We had recently bought a bigger truck- we sold Matt's Tacoma and upgraded to a Tundra. We love it for many reasons. But the plan was to build a camping platform in the bed of the truck so that our little family could sleep back there. Super cozy and safe. We researched for months how to build this platform. We came up with a plan and matt executed it (beautifully I might add). This platform is super functional and pretty. It makes it so we have a carpeted area to sleep on that clears the wheel wells and turns out to be a sleeping area a little bigger than a queen size bed, with a high density/memory foam pad on top. Then under the platform is storage. These compartments hold our camp chairs, firewood, stove, bedding, cookware...and oh just about everything.
So now we were ready to go "tramping" as my sister and her boyfriend call it. I think it sounds dirty. But it's truck-camping. And its actually rather clean. No tent to set up, or air mattress to blow up, Its so simple.
leaving our house, ready for the adventure!
We started on our trek with Cora up the Boise river. It's one of our favorites- it's close to town but far enough away in the mountains to be alone. We just chose a little spot we liked along the river....usually these spots are just national forest land that have river rock fire rings, a nice beach along the river to play/fish/ throw discs in our disc basket. It's beautiful.
So we pulled up to our spot. And done. Matt pulled out some beer.... and we went off exploring with cora. It was a blast. Nothing really to do but have fun. Cora loved playing the rocks, getting in the freezing cold river water.... just exploring, getting dirty. Then matt started the fire, warmed up our food, and I set up our sleeping bags in the back of the truck. It was peaceful, well until it was bedtime.
Oh boy. Bedtime. Ha. This is where our lack of co-sleeping bit us in the ass. Cora has never spent a night in bed with us. She loves her crib, her routines, she sleeps flawlessly...at home. Her bedtime is usually around 6:30, with a bath right before it. Well, obviously no bath to be had. So cora and matt and I tried and tried.
in the boba carrier, wrapped in a quilt walking the river banks.... thinking sleepy thoughts.
her boy-pajamas we bought before she was born, dreaming of this exact situation
(they have bears and foxes on them, adorable... even if she does look like a sweet little boy)
8:30- cora in my boba carrier, walking with her, listening to the river, watching the fire... calming, however didn't fall asleep.
9:30- matt stays by the campfire, I get into bed with cora. Ha. Cora is just being her cute self, waving vigorously at matt by the campfire trying to get his attention. no go.
10:30 I ask matt to put the fire out and come into bed with us.... its now actually dark out. We all get into bed...and we try to pretend to be asleep. Cora is now freakin adorable and sweet...going between matt and I and trying to get us to play with her- she tickles noses with me (my favorite), and kisses us (a new skill she learned, its precious) and flops her body on matt (his favorite)... back and forth. We bust up laughing, tackle her. So fun, but seriously. She needs sleep. We ask each other at what time to we just drive home? Just then cora goes to climb over the bedding once again, but collapses mid-climb. Its hilarious. Not a movement. Sound asleep. So the rest of the night was comfy but restless. We both loved her little body tossing between us throughout the night- but it was new to us, no solid sleep to be had probably for any of us. She slept until 830am however, so that was nice. She woke up just like us... bed head, groggy, but wide eyed and with a smile on her face to see the river upon waking and smelling the fresh air. Just heavenly, this camping thing.
We did some more river exploring, breakfast, and playing in the reservoir for lunch on the way back. It was a wonderful first camping experience. We both didn't expect it to be so much fun, but cora was easy to entertain herself in the wilderness. She loves being outside, so this trip was perfect. We all had a blast...and we have since gone camping again.
Our tips for camping with a child:
- we had a full first aid kit, just in case, full of Neosporin spray to bug spray. Our pediatrician told us to just spray bug spray on our kid's clothes not on her actual skin. So smart! No bugs this trip, but there will be soon.
- cora sleeps with white noise- so parking next to the river was helpful. I also had a portable speaker with white noise "song" on the ipod just in case.
- lots of changes of clothes and shoes for cora. its still chilly here in the mountains, and she was in and out of the river splashing.
- pre-made foods. usually we cook a full tasty meal by stove or campfire. That takes time and hands that we don't have with a 1 year old. So we pre-made fajitas, and just warmed up the meat and tortillas on the stove....and assembled. Tasty and easy.
- multiple clean sippy cups to use for milk/juice so we don't have to rely on washing them well.
- I brought my nice DSLR camera. I never bring it on our outdoor excursions, then I am bummed when I see our photos. I loved having it to capture our family moments this trip.
- we left our dogs at home. kind of sad, they are getting old... but I also know that I don't have the ability to keep them safe and cora too. maybe once our kids are older it would be doable.
- the boba carrier- or any sling thing.... awesome. I was able to walk around (faster) being able to have her on me and safe. I also could carry her for longer periods of time without getting tired, which was awesome at night.
Next camping trip we will try:
- fishing, that may or may not work out. (it did work out, it was fantastic. we either held cora while we fished, she held onto our short's leg while standing in the river, or the other person played with cora on the river-beach. awesome. and she loved looking at/trying to touch the caught fish)
- waiting for the sun to go down to start bedtime (this worked better, still a struggle for our little routine-lover)
- parking away from the line-of-sight of the campfire
- camp-shower, a bag of water that heats up in the sun with a shower nozzle to simulate nightly bath time
fishing with dad on another camping excursion.