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#1 of 14 Old 05-22-2011, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are probably other threads but I have some specific questions for you ladies...

 

My husband, 19 month old son and i will be going camping with another couple soon in Olympic National Park, Washington. The wife will be 5 months pregnant at the time of the trip. We are kinda poor/cheap redface.gif so we will be squeezing into one 4 adult tent. They have sleeping bags but we don't own any yet. Little man will not sleep with a blanket on- he will kick and wiggle until it is gone or he wakes up fully. Not sure how cold it is out there in July but I'm sure it is blanket cold at least. So here are my questions:

 

1) How to deal with my blanket-hating toddler in cold weather while camping. Five layers of pajamas? Space heaters probably not an option because of space. 

 

2) what to cook that will satisfy everyone's taste and be appropriate and nutritious for growing little ones and pregnant women. Our friends do not seem too picky but are used to a lot of processed food and such. How do you deal with nutritious cooking and avoid the classic junk food and soda filled camping trip? We are not vegetarian and have no allergies.

 

3) People who are familiar with the park, perhaps recommendations for camp spots or easy hikes? I will bring a mei tai to carry LO in but we don't have a frame backpack as much as I wish we did. 

 

4) recommendations for camping stoves and other equipment you love to use. We are young and just starting our camping equipment collection :)

 

 Any extra tips for "clean" camping or fun ideas for little man and everyone while we are there would be great too!\Thank you all so much

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#2 of 14 Old 05-22-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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Don't do much car camping, but have done lots of wilderness backpacking with my little one

 

1 - share a largish sleeping bag with the toddler, if he'll tolerate it.  Or maybe you could find a tiny sleeping bag (much harder to get out of than a blanket).  Either way, one-piece fleece suits are great for sleeping in or under rain gear on a cold day.

 

2 - if you're car camping, you can bring pretty much any food that won't spoil too quickly.  Pasta is a good base for a meal, and you can add dried veggies, olive oil, cheese, sausage, etc...  Or rice and instant dried beans.  Oats and dried fruit (you don't need instant oatmeal, regular oats cook in 5 minutes and are tastier and less processed).  Peanut butter or cheese sandwiches, etc...  It probably won't be too hot, so if you aren't backpacking some fresh stuff will probably be fine.  Apples, oranges, onions, peppers, etc... 

 

3 - The Hoh River trail is flat and pretty.  Your mei tai will probably be as comfy or more comfy than a backpack carrier anyway (probably also can be used by the pregnant one - I know a wrap works when pregnant)

 

You'll have a great time.  Find somewhere where the toddler can throw rocks and sticks into the water, and you're set.

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#3 of 14 Old 05-22-2011, 10:57 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't have so many share a tent. That is going to be hell. You should have your own tent with your toddler. 4 adults and one toddler in a 4 man tent is just too much. I realize you are looking for cheap alternatives but that is like wearing underwear two sizes too small. Look on craigslist or see if you can get a small one at Target. Or make the men sleep out under the stars ...

 

 


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#4 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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1) You could certainly bring warm pajamas. I'm not sure what the weather looks like there in July, but around here I'd bring winter-time pajamas if you don't think he'll tolerate the blanket. He may snuggle with you in a sleeping bag, though. With DD, last year we went camping over Memorial Day weekend and the first night was pretty chilly. She'll tolerate a blanket but kicks it off most of the time. We brought her winter PJs and put a zip-up hoodie on her and extra socks under her pajamas. She stayed warm. 

 

2) We plan on a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but we also prepare foods ahead of time and keep them in the cooler. A lot can be cooked right over the fire. Things we like to put together are to wrap up different size portions of potatoes, peppers, onions and seasonings, throw those over the fire and it's delicious. We also bring chicken in a zip lock bag with whatever marinade we want, keep it in the cooler and grill it over the fire. Things of that nature, that would stay good in a cooler.  You may want to bring one cooler just for keeping the food cold and use another for drinks/snacks. As far as snacks, we've made homemade granola bars and even a big batch of soup we'll snack on between meals. Fresh fruit already cut up and put into tupperware containers is another great snack. 

