Going campin'

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Big Kids, Places To Go, Toys

Back in the day, I used to do a lot of camping and backpacking. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. As in, leading trips for the Sierra Club. As in knowing the exact weight of every piece of gear I owned (baby scales are good for that). As in, having had to go to court in Yosemite Valley (bet you didn't even know there is a courthouse in the Valley, didya?).

The last time, however, that I went backpacking was toward the end of September, 1996. In January of 1997, my mother passed away. After that, I did very little that didn't involve my dad or working. That meant no more backpacking. We did go camping once with him (with other Land Rover owners) but it really wasn't his cup of tea. Fast forward ten years and I've switched from caring for my father to caring for my kids and, so far, backpacking and camping have pretty much eluded us still.

This coming weekend, however, we're going camping (rain or shine) with some of the other families from Jared's preschool. And so, I find myself in unfamiliar territory. I think that if I were going backpacking on my own, I could dig up the memories of what to take (as well as my old notes), but going camping with kids is rather new to me.

With that in mind, I turn to you, dear readers, for advice. What should I bring? Jared is five, Sara three, and both are very active. I know the basics like the tent and bedding and stove and kitchen gear. Rachel will pack plenty of clothes, I'm sure. But what am I missing?

What have you found to be useful or even indispensable when you've gone camping with your kids? What will make this a great trip for the kids and serve to whet their appetite for more?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.