Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Camping Trip of the Summer

We just returned from two nights at a friend's property in Randle, WA. Highlights:
  • Cruising on a few miles of dirt roads with the wind in her hair at 15 mph.
  • Rising to the morning grunts of an elk herd in the nearby meadow... hrrrr UUMF! Pretty cute (in an enormous animal kind of way.)
  • Relaxing over luxuriously long meals with panoramic views
  • Witnessing a pigmey owlet on a branch crying for food as its mother swooped in to feed it. Naturally, I yell, "What kind of animal is THAT?" and scare it away (naturalist Jennifer at her best.)
  • Getting up the nerve to jump into the chilly river and Taho's advice being, "Just charge in until you fall!" It worked perfectly.
  • Seeing such exuberance in my hooting and hollering husband's face as he ran out of the river in his birthday suit.
  • Experiencing pure laughter and joy by the riverside with our daughter.
  • Fulfilling her obsession with horses by reaching over a fence to pet and be nose-nuzzled by the softest sweetest prettiest horse ever.
  • After a gradual three month process, using this trip away from our routine as our last nursing day. Sweet and sad, but I was ready.
  • Deciding to come home a day early; therefore, having time to have a spontaneous picnic brunch on our drive home through Mt. Rainier Nat. Park .
  • Realizing we accidentely left a bag of food behind hidden in the kitchen helper
  • Upon arrival our geriatric dog jumped down a cliff to get a drink and started floating away in the swift moving river. I'm screaming and Papa considers jumping in to save her. She swam back to shore, but I worried about that cliff and my little beings for the a while.
  • Mosquitoes that eat grown-ups and not naked children. Papa and I were clothed from head to toe and Little Ita was insistent on being naked. They swarmed all around her perfectly available skin, but rarely landed.
  • Having an allergy attack so intense, from the horse, mosquitoes and meadow grasses that I had to take refuge in the tent for hours.
However, we are ready for more! We just need to find our camping groove...

What I learned about camping with kids:
  • Read this really helpful blog post and the comments
  • From the above post I learned about the three essentials - Food, Fuel, Warmth -
  • I would add First Aid Kit. If you have those things, you'll have a great time, don't worry about the rest.
  • Don't make our mistake. Before you drive away, ask yourself and your partner if you have packed and check that you actually have packed the 4 essentials - which includes: water, food from the refrigerator/cooler, other random food bags, tent, sleeping bags/pads, fuel/ stove, extra warmth clothes, hats, rain gear, socks, shoes, campfire wood, matches.
  • Click on this site for an extensive master camping list of all other luxuries (including a great First Aid Kit List.)
  • Camp near water. Rivers, lakes, creeks and beaches are our favorite places to camp because there is so much for all of us to do. Be sure the access is a safe distant away and not high risk.
What are your suggestions? I'd love to hear more.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! That picture with the dandelion is amazing! Enjoyed stopping by today. I'll be back soon.