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Weekend Update: Camping

We decided to go camping Friday night.  We made it to our campsite well after 7 p.m. which didn’t leave much time for setting up our campsite.  Couple that with the fact that most of the small dead wood was picked clean.  If we did find anything, it was rotten or still completely damp which didn’t make for a  quick fire or even a great fire until very, very late at night.

To tie over a hungry boy’s appetite, we let him feast on a peach.

TwB peach

This campsite had ample room for Calvin to run around with small risk of danger.  Since he was antsy and we had things to do to get camp set up before dark, I asked Calvin to help.  He helped me pick up small sticks for the fire.  He also picked up rocks and bark, but he was great at picking things up.  He called everything a “stick”.

TwB BagNext, he carried dragged his sleeping bag over to the tent area.

I don’t have photos of us enjoying the fire or our fire-roasted nitrate-free apple-gouda chicken sausages.  I was the one roasting the food while preventing a very hungry toddler from devouring them raw.  Steve was busy searching for dry firewood and blowing on the fire.  So, no photos.  Maybe, next time.

Even though we’ve slept in the tent a few times, it’s still strange for Calvin to fall asleep outdoors when it’s very dark and he’s not in his crib.  So, I snuggled in my sleeping bag next to him until he settled down and started snoring.

I was able to sneak out of the tent and sit next to Steve by the now roaring fire.  We roasted a fresh pineapple and then devoured all of it.  Two of us consumed one whole pineapple.  My tongue was burning, but it was deliciously good.

TwB TentAll three of us slept better than we’d slept in years several months.  We had a mossy surface on the ground and double layers of Ridge Rest and Therm-a-Rest for extra comfort and warmth.

By morning, Steve built another roaring fire and cooked up our breakfast pita sandwiches on a stainless steel skillet.  TwB BreakfastI’d really like to expand our camping menu to something other than hot dogs for dinner, and bacon and eggs for breakfast.  I found Healthy Camping Recipes and want to try some of those options next time we hit the dirt.

Calvin and I played down by the river.  He wanted to spend the entire time throwing rocks into the water.  I caught him lugging around a few very large boulders.

TwB RiverWe observed lots of interesting wildlife: deer, salamander, toad, beetle, centipede, millipede, and many other very large insects.

Calvin thought the toad was a bug.  We told him it was a toad, and then re-named it a frog since that was something he could sort of relate to.

TwB frogHe discovered a very large beetle.  In fact, he pointed out “BUG!” for every single insect that he saw around our campsite.

At home, he shots “BUG!” whenever he spies a pill bug or fly looming on the floors.  It’s his way of getting our attention so we can wipe it up and flush it or toss it in the trash can.

He expected the same reaction at our campsite when he saw this . . .

TwB BeetleI explained to Calvin that this forest, the outside was the bug’s home.  We were in fact visiting the bugs home.  I told Calvin the bug lived outside and we were going to let him be.  I think that explanation met with satisfaction since he ceased his frantic pointing and shouting of “BUG!”

Even though Calvin dozed off in the truck after we headed out on the very rocky and shock-absorber-trying gravel road, we chanced upon several stretches of blackberry bushes.  I needed only to roll down the windows to pick berries at the mountain drive-through.

We filled up a cup full of them.

When Calvin awoke from his nap, I placed the cup of berry treasures into his hand.

His reaction?

TwB BerriesDelighted.

Your turn: Have you been camping with your toddler?  What tips can you share for a fun and safe adventure?

What are your favorite campfire recipes?

–By Dr. Dolly
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

3 Responses

  1. Hi. I have a blog at http://www.picturecamping.com where I feature people’s posts about camping, and I would like to send my readers your way. Of course I would give you credit for quotes and would link back to your site.

    Thanks for considering this,

    Jean B. in SC

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful time….thank so much for the healthy camping recipes we are def going to try them.

  3. We haven’t taken our girls camping yet, but this post made me want to plan a trip. I just know my 2-year-old would love it. 🙂

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