Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Lovin' With Randalin

I probably leave at least four comments a week on Liv's blog asking to join her family and move in. I 
mean, c'mon - it's always warm there, her family is always having these amazing cajun cookouts, and
 her kids are over the top adorable. So when I saw her name pop up in my email box, I thought for sure
 it was going to be a "ok, you're starting to creep me out, please stop with the comments" kind of
 message. But NO! She asked me to guest blog - talk about a kind-hearted woman.

So here I am - Randalin from Harvesting Kale.  My son is two and his name is - you got it - Kale! We 
live in Canada, where it's almost always cold, the closest thing we get to a "cook out" is lighting up the 
BBQ, and my kid is - well, he's over the top adorable too. Something else Liv and I have in common?
 A love of camping!

FACT: My parents took me camping as a newborn. Like, straight from the hospital to a boat to an island
 to a tent.

FACT: I would never, ever attempt this. But I did take my 14 month old camping and lived to blog
 about it.

So here we are - hot tips for camping with a toddler.

Embrace the dirt. 

All the wet wipes in the world will not help you keep a toddler clean when camping in the woods. For a 
few days, forget the bugs, the dirt, the mud, the sand, etc. and just let them get dirty.

Let them be naked. 

Allowing your toddler to embrace the dirt while wearing clothes is just asking to go home with a mountain 
of laundry. Who wants to return from vacation and face that? Instead, make sure you get a campsite 
that's shaded, layer on the sunscreen, and let them be free.

Items to bring when camping with a toddler. 

We got one of those high chairs seats you can clip on to a table, which was perfect for Kale to sit at
 the picnic table with us. We also brought a toddler sized camping chair so he could take a break for
 3.4 seconds, and an inflatable swimming pool so he could cool off and play without having to spend 
the entire day at the beach, chasing him away from the deep waters.

Let them explore so you can relax. 

I know, hard to believe - but it is possible to relax while vacationing with a toddler. Camping was perfect
 for this - there was so much for Kale to explore and take in, that we were actually able to kick our feet
 up and relax.

We had the best time camping with Kale and are so excited to do it again this summer. It's amazing to 
do something that was such a big part of my childhood with my own son and watch him love it as much as
 I did. The great part about camping is that everyone can do it - it doesn't cost a lot (you can always 
borrow equipment from a friend or purchase second hand at a garage sale) and there is a style of
 camping out there for everyone - from cabins to the outback. Don't let having a toddler stop you - 
instead, let it inspire you!


Deanna Fike said...

this was an awesome post! my parents took me to the beach when i was three weeks old. i was their second child, so they were a bit more laid back. but i still couldn't imagine doing that when my youngest was three weeks old. 

Ashley W. said...

Great tips!

Jodi Hall said...

how adorable is he! 

Sara said...

What a fun adventure. We have a baby due in September and are already looking forward to her first camping trip...which will have to wait until the spring or summer due to the cold, but will be something to anticipate. Great tips! :)

Karen said...

These are great pictures! Your parents are amazing! Where are you in the birth order? We haven't tried camping with Eli yet, (unless you count a cabin with indoor plumbing, full kitchen and bathroom and many a restaurant meal to boot) but this post has inspired me to give it a try. Now to convince the hyper-saftey conscious husband...

Em said...

I have camped with an 8 month old then again when he was 15 months old.  It was amazing!  The stress was more in my mind but once we were there it was the best.  And it was too cold on the second trip to have him naked, so his clothes just got a good shake out at the end of each day, ready for the next, and he had inside the tent clothes - PJs mostly, that weren't allowed to set foot in the outside world, which prevented sand and dirt and mud and leaves from ending up through everything :)