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Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by jcrew6311, Nov 12, 2016.
Yep, hasn't been on since the day after the OP
Why ruin a good conversation to see if anyone is listening?
He doesn't post much. 34 posts since Feb. 2015
I think many have had trips like that. Consider it a learning experience and make adjustments so next time your propane situation will be better. The kids get older. You all learn tricks to adapt. But the memories you are giving to your family will be priceless and maybe the subject for some laughs in years to come.
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Hey guys I am here lol. I haven't given up in fact we upgraded to a 07 Niagara in excellent condition. We just got back a couple weeks ago from 2 days in Los Angeles and 2 days in San Diego going to Disneyland, a museum, and Sea world. We were in the Taos for this trip (wish we had the Niagara!) And while it was definitely hard, it was also definitely memorable. The Mr heater worked perfectly to keep us warm, the kids were entertained the whole time, and since we stayed at places with amenities, they were easier during the down times. I'm mostly looking forward to our Niagara at this point for simple things like running water to not have to keep walking 100 feet over to clean dishes off and having a place to keep the gray water. Also a place to confine the kids even if for a little while inside, the Taos simply didn't offer any room for the kids to move around in which they and we needed.
At this point I'm trying to decide if I want us to take a trip into the woods with this new one or just wait til our next California trip. Having the beach and a place like Sea world makes all the difference for us on multiple day trips. To be honest I don't really know what to even do with the kids still all day for 3 days just out in the woods. We could go for a hike and let them play some but that to me seems it would get old after a few hours then you're left to decide what to do. One day when they're older I will want to try it, but for now I think I'm being realistic with myself and using our pup for real vacations, not just weekend getaways. I'll report back n how it goes when we go again, maybe late May!
Wow, sounds like you got some things figured out! Kudos to you for making it work with such little ones. I have three, the youngest being 4 years old and honestly I couldn't imagine if we had started camping when they were younger than that.
The woods might be ok. Our last camping trip was last fall and my kids literally spent an ENTIRE DAY playing in giant leaf piles. It was amazing! I thought they would eventually get bored, but I had to drag them out of it when it started to get dark.
Another thought, could you bring a hard plastic kiddie pool to contain the little one at the campsite, throw in some toys? Not sure if he could climb out yet.
If you like the woods, take your kids there and figure things out together. Kids don't have to be entertained, they can entertain themselves if you give them ideas how. Take some toys with you - they can build or load things they find in nature, find different plants, leafs, creatures, listen to animal sounds, birds, use a compass, build a fire, roast marshmallows, .....
I have three kids 11, 9, 5 and they LOVE to camp. We offer them a little more freedom then they get at home and they really look forward to it. Kids are pretty easy when they can just be kids.
I agree with everyone. Don't sell your PUP. I went through the same thing with tent camping and my young kids. It was awful and we were all stressed. So, when it was time to set up and take down I sent my older daughter with her younger brother to the park and did all the work myself. I'm a perfectionist and they didn't need to witness to my drama and cussing (I know I know). With that being said, I am moving up to a pup and still I'm going to send them off on their merry way while I set up and take down. I know to only camp with access to water and electric and preferably with good weather as I know my shortcomings. My children are 17 and 11 now so I have no babies, but I definitely understand your feelings. I stay stick with it and if you can, leave the dogs at home. They are the best I am sure, but one less hassle for you.
I havent read through all the responses yet but wanted to give my 2 cents.
I have a 2 and 5.5 year old. We went tent camping for 8 days to oregon two years ago, so they were almost exactly the age of your two. It was rough. But all in all, not too bad. We have a pup now, and will be doing 14 days in it to oregon again in July.
Can the kids just play in the dirt? They dont usually really need 'watching' if they have a designated area to play within? I bring a big bag of hotwheels cars and the kids just end up filthy playing in the dirt. Sometimes Ill make mud for them, if warm enough.
If the kids wont wander off, they can usually be kind of left to themselves and are very very happy. 8 months is young, but can baby sit in a bouncer? Or walker? Or crawl around?
Ive noticed that the ONE thing that makes my two boys (2 and 5) is being dirty. Just digging in the dirt, mud, making mud pies, driving cars, looking for bugs. I sometimes draw a big line around the campsite with a stick and tell the kids they can play anywhere within that line, but cant pass it without me or daddy. They listen well and as long as I can have an eye or ear on them, I let them just play. Last summer we went with the PUP for the first time. It was warm, so I emptied one of the food bins (those big plastic ones) and filled it with water. They jumped in and out of it and just water played. It kept them happy for hours. Maybe bringing a little inflatable kiddie pool?
