Our First Time Tenting with Youngsters

What a weekend! A trifecta of massive issues swirled collectively over the previous few days over right here: Tenting with the boys for the primary time, Ryder’s fifth birthday and Father’s Day. I faceplanted in mattress at 9 p.m. final evening and slept exhausting however I’m awake and sipping my espresso now and feeling able to inform you about all the pieces.

Our First Time Tenting with Youngsters

Just a few months in the past, I had the thought to go tenting over Ryder’s birthday and Father’s Day weekend since they each fell on the identical Sunday this yr. Ryan was all-in on the thought so I booked us a campsite at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, North Carolina.

(The boys’ ocean animals pajamas are Janie & Jack and had been a present from my mother! We LOVE their pajamas as a result of they’ve them in sizes that enable all three boys to match and the standard passes the hand-me-down take a look at.)

After our first visit to Dan Nicholas Park in 2021, Ryan and I agreed it might be the proper spot to try tenting with our boys at some point for a myriad of causes. Fact speak: We principally we chosen this location as a result of it’s solely an hour from our home so it might be straightforward sufficient to pack up and head residence if we had been all depressing… however we additionally chosen it as a result of there’s SO a lot to do at this little gem of a park. (In case you’re native and haven’t been, add it to your “should go to” record!)

In case you camp on the weekends on the park you’re required to guide two nights however the websites are solely $30 to order so we booked Friday and Saturday evening however opted to solely keep one evening. This was an important determination for our household as first-time campers as a result of we arrived at our campsite after Chase’s swim meet on Saturday morning feeling rested, energetic and excited in regards to the day and evening forward!

Ryan and I checked out our first tenting journey as one large roll of the cube since we arrived at our campsite with some issues we had by no means used earlier than together with our tent, the sleeping baggage and chairs for the boys I discovered at ALDI on Thursday for $12, our air mattress and a pop-up griddle. I truthfully was dreading placing up our tent as a result of I’ve vivid reminiscences of assembling our household’s tent with my mother and father as a child and bear in mind the method being L-O-N-G. (All of us crack up about these tenting reminiscences now! Really tenting with my mother, dad and sister are a few of my very best reminiscences as a child and one of many causes I actually, actually hoped our boys would love tenting as a household, too.)

Nicely, I’m undecided if it was my childhood mind dramatizing the method of tent setup or if tents have come a great distance in three a long time or what however Ryan and I had our tent up in lower than 10 minutes. Really! My thoughts was blown and I instantly texted an image of our tent to my mother and father and sister as a result of I didn’t understand it was attainable to erect a tent in lower than two hours.

Ryan will get ALL the credit score for choosing this slam dunk of a tent for our household and we each mentioned we give it an 11/10 ranking. (This is the exact tent Ryan purchased on tremendous sale on Black Friday final yr however this one is less expensive and appears to be the very same tent however in a inexperienced shade.) The tent is BIG which was essential as a result of we wish it to develop with us as the youngsters get larger however it additionally labored very well for us now as a household with younger youngsters. It has two zip-down dividers inside that enable the within of the tent to be divided into three sections which was massively useful as a result of it allow us to put Rhett to mattress on one facet after which keep up later with the massive youngsters. (Ryan and I slept within the center part.) We simply made certain to pack a noise machine to drown out further noise and Rhett was exhausted sufficient from skipping his nap on Saturday that he went proper to sleep in his pack ‘n’ play. Right here’s a glimpse at his setup:

However backing up a bit to our arrival on the campground…

As soon as our tent and chairs had been all arrange, the boys had been itching to get out and about and discover. Previous to tenting, we had by no means visited the alternative facet of the lake at Dan Nicholas Park the place all of the campsites are situated. We cherished strolling across the lake and spent loads of time fishing, searching for turtles, freaking out over all of the little ducklings and catching and releasing frogs and toads. Our creature-loving boys had been in heaven!

