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Kiddo Fieldtrip // Quickie Camping For the Win!

Last weekend we went camping. For one day. Yup, ONE DAY. And you know what? You should too! Camping is so much fun, but if you’re like me you might be thinking, “Oh, I totally want to go….but we’re really, really busy! We just don’t have time. It’s kind of a big production.” So when Greg proposed we go camping for one night….wellll, I kinda thought he was crazy. And maybe he was, but I gotta tell ya we had a BLAST. It was such a good idea. We went to a site that was actually really close (barely 25 minutes away) so it was low stress but deep in the mountains and so gorgeous, we felt like we were a million miles away!

Although we were close to home, I promise this wasn’t glamping….there wasn’t a store nearby, we cooked all our food over the fire, and we slept in sleeping bags in our little tent. I think Sammy had the most to get used to. He was very nervous, not sure what was happening (“what? everyone is sleeping outside??”). Aaaand he had to be on a long chain/leash while at the campsite. Which he wasn’t sure he liked much. I thought he looked like Ghost, from Game of Thrones.

Greg and I used to camp all the time, but this was the first family trip we’ve taken. I’ve never backbacked into a camping site—I’m too much of a City Mouse for that. But car camping is still really fun/doable and still rugged. We packed well, but not quite as efficiently as we used to—I was a little bit rusty! We had a mini cooler with some perishables and lots of easy dry snacks and fruit. The guys brought a ball and we also brought some games to play together. It was really fun to look at all our old equipment and see what was still in pretty great shape and what we wanted to upgrade. Our lanterns were still awesome and we played a little Jenga under the starry sky. Wolfie taught us how to play, I’d never actually played it before! I found this set at the thrift store earlier in the week and scooped it up especially for our trip.

We definitely want a new tent. I can’t lie….the tent was reeeeeeeally squishy!! It’s an old one and meant for two people, not two grownups….one 8-year old wiggle worm and one giant 104 pound fur ball!! I have to say, ol’ Sammy was totally into the tent. He would poke his little snout out the zipper to make sure everything was ok. He took his guarding duties verrrry seriously. It got extremely cold at night and the wind was really whipping the tent back and forth dramatically. I don’t think Sammy slept at all. Wolfie slept like a log.

We were going to make pancakes but I also brought bagels and cream cheese……guess what Wolfie voted for?? The guys went on a little hike with Sammy while I tidied up the camp site (the wind had blown everything around!). And yes….we played a little more Jenga! The best part was seeing how much fun Wolfie had. He’s definitely a 21st Century Boy and loves his 3DS and anything computery. We didn’t bring any electronics (other than phones…and we only used them for photos!) and Wolfie never once mentioned that he missed anything. In fact, he wanted to stay longer.

Before we left, we all piled in the tent one more time for a few rounds of CLUE.

Final conclusion: One day was totally worth it, but I think I would have done 2 days for even more fun. Oh, and for the record,  it was Mrs. White….with the wrench….in the library.

How about you? Are you campers? Have you ever done a one day quickie camping trip??

UPDATE: A few people have asked me about the CLUE game. Wolfie got it as a gift from our awesome neighbors and we love it. It’s a reproduction of one of the original 1960s versions (officially called the Vintage Collection Clue Game). But what makes this edition so awesome is it comes in a great wooden box, that makes it PERFECT for camping. No little game pieces spilling out all over the back of the car! And if you’re interested, you can read about the original Clue game versions on this fun post I did on board games!)

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23 Responses

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  1. liz says

    what a great time!! jon and i used to camp all the time (pre children) during our travel days and phish tours ;) we took the family in the fall and it was wonderful. we only did one night too (because of work schedules) but it was a perfect getaway! even jess and the dog enjoyed it. and clue! the boys would love that game. why didn’t i ever think of that? great photos.

