Summer is here.
If you ask around at the end of the season, a general consensus of your friends will say one of their best family vacations was camping. This is due, they’ll say, to leaving the hectic pace of the city and enjoying quality time together in the great outdoors. After a little planning of the location, the gear, and when to go, a camping trip is fun, affordable and memorable.
NurturedDad and I went camping together when we lived near the Rocky Mountains. Once we became parents we quit camping alone and began camping with friends and their daughter. Truth be told, we couldn’t have done that first trip without our friends nearby. Everything was more efficient in having fellow parents along for the adventure. The fire stayed stoked and dinner was made all while you stepped away to change a diaper.
This year camping season began for us over Father’s Day weekend. The boy’s school had just let out and I invited quite a lot of fellow parents to join us. In the end only one family booked and showed up, Jessica, a fellow Nurtured team member, her husband and their 3 kids. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the bugs were minimal, and a strawberry moon was on the rise. It was a beautiful weekend of camping and we had the biggest laugh when Jessica and I unpacked many of the same camping items. Apart from the bug spray and sunscreen, here are five things we highly recommend taking along with a child[ren] in tow. You’ll love number 5.
- Kid friendly dishes– Years of use in the kitchen, and rave reviews from our customers in their cabins, our silicone Kinderville bowls and cups made everyone smile while camping. These are durable, lightweight, stackable and even colour coded so every kid has their own. Silicone is forgiving in also letting the littlest one get to the very last drop. When Jessica brought out their stainless steel cups I couldn’t help but adore how appreciated they were. Her kids flocked around for their cucumber slice garnishes and oohed and ahhed over washing dishes and finding the rainbow cups to put in the rinse bucket. The edges in stainless steel products are not created equal. These dishes are finished in every detail to last through decades of use, handling, and handling varied temperatures. Check out these stainless steel cups, mugs, plates and straws.
- Potty – Let’s face it, no matter how big the little kids get, it’s nice to have a potty without the fear of falling in.
- Merino – Morning and night, this is what the kids felt great in. Jessica marched her kids into their tent just after supper and out they came no hassle with their hats and pjs! Naturally, I had packed the same. We had a good laugh over how coordinated the range of colours ended up. As parents and natural fiber enthusiasts we know the beauty of merino. I loved when a visitor to our site asked if the kids were wearing merino. His comment, “You won’t have to wash it for 100 years!” made everyone laugh and marvel just the same. The next day on the beach a mom and babe duo was also intrigued, “Bright coloured merino in kid’s sizes?” “Yes.” “Even in baby sizes?,” she asked. I blushed. “Um, do you know Nurtured in Halifax? You can find it all there. It’s really great and easy to care for plus it’s made in Canada.” Did I mention you can buy it here, here and here?
- Mesh bag – Why everyone else knows this trick is beyond me. I did not until this year. Hang all your dishes just washed in a mesh bag (any general store should have one) over on a tree branch. For added organization give each child their own bag.
- Another Mother – Nothing made the trip more satisfying than when Jessica leaned in with a beaming smile of relief and said, “You know, it’s really nice to go camping with another mother. Someone else who just gets it.” She was right. Here we were, transitioning the kids from one place to another, teaching them how to be safe around open flames, to be extra patient for meals, and take initiative in caring for their own dirty feet. Just in case though, another mother stands by with a towel ready to dry off said dirty feet.
Even after sweeping out the tent, planning and executing the meals, washing the sweet, sticky s’mores faces and all the hikes to the toilet, camping is a grand vacation. It’s affordable, adventurous and provides a sense of accomplishment for making sure everyone returns home alive and enriched.
We always pack up our campsite a little more seasoned and make more plans to go again soon on the way home.
Do tell, where is your favourite campsite in the Maritimes?