 

3) Don't know anything about the park but I took our Beco last summer and it worked great, I'm sure a mei tai would too.

 

4) We have a little Coleman camp stove that uses propane, but often we just cook over the fire if your're allowed to have an open fire. The park may also have bbq grills, something to look into when you're thinking about preparing meals.

 

 

As far as sharing the tent, I'm sure it'll be fine depending on how your LO sleeps. We have a small pop-up camper, it's a little bigger than your tent I'm sure, but we've shared it with our daughter and 3-4 other adults plus DH and I. People have even gone in and out of the camper when our daughter was sleeping and she was fine. 


Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#5 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Others have suggested zipping two bags together and I also strongly suggest it, it works great.  Just make sure you buy two of the same bag or it won't work.  I dress my DD up in an undershirt, socks and a thick blanket sleeper for camping. 

 

As far as the tent goes, I'd strongly suggest you put the tent up ahead of time and get in and see how roomy it is, or isn't.  4 adults and a toddler in a 4 man tent would be...awful IMO.  I've been camping my entire life and never has a tent been as roomy as they claim.  Our 3 man tent is squishy for DH and I, and we like to cuddle.  We have used a 4 man tent for the two of us and a toddler, and it was also squishy.  Our DD takes as much space as a full grown man, and she kicks.  I think for a pregnant lady especially, she and her partner would want to be in their own tent, with a decent air mattress.  I've done a lot of camping while pregnant, it would not have been tolerable with 5 in a tent.  What kind of vehicle are you taking?  If you happen to have a van or SUV where the seats fold flat one or two could sleep in the back.

 

I've used my beco for short hikes, and you can trade off who's carrying the toddler, or let him walk for as much as he likes.  I wouldn't worry about a frame carrier unless you were looking to do some hard core hiking.

 

Most of all have fun!  This is making me excited to get out and camp :)


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#6 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Oh and for ideas to keep your LO busy, we don't take tons of stuff with us, DD usually has a fine time running around picking dandelions and grass and collecting rocks. Bubbles or a beachball transport well and are cheap and fun.  Expect that your son will get a dirty and dusty, that just goes with the territory, having some wet wipes handy is a good thing too.


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#7 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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Ok, I am going to guess couple #2 have either never camped before or are the super hard-core type that can weather any discomfort for the sake of being in the great outdoors.....I am gping with never camped.
 

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Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Others have suggested zipping two bags together and I also strongly suggest it, it works great.  Just make sure you buy two of the same bag or it won't work.  I dress my DD up in an undershirt, socks and a thick blanket sleeper for camping. 

 

As far as the tent goes, I'd strongly suggest you put the tent up ahead of time and get in and see how roomy it is, or isn't.  4 adults and a toddler in a 4 man tent would be...awful IMO.  I've been camping my entire life and never has a tent been as roomy as they claim.  Our 3 man tent is squishy for DH and I, and we like to cuddle.  We have used a 4 man tent for the two of us and a toddler, and it was also squishy.  Our DD takes as much space as a full grown man, and she kicks.  I think for a pregnant lady especially, she and her partner would want to be in their own tent, with a decent air mattress.  I've done a lot of camping while pregnant, it would not have been tolerable with 5 in a tent.  What kind of vehicle are you taking?  If you happen to have a van or SUV where the seats fold flat one or two could sleep in the back.

 

I've used my beco for short hikes, and you can trade off who's carrying the toddler, or let him walk for as much as he likes.  I wouldn't worry about a frame carrier unless you were looking to do some hard core hiking.

 

Most of all have fun!  This is making me excited to get out and camp :)



I cannot agree with this enough.  In my experience, the body count, for lack of a better word, is based on people sleeping like sardines.  DH and I used to share a two person tent but it was very tight.  There is absolutely no way we could have had our son, no matter what age, in a two person tent. (we co-sleep so are used to a full bed)   I don't think four adults and a child could share a four-person tent. 

