Camping with the kids

Mariann - posted on 01/29/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I was astounded to hear how many moms hold off taking their kids camping/hiking because they are newborns! With all three of mine, I plopped them into the front carrier and was off! How many of you waited and, out of curiosity, why?

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Darcy - posted on 08/09/2013

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I have waited because my husband and I cant afford but even if we went to stay with his family at their camp site it would have been hard. My daughter was a sick baby and I felt that we needed to focus on getting her healthy before heading out to camp

Tonya - posted on 05/13/2011

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I am so with you on this. My daughter was 3 weeks & my son 4 weeks the first time we took them camping. (They were both April babies & we had to wait until it was a little warmer out). My children are now 9 & 7 & LOVE the outdoors. I don't understand why others wait either. I feel when a child is raised in an outdoors atmosphere, it makes them learn earlier to be safe when outside. I also don't have to worry about the being "couch potatoes" except for maybe the winter.



even when they were a little older & moving around, instead of being harder, it was easier. just give a pail & some dirt & let 'em go. I remember when my daughter was 2 we went to the lakes (LBL in KY where I live) & she saw the water. she ran straight to it. Kinda like the cartoons you se where they are walking under the water. She walks in & keeps wallking...LOL... I saw she went under the water, of course I ws frightened, I grabbed her up out of the water by her shirt. she took a deep breath & said "I"M SWIMMING!!!" I learned not to let her near the water without a life vest 'cause she isn't afraid a bit. She's a little fish. It does flare up my nerves a bit, but I'm glad she is such an eager explorer. She was even potty trained by camping. I had just had my son 6 days before her 2nd b-day. She was doing well with training until lil bro came along & she regressed. we went camping for a week & every 15 mins. she wantyed to go to the porta potties they had there. She had such fun in those nasty things. & by the time we got home, she was trained. Not an accident since.



My advice is if you love camping, don't let your children hold you back no matter thier age. Let them learn about nature & their surrounding the way they will. Maybe we all could learn from our children as they explore too.

Tara Mekosh - posted on 04/16/2011

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We have waited. Not sure why exactly... except maybe that we rarely actually camp in a tent. My husband and I always hiked to the top of a cliff after a day of rock climbing, put down our thermarest and sleeping bag, and slept out under the stars. We have also hesitated to camp in a campground with our son incase he would wake other campers; we are rock climbers, so we camp in climbing areas, and climbers tend to get up early.
That said... our son's first sleeping bag just arrived this week. He is 20 months old and I think this spring we will be camping.

Diane - posted on 04/05/2011

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I couldn't take my son camping before now because he had sleep apnoea. Monitors tend not to work without a reliable power source and it's really hard to get the solid flat surface they need too! lol!

He's grown out of it now so we're going this summer. Just got to sort out what he's going to sleep in - didn't camp with dd until she was 2 because the week we were going to go I thought I might be going to drop and the following year she was just mobile and I wouldn't risk it.

Sheri - posted on 04/14/2010

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We have been camping steadily since my daughter was 3 and my son was 7 months old... before that was more sporadic. I actually think camping is perfect for families with young kids. Children spend too much time inside now a days, and camping is a perfect, fun way to spend time together in the great outdoors, away from the hustle of modern conveniences!

Carol - posted on 04/08/2010

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We have always loved camping and hiking. Our daughter went tent camping at 4 months old for spring break. She walked up Mt Scott 3 miles round trip at age 4.5. Dad carried our sons ages 2.5 years old and 1 month old. Our youngest son was 3 weeks old when we went tent camping. It was hard on me. Our oldest two hiked 9 miles in Waterton National Park. Iain was 3 and Evelyn was 5. We just make sure that we stop many times along the trail for snacks and water. Our kids complain sometimes, but they cannot do anything about it when we are on the trail. We are looking forward to backpacking in Canada this summer. Our kids will be 9, 7 and 5.

Megan - posted on 04/08/2010

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I took my little one camping at 6wks old way out in the middle of no where, on a silent beautiful lake in Tahoe National forest! It was so amazing nursing and cuddling next to the fire with my brand new baby! If the parent feels capable then why not bring the babies with you on your adventures...

Jennifer - posted on 04/05/2010

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We took our son camping almost right away - he wasn't even two months old! It worked out well. But like Marilyn says - newborn was easy - just take them along - I think it will be tougher this year - he'll be 1 and wanting to "explore" everything. We'll definitely have to be more careful around fires and everything with a mover!

Paula - posted on 03/30/2010

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Mine started going as soon as the weather was good...I had 2 born in Jan ad Feb so they were older when they started but my middle one was born in July so he was an infant...it is great for them to breathe in the sights and sounds of nature!

Amanda - posted on 03/21/2010

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I can't wait til summer this year to go camping.....My daughter was born towards the end of summer last year so didn't get the chance to go last summer after she was born (went while I was pregnant. that was interesting having to get up in the middle of the night to use the potty...lol). My daughter is now 7 1/2 months old but would have taken her at a younger age if I could...seems like it would be alot easier to camp before they become mobile. I absolutely love being outdoors and will every chance I can.

Eleanor - posted on 03/19/2010

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My son was 7 months old when I took him camping for the first time would have been sooner, but he was born at the butt end of fall. My daughter was almost a year old but that was because by the time I healed from my c sect school was about to go into session

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I think it might depend on time of year and whether you are tent camping or not. Babies cannot regulate their own body temperature well in the first year so when tent camping with just the basics you have to be very aware of keeping them warm. I wouldn't bring a newborn out to tent camp in February.

I have 4 kids and now that it is March and our youngest is about to be 7 months old; we are planning our first camping trip with him.

