I have to admit that I wasn't exactly looking forward to our first time camping with Magnolia. I absolutely love camping- and I obviously absolutely love my daughter- but since she's not a huge fan of sleeping anywhere other than her crib- I really thought it was going to be a rough night for all of us.
But it was Father's Day and I knew my husband really wanted to go so we decided to just go for it. And I'm so thankful we did! Magnolia did great! She loves being outdoors to begin with and being outdoors non- stop was just pure heaven for her.
We headed out to the campground by Granite Hot Springs just south of Jackson. It's one of our favorite places to car camp and there was surprisingly barely anyone there.
My husband making some kid friendly dinner for us: hot dogs over the fire :)
The only thing that Magnolia was not a big fan of was the fire. She basically hates all things that are hot or warm so when we tried to all relax and sit around the fire it was as if we'd ask Superman to plop down in front of a giant heap of kryptonite. Not going to happen. So no s'mores for us
And although it took much longer than usual for her to go to bed. We both just went to bed together once it was dark (which is around 10pm around here) and after about maybe 45min- 1 hour she was out. I consider this a success since I've heard horror stories of babies and toddlers staying up til the wee hours of the morning crying. And she was basically giggling and squirming around until she fell asleep so it was at least pleasant :)
To help, I thought I'd throw out some of the things that helped us in camping with a toddler.
1) Bring kid friendly food. Camp food I feel like is already pretty kid friendly but it doesn't hurt just to throw it out there. We had hot dogs & chips for dinner and scrambled eggs, potatoes & fresh fruit for breakfast. We also brought lots of munchies
2. Bring extra clothing. I generally pack Magnolia an extra outfit on outings but you may want to pack a couple more and for different types of weather. She got really dirty. Sitting on the ground, playing with dirt, moving dirt from one chair to the next. And then mix that with campfire soot, spilled food, bug spray, juice, and sunscreen- it can just get to be a little messy lol. Plus temperatures can change so drastically from day to night- it never hurts to bring a little extra... their clothes are small anyways. AND- If you're camping in bear prone areas like we do, you want to make sure that when they go to bed they have absolutely no trace of food left on them
3. I would also suggest bringing an extra pair of shoes for them. We only brought 1 which was fine but if you're near water and their shoes get wet- it could be pretty miserable during the evening/ early night.
4. Bring something comforting for bed time. I brought 2 of the stuffed animals my daughter sleeps with and it seemed to at least help her understand what the purpose of the tent was haha
5. Bring kid friendly bug spray and sunscreen. I don't know about where y'all are- but we have a ton of mosquitoes right now!
6. Make sure to also bring kid sized camping chairs & bear spray (if you're camping where there are bears)
7. We also brought one of our backpacking therm-a-rests for her to sleep on and lots of blankets in case it got cold- which it did. I gave her my sleeping bag which is good for temps down to 20 degrees. And I took her Frozen blankets... which coincidentally enough I froze in. So we'll be getting her a an adequate sleeping bag
7. Other than that, I'd just say keep your expectations low and have a great time. We had such a great time on Magnolia's first camping trip and really look forward to going again soon