 

We do a lot of cooking over an open fire. I have no love for our Coleman stove and haven't touched it in years.  Will you have a grate?  If so, you can cook any meat like you would at home.  In addition to burgers, you could pre-marinade chicken pieces or steaks.  I like flank steak.  It is at the lower end of the cost scale, it can hold a marinade for a long time, it cooks fast, is tasty and any left overs work well for tacos or eggs the next morning.    My DH's favorite food over the fire is bone-in chicken pieces rubbed with a very generous amount of brown sugar and spices.  Almost any spices work, the ratio is two parts brown sugar to one part spice (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, curry, etc.)

 

Prep as much as possible before your trip.  "Camp" potatoes were a staple for us.  Diced potatoes, onions, peppers, oil and lots of salt and pepper in a foil package on the grate and let them cook on their own, very hands off.  Depending on how far from home you will be travelling, you could do beans/rices at home and transport for reheating.  (I think these are better the second+ times around anyway.)   Better yet, cook them at home and freeze them.   Meatballs reheat well for subs or pasta.  A large vat of chili could cover a couple of meals.  I like thick chili over rice.

 

LIke someone mentioned, have two coolers.  One for meats/anything that MUST stay cold.  This cooler is to be openned only when absolutely necessary, you will want this one to stay as cold as possible.  The other for drinks/snacks.

 

At that age, our DS was gathering rocks, leaves and sticks.  Maybe you could dedicate a box/basket for him to stockpile his treasures. 

 

During woodsy adventures, we always had access to water at the end of the day to clean up but recently I read about jugs and/or spray bottles with a 10% vinegar/90% water solution for cleaning hands.  (I may not have the ratio right)

 


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#8 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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I agree about the tent thing. Usually the rule of thumb is a 4 person tent can fit 2 adults comfortably, a 6 person tent can fit 3 adults comfortably, etc. If your not avid campers, you will need more space because you won't be as efficient.

 

Definitely keep meat separate from the fruits and veggies in a separate cooler. Inevitably something meaty and gross will leak, and you don't want to ruin all your fruit and veggies. Don't dump the water out of your cooler either once the ice starts to melt. The cold water will keep everything cooler than just plain ice. Just add more ice when your ice melts (dumping a little water out too so it fits)

 

A griddle is a great thing to bring to cook eggs and breakfast foods (assuming you've got electric hook up at your site.) We sometimes make breakfast burritos beforehand. (cooking sausage, eggs, green peppers, onion and mixing it together with cooked hashbrowns) we put it into a big plastic bag freeze them, then all we have to do is warm it up on the griddle along with some tortillas and we've got breakfast burritos. We'll also bring chicken, hamburgers, dogs and cook them on a mini propane grill. Definitely plan your meals in advance so you know what to bring.(also thinking about if you need a bowl to mix stuff, or a knife to cut stuff) Pancakes are good too on a griddle.

 

Be sure to bring stuff to start a campfire. (lighter, maybe a newspaper, etc).

 

Smore stuff... must have :)

 

Flashlights, bug spray, sunscreen

 

With the sleeping thing, you can layer. Maybe get a large sized sleep sack for him too. Also, those metal like thin emergency blankets. Those are cheap and good to have just in case it gets super cold.

 

Make sure you have a camping chair for everyone so you can sit around the fire.

 

Have fun !!

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#9 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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I don't know about tents because we never use standard tents when we go backpacking, but pyramid-style shelters (floorless, set up with one pole in the middle) are light, roomy, and probably cheaper than a tent. 

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#10 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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We went camping with DS when he was that age for five weeks.  We had two adults and him in a four person tent and we were comfortable most of the time but sometimes I went a slept in the car because they boys flip and flop and DH snores awfully.  If we'd had two more adults I would have suffocated.  I think they make those measurements with Vietnamese women in mind or something, not the average sized European for sure, so unless you are all quite petite, I'd go for a bigger tent.  The four man tent is just about right for queen sized mattress.  If you think four grown ups and a toddler on a queen sized mattress is a good idea, then you'll be fine.

 

Bring ear plugs.

 

Bring a hammock to string up between the trees.

 

We brought a play pen with us to keep DS safe while we loaded up the car (he is a wanderer and he used to wander down to the lake edges and over to other people's campsites and behind cars and...OY!) 

