Tent Camping with a Baby!!

This past summer we took our son camping in a tent when he was just 9 months old. He started walking on July 4th soooo he was walking during these camping trips which we definitely didn’t expect. We did a trial run night at my parents’s camp because it was close to home and then we did two nights with him up at White Lake State Park. Both times we boarded Mizpah because we figured we would have enough to worry about! Here are some things that we learned/necessities that helped us have a good experience camping with the tiny human!

Not all tents are created equal

This sounds like common sense, I know, but having a tent that was large enough for our air mattress, a pack n play, and a chair to sit in to feed him his bottle and snuggle a little before each nap and bed time was clutch. We have the North Face Kaiju tent.  It is pricey, but so worth it. When we were looking for a tent a few years back, we wanted it to be tall enough that my husband didn’t have to bend over to change clothes. It also has a vestibule in the front which is great for stowing bins or chairs away….and will also be nice for potty training in the future!

Give your neighbors a heads up!

After we were all set up, we took Cabot over to meet our neighbors and explain that he naps twice a day, goes to bed around 7, and so you MIGHT hear some blood curdling screams around those times hahaha. There can be a great community feel when you are camping if you want. Some people when they camp really keep to themselves on their sites, but it made us feel better to give our neighbors the courtesy of explaining our lovely son’s bedtime behavior!

Some items that helped us through

Summer Infant Portable High Chair– we use this everywhere, not just for camping!

Pack N Play Mosquito Net

Coleman Tent Fan – this was great for naps in the tent in July!

RestCloud Baby Sleep Bag – there are soooo many options out there for warm sleep sacks, many that are sleeveless, which is why we got this one for the cool nights. Probably one of the toughest challenges we had was that it was still warm at 7 PM when we would put him down BUT by 5 AM the temp could have dropped 20 degrees!

Cutter Bug Repellent Wipes – these were great! Very easy application on baby!

Homedic Portable White Noise Machine – this is another item that we got for camping but now just use it for traveling in general! At the moment it is actually living at my inlaws’s house so they can use it when Cabot sleeps over!

Plastic Grass Mat – I couldn’t tell if this was the exact one we got, but this gave us some “floor” space at our campsite that wasn’t dirt which was nice for baby to play and diaper changes.

Keep it Simple!

The last piece of advice I have for camping with baby is keep it simple! When it was just my husband and I, we would plan these great meals for camping. With Cabot, we were feeding him dinner while simultaneously getting our dinner ready so that we didn’t have to cook in the dark so simple dinners like hamburgers and hotdogs OR cooked chicken from home with a salad was the way to go. We can get back to steak tips and veggie kabobs and all our fancy camping foods soon. Quick and easy might be where we aim for in the these early years with Cabot.

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And lastly…cut yourself some slack. Camping with your little ones will present challenges, and camping might be a little less relaxing than it once was. We are so happy to have these memories though, and we love seeing Cabot enjoy the outdoors (he is obsessed with trees/leaves) and do everything for the first time.

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North Country ATV Adventure

This weekend we headed up to the Great North Woods of NH to a friend’s family camp for some ATV fun and beautiful foliage. We boarded the pup so that she could have fun and socialize with other pups while we played out on the ATVs. We got up there on Friday night and headed on the ATVs Saturday morning. Up in North Country NH, there is an awesome trail network for ATVs called Ride the Wilds established in 2013. There are 1000+ miles of trails connected, which include town roads and sections of highway when necessary to connect sections. Eleven different clubs within the region take care of the trail system with donations only- no tax dollars were spent on them.

Before 2013, the trail network wasn’t as connected and was really dependent on permission from private landowners. The signage along the trails was amazing and really helps keep people on the trails and off land that the landowners would like to keep private. There are restaurants, lodges, general stores, and campgrounds along the way. For this adventure I wore my LLBean fleece, Harding Lane mountain hat, buff to cover my face for the dust, jeans, my old Merrell boots, and my Fox mountain biking gloves.  It was definitely a day for functional clothing that you didn’t mind getting dusty/muddy!

Our first stop on our ATV adventure was the Blueberry Hill Inn & Cafe for breakfast. The food there is fabulous- our party got blueberry pancakes, grilled blueberry muffins, bacon, homemade corn beef hash, home fries, and endless cups of coffee. The blueberries for the pancakes & muffins come from blueberry fields right on the property and of course, the maple syrup was locally produced.

From there we headed up the Cree Notch Trails to a great lookout/picnic spot. Along the way we rode along a railroad, saw glimpses of the Connecticut River, & rode through a Christmas tree farm.

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Along the railroad trail was the most dust, but I liked it because it was cool to see the old school telephone poles still standing

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Feeling like a bandit through the dusty parts
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The Christmas tree farm!

The views from Cree Notch were amazing. The foliage was just breathtaking.

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My husband Jon and I rode on a Polaris Sportsman ATV. He drove the whole way out, and I drove part of the way home. Our friend was on a Kawasaki ATV, and then his parents, our amazing hosts, were in a Polaris side by side. They have had their camp up north for about 30 years and have really been there since the beginning for ATVing up there. img_7219

From there we headed to Bear Bait Mountain which also had some beautiful views. As the day progressed, the clouds rolled in and there were even a couple rain drops but thankfully nothing that disrupted our day. We saw a juvenile moose alongside the trail coming down from the notch view. It was early in the day for it to be out and about, and it didn’t move when we approached. Sadly the poor thing might be sick with something. We didn’t stick around too long in case mom was close by. It may have had some sort of tick borne disease like lyme. It was still a pretty cool encounter.

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After our amazing day of four wheeling, Jon did some fishing at the brook right near camp, and we had a campfire to warm up before dinner. He caught and released six beautiful brook trouts to hopefully grow and increase the healthy trout population.

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Beautiful brook trout, caught & released

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We had such an amazing day and made it home on Sunday in time to watch Tom Brady play with the Patriots for the first time this season. I am pretty sure this weekend is the peak foliage for northern NH, but southern NH still has a week or so. I am just loving all the fall colors, and secretly I am totally getting excited for snow and skiing in a few months hopefully!

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