being 10 things i learned from camping with three children.

Top: Taylor & Jacob // Middle: Janie & Treven // Bottom: Taran & Meg // Missing: Tessa & Everett

This past weekend, Josh and I took the kids camping in Leavenworth, a little mountain town a few hours away from Seattle. I will disclaim that although we were tent camping, we had met Josh’s sisters there and they both had kick-ass trailers, so in actuality, we were only camping-ish.

But, that being said, we did learn a few things from taking three kids under the age of seven camping for a weekend. Let me share.


1. Bring liquor.

2. Trying to put a 17-month old to sleep in a tent that is right next to everyone making dinner/playing/laughing and having a good time doesn’t work. Not only will he not go to sleep, but you will get pissed that everyone else is having fun and you are not. Don’t bother trying to take him for a walk in the Baby Bjorn (where you’ll be worried about running into a bear the entire time) or strapping him in his carseat and sitting in the front seat playing Words with Friends in complete silence while hoping that he clonks out. Just move the fucking Pack n’ Play into the nearest sister-in-law’s trailer from the get-go. He’ll fall asleep in less than a minute and you can go back to “camping.”

3. Stop trying to keep your kids clean. It’s pointless and you’ll be annoyed when they get dirty again the MINUTE after getting them clean. Just hose them down in the campground showers before you leave in the morning and put them straight into the car to head home. Don’t even bother with clothes.

4. If you have six kids playing on the dirt hill above your tent, zip up the windows. Or, at least remember to rinse off your toothbrush before you use it.

5. Things you can leave at home: Your Kindle. Perfume. Any white clothing. Your sanity. The crazy ass idea that you may get 10-minutes to sit and relax on this trip.

6. Two adults and two kids sleeping on one air mattress is never a good idea. Who give a fuck that the other air mattress isn’t inflated properly? Stick your kids on it anyway.

7. Pack a LOT of bribery snacks and toys for the trip homeĀ  because your kids are going to be pissed that you’re leaving. They were pretty sure that the campsite was their new home. Don’t even try telling them that you’re going to make them take a bath and wash their hair the minute you get home, either. Fuel to the fire.

8. Have a husband who snores? Make him sleep in the car.

9. Morning breath is at its worst in a tent filled with five people. Make sure everyone brushes before bedtime and have Listerine ready for first thing in the morning. Put it in the baby’s bottle if you have to.

10. Your infant son is going to want to sit and put dirt all over himself the entire time you are there. Come to terms with it.

Josh & Everett. This is pre-dirt bath.

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5 Responses to “being 10 things i learned from camping with three children.”

  1. Auntie Shawn Says:

    Glad you guys made it over! I know its a ton of work :)
    Hopefully next time we will have more time to relax ~ probably not. Just bring more booze :)

  2. katie m Says:

    I love this post Katie! Here’s another that I learned while camping this summer with the 1.5 yr old.

    Bring fingernail polish remover…its the best at removing nasty, sticky sap off little fingers, legs, arms…faces. A small bottle has now been added to our camping supplies.

  3. andrea Says:

    Oh my goodness! This is HILARIOUS! and so true. Camping with babies is a joke! :)

  4. Molly Says:

    OMG I love this Katie. Camping was terrible for us (mostly the sleep or lack of!) I swear I’m not going till Charlotte is 5.

  5. Courtney Says:

    Great tips! First thing out of Chaz’s (age 5) mouth at 5:30am when we were camping at Deception Pass this summer was, “THESE BIRDS ARE ANNOYING ME!”

    I hear ya dude…where’s my bed?

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