 

Bring warm jammies and a hat for the night time...you will probably find though with all those people in such a small space that you might be kicking off covers in the night, too.

 

Food is dependent on how long you are going.

 

We brought powdered milk and UHT milk, canned and powedered soups, rice, pasta canned beans of all sorts.  for DS and DH we also brought canned chicken and tuna, but you may also be able to fish for and eat fresh fish which even though I no longer partake in I can tell you is just the best thing on earth!  I would bring oil for cooking, Peanut butter, bread, potatoes.  canned tomatoes, onions, garlic (and lots of it!), salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, hot chocolate mix, marshmallows for roasting...favorite dried herbs and spices. Add water pancake mix, and powdered eggs.  Some hard cheese like parmesean and a grater to add it to food (if you bring it pre-grated you will probably see it go off after a couple days out of the fridge, but a block can last longer). Nuts and dried fruits and veggie crisps are all good stuff too.  Edemame is also a good snack for camping.  Vitamins and pepto bismal

 

equipment:  I would bring a round grill to put over a fire, a lighter and fluid, newspapers for kindling starters, a metal kettle for boilng water, an aluminum pot a griddle like pan. A spatula, metal tongs, a good knife, a cutting board, a pitcher and plastic cups, forks knives and spoons (you can get these little mess kits at camping stores I don't know how much for but they fold up nice and neat with a bowl a plate a fork spoon knife combo, and a collapsible cup...I think I remember mine costing like 8 dollars but that was in the 1985.) Cleaning supplies for sure. Biodegradable please.

 

You will need apart from a tent, a ground tarp and a if it is rainy where you are going to wouldn't hurt to have an additional tarp strung up between trees over the tent and another one for over your kitchen and eating area.  A hammock is a great thing to bring.  Not only will it give you a place to hang out with DS apart from the tent (in case you friend wants a nap for example) but is also easy to pack up and travel with.

 

Plenty of picnic blankets for spreading out on the ground and relaxing.

 

If your trip is long it might not be a bad idea to invest in an inflatible mattress and pump to put in the bottom, because if you don't you might find wearing a toddler all day and sleeping on the ground all night will take it's toll, no matter how young you may be. 

 

I don't think you'll need to bring much in the way entertainment for your LO.  I brought a few books for bedtime stories and his stuffed animal.  That was it.  As I mentioned before he was a wanderer and fascinated by the natural world.  You could give him a plastic shovel and a bucket and he'd go off exploring with his dad and come back with a virtual terranium full of wonders and five new friends while I made dinner. 

 

Definitely bring suncream, bug spray and well stocked first aid kit especially if your LO has enever been stung by a bee...you don't want to find out a thousand miles from anywhere that bees, ants or plants make your LO swell up like a Macy's parade balloon, and not have the necessary stuff.  As it happens for us it was DH who we discovered had a rather nasty allergy to a particular type of caterpiller...thank god we had those antihistamines...bought us time to get to the local clinic for a shot of ardenilin.  Sun hats, long sleeve light weight tops.  Rain gear.

 

Flashlights and a latern.

 

Toilet paper and shovel or a big heavy duty plastic bag to take out what you bring in, IYKWIM. Definitely make sure you bring trashbags to haul out the grabage you bring in that can't be buried or safely burned.

 

Flip flops and sneakers and hiking boots, warm socks, and cotton socks several pairs.  A bathing suit and towels. a small camera to document it all.  Binoculars if you have them or can borrow them would also be cool.  I bet the wildlife there is to die for! 

 

Obviously all of this depends on how far the park campsites are from civilization, how long you intend to stay, how far in you want to hike, and your own comfort levels, and money.  You have me thinking of our upcoming trip now, I can't wait for this summer!  We're taking DD on her first camping trip down to Tayrona Park on the northern coast of Colombia.  Should be a blast!


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#11 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all the tips! We will look into another tent, perhaps. The food ideas sound wonderful! 

 

Say, what do you all do about keeping little ones away from the cooking fire?

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#12 of 14 Old 05-23-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy212 View Post

Thanks so much for all the tips! We will look into another tent, perhaps. The food ideas sound wonderful! 