    • Alix says

      I have, like, 4 different versions of the game CLUE (its one of my favorites). But our neighbors got Wolfie a really great Clue game from the Vintage Collection that was a reissue of the original illustrated version (you can see it over here http://modernkiddo.com/?p=5215 ). BUT beyond the awesome illustrations, it comes in this study wooden box that makes it PERFECT for camping! I can imagine a cardboard game box getting dinged and then the pieces flying everywhere! haha.

      • liz says

        camping or no camping, all of our games are dinged and missing pieces! flimsy cardboard. thanks for the link! I’ll check it out ;)

  2. Jody says

    We’ve never done a one-day trip, but we did our share of camping pre-kids. I backpacked twice, but I have to say, I’m a car camper, too. I like the fun of being outdoors WITH the convenience of bringing a cooler and a bottle of wine, thank you!

    VERY much looking forward to camping again when the girls are a bit older! Although here in Pennsylvania the bugs are definitely a little more of a problem…

    • Alix says

      I know, we were the same. We used to go ALL the time. And I even remember chatting with greg back in the day saying, “One day, when we have kids….” Not sure what took us so long! We had done some tent-cabin camping with Wolfie, but that’s not the same as staying in a proper tent!

  3. Tiffanie says

    What a wonderful time! Looks like there wasn’t another soul around. How fun!

    We have done a quickie one-nighter as a scouting mission for a future longer trip, but we still ended up packing like we’d be gone for a week! To Butano State Park. So nice, but where were you here? I love that there’s the water right there! I’d love to know this spot.

    Jiffy Pop….what a great idea for camping. I don’t think Stella has ever seen the miracle that is Jiffy Pop, I think I’ll try some here at home soon!

    • Alix says

      There weren’t that many people there…it was amazing. The weather got really cold when we left, I think we needed a few more layers! This was at Lake Chabot, and I def recommend it!

  4. Dottie says

    Great minds think alike, lady! Eric and I are taking the Peach for one day of camping next Monday. Butano State Park is where we are heading. We just went to Sunset Magazine and picked a place we liked the look of. I can’t wait, but like you–I’m more into car camping than real camping at least right now with the Peach.

    Of course the Jiffy Pop! No s’mores for Wolfie! Genius idea, lady!

    • Alix says

      Oh I can’t wait to hear how lil P likes camping! How far is Butano State Park? I bet its going to be beautiful!
      btw, I still consider car camping “real” camping! I mean, its not like you’re in a winnebago! I call hiking camping, “hard core camping”! I don’t know anyone who really does that (esp with kids). And especially if you are in a tent. I mean, we’ve actually stayed in the canvas tent cabins with Wolfie before, but that’s more glamping….still totally fun. There are some awesome sites near Santa Cruz (and yes, that time we totally brought a pizza into the camp with us for dinner!!! hahaha)

      • Tiffanie says

        Butano is right above Santa Cruz, Alix. Are you talking about Costanoa? We used to go there when there was a free buffet breakfast included in the fee. NOT roughing it! :)

        • Alix says

          hahaha no, def not Costanoa….that looks amazing! It was Big Basin!

    • Tiffanie says

      Dottie, Butano is our spot! We did two trips there last summer (blogged) and had a wonderful time. We took site 31 both times, but 27 is really sweet, too. How I remember that I have no idea. One day we even cruised down to Santa Cruz for the day, which was fun. Have a good time, and bundle up!

  5. Lynn Landry says

    I know I’m going to sound like a completely anti-nature person but: I hate camping. Actually I like all of it except for the sleeping-in-a-tent part. Remote cabin on a bayou, I’m there. But, no tents. HOWEVER, this post makes it look ever so tempting. Where did you go? Love that view.

    We did go on a three day car camping trip in Napa when Audrey was just over 2 and Miles was four and they went ferral within minutes and LOVED it. It was worth the back pain for that.

