As a teenager, camping wasn’t something I often did. We had a small trailer for family vacations and I would take a tent to have more space but admittedly, it wasn’t something I enjoyed that much.
As an adult living in the city, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of tenting. Admittedly, we have a tent-cabin that fits nine people and has two rooms. We aren’t ‘roughing it’ by any means and prefer to stay in campgrounds that have water nearby and the option of electricity.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be taking the boys to Grand Manan Island by myself to camp in my sister’s backyard. I will be participating in the Rotary Mud Run with some friends. The boys and I are going down a few days earlier to enjoy the beach and the freedom to enjoy the day with little to do but lots to enjoy.
There are certainly some tips and tricks to camping that I’ve picked up over the past two summers and I would be more than happy to share:
Take it slowly! Don’t start out thinking you’re going to take your children on a backwoods adventure for 10 days if they’ve never camped before. Camp in your backyard or a campground a few times for a night or two first. You’ll learn what you need and what is absolutely useless. It gets so much easier after the first few times.
Have a bedtime routine – Don’t forget the children’s favorite bedtime security blankets/teddy bears or stories. You can be a tad lax with bedtimes but try to stick with the general routine. Our kids always get a bath and book before bed so when camping, we at least wash them down and read a few books.
Don’t plan too much – Everything will take longer when camping. Food takes longer to cook over a fire, the kids will be distracted by every blade of grass, bug and sound, and bedtime will take longer if it’s sunny out. Planning more than is manageable leaves everyone stressed so make every plan flexible! Enjoy your time together more than what you’re doing.
Have a backup plan – Bad weather, kids who won’t stop crying, or even missing equipment can make enjoyable camping an impossibility. Have a backup plan available. Either go home and call it a night or have a hotel in mind but don’t ruin your time together by trying to do something that isn’t working.
First Aid – Your kiddos will be exposed to new things and extra sunshine. Bring your first aid kit! Baby tylenol/advil, band-aids, tweezers for splinters, ointment for scrapes, and know the nearest hospital and pharmacy in the area. Be prepared for the worst and hope you don’t need it.
Equipment – I personally refuse to camp without a playpen. While we don’t use it during the day, it makes it significantly easier to have the kids go to sleep with one in the playpen and one on the camp floor. Find things that work for you – be it a high chair, a stroller, a specific backpack or a playpen.
Have snacksand hydrate often– Being outdoors works up a healthy appetite in any child. Easy snacks are always important. Watermelon, strawberries, bananas, granola bars, graham crackers and juice/milk boxes are always easy ‘go-to’ snacks. I also keep water bottles on hands for the kiddos and let them fill them up with cold water often.
I’m sure this list will be updated as time goes on but it’s certainly an enjoyable experience. There is something about the fresh air, the calmness and just letting kids be kids that makes for enjoyable memories. Be it cooking s’mores or listening to the baby snore loud enough to wake the dead – the time I spend with my family makes for the best memories.
I cannot find a more peaceful spot in the world than out on the water. I think I’ve forgotten how relaxing it is to not hear anyone talking – there’s no one calling my name and there’s no way for anyone to get ahold of me. Yesterday, I headed up to Renforth Park in Rothesay to enjoy the summer sunshine and snap some pictures!
There was an amazing breeze that kept me cooled down just enough to be comfortable and keep the bugs away but it was absolutely calm!
Just a girl and her kayak – what a great evening! I’m so excited to see what else I can find in my adventures on the water. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be heading to Grand Manan Island and will hopefully be heading out on the ocean for a bit!
I have decided to end my relationship with my scale. I panic over the numbers and a good day can be determined by ounces gone while a bad day can be created when seeing the scale go up (even after a weekend of indulgent food and my impending period).
It’s time for that to stop so I’m dedicating the next 30 days to healthy eating, exercising daily, and no more weighing in!
The good thing about this is it’s real life. It’s not about dieting – it’s about being the best example to my kids that I can be and the best version of myself possible!
I love running and kayaking as well as walking with the boys so incorporating exercise into my day is easy! Finding healthy meals to make on a daily basis – not as easy. I love junk food as much as I love healthy food…so I think it’s time to really work on my diet and be healthier. My muscles and heart deserve it!
As of now, I’m going to get my house cleaned up after a weekend of camping and then take the boys out for a walk to get the sides for supper!
When I say I’m busy, I’m not trying to avoid something I don’t want to do – I’m actually busy. I’m a stay-at-home mom which means my life revolves around three other lives – my two boys, Isaac and Arthur and my husband, Dan. I cook, clean, teach, discipline, guide, run a household and try to do the best job possible all while staying properly caffeinated.
My plans often change in an instant because someone gets sick or is just having one to many meltdowns. I’m often running late for things or am ridiculously early because that’s how we manage not being late.
My social network is pretty slim – I’ve got my family and my church family. I don’t have a lot of friends because it comes back to being busy.
That being said, I also understand the importance of time for myself!
Since having Arthur – my youngest – I’ve dropped about 50lbs through diet and exercise but I’m still looking to lose another 30. I’ll be sure to have more about that adventure later.
I am excited that I am the proud owner of a 10ft kayak I’ve named Driftwood (aka Drifty for short). Driftwood is a wider boat made for smooth waters and lollygagging along. I also just found my waterproof camera so there will be photos coming up soon!
Furthermore, I have entered my first races this summer! I love running and have dedicated evenings to getting more in shape. Did I mention – busy?