I also agree that maybe go without dogs. We love our dog, but he is not the brightest. He just tangles up everything and is generally a little much for us to deal with as well as the kids. He goes on hikes and stuff, but not camping yet.
We have three boys, and started camping with them when the little one was maybe 8-9 months old. The older boys would have been about 4 and 7, so we had quite the age span. It does make a HUGE difference when your kids are able to entertain themselves and that's really MY goal for camping. The kids need to learn how to play with whatever bits of nature there is (lol). We take short day trips hiking or to the beach, but otherwise they are left to their own devices.
We rustic camp with them, so no electricity. We just make sure to go when its not terribly cold, and every kid has warm Jammies and hats to wear at night. We rarely run our heater, and never put water in the popup. Its basically a glorified tent.
With that said, I will NOT set it up if we are staying somewhere for less than 2 nights. If we get stuck in a 1 night situation we will motel it or pitch a real tent. Its too much effort for one night IMO. We also always have a portable DVD player that the kids get to watch at night before bed.
I will not bring our dogs on long trips. We go for about 3 weeks every summer, and they don't get to come for that. If we are going somewhere locally for a week then ONE dog might be lucky to come and she's not the yappy one. But its definitely easier to leave the dogs at home.
It does get a ton easier when the kids (our are now 4,7,11) can do their own thing and make friends and just run around on their own. When you aren't trying to save a toddler from burning themselves, eating dirt and sticks, or falling off cliffs.
Now all of this is my idea, the whole rustic camping thing, pop up camper, and my husband just goes along with it. I know he would probably prefer a bigger camper with more bells and whistles, or even better yet a hotel with room service. Haha But I do think there are a lot of spouses out there (and I won't say wives only) that aren't all that keen on the whole experience. If that's the case then maybe a travel trailer is more of the 'way to go'. I would capitulate with my spouse if he found that the pop up was too 'rustic' for him. Anything to get me out camping!
It will get better, but the reason we have a pop up now is we went tent camping with an 8mo old. He had to be bundled up a ton and he hated life because he couldn't move and he hardly slept so we hardly slept. So we got a tent camper with a heater and all is fine. I'd see if an actual furnace could be installed in your pop up, it would make it a lot easier.
Setup should get easier. I can setup in about 30 minutes. Tear down always takes longer because of the tucking and all and getting things cleaned up.
We're in CO though so the temps can get pretty cold even in the summer in the high country. I'll probably tent camp with the kids when they are a bit older (3 and 7mo now), but our youngest will have his first camping trip this summer.
I love this post! I loved reading everyone's response! This is what is great about camping! Nice people! It is also what is great about popupportal!
Our kids are grown and still want to go camping with us ,the times they talk about the most are the times when it seemed everything went wrong. It's like everything in life sometimes it all goes great some trips it goes all wrong,don't give up it gets better, just think of all the great stories your going to hAve sitting around the fire
I found that the play pen fits where the table goes. When we are not eating I set the table outside so we have a place to stick the little one when we have our hands full.
We camp with a 1 yr old and a 5 yr old.. I find they are just as happy in the camper as they are at home. (the 5 yr old is more happy lol) We are going to be doing 2 weeks in Colorado next month and I have 0 worries other than the ride out there. We do have a 12v tv and dvd player and also a Nintendo that runs on 12v for those bored times tho.
Sounds like all of your issues were due to lack of proper planning.
Make sure your propane tank is full before heading out. Get some tie out stakes that swivel for your dogs. Fix your furnace and get a portable sink.
The best safe heater we found to use with kids and animals is one of these low profile OIL FILLED ELECTRIC HEATERs. These have no visible flame or red hot core to deal with... The are also silent running...The low profile works great in the POPUP trailer... We use two of these and when at electric site we plug them into the 20AMP PEDESTAL service using an extension cord running out to the pedestal...
These are perfect for one of those O2COOL AC/DC/D CELL 10-inch portable fans. Will sit behind this oil filled heater and blow the warm air around the room...
When our grandkids come along with us they love to sleep outside in a sleeping bag or setup in their own tent etc...
Great thread! Love hearing how everyone copes/has coped with little kids while camping. I agree about not taking the dog(s) too!