04 September, 2007

Camping with a 2 year old

We are back from a wonderful weekend up in the White Mountains camping. We have been camping with Spotty Chop since he was 4 months old. He has 5 or 6 trips under his belt now. He is a seasoned veteran. What was new this trip was the fact that he did all of the driving in the campground. He was in 7th heaven.

We have been going to
FransTed campground for almost 20-21 years now. Before Spotty Chop came along, we would do FransTed once or twice a year and then do a wilderness trip or two. With a 2 year old I like having a community. Everyone knows him; people are looking out for him; we know where and how fast we can get to the ER. We get the best of both worlds with our site. It is super private, no one else is around. But we are a short walk to a bathroom, with running hot water and showers (that you don’t have to pay to use the hot water). They have a great playground, mini golf and a giant field to play soccer etc. on. They have scavenger hunts; candy bar BINGO, movie nights. A good time is had by all. This is the place we take anyone who has never camped before. We have created plenty of hard core campers because of it.

I love our tent. We purchased a new one at the start of this year. It’s a
Vaude and it kicks ass. I love the design of it and all of the space it gives us. There are two separate sleeping areas and then a giant common area in between. It is great to have space inside when the boy wakes up at 6:00 and it is too Frelling cold to leave the tent. Or if it rains we can all play trucks and not get in each others way. We spend a lot of time reading in the tent too.

We have had Spotty sleeping with us in one of the sleeping areas, but he is really too restless, and the sleeping area is designed for two, to give any of us a good night sleep. He was excited to have his “own” tent. The first night he woke around 3AM crying and I went over to comfort him. He sleeps in a big dog bed on top of an air mattress. There was only enough room for me to lie on one side. It was Frelling cold out and the mattress had a leak/wasn’t blown up enough so my hip was on the ground the whole night (and it is still killing me, aspirin doesn’t seem to be dulling the pain any). I can’t remember when I was more uncomfortable. The 2nd night it was FREEZING out (30 degrees), so I put one of his blankets on him, then a sleeping bag folded twice and then another sleeping bag. He woke up around 6:30ish, unzipped his side and came over to our side letting me know he wanted to snuggle. You might be thinking “perfect right”? Not so much. I woke up at least 10 times worrying that he was suffocating, and knowing it was irrational, so I would not get out of the tent, because I would have woken him up, but then worrying that he couldn’t breath…what if he was dead? What would I do? Can he breathe through a blanket? Is he ok? What if he is suffocating right now? What do I do????? So the 3rd night boy toy said “for Christ’s sake, he is coming into bed with us.” And he did, and it was good, except he had a coughing fit for around an hour at 4am, and our 29 lb cherub somehow takes up most of the bed with his feet in my neck and his head in his dada’s chest.

We went to Clarks Trading Post. Spotty likes the train ride; he likes looking in on the bears, but doesn’t have enough patience to sit through the show. He loved the playground, give this boy a dump truck and a place to run and he is set. We got old fashion photos done again. This will be a tradition for as long as I can force it. Last year we were a prospector’s family. This year we were the Admiral’s family (damn did Spotty look cute in a sailor suit). He had the most fun pushing a carriage around the park. I think he will like this place a lot when he gets older. Right now we just do it for the train ride and the photo. If I can find another place that does the old time photos we may skip Clarks for a year or two. But then again while we were leaving Spotty told the boy toy, I had fun you and mama today dada. Hell, if it brings a smile on his face I will go back every year.

We took Spotty for his first official hike Kinsman Falls over at the Basin. It was only .5 mile hike. Spotty would have loved to have gone on, but we determined that we would never get down the mountain before dark. And traveling down a mountain in the dark with a 2 year old that feels he must RUN down the mountain was more than I could stand. I can’t wait for next year; I think we might try Artists bluff. We have a book of family friendly hiking that we had originally picked up because we would take so many people camping with kids. I think it might be a good time to drag that out too.

I am so happy that Spotty really seems to like camping. I think it will be great seeing him grow up at this campground, making camping friends, bringing new friends camping. We will probably stick with Fransted for awhile, but Gunstock was always fun and there is a lot to do. I would really like to camp on Martha’s Vineyard. I can not WAIT to go back to Acadia, that will blow his mind, and there is always Ft. Wilderness, Camping and Disney? What isn’t there to love? Besides we spent so Frelling much on the tent that we need to go camping at least 3 times a year for the next 10 years to get a good ROI.


toddlerdaddy said...

Just the thought of taking Little Miss camping terrifies me - my hat is off to you!

me said...

Thanks TD - if you and Little Miss are in NH on Memorial Day next year we will be back up at Fransted...

mwebber said...

Great Post,

My family was at Franstead at the same time. Our 14month old handled the cold weather well.

me said...

mwebber - we are at site 36, come say hi