In August we went camping with a bunch of friends in our neighborhood. We have only been camping a couple other times with our kids. I've always wanted my children to grow up loving camping and hiking and everything about the outdoors.
I feel really lucky to have grown up in a family that camped a lot, and to have become a veteran backpacker and camper in my adulthood. I love the outdoors and any chance to go camping!
The kids loved the tent. Instead of bringing sleeping bags for each person, we usually blow up individual thermarests then cover all of them with one large (queen) sheet. Then we make it up like a normal bed with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and several quilts/blankets. This way we all stay warm and can snuggle! It just works out better this way with our small kids too.
You should have seen the back of our car. Filled to the brim with camping gear......for one night. Kids require a lot of gear! And I was sort of in charge of dinner too (with some helpers) so I brought up all the food for dinner.
Other families started arriving and set up their tents. I brought a small pack n' play for the babies to sit in. Here's Abby with her little friend.
I decided tin foil dinners would be the easiest thing to make for such a large group. We had over 25 people (including all the little kids) so it was a lot of mouths to feed. My friend was kind enough to do the grocery shopping since I had to work the night before but then we chopped and cut up all the food before camping so it was all ready to go.
I set up a little prep area for everyone to make their own tin foil dinners. We had rice, chicken, corn, onions, green peppers, lemon juice, and seasonings. They only had to cook for about 35 minutes on the coals. They turned out SO delicious and filling. I will definitely be doing this recipe again. The clean up was so minimal, we simply threw away our tin foil. Everyone was in charge of bringing their own plates and utensils. I also brought some home made zucchini chocolate chip bread. We had so much left over because they were so filling.
Another family made the most delicious raspberry cobbler in a dutch oven for dessert. It was to die for.
One family brought this hammock and boy did it keep the kids entertained! They were squealing in that thing over and over!
Eliza was so excited to roast marshmallows and make smores. I think she enjoyed roasting them more than eating them.
We went to bed around 11:00 pm which is late for our kids. They were a little cranky by that time but it was fun to have them stay up late by the fire.
We all slept on the floor together and it was so fun to snuggle up with our girls. Eliza was talking mid sentence saying she was a little bit scared to sleep in the tent away from home when suddenly she just fell asleep. It was the funniest thing. She was talking one second then asleep the next.
Surprisingly the girls slept pretty well through the night. Eliza woke up around 6 am then went back to bed for a little bit. I woke up about every 2 hours because I was worried about Abby getting cold.
Abby was the most adorable thing the next morning in her little hat.
Here are the girls helping me set up camp the night before.
I've found that kids REALLY like having their own personal camping chair. I bought one a few years ago for under $10 at a local grocery store.
I also like to bring our Graco travel pack n' play if there's room. It really helps to have a place to set the babies so that they can play and watch me while I set up camp.
More hammock fun.
Abby liked walking around the entire campsite. This was just after she started walking.
How did we get so lucky to have these adorable kids!?
These pictures aren't great, but I love waking up in the morning in the tent with my girls. It is so cozy and Abby was the cutest thing when she woke up, so happy, and so snuggly.
We had a fabulous time camping. A bit hectic and stressful (on the parents' part) but ultimately fun for everyone (especially the kids).