Ellen - posted on 03/12/2010

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We tent camped back then and we took our kids as babies/toddlers. You just have to watch em like hawks and lock the tent zippers while sleeping!!

Cheryl - posted on 03/08/2010

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We camped in the backyard with our tent when our older son was under a year old. We went tent camping in the Georgian Bay area with him just before our second son was born when Samuel was almost 4 years old. Peter, the younger one went camping with us when he was about 8 or 9 months old (he was born in September). We had him in the pack and play in the tent with two cots and an air mattress. It was a bit tight, but definitely do-able. Then, we got a pop-up camper. The hardest thing about camping with a toddler is the dirt factor. We went camping with a group of people from our church. The moms with babies and toddlers brought blankets to spread on the ground. Great idea!! Their babies crawled around on the blanket and didn't get as muddy as my 1 year old who crawled around on the bare ground.

Camping is such a great family activity and very economical. Try out the state parks, provincial parks and state forest areas. We love exploring different areas. We've been going to the KOAs in the last year or so because they have so many kid-friendly activities. My husband and I love hiking on the trails, but our boys would rather jump on the jumping pillow, do nature crafts, and play at the beach. All of these things are possible at the KOA.

What do you folks do when your kids are not as game for hiking? Any ideas for motivating an 8 year old and a 4 year old to do longer hikes with Mom and Dad?

This summer we already have two camping trips booked, both with our church. These trips are very organized and we share meal times together and have fun family activities like kick ball (Moms vs. kids and Dads vs. teens), beach time, and crafts at the nature cabin.

We would like to plan a trip out West. My sister lives in Boulder, Colorado and we want to explore that area of the country.

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My baby was about 3 months old when I first took her camping last year. She did great! Slept with me in my sleeping bag. :-) The bugs were annoying and hard to keep off her though. I'd do it again, no big deal.

Pat - posted on 03/04/2010

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We've taking our 11 month old hiking many times... the first time was at about 6 weeks old. But we haven't taken him camping. The only opportunity that came up last summer was in an area (high desert) where it gets near freezing at night even in the summer. This year we've made campground reservations. We're also heading to the high desert area for some rock climbing but we're getting a hotel room as it's still just too cold at night... maybe if we had a trailer of some sort.

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I did not wait. My daughter was 6 months and we were camping. We did have a tent camper. Camping is so healthy for kids and parents a good bonding time.

Carrie - posted on 02/24/2010

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We are a family of 6. With four kids, that certainly didn't slow us down. We hiked no matter the age. Like you said, we just put them in the front carrier and were off. Now the younger two are bigger now, they get to ride on our backs in kid's kelty carriers. Just this last Labor Day weekend all 6 of us hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail, which was 36 miles. The older two kids (ages 8 and 6) carried their own camelbacks and sleeping bags, while Mom carried a pack with our food, tent, other supplies and Mom and Dad bags. Dad carried the most, which was our clothes and the younger two children (ages 3 and 18 months). We are so thankful that we did a backcountry trip like that together and we plan on doing another one like that this summer in a different section of the A.T.

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My son was 6 weeks old when he went camping for the first time. Between the front carrier for hiking and the bouncy seat to sleep in, he did really well and had a great time. He to this day is a huge outdoors kid and is now nearly 3 years old.

Rachel - posted on 02/19/2010

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We took our son camping/hiking around 3 months and we had no dramas, i find it more difficult now as he is almost 2, as he wants to take off and explore...

Kris - posted on 02/17/2010

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I agree Mariann, in fact its much easier to take a new born - in my opinion than some other stages. We took our oldest child for the first time at three months of age. But could have done earlier now that I know what I know. I think some moms are just way too paranoid or they have colicky babies. one or the other.

Melissa - posted on 02/16/2010

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Purely selfish reasons! My husband and I enjoy camping and hiking and didn't want our trips spoiled by having our son along. He is now almost 4 so he would definitely enjoy it now, but at 2 1/2, I don't think he would have liked it!!! I would rather his first camping trip be a pleasant experience so he would want to do it in the future on his own.

Kelly - posted on 02/12/2010

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I didn't wait! You cann't let your kids stop u from doing what you like....It was a little rough but worth it....

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I took my oldest camping with my family, including some out-of-town relatives, for the first time, at 3 weeks. My husband couldn't make it that particular time. Then, he and I took her backpacking at a year, and she was my pack, while he packed in most everything else we needed. With our two younger daughters - we didn't start taking either of them camping until they were 7 months, due to when their birthdays fall. All three of our girls love to camp and hike. I would have to say that children, in general, have a natural affinity to the outdoors.

Ivy - posted on 02/09/2010

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i waited.......but i was a single mom working two jobs! now, when i got with my husband.....we went right away...but they were already 7,6 and 5! but now they are addicted....and want to go all the time!!!! they love it! and i'm so happy they do!

Heather - posted on 02/09/2010

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My daughter first went camping at 18 months, she could walk by then. I only waited that long, cause thats when the opportinuty came up.

Marilyn - posted on 02/06/2010

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Actually newborn age wasn't as challanging as the 6 mo to 18 month age. What I did was to always take my trusty playpen, On one time my father-in-law carried it 1/8th of a mile! But Cordelia grew up to be a hardy camper, right up to the princess age (high school)!

Tammy - posted on 01/30/2010

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That sounds so nice. Hopefully, Lauren, my little one (6 years old) and I will go camping this Summer. We tried last year but got rained out.I would have taken her sooner but I have been ill over the past couple of years and my sickness comes and goes. I'm getting it under control now but do wish I would have taken her camping every year since she had been born. Her dad doesn't like to camp. But since we have been divorced and I'm finally feeling better we are going camping this year. I love it and we are going to have so much fun!

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