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Archive for October, 2012

Hey Friends,

It’s been a long time since my last post. We had a busy summer then start of school and all its madness. Now, things are settling down and I’m back with lots of updates.

The last few months has been full of Sunshine’s firsts including his first camping trip. It was soooo much fun.

During our morning hike, the kids had a blast exploring this cool tree.  They kept saying, “let’ go back to the HOME tree.”

I grew up camping but had never camped with kids. It was a little more work but worthwhile. Some tips for the next one. These are not your typical checklists. i.e. firewood, tent, cooking utentils. Instead, these are practical tips that I wish I knew before we went.

1) If you using a new tent, pitch it the day before so you know how the poles go in.  It didn’t dawn on me till I was struggling in the dark to find directions and telling the kids, “PLEASE Don’t play with the tent sticks! We need those.” Yeah, big lesson.

2) Headlights are essentials. You will not look like a geek. Instead you will be grateful. Those are the best inventions on earth. It is worth getting the more expensive ones as they are brighter and in the dark woods, the brightness comes in handy. REI and Amazon have them. They are great for emergencies i.e. Earthquakes.

3) Ikea blue bags are great for lugging all your gear. They are big and waterproof. Sleeping bags, tents, clothes, etc all can fit into 2-3 of those big plastic bags. A friend suggested them instead of getting an expensive duffel bag and boy was she right.

4) Camping chairs are on my shopping list. Growing up, we didn’t have them but with kids, they are nice to have. We were able to huddle around roasting marshmallows and listening to our friend play the guitar.

Thank goodness that Uncle Andy was a pro at starting the fire. Don’t the kids look cute with their headlights?

5) Put all the kids on one tent. More fun with the kids and the adults get more sleep. Hmm, not sure it will really work but worth trying.

6) Hoodies for the kids. Everyone slept with hats but I quickly realize that the hat kept slipping off so I spent part of the night checking if Sunshine’s hat was on. So, in the morning, I was a tiny bit tired. A hoodie would be perfect for the night, no slipping off.

7) Keep food simple. Best to precook dinner if arriving late. Keep breakfast easy. I was too ambitious and griddle 30+ buttermilk pancakes after our first night. Next time, bacon and eggs. Much simpler.
8) Lantern is a good thing. I thought the headlights would be enough but soon realize that the lantern are good with kids. It serves as a homebase in the darkness. So, this is on my camping wishlist!

Some memorable memories from this trip. As we were pitching our tents, raccoons invade our friend’s car and opened a candy wrappers and left a trail of paw prints. Yeah, yuck! Then as we were enjoying the fire, more raccoons snatched our Safeway shopping bags full of smore ingredients. Seriously, it was crazy to watch these little raccoons stealing our desserts. The kids and adults were yelling and running after them. It was comical. Even with these crazy raccoons, we still plan to go camping again. It was fun for the kids to just run around in the woods and enjoy nature. Can’t wait till our next trip.

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