We cherished the truth that Dan Nicholas Park’s campsites are canine pleasant so Pepper might be part of our gang however this made among the actions throughout the park a little bit sophisticated to take pleasure in as a household since loads of them don’t enable canines. That is completely comprehensible (and sensible) and Ryan and I made it work by swapping “Pepper responsibility.” Pepper joined us everywhere in the park however stayed with Ryan whereas I rode the small practice with the boys and stayed with me whereas Ryan did the carousel with the boys.

Costs at Dan Nicholas Park are like a stroll again in time and all the pieces from tickets to experience the practice and carousel to tickets to Rowan Wild, the small nature facility situated throughout the park, are solely $.50-$1.00.

The gem mining at Dan Nicholas Park is at all times a significant spotlight for our boys and we sprung for the massive bucket (this isn’t $1.00 — haha!) and sifted by way of a lot of sand to search out large gems, a big shark tooth and different surprises.

After gem mining, we spent a while on the playground earlier than strolling again to our campsite to make an early dinner.

We packed all of the fixings for decent canines and brats on our griddle and dug in!

As soon as we had been good and full, we made our method again to the lake to catch and launch tadpoles and fish a little bit bit extra earlier than the boys requested a visit to the splash pad!

The boys mentioned the splash pad water was freeeeezing however that didn’t cease them from working by way of the streams of water over and over. We packed pajamas to alter into after they had been carried out splashing round and commenced the stroll again to our campsite.

Chase and Ryder seen lots of people strolling round with ICEES and after one man heard them speaking in regards to the ICEES they noticed he yelled out, “Over there! Go get you one!” and directed us to the brand new concession stand situated on the high of a big hill. Our boys are shave ice-obsessed however ICEES had been a brand new factor for them and let’s simply say they had been an enormous hit. I additionally forgot how good a cherry ICEE tastes on a scorching day and it was a pleasant little deal with to take pleasure in on the stroll again to our campsite.

By the point we made it again to the campsite, the boys had been all amped up on ICEE sugar and the considered making a giant hearth in our hearth pit. As Ryan bought the blaze going, the massive youngsters seen the campsite that backed as much as our web site was nonetheless vacant and bought the thought to construct their very own “brother hearth” (no grown ups allowed) a couple of toes away.

camping with kids for the first time

They had been so pleased with themselves however got here again over to our hearth as soon as they noticed we had all of the provides for s’mores.

(Our s’mores roasting sticks had been Christmas present to Ryan a couple of years in the past and a customized order from this Etsy shop.)

Everybody loaded up on s’mores and we might inform Rhett was fading quick so we bushed our tooth and all headed into the tent to fake it was bedtime for everybody whereas we tucked Rhett into his pack ‘n’ play and mentioned goodnight. He was out inside a few minutes!

As soon as the solar went down, the nighttime tenting enjoyable started! We caught fireflies with the massive youngsters and Chase’s spotlight from the tenting journey occurred close to the shore of the lake at evening when he used Pepper to assist him find numerous toads to catch and launch by the sunshine of his flashlight.

We then cuddled up by the fireplace and informed tales till Ryder and I might barely maintain our eyes open anymore.

As soon as we made our method into the tent, the boys snuggled into their sleeping baggage and I learn all of 1 chapter in my guide on my Kindle earlier than we had been all asleep.

Sleeping by way of the evening didn’t occur for anybody however our first evening tent tenting went fairly effectively all issues thought-about. We had been all awake a couple of occasions due to a hooting owl that made Pepper bark, Rhett crying out as soon as, Chase needing to make use of the lavatory and Ryder getting snarled in his sleeping and needing assist to get settled again in. I wakened on Sunday feeling removed from rested however would nonetheless completely chalk up our first in a single day tenting journey as a hit.

Plus, Ryder bought to get up in a tent as a FIVE yr outdated!

We frolicked on the campsite, the lake and the playground at Dan Nicholas Park for a lot of the morning on Sunday.

As we made the drive again residence, the boys talked over and over about how a lot enjoyable that they had throughout our tenting journey. Nobody slept significantly effectively however nobody actually appeared to care about that in any respect when in comparison with the general expertise of tenting with our crew. Chase and Ryder are already asking after we can go tenting once more (Rhett simply needs to experience the practice once more) and we’re already eyeing dates for a fall tenting journey!