 

Say, what do you all do about keeping little ones away from the cooking fire?



We took DD on her first big camping trip when she was 15 months old. All it took was standing a little too close one time and she learned what hot meant. She didn't burn herself, but could feel the heat and she try to mess with the fire anymore. My concern was more about her falling on it, but she never got close enough after that one time.

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#13 of 14 Old 05-24-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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I'm going to repeat that the tent isn't going to work. You will be laying should to shoulder. We used to do a 4 man tent and we slept on an air mattress. There was about 6 inches of floor space when the air mattress was inflated.

I would suggest asking friends if they have some camping equipment you can borrow. We're always lending out our heater, tent, and camp stove to someone.

I liked having a stroller at the campsite. Sometimes it's nice to have a place to set a toddler where you know they can't get into the fire or go running off. A pack and play would serve the same purpose.

My other tip is to scale down the smores. We take fudge stripe cookies and marshmallows. My kids like them better than traditional smores because they aren't as messy. That is if we even do smores. DH and I aren't big fans so we generally skip them.

I would also suggest asking around for a canopy or a screen room. I'm not familiar with the area you'll be camping in, but tents get hot. Sometimes you just want to sit in the shade and catch a breeze or get out of the rain.

I have a camping checklist that I used when packing for trips back when we were tenting. Now that we're into the airstream we don't even unpack so it's much easier. There are some really good camping checklists online. REI has a good one.

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#14 of 14 Old 05-24-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy212 View Post

Thanks so much for all the tips! We will look into another tent, perhaps. The food ideas sound wonderful! 

 

Say, what do you all do about keeping little ones away from the cooking fire?



 A "super yard" would work great.  It's essentially a bunch of baby gates that are clipped together to form an 18 square foot octagone.  You could put it around the fire to keep DD away and also use it to give DD a safe play area away from the fire and other hazards.   The screen tents are awesome.  We went camping this weekend and DS (10 mos) and my niece (14 mos) loved playing in there.  It was a life saver as the mosquitoes were awful!

 

I agree that the 4 man tent will NOT work.  Look for somewhere you can rent a bigger or additional tent from.  In our city the University has an Outdoor Centre that rents all types of camping/hiking/canoeing, etc. gear.  You can also probably rent sleeping bags and cooking gear which is nice because then you can "try before you buy" and see what you like, don't like and what is useful, etc.

 

For food ideas, you can do baked potatoes or corn on the cob right in the fire.  For potatoes, get the coals good and hot, wrap the potatoes in foil, and toss them right in.  Be sure to rotate regularly.  Same with the corn.  Leave it in the husk, soak in cold water for at least 20 mins, wrap in foil, and toss it right onto the coals.  Invest in a cast iron skillet and eventually a cast iron dutch oven.  Great for cooking right on the fire.  Plus you can always find a nice cast iron skillet that is already seasoned at garage sales and antique stores or flea markets.  Steak is amazing over the camp fire.  Season with montreal steak spice, butter the cast iron skillet, throw the steak in and cook on both sides over the fire.  The caramelization is amazing (but be fairly generous with the butter for best results!)  You really don't need anything else to cook with besides the fire.  But a good investment is one of those littleburners that screws right on the small propane bottles.  They don't take up much room and allow you to boil water or cook without getting the fire going.

 

Other really good gear to have for tent camping:

 

Basin for washing dishes

Water Jug (5 gallon or so)

Folding chairs

Good foamies (I like better than air mattresses because they keep you warmer, as the air in the air mattress gets cold at night!

Good sleeping bags

Axe and hatchet

Propane lantern

Plates, cups (I like the enamel covered tin ones.  The pie plates are great as dishes because they have raised sides)

French press (if you drink coffee.  I consider this a necessity!! lol)

At least 1 cooler.  I like having 2.  One for food, one for drinks

BBQ lighter and fire starter

deck of cards, crossword puzzles, etc. (for rainy days)

at least 1 tarp and rope.  Telescopic poles are handy too so it's easier to set the tarp up.

Can opener

tongs or spatula

 

I'm sure there are things I'm missing but this is a good start!

 

 

 


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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