    • Alix says

      This was at Lake Chabot—so REALLY close, and totally gorgeous. WHo knew?? It was pretty cold at night. Wolfie completely embraced his inner Nature Boy too. We should do a family outing sometime! Our tent was really janky and uncomfortable, yet still cozy and fun—the novelty of a giant dog inside made Wolfie’s night! haha. We swung by REI and i have to say that they have made huge advances in Tent and Sleeping technology!

  6. ashley says

    My hubby and I used to camp all the time before we had Hooper. We’ve said several times that we miss it and ought to go but haven’t conquered the fear of it being more work than fun with an 18 month old. But it’s something I totally look forward to doing with both my little boys (second one due next month). There’s nothing like the good outdoors and it’s such great family bonding time.

    What a beautiful location you found! So nice to have something so grand, so close! I’d use the crap out of that spot!

  7. Lily Chalmers says

    We go camping all the time in summer, even to really close spots. We have done ever since our 4 year old was a baby. I love how you all share a small tent, none of this separate rooms business, it’s cosy and cuddly and lovely!

  8. sandi d says

    What a blast! That looks like such a fun camping trip. I can’t wait for the kiddos to get a wee bit older to try this out, I don’t think they’d (maybe us parents) would survive a night in the woods. Love your pictures, especially of your cute boy and sweet pup, your misters very handsome too ;)

    • Alix says

      aw thanks sandi! yeah, we waited for wolfie to be a bit older. we did a “tent cabin” outting when wolfie was 5….maybe 4? and we brought a pizza in for dinner! HAH! this time around we were more rugged and he looooooooved it. it was def fun having our big pup with us! : )

  9. jeannie says

    Wow- looks like a gorgeous place to camp! We just did a quickie one night camping trip with our kids at a local KOA. Not a lot of natural beauty there but tons of kids activities! Our kids were worn out (and so were we) with all the fun and less sleep than normal (sleeping in a tent is not my fave) but it was so very worth it!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Are You Ready For The Great Outdoors? | familytentsfinder.co.uk linked to this post on May 30, 2012

    [...] Greg and I used to camp all the time, but this was the first family trip we’ve taken. I’ve never backbacked into a camping site—I’m too much of a City Mouse for that. But car camping is still really fun/doable and still rugged. We packed well, but not quite as efficiently as we used to—I was a little bit rusty! We had a mini cooler with some perishables and lots of easy dry snacks and fruit. The guys brought a ball and we also brought some games to play together. It was really fun to look at all our old equipment and see what was still in pretty great shape and what we wanted to upgrade. Our lanterns were still awesome and we played a little Jenga under the starry sky. Wolfie taught us how to play, I’d never actually played it before! I found this set at the thrift store earlier in the week and scooped it up especially for our trip.…More at Quickie Camping For the Win! – Modern Kiddo [...]

  2. Suburban Camping Company – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on July 20, 2012

    [...] since we went camping a few months ago, we have had camping on the brain. We want to go to Yosemite. We want to go back [...]

  3. Chairman of the Board :: Vintage CLUE – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on July 27, 2012

    [...] Meet my favorite board game. Clue. This charming lil “murder mystery” detective game is really one the whole family can get into. The premise? Someone has killed Mr. Boddy and you must deduce WHO DONE IT! Players get to choose from 6 different “characters” (aka suspects) and you travel around Mr. Boddy’s mansion, collecting clues. The ultimate goal is to figure out who was the murderer, in what room he (or she!) killed Mr. Boddy and with which weapon. Sounds grisly but I promise ya, it’s not at all! The feels a bit like an Agatha Christie Miss Marple mystery—and because it’s not scary, its great fun for kids. Over the years they’ve released several different versions of the Clue board game, with the graphics updating to reflect the design of the time.  We love it so00 much we have four different sets! You might recall we also took it camping with us. [...]

  4. widdle wednesdays // the great outdoors – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on July 24, 2013

    [...] do you guys think….at what age are kids good candidates for camping?? I remember when Alix wrote about taking Wolfie camping for just one day. That could work. I’d love to hear your [...]



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