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Camping The Camping forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness camping (commonly referred to as car camping).


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  #21  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:16 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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we do a summer trip every year, with just one exception a couple years back due to a death in the family.

my son has gone since he was two weeks old. he's now turning four just after this next trip.

my daughter has gone since she was a year and a half, almost. her first trip would have been at five months old, but that was the year we didn't go.

warmth. overpack spare clothes for them. trust me, you'll be grateful, and if you're car camping, no worries on carrying them. give them some responsibilities, appropriate to the child, like keeping the campsite clean, or picking up firewood and stacking it, stuff like that. heck, let him cook, with supervision.

they should get their own flashlight, and at the age your son's at, his own sleeping bag and pad would really make his day.

if you do any day-hikes away from camp, his own backpack, loaded with a lunch, some water in containers he can open himself, some snacks, and maybe a small tube tent he can crash out in just after lunch for a half hour to an hour if he gets worn out. a disposable camera, if he's got the dexterity to wind it himself, is another great idea. get a good plastic whistle and make sure he knows it's only for getting separated from you. tie it to the bag. get a loud whistle.

best rule of thumb when you're getting into his age group is to let him feel like a real camper. his own gear, his size, really helps a lot. humor him, show him things. teach him woodscraft. heck, go out and buy a survival book and go over some of the stuff with him.

i've got a horde of nephews and nieces(about four or five of them are within a couple years of this age), and they have come to realize that i'm the really cool adult to hang around when we do the big family trip, cause i'm usually doing something interesting, or showing them something really cool that their moms might not approve of. things like dakota fire holes, rappelling, firebows, tracking, camouflage techniques, and the like.

feel free to let him decide what to do, sometimes, too. sure, it might feel silly, but hey, that's the joy of fatherhood. you can do silly things without feeling too self-consious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
Hey guys,
sorry to resurrect this thread, but I have a quick question for those of you who have taken a really young one (less than 2 y.o.) car camping. What exactly were the sleeping arrangements and gear and what time of year did you go. We are probably taking my 1 y.o. daughter on her first trip in early May, and my vision is a double rectangle with the little one and mom; however, my wife is a cold sleeper and wraps herself up tight with about 1000 blankets, so I am not sure if co-sleeping would be of any benefit. I toss and turn like a chainsaw, so it's barely even safe for my wife to sleep with me, so that leaves me out. Anyone got any suggestions? Any and all info, including suggestions about things other than sleeping arrangements, is greatly appreciated.

Matt

got a portable playpen? layer a few blankets in the bottom, dress her warmly in footies with an underlayer onesie, socks, and maybe a hat if she'll let you. blanket over the top, and away you go.

i've always did my best to discourage cosleeping when we do our family trip, but somehow it happens as often as not anyways. i tend to get shoved to the edge of the airbed or off it partly, and up against the sidewall of the tent. not the most pleasant experience.

it's also worrying, as a parent, that you might roll onto your child and smother them in your sleep, but take it from me, if you do that, they'll start raising a wicked fuss in a heartbeat. unless your version of sleeping is a temporary coma, you'll notice. but co-sleeping tends to be less restful(ask any parent that cosleeps at home for an extended period), and you'll feel like crap in the morning.

give the tyke her own bed, and just move her up from playpen/crib to her own airbed starting next year or so.

Last edited by dsuursoo : 04-28-2009 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:57 AM
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Mountaineerbass Mountaineerbass is offline
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"give them some responsibilities, appropriate to the child, like keeping the campsite clean, or picking up firewood and stacking it, stuff like that."

Great Idea, my two year old loves carrying/collecting firewood, and helping do whatever chores dad does.
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2009, 06:44 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineerbass
"give them some responsibilities, appropriate to the child, like keeping the campsite clean, or picking up firewood and stacking it, stuff like that."

Great Idea, my two year old loves carrying/collecting firewood, and helping do whatever chores dad does.

yeah, both of my kids have recently developed a keen interest in cooking, with my son helping mix things like cornbread and the like. i'd prefer to wait till next year to really introduce him to anything heat-related, but he can certainly help out some with meal prep. my daughter... seems to have quite the fascination with cooking with fire. could spell trouble.
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  #24  
Old 07-01-2009, 11:09 PM
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ellyann ellyann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgiusto
My son is four and he really shows an interest in what his father does. I would love to take him out this spring, somewhere other than our backyard. Does anyone have any experience with taking younger children into the backwoods? I was thinking about car camping on the Cherohala Skyway, with maybe a small hike somewhere up there.



I havn't read the rest before responding because I am mostly going to give you my own account. I use to before my son came around backpacked atleast once a month. I get moody if I am indoors to much....while preggy I was determined childeren wouldn't stop me I'd still take him but reality set in. When he was about 4 he got his first sleeping bag, we started with books about camping, and watching cartoons where people would camp. by time he was 4 1/2 he was begging to go camping. I have alot feild guides and he'd read them in his sleeping bag under the "kitchen Table tent" So I decied to try a car camping trip at the local park. I set my ul tent up in the dinning room for 3 days and let him play in it and adjust to being in it. I bought him a color changing flash light, and took way more stuff then I dreamed of. his sleeping bag, pillow and bed blanket. I also packed a two milk crates with campsite toys, light sabers, action figueres, cards, water guns, ect. I bought at wallmart some fire color changing stuff and marshmellows, and the whole time fearing that he wouldnt sleep.......



