Anatomy of a First Camping Trip with Kids

I shared in a recent post about our plans to go camping this past weekend. We did it. Want to know how it went? Of course you do.


  • drop children off at daycare
  • pack everything
  • load up the trailer and van except for the heavy stuff
  • husband gets home and loads up the heavy stuff
  • while husband is loading heavy stuff, mom picks up ice, whisky, and kids from daycare
  • pick up husband and tent trailer
  • get stuck in rush hour traffic for a painfully long time
  • let kids eat way too many cookies while stuck in rush hour traffic
  • finally get to the camp ground
  • kids run around screaming after being stuck in the van and loaded with sugar while the parents set up the trailer and scramble to get a very late supper together
  • eat supper
  • build fire
  • attempt to get kids to sleep in a new bed, in an exciting tent trailer, in a place with lots of noise from other campers, and no electricity for a fan for white noise
  • exhausted parents sit by fire


  • children wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and refuse to go back to sleep
  • parents get up and make coffee then breakfast
  • parents drink more coffee
  • son pees on trees around the campsite
  • everyone gets dressed and makes the long trek to the bathroom to brush teeth, pee, and wash breakfast dishes
  • family goes on a hike to see a waterfall
  • daughter periodically sits down and refuses to walk
  • parents get tired of coaxing daughter and make son do it
  • look at the waterfall
  • return to camp site along the easy trail
  • make and eat lunch
  • attempt to get daughter to nap and fail completely
  • mom and son go for a long walk and leave dad and daughter by the fire
  • kids get tired and start whining
  • parents decide to have supper early and then go home
  • kids whine about going home
  • parents pack up tent trailer, load kids in van, and go home
  • kids go to bed early

The kids loved the camping trip, it was fun but exhausting. Next time we will avoid the traffic and go to a camp ground with a beach and a playground. We will also pick a site closer to the bathroom.

I’d call it a success in spite of our early departure.


About dirtyrottenparenting

I'm a parent of two lovely (most of the time) children. I work full time out of the home and I don't cook well, bake, sew, or do crafty things. I keep my high heels and jewelry at my office because there's no point in having them at home.
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7 Responses to Anatomy of a First Camping Trip with Kids

  1. Kristen says:

    You know, in your previous post about camping, I was totally going to advise you to get a spot close to the bathrooms. I proceeded to forget.

    I remember our first adventure camping with the kiddos – #1 was only 3, and #2 was in the crawling stage. *shudder*. We also only lasted one night.

  2. This weekend is our first big camping event of the season. My group of friends all get together with their significant others, kids and dogs. We have new spaces this year because the ones we normally get are booked 😦 I’m so ready! We have a couple of people with campers, but most of us still tent it! (and, when the bathroom is too far, that’s when you all pile in a car. I drive to the showers every morning!)

    Oh – and never get a primitive site! Always get one with the water and electric hook ups! Makes life so very much easier!

    I’m glad the kids had fun!

    • I’m pretty sure this camp ground didn’t have anything with electricity or water. I don’t mind a short walk to water and we’re okay without power (mostly). Then again, if we were there longer we’d definitely want things a bit less primitive.

      Have fun!

  3. My husband talks about taking the kids camping all. the. time. My position is we’re not doing anything like this until the boy is out of diapers. I don’t even want to fly again until he’s out of diapers.

    Also, I’m jealous that you can get ice and whiskey at your daycare too! 😉 “…mom picks up ice, whisky, and kids from daycare”.

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