When we pack it up I keep the linens separate to wash and take all the batteries out of the gizmos and put them into a ziploc bag. At home we wash the dishes and linens and it all goes back in the tub for the next trip. The tub works for us. Clay ended up only getting a few pieces of clothing dirty compared to all that I packed for him. Don't get me wrong he was filthy almost every moment of the day. But it was to cold for the creek so we never got wet and as filthy as he was there was no point in putting him in clean clothes until pajama time. His hands, face and clothes were covered in dirt. His nail beds were black. He would make dirt angels, scoot down the hills on his bottom and dipped most of his food into the dirt. He was happy. We went on many short hikes and one long one. He saw many big trees and banana slugs. Everytime he picked up a pinecone he proudly proclaimed, "Porcupine!' I kindly labeled them as pinecones and was imediately corrected by him. They were porcupines. We were also lucky enough to have met another family with a young child. They had a daughter who was wonderful with younger children. Clay followed her from the moment he saw her. In fact that is how we met! She showed him the trees she had been playing in. They had been through a fire and had hollowed out trucks that made great tee pees and caves. She used a flashlight and showed Clay how to look up into the tree. She climbed on the trees and invited him along. He was amazed with everything she did.
The next day she came over and brought different types of moss that she had collected. The two older children used it to make beards and mustaches. Then all three played in the trees next to our camping site. It was wonderful play full of castles, tree spirits, fire building for the tee pee tree and what ever else their imagination lead to next. Clay tagged along as best as he could and settled for making dirt angels again. The other big hit was the bicycle with side car that Frank built. (Yes he is pretty incredible) Clay and the 4 year old would take turns getting rides in the side car while aunts and uncles pedaled the bike. At night I read stories huddled in the pop up tent with a lantern. At night we put the pop up tent inside of the gigantic one. We folded a sleeping bag to fit inside for a mat and blanket for Clay. He was very cosy. We are looking forward to camping again in July.


  1. Ahh, camping!
    dirty nails, collecting pinecones, stories by the lantern... all sound like the makings of a perfect camping trip!
    What beautiful memories you are creating!
    Thank you for adding me to your blog list : )

  2. I really like the idea of putting the smaller pop-up in the big tent...what a neat idea! It sounds like you guys had an awesome time.