For my birthday this year I asked for a little weekend camping trip. Marshall’s response countered with a float trip! Ha! So that’s what we did. We have literally been talking about camping and a float trip since forever and we finally did it. With a three year old.
The idea of this was intimidating to both of us. I hadn’t been camping in years, like over a decade. Camping in your teens vs. as an adult is daunting in itself. but then to throw a toddler in the mix! Oh man. There was quite a bit of time spent researching and see what other families packed for their camping trips. I thought I would go ahead and share what we did and how it worked. SPOILER: It was SO MUCH FUN!
First thing first. I made a packing list and divided it into 4 categories.
Once we had a packing list I then created shopping or borrowing list. Camping can get expensive, especially if you are starting from scratch if you have friends that are more experience ask to borrow. You could even ask them to join your camping adventure, if you’re looking for extra company! I knew the personal items I could fit into one of our carry-on suitcases. To pack the gear and kitchen supplies I grabbed some clear storage containers from Target for $10 each. They worked like a charm.
Now here is what we packed for a two night camping/float trip with a 3 year old.
There were a few things that we thought would have been nice to have; a grate to go over the campfire for cooking, axe and an oven mitt. I knew there would be things that I didn’t think of, or forgot so I made a list at the campsite of things that we should have next time.
For each tub I wrote out a list of it’s contents and taped it to the lid. That way anyone could figure out what was in there without asking me. I’m also hoping that this will make packing easier next time we go. Time will tell.
A couple other things to keep in mind when deciding to camp is where you want to go. Not all campsites are created equal. Lucky for us our weekend was fairly cool temperature wise, but there was ZERO shade in the afternoon. IT WAS HOT! The campsite was waterfront which totally made a the hot afternoon bearable. When we pulled into the camp site and got set up that first day I was completely doubting every fantasy I ever had about tent camping as a family. LOL
In the end it was fine because of the water, but definitely something I will pay closer attention to in the future. As we researching camp grounds for next time we will read reviews, search on social media for more pictures, etc.
Honestly, I am dying to go camping again! London did great, she stayed up WAY later than we ever let her, but she slept in and did really well during the day. Being forced to unplug and just ‘be’ was a huge gift. I have every intention of limiting my phone usage, but then it seems like halfway through the day I ‘needed’ to do something on my phone. I left my phone in the car the entire weekend and there was not one thing I needed to do. I used Marshall’s to take pictures, but I think I’m going to do some research on a smaller digital camera to help cut out the phone usage even more.
Anywho! I hope this helps and relieves a few of your doubts regarding camping with young kids. I am really hoping to camp more as a family and will start sharing reviews one campsite we love and update our packing list as we go along. Please ask questions if you have any!