Sunday, October 2, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
- Short attention spans - Make sure you plan plenty of activity so that you're not just doing the same thing for hours at a time. Toddlers need constant activity change and usually only have an attention span of 15 minutes for every year of age. Choose a camping spot near playgrounds or bring a stroller or bike to keep them busy. A baby carrier is a must for mobile toddlers who might otherwise try to get into fires or mud puddles while the parent is working on camp chores. Don't attempt long hiking trails unless your toddler is accustomed to the time spent in the pack. The limit for our little one seems to be about 1 hour before she gets cranky and wants down for a bit. If you can, let your toddler out of the pack to walk with you rather than riding in the pack the whole time. Sure, you will go slower, but they will love exploring the world around them and it will teach you to slow down and appreciate the little things.
- Changing body temperatures- Toddlers, like all young children, get hot quickly and cold quickly. Camping does not provide a steady 70 degree environment, so bring lots and lots of clothing for layering. And remember they will get dirty, so bring more than one pair of pants! Make sure and bring appropriate clothing for the weather, and don't dress them entirely in cotton if it will be damp, rainy or cool. A properly dressed toddler is a happy toddler, and the last thing you want on a camping trip is a child complaining or crying over being too hot or too cold. Monitor their body signals and add or remove layers as needed. Don't wait until you are cold or hot to fix their clothing since little ones will likely be very uncomfortable by then. And note that if your toddler is not doing as much physical activity, such as riding in the back of a pack, they won't be hot like you are when hiking, so dress them appropriately.
- Sleeping considerations- Because of the different temperatures, sounds and lighting, sleeping may be more of a challenge than you planned on. Expect toddlers to stay up later and skip or reduce their nap times while camping. Do try to keep their routine as consistent as possible, but be aware that it probably won't work out that great. Make adjustments as needed. We found out our daughter would not sleep in the tent unless it was dark out. Since we were camping in the summer, it didn't get dark until after 10pm! She ended up napping a bit in the car and not sleeping until much later.
- The need for munchies- Toddlers are constantly growing and need lots of snacks to keep them fueled throughout the day. This is especially important while camping when they are likely to be exerting more energy than they would at home. Pack plenty of ready-to-eat snacks for munching on throughout the day.
- Toys and Games- It's a good idea to bring a few favorite toys, but restrain yourself from bringing the entire toybox. Your toddler will likely have so much fun exploring your campsite and the outdoors that they won't be interested in them. However, keep a bag of small toys available for when they need them. Books in particular are essential for our daughter and help her wind down if needed. Plan simple games such as looking together for rocks or sticks and identifying animals together. Get them involved in nature. Preschool books have lots of ideas for structured outside play that can be implemented even for younger toddlers.
- A safe place- Lastly, plan to bring a blanket, tarp and rain fly for a dry, safe playing area. This is crucial when the campsite might otherwise be wet and muddy or when it is raining. Teach your toddler to stay in the play area while doing essential camp chores. It's also a good place to set up the few toys you brought to keep them busy. Some toddlers might even prefer napping outside in this area instead of inside a tent!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Some of the trails we plan on hiking include...
Ash Cave to Cedar Falls -Last time, we hiked from Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls and back, a roundtrip of just around 6 miles. For a winter hike, it was beautiful and peaceful. We want to finish the Grandma Gatewood Trail and hike from Cedar Falls to Ash Cave this time. The roundtrip for this hike is 4 - 5 miles.
Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve Gorge Trail - This 1.2 mile trek passes through a beautiful gorge with cliffs towering over 200 ft on either side. We are just doing the Gorge trail since the Rim trail can be a bit dangerous with small children!
Other trails we will decide upon as we see fit. Additional sites we would like to see include Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House and RockBridge State Nature Preserve. I will post a trip report as well as trail reviews upon our return!
Have you ever been to Hocking Hills? What is your favorite trail there?
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Photo: Hocking Hills, Old Man's Cave, OH
Thanks so much for following along and being a part of this blog through the many changes!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Photo: Brown Park, Louisville KY
I love hiking in the early spring and witnessing all the little wonders of life poking through the previously barren ground. We're planning a short daytrip out to Jefferson Memorial Forest tomorrow, to really get a good hike in and make use of our new child backpack carrier.
We are still searching for a carrier we can take with us on a backpacking trip, but we got a great deal on a used daypack from craigslist. The Kelty Kids 2.1 Carrier:
After we bought it, we realized it was missing the front removable daypack piece, but we figured we would hardly need it anyway. It will just force us to pack light on trips! After trying it on with our daughter inside, we found it was really comfortable, and for only $50, you can't really beat that! Since we saved so much money on the daypack, we can now invest more into a quality backpacking carrier that will last us through the years.
Has spring started to arrive in your neck of the woods? If so, have you got out to enjoy it yet?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Read More. . . [Planning a Camping Trip: Camping with Babies]
Monday, January 31, 2011
- Deuter Kid Comfort II
- Deuter Kid Comfort III
- Tough Traveler Stallion (mainly because we can get this one used at a great price)
- Sherpani Rumba Superlight
- Kelty TC 3.0 (for dayhikes)
- Deuter KangaKid (dayhikes)
So far, we really like the Deuter Kid Comfort III, but the price is steep. We tried on the Kid Comfort II, but since we'll be taking it out on extended hikes, we were concerned it wouldn't be large enough for comfort. Plus, we really would like a sunroof, and love that the III has a built-in roof. Our goal also is to save money on whatever we choose to buy, so its likely we'll end up buying used.
I'll be doing another post to update on what model we choose to buy and whether we bought new or used!