In college, I backpacked and hiked frequently enough that I just kept a pack ready to go. After classes finished on a Friday afternoon, all I had to do was add some food and fill up my water bottle. First aid kit, flashlight, warm clothes, sleeping bag, etc. those were just ready to go. I’d take off and enjoy some time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Last weekend, I went camping for the first time in a few years. Kyle was working the day of our departure, so I had to get ready by myself. Thanks to Kyle’s impeccable organization skills, things were relatively ready to go. We had three totes in our crawlspace that were labelled as camping supplies. Saturday morning, during Will’s 8-9am nap, I got these totes out and started to go through them. Unfortunately, before I had made much progress, Will woke up from his nap. I gave Will his snack and then gave him a toy to play with so that I could finish packing.
Two minutes later, Will was exploring the camping gear. He discovered that camping gear is quite fun. There were pots and pans to bang around. There were sleeping bags to pull out and then lay on. There was a roll of toilet paper to be unrolled. Kyle often calls Will an “agent of entropy” because one of Will’s favorite things is to take things out and take things apart.
Eventually I realized that packing while our agent of entropy was around was a lost cause. I decided to pack during afternoon nap and took Will to play outside.
My friend Beth texted around lunchtime saying that her kids were hyped up and wouldn’t take a nap because they were too excited to camp. I texted back, “Will MUST take a nap! Otherwise there’s no way that I will be packed!” We were all planning on meeting up right after naptime, so I needed to hustle.
I got the regular camping gear together pretty quickly, but then it was time for the baby items. I threw in diapers, wipes, sippy cups, and extra clothes. It felt silly to put winter clothes in for a May camping trip, but it was predicted to be in the 30s the following morning. Then, hoping that the comforts of home would help him sleep, I gathered Will’s Pooh Bear, blankie, and monkey pacifier.
Thinking that I was ready, I googled a list of camping gear for kids. Whoops, I felt like a bad mom for forgetting sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat. Gathering up those things I thought, “Ok, I’m finally ready.” Then Kyle came home from work and asked, “Did you pack dinner for the dog?” Shoot, I had forgotten that too. We did a mad scramble to find the dog’s backpack, collapsible bowl, and water bottles. Will woke up from nap and we loaded everyone and everything up. It’s a good thing we were car camping, because I had a LOT of stuff.
Once we got to the campsite and set up tents, the group started to get geared up for a hike. One of the reasons we had chosen this spot was that it had a great hike nearby. I turned to Kyle, “Crap. I forgot the baby carrier at home, we can’t go hiking. He’s too heavy to carry.” Luckily, my friend Amanda had brought a heavy duty child carrier backpack and a stroller. I borrowed her pack and she pushed her little one in the stroller for the start of the hike.
While the packing was challenging, the camping trip did end up being a great success.
Such a nice piece of writing! Can’t wait until you get here!