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Camping with Kids: A Whole Different Adventure

Last weekend we enjoyed a camping trip to Sequoia National Park with some other local families.

A few families got together to go camping in the Sequoia National Park.  The campsite was in Kings Canyon and just a five minute hike to the Kings River.

I’m not an avid camper, this was probably my third time, but it was my first time with the kids and it’s a whole different adventure. 

My three-and-a-half year old had a great time, he was so excited that he got to sleep outside, in the forest, in a tent, and in a sleeping bag. 

He could not contain his excitement, so much so, that most of the drive-up involved him telling us, in an annoyed tone, “I’m ready to get into my sleeping bag now.”

It was a lot harder for my 18 month old — harder on me that is. 

She had a blast, as long as she was barefoot and allowed to dump dirt on her head; she was literally a “happy camper.”  The difficulty came with keeping her contained and making sure she wasn’t eating the dirt. 

In addition to packing for the trip, which was ridiculous because it seemed like we packed half our house and still forgot things, the most challenging part was the sleeping arrangements. 

Although we brought her playpen, our daughter would end-up in our full airbed, which was barely big enough for us, let alone another little body that would not stay still. Those first two nights the only people getting any sleep were the kids. 

By the third night we caught on. Although warm during the day, probably in the 80s, it got extremely cold at night. 

The temperature felt like it was in the 40s and the cold was coming up from underneath, so we padded the bottom of her bed with additional blankets as well as the blankets on top and she slept the whole night!      

We hiked to the river, visited Grizzly Falls, relaxed and just took in the spectacular nature around us. Some in our group even got chased down by a bear!

But all was safe. And the best part of the whole trip is seeing the kids, unplugged, unencumbered, breathing in some fresh air and really playing in the outdoors. They loved every minute and can’t wait to go camping again!

Check out Love the Outdoors for some useful camping tips and advice to make camping with the kids more enjoyable and a real outdoor adventure.

Ruth Milligan July 08, 2011 at 11:17 PM
We did have such a great time -- even our bear-chased friends -- I think one of them got a blurry pic on their phone while running away. I still have my brochure, so ask away on any questions and thanks as always on commenting!
Darren Fishell July 08, 2011 at 11:39 PM
How large was this bear, Ruth? Do you know what kind of bear?
Ruth Milligan July 09, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Darren, they encountered a male Black Bear. Don’t know how large he was, but our friends said that they put their eyes to the ground, walked away facing him, and when they were out of range, ran for their lives!
M Evangelista July 11, 2011 at 06:44 PM
We'll be camping up in the Sierras in a couple weeks. It'll be my first time camping with a child as well. I know I will be spending a lot of time chasing my 2-year old and I can already see the camping list growing.
Ruth Milligan July 12, 2011 at 05:35 AM
Take clothes and shoes you won't mind them trashing and have a great time! I'd love to hear about your experience when you get back.

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