Our first camping trip with kids, that is. It was totally awesome, truly. Also a little challenging at times, as you might imagine. But really really a great trip. I grew up camping on the regular, to the desert and mountains and Mexico. All over the place. And I used to complain that I just wanted to go to Hawaii like normal people (LOL), but we always had a great time in the dirt once we got there. I hope this trip hooks our kiddos too. Dash wasn’t ready to leave and neither were we.
We laughed at how much of our gear arrived at camp with REI tags still in place. Apparently camping is a low key, low cost trip only after the 15th trip, when the initial gear investment begins to pay off.
The river right below our site was so super beautiful all day long. Particularly in the evening when it was cooler and the light was perfect. The big boys loved their first “fishing” experience. I brought them each a butterfly net, which quickly became a net for scooping sand out of the river.
His lovey was sooooooo dirty by the end. Had to run all the kids’ clothes through three wash cycles to get the dirt out.
Brock does not like to see a weekend pass without a Manhattan, so naturally he made them with a headlamp on top of the bear box whilst camping. We could not have fit one more item into our car, and he still made from for cocktail supplies. I like that in a man.
Little Bowie. The camper of all campers. I don’t think this little guy sat still for three days.
J and D watching a bear on the other side of the river. You can see the little black shape that kind of looks like a dog if you look closely.
Coffee just tastes better when you drink it outdoors in Falcon Enamelware.
Aren’t Jason and Laura the cutest? Good friends really make a vacation special.
I made the older guys each a collecting box that they could fill with treasures from around the campsite. And we brought a big box of art supplies for down time. They didn’t get nearly as into that as I thought they would, but next time maybe. A mom at our preschool gave me a great tip to just make a camping art box and leave it with the camping supplies. After seeing how incredibly dirty camping with kids can be, I’m glad I followed her advice. I stocked up at Target on Kid Made Modern supplies, and now we’re all set for our next trip!
Creating a space at camp that felt a little more “inside” with a shade and rug and chairs was nice for a little down time. The more gear the better, if you ask me. Quite a change from our backpacking days when we’d agonize over whether to bring one pen or two.
My big guy is so super into letters and forms and names right now. I love watching him devote such intense focus to creating things with his pens. Over a morning cup of hot cocoa. I think he might take after his mama in that regard.
Laura and I had a Google spreadsheet going to plan meals and gear between our two families. Works great when you’re trying to organize a trip that requires so much, well, organization. We also texted each other about 400 times in the week leading up to departure.
Forrest wasn’t too sure about a late evening walk over to the ranger campfire show, but he road along pretty happily in our Phil & Ted’s backpack. Staying up late is one of the joys of camping for little ones, don’t you think?
The only thing I wish is that we’d stayed longer! But alas this trip was really just to get our confidence up, and our gear in order. Plus we are at the end of escrow on a new house at the moment (fingers crossed!) and really couldn’t be away for that long anyway. There were plenty of people who were quite anxious that they couldn’t reach us for four days as it was. Did I mention we had no cell service? No phone! No internet! No instagram! It was awesome.
We managed to plan 4 new camping trips while we were gone so hopefully by next summer we really will be pros. We have a tent the size of a small apartment, which I think means we’re committed for a least a few years of outdoor adventuring.
If you’re curious, we camped at Sheep Creek campground in Cedar Grove at the bottom of King’s Canyon. We had a huge site above the river, number 12, I think. We drove through all four campgrounds there to find the best spot available (naturally), since they are all first come – first served. Would totally recommend this spot! There’s a nice swimming beach at the end of the road (literally called Road’s End) with rocks for jumping and a sweet little meadow walk that’s perfect for kids. You can also access the trail there for a really beautiful backpacking trip (Rae Lakes Loop) from there and some nice day hikes too.
My lingering sentiment about the trip: CAMP MORE!