Communicate with your husband.
In our home, we have a routine. I am not talking about a written master plan for the day where our lives are synchronized to half hour blocks. I am talking about normal routine you may not notice until you are in a different environment. My husband and I sleep in our bed in our room. Jed always eats in his high chair. We have a step stool at the sink in the kids bathroom. So, on a camping trip, these things change. It is important to talk through certain things with your husband so that you guys have a plan before you hit the big outdoors and aggravation sets in. Ask yourself, where will the baby be able to eat meals? Will we hold him? Should we bring a travel chair? What is necessary to keep in the tent? What can we use from the car? It know it sounds silly and trivial, but having some sort of a plan is helpful. Talking through things before you get to the campsite is way easier than trying to figure things out in the pouring rain.
Commit to be Positive!
Learning how to “spin” bad circumstances into something positive is an ongoing life lesson! Like any adventure, there are bound to be hiccups, something that trips us up or ruffles feathers. Sometimes roads get closed when you are driving back to your campsite in the rain (true story). Learning how to laugh about these types of situations sets the tone for how your family responds. My husband and I have to remind each other to relax and enjoy the adventure. For instance, this time, it rained the first two days of our trip. While we do support the “rain or shine” approach to camping, we could not think about sitting in a tent with our kids all day, so we drove into town. We found a neat indoor zoo for the kid’o’s and took in the sights. The point is to make camping out fun! If it’s not fun to sit in the rain all day, and you can take a camping break, do something else… and be positive about it!
Packing: Think OUTDOORS! (No plumbing, dryers, dishwasher, etc…)
Going on an adventure should be fun! My goal is always to outfit my family for fun, not just outfit my family. If I am worried about something getting trashed, then I don’t pack it. I want my kids to play hard so they enjoy the trip (and sleep well at night). I do not want to be concerned that their clothes may get messed up. I pack one “normal/nicer” outfit for if/when we go into town, extra socks, and lots of underwear, pants and layers. I bring two outfits for each day so there is a back up incase they get soaked! Car camping is great because you can bring anything that will fit in the car! So, bring rain boots, sneakers, flip-flops and let them get dirty!
I also pack dove disposal facial cloths and extra baby wipes for fast baths before bed. It is a good idea to bring a small bottlet of dish soap, wash tub and towel to scrub down sippy cups, bottles, french press, mugs and whatever else, so they are ready to use first thing in the morning.
I hope you have enjoyed these camping trip posts. If you have any suggestions or tips for making camping trips for young families more enjoyable, please leave it in the comment box!