11.21.2006

Camping with a Toddler

Last weekend we took the cub on his first camping trip. We kept it easy and straightforward by camping nearby, at the Rocky Hills Ranch just across the highway from Smithville. By staying relatively nearby, if the poop hit the fan we could pretty easily make it back to town in under an hour.

Some learning points:

- better to camp with toddlers when the days are a little longer if they tend to wander off. The cub just wasn't interested in staying near the campfire, even though it was warm and toasty.

- bigger tents ARE better. For his first trip, the cub seemed to be willing to accept that the tent was like any other "room" (and, although it was a tad embarassing, our large tent is actually larger than the smallest bedroom in our house).

- it's really hard to keep a hat on a toddler's head while he sleeps.

- hot dogs rule.

- helpful items if you can park near your campsite: a small folding table, collapsible chairs, an easy-serve igloo cooler filled with water for drinking, washing, cooking etc., a propane "stove".

Overall, I think the cub enjoyed himself. Our friends commented more than once on how "independent" he is, as we would watch him stroll fearlessly off into the distance by himself. Also, there were a couple of times that he walked over to the car and gestured, as if to say, "Okay, this park has no slides or swings or steps. Time to go home." We took the advice of friends and brought Benadryl to help with sleeptime, which was a good thing. Next time we'll go when it doesn't get quite so cold at night, and we'll have better chairs. And better food.

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