Some might say we're crazy for taking such a young baby camping, but things went really well! We camped in the state park which borders our yard. Funny enough, camping isn't allowed in that part so we had to drive to the campsites about 7 miles away (yes, there ARE woods in NJ with some decent acreage).We thought it important to be close to home for this first trip. Forgotten items could be easily retrieved and of course there wasn't a long car ride to contend with.
We crammed the Jeep full of firewood, gear and some familiar sites (vibrating chew toy, Morty the moose) and smells (pillows and the sleeping bag she'd been playing with) for Claire. Photos on the left are of Daddy and baby about to get in the car. I had to post both, Claire has been grabbing at Dan's beard lately and the reaction shot is so funny, just look at her impish grin and Dan's laughing grimace!
After setting up camp and we went on a nice hike hoping to tire Claire out...that only worked on us of course! I think camping with an even younger baby might be easier, we couldn't turn our backs for a second with Ms. Mobile on the loose! Claire enjoyed toddling around the campsite clearing looking for new friends to play with or eat - no bug was safe! Constant vigilance was definitely the name of the game with the potpourri of choking hazards on the ground.
Claire was VERY interested in one large rock on the ground. She kept trying to lift it up and I'm not sure if it was the weight or the odd shape, but she never succeeded. Perhaps her interest was in weightlifting was spurned by all the Olympic viewing? The video is pretty funny. Find it here on the blog's YouTube channel.
What else kept Claire busy, you ask? A giant boulder she many times to climb. Eating pierogies and onions with Mommy - the two of us polished off all but three, poor Dan. Staring at the campfire (which was hell to start since the wood was wet, poor Dan again). Mostly Claire snuggled with us, toddled around and watched the world go by.
We left the campsite early Sunday morning after a brutal 5 am wake courtesy of the baby who fell asleep in my arms as the sun went down. Ugh, waaay too early. The night went well, Claire slept in a fleece sleeper on a nest we made her out of our fleece pants. I shared part of my sleeping bag and we wrapped her in my jacket, combine this with a matching fleece hat and you can bet this kid was warm (and full of static).
We think Claire's nighttime getup is photo worthy - even if it was 5 am when I took these pictures. Pink, it's the new camo baby!
Things we're bringing on our next camp out (labor day weekend - 4 whole days!):
- a playpen - enough said
- a flashlight - we actually forgot ours and middle of the night potty runs were a little dicey
- a dust pan to sweep out the tent floor, Claire finds the tiniest things to eat
- dry firewood
Phew! Is this my longest blog entry or what? We had such a nice time so I can't help but go on and on! It was especially exciting for Dan and I to return to a favorite pre-Claire activity and find we can still enjoy camping even with a baby.