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Camping with a Toddler. Why are you laughing?

July 6, 2009
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Last Wednesday, J.D. and I went camping for the first time with a toddler. A toddler is someone who does not stay where you put them. That being said, I refuse to be one of those families who, years from now, tells other young families about that one time they went camping and then went home and budgeted hotels into their next vacation. However, I have compiled a few helpful suggestions stemming from our experience. These are meant to serve any young families out there on the cusp of camping for the first time with a toddler. You must know that your whole world view is about to change.

1. Always double check that essential things like food have made their way into the car. Especially if you are camping a couple of hours outside of Whitehorse, Yukon, and the closest place to get food once you’re out there is probably your own kitchen, in Whitehorse. Fortunately I use food to bribe good behavior from my child so before we had even left the city, I discovered that yes, the food had not been packed.

2. Be advised that your toddler will ensure that everything takes about three hours longer than it did prior to their birth. If you’d like to practice camping with a toddler before you actually have one, try it out with your hands duct taped together.

3. Avoid creating a bouncy castle atmosphere inside the tent. It may seem like a good idea since the tent is essentially a polyester holding tank. BUT, when it comes time to coax your toddler into sleeping, it’s very much like asking an adult to settle in for the night on the stage at a rock concert.

4. Planning a grueling hike for the following morning when a) you are probably in the worst shape of your life and b)you have to carry an extra twenty seven pounds of overtired on your back is…ambitious.

All of this aside, if you called me up and said “Claire! How was camping?!” I would tell you that it was phenomenal and that we’re going again as soon as we can. This is related to both our stubborn and perhaps masochistic desire for adventure, and also to the fact that we bought, untested, a season’s pass to all of the campgrounds in the Yukon.

kusawa tent

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    July 14, 2009 10:48 am

    Hey Claire, this is too funny. We have been there for sure! Clare is in the I-like-to-eat-rocks stage. Fun times. This will make camping this summer interesting I’m sure. Ever notice how a tent doesn’t block light well and so at midnight your toddler still thinks it’s time for lunch and play? Hey- we posted pics of our new house in Beaumont if you feel like taking a peak at our blog. Miss you guys. T

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