Earlier this year, Shae and I agreed to a goal of camping at least 5 times in 2014. That conveniently works out to camping once a month from May to September. Last year we only got out and camped once, and we felt like we were missing out on some great memories by failing to get out the door.
Shae’s maternity leave ends this week and along with some other travel obligations later in the month and the blissful forecast, we decided that last night would be an opportune time to go camping with our son Frugal Boy. As you probably already know, FB is a little less than 3 months old.
I posted to Facebook about our plans and got the expected response along the lines of, “Good luck, you’re crazy for trying”, but I don’t think it is crazy to go camping with a baby. Think about it. The outdoors is a babies preprogrammed natural environment. For thousands of years, babies have been coping just fine outside of climate controlled, child proofed, brightly colored, electronically monitored nurseries. With that said, it doesn’t hurt to be well prepared. Our packing list was a little longer than usual. (Now where is that kitchen sink?)
The forecasted low for the night was a surprisingly warm 64°. That is about what our house is at night, so we didn’t need to worry about packing too much cold weather gear. One important item we included was a fleece sleeper for FB. Cotton is a poor insulator and is worthless once it gets wet.
There are a number of campgrounds close to us, but we chose Comlara County Park. They actually have two campgrounds. One is RV and car camping and the other is “backcountry” camping. We’ve done the ‘extreme car camping’ version and didn’t feel like hauling all of our stuff a quarter mile out so this time around we chose the main campground.
Due to it being a weekday and school still being in session we had our pick of the litter when we showed up. I counted only 2 other tents and maybe 10 RVs in the 100+ site campground.
Our site, 118, was a 45 second walk from the road, secluded, and had a nice view of Evergreen lake.
FB was happy to hang out in the Boba carrier and supervise the setup of camp.
There was little protection from the wind, but the 88° temperature made it enjoyable.
While FB hung out in the tent to do baby things (eat, poop, sleep), I checked out the surroundings. There was another campsite a little bit further inland next to this old bridge.
The wind was kicking up some good waves on the lake. Can you see the windmills in the background?
Back at camp, FB was taking to the idea of camping splendidly. I guess you can say he was one happy camper! (I’m so sorry, I couldn’t resist)
With the tent and sleeping arrangements all set up, it was time to turn our attention to dinner. In the past we have made meals from scratch over a roaring fire, using a propane stove, eating at a restaurant, and even self contained ready to eat meals. Neither of us were motivated to add the extra challenge of cooking so we brought along some ready to eat meals. If you are interested in learning more about these types of meals, MREInfo.com has excellent information on both military and civilian meals.
Find your Rock or Something™ and let your dinner heat up for about 15 minutes. Shae had chicken and dumplings and I had sloppy joes.
After dinner we had just enough daylight to walk around the campground. The sunset was particularly romantic,
that is until the serenity was interrupted by FB loudly filling his pants. What can I say, it must have moved him. (again terribly sorry, it won’t happen again)
One of the many nice things about camping is that it helps reconnect you with nature. Sometimes you see things that you wouldn’t see if you were driving.
Poor little guy!
Okay, now that I’ve put enough filler in, I guess I can answer the question on everybody’s mind. Did FB sleep at all or did he terrorize the entire campground all night long? Here is your picture proof that babies sleep just as well outside as they do inside, even with howling winds and some random sprinkles (no I didn’t put the rain fly on).
Yep, that was a full night’s sleep for everybody!
You see, camping can be fun with a baby! Here is one more smiley photo to convince you.
After some breakfast and cuddles we packed up and went home.