We took our 6 month old twins camping at San Onofre State Beach… in a real campground… with real camp neighbors… and everyone survived unscathed.
We did have a wide-eyed baby at 2:30am but all-in-all it was a complete success and we can’t wait to go to Joshua Tree next month.
Things we did that went really exceptionally well:
- Meal planning- the girls’ meals are pretty easy at the moment (thank you formula and baby food) but we actually put some thought into not only what we were going to eat but what would make our lives easy from a prep and cleanup standpoint. We had some tin foil “hobo meals” for both dinner and the following morning and they were DELICIOUS. We pre-cut the veggies, assembled the pouches, threw them over the fire, and 30 minutes later we had a seriously tasty dinner. The best part… we just threw the tin foil pouches away and clean up was essentially done.
- Knowing our tent setup to be speedy (this will be increasingly important as the babies get mobile) – honestly, this is critical. Practice is so important when camping with kids and I’m really glad we did a dry run in our backyard. The girls were sleeping when we first arrived so Sean and I got the sunshade and tent set up suuuuuper fast so that when they woke up, we immediately had options for where to put them. Then we could kind of take our time to get ourselves fully organized.
- Solving our sleeping pad situation. Since we’ll be doing almost all of our camping as car camping, we knew we could find something that might be a bit bulky, but comfortable. Air mattresses…. Not so comfortable. We found memory foam mattress at Big Lots at a great price. Each one is 2” thick, so we bought two and stack them with one of our Coleman sleeping bags wide open on top. This works well because people can move and not disrupt the other person. It also makes for a safe play area for the girls as they learn how to sit and maintain balance.
Things that we will do better next time:
- Pack our clothes and baby clothes multiple days in advance – we took for granted that the campground was only 30 miles away and I guess that made us just a touch too lax in our typical organized packing routine.
- Always have some sort of baby carrier. We neglected to bring the Ergobabies or the Kelty Kid Carriers thinking our campsite was right on the bluff. Welp, it wasn’t and we decided to explore, which meant carrying the girls for at least 30 minutes. My biceps are going to be jacked!
- The girls might not fit in their “tent cribs” a.k.a. plastic storage containers, so we’ll need to figure that out.
- Packing the van… this kind of relates to number 1 in that we just took our proximity for granted. I’m sure we’ll have more to contribute in this area after future trips.
I think we made the right choice camping close to home for one night for our first real outing. We’ll gradually increase and get more practice before some of our longer excursions. However, we’ll also have a plan B in our back pocket in case something gets extraordinarily out of control. And with babies… that is bound to happen at some point.