When you have babies and toddlers, life can slow you down. Your normal pace of doing things is certainly changed. So many people put their life on hold during these years. Instead of doing their favorite things with a baby in tow, they put them off completely, vowing to do it “someday” or “when the kids are older.” Traveling adventures are usually one of the first things to go – hiking, vacations, camping trips, etc. After all, traveling near or far with a little one is a completely different ballgame.
My husband and I love to camp. We both grew up with families who camped often. Some of our fondest memories involve a tent or a campfire or an early morning fishing outing with our parents. There is something beautiful and serene about sleeping under the stars or in the woods. There’s something about eating from a camp stove that makes you appreciate the simple things in life.
When we first had kids, we vowed to each other that we wouldn’t give up our lives. In other words, we’d keep doing the things we love – camping included. Yes, it would more stressful. Yes, we’d have to pack more “stuff.” But we’d expose our girls to these amazing life experiences, even as babes.
We’ve been camping about four times in the past two years. Each time, we have taken our tots along with us. When they were infants, it was a piece of cake. But now that they are toddlers, it’s a bit more insane. Trying to get everyone to fall asleep in a tent at the same time is difficult. (Comical, but hard!) Changing diapers or making a trek to the bathroom in the middle of the night is ridiculous. But even as stressful as it is, it’s completely worth it.
Our girls probably won’t remember our family camping trips from when they were just one and two years old. But they will possess a spirit of adventure. They will grow to appreciate nature. They will find peace in a moonlit sky or flowing river. They will come to find a piece of themselves in the natural world. Instead of saving a camping trip until “they’ll appreciate it” or some magical able-to-camp age, we’re doing it now.
A family camping adventure is always a good idea.