BOY was I worried for nothing, he took to camping better then he dose swiming or scocer. I couldnt get him out the tent even on site unless we were hiking or cooking. There was a slide that was 30 years old and a swing set just as old two campe sites from us that he played on a bit as well and when night came he ate 1/3 of a bag of marshmellows had a major hyper sugar rush and crashed out and sleep better then he dose at home, I thought I was lucky, untill the second night -mashmellows he did the same thing. He was upset we had to go home and is begging for another trip. We are going agian in 2 weeks.

I deffintly recomened taking 4+ on car camping trips. I hope this helped.
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  #25  
Old 07-07-2009, 10:22 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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It really is never to soon to take kids out the more they get out the more they will enjoy it as they get older.

I started when my kids were 2 years old just car camping and then did some biking and rock climbing and they loved it, camping close to creeks,rivers or lakes are fun for kids and they do love to pick up fire wood and other small chores that fit the age.

I just took my 11 year old out last weekend rock crawling and camping and he wanted to shoot a little and hike a little bit just hanging out it was very nice.
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  #26  
Old 07-08-2009, 11:42 AM
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cknighton cknighton is offline
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I can't even remember our first camping trip. My dad's fireman schedule offered days-off in the middle of the week, so we used to van-camp on the Colorado River from the time I was really little. In those days the campground was Yogi Bear-themed and Yogi was (still is!) my hero, so camping with the kid was easy

They just turned me loose in the dirt, supervised play in the shallow/safe parts of the river, Dad took me fishing, and Mom fed me junk food from the cooler. Added bonus: the campground showed Yogi Bear cartoons outdoors in the early evening. Needless to say, camping was one of my favorite things --- and still is. (Now, if only I could arrange a trip a trip to Jellystone Park with a pic-i-nic basket!)

Kids are never too young to camp. Just keep 'em safe and make it fun. If the child in question thinks "hiking" sounds too much like "work", just call it "exploring" and don't plan on getting anywhere fast. Probably the most important is for the kids to see *you* having a good time. That's contagious.
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  #27  
Old 07-23-2009, 04:24 PM
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Laurie Laurie is offline
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We adopted our son when he was four. We didn't want to give up our outdoorsy ways (80 bag nights in one year... about a year or so before that) so we got him into camping right away.

His first trip was a mere month after being placed with us and it was car camping and day hiking. Then, a few weeks later, we took him on a very short wilderness canoe trip. I remember him exclaiming, all dressed up in rain gear while it was pouring rain, "Mom and Dad - I love being cold and wet!" Perfect given our history of rainy trips.

While we adore backpacking, wilderness paddling trips are a bit easier with a child who can't carry most of his own gear and they are much more fulfilling than car camping. He's 8 now so that's not so much of an issue anymore and we backpack more with him but he still loves the paddling trips as you can see from the recent trip log I posted.

One thing... very important. Teach your children not to touch or eat any mushrooms in the wild. We had a friend who's son could have been made seriously ill from ingesting a mushroom.
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  #28  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:47 PM
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cknighton cknighton is offline
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Laurie, that's an excellent point... for kids, "bad" weather is forbidden fruit... just being allowed outdoors in "bad" weather is attractive. Imagine being a kid and getting to stay out all day in the "bad" weather!! With Mom and Dad! And the dog! And maybe your best friend too!!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!

Oh <ahem> sorry. Seven years old again for a sec there. 'Scuse me

I guess the above may not hold for all kids, but it's worth considering that
weather may not be the deterrent us grown-ups often think.
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  #29  
Old 07-31-2009, 03:47 AM
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Laurie Laurie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyntada
Laurie, that's an excellent point... for kids, "bad" weather is forbidden fruit... just being allowed outdoors in "bad" weather is attractive. Imagine being a kid and getting to stay out all day in the "bad" weather!! With Mom and Dad! And the dog! And maybe your best friend too!!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!

Oh <ahem> sorry. Seven years old again for a sec there. 'Scuse me

I guess the above may not hold for all kids, but it's worth considering that
weather may not be the deterrent us grown-ups often think.

I'm still seven some days too! The other thing about weather is that sometimes the weather person is wrong. Take Ontario's Algonquin Park for example. It's 7725 kilometers square.... and there are only 2 weather stations in the whole park. I've seen families cancel because of a bad forecast where we went anyway... and the weather was terrific. So it just goes to show you that there are a lot of variables.

All kids need are a good pair of rain pants, a good rain jacket (Tobi's is waterproof breathable) and some waterproof footwear and they are good to go. Face it, most kids adore getting wet and breaking the normal standards of behaviour. After all, at school they have to stay inside even if there is a drizzle.

Speaking of kids and camping... I'm out until the 10th. Have a great week everyone.
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  #30  
Old 07-31-2009, 02:53 PM
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CowboyFisherman CowboyFisherman is offline
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I can give you a few hints from what my parents did with me, not that I remember everything.

1) After having a little experience under my belt, I got to pick what gear we took. You always need to have all 5 stoves, right? Bring them to the grocery store too to pick food they want.

2) I always had a nack for finding something that was "just my size" hence, my father's motorcycle stove (Optimus 99) became my stove to make hot cocoa in. I can't remember how old I was though - still in grade school.

3) Buy a cheap rubber raft, I loved to paddle around in mine (it was tethered and in a pool about the size of the average cubicle, but I liked it). At night, it's an air mattress that "divits" enough (upside down) to keep a wiggle worm (me) in place.

4) Be patient, have fun, and encourage inquisitiveness. All day, every day, even when not camping.

I can't go on vacations in a hotel etc. I get horribly anxious and just want to go home. I have however been kicked out of a campsite with my father and my puppies for staying at a campsite too long. (which in NH is 14 days BTW).

Yea, I liked camping when young. I agree with everyone who's said it, it's never to early to take yer kids. Out in the woods is the only place I usually feel 100% comfortable and in my element.
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