Rules for camping with little humans

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Recently I decided to adventure into a camping trip alone with my kiddos. Our family has had crazy busy lives since the start of summer and schedules haven’t lined up for a family camping trip.  Our kiddos had yet to go camping and its almost the end of the summer! So I braved packing all my little humans up and heading out on a camping trip. It was successful, so I have written you up my rules for Camping with little humans. 

  1. Make must-have list: If you don’t make a list how can you be sure you have everything you need? It is best to try and be as prepared as possible. Often I over pack, but it is rare that I don’t have the things I need. I include a packing list at the bottom of this post
  2. Camp Set-up: Never assume kids are going to help set up camp. My kiddos help me a ton, but sometimes the only thing on their mind is playing. It is important to teach responsibility, however it is also important to make camping fun. When there is more work than play children tend to enjoy camping much less. So ask for a little help and let them know they can play something of their choice after.
  3. Plan activities- Scavenger hunts, hide and seek, or my favorite flashlight tag! Make memories and allow your kiddos to come up with activities too.
  4. Bring a little bit of home. When I take my kiddos camping I bring a piece of home for each of them. I let my kids choose a home favorite meal (usually chicken nuggets or pizza. Those are not typical campfire meals, but they can be cooked over a fire with a little patience and modification. For babies I bring a favorite toy or blanket, this will help baby sleep. Babies sometimes don’t sleep in unfamiliar places, I try to counteract this.
  5. Bring a carrier for baby even if you think it’s not necessary – Always bring a way to hold baby even if you already packed a play pin. My youngest didn’t want to hangout in play pin and he is the stage where everything goes straight to his mouth, so sitting him on the ground to play is not an option. I bring a stroller and SSC for him.
  6. Kids who use electronics, leave them at home. Don’t even Let them bring it for the trip to the campgrounds. I made the mistake one time of letting my oldest bring his DS for the ride. It didn’t take long for me to find him sitting in his camp chair playing it. I’d like to say that I can trust him to listen to me saying no, but the temptation is too much for his little mind. 
  7. Always assume you forgot something- Check, check, and check your list again. Often I will check three times and find something I forgot each time.
  8. Let kids help pick the camping spot- We don’t think about it, but our kids can help us find the perfect spot for the whole family. They are thinking about things they want to do during the trip and if we pick a spot that they can’t slay a dragon or have a secret fort likelihood that they are going to fuss about the camping trip is increased. Let them join in on deciding where to set up the camp, it can be a fun process for everyone.
  9. Let kids pack their own bag- Give your kids some responsibility! I always have my kiddos pack their own day pack when we hike and I found it helpful to have them pack their own camping bag too!

Now that’s not all!I have made you the ultimate camping planner, activity list, and packing list. So pin it for later and share!

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Get a pdf right to HERE>>>>CAMPING PLANNER

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11 things I have learned from my kids

Everyday I learn something valuable as a mom. Children are so innocent and compassionate they remind us daily about the important things in life.

  1. Keep trying. My children never give up on anything. They always push through whatever challenge life may face them with. It took me years to understand “Child like faith” and I can finally say that I whole heartedly understand. When children are faced with a challenge they rarely walk away. They have a unwavering faith that they will be able to complete said challenge and come out on top. They don’t second guess themselves. They just do it. Just push and try try again. Giving up is a learned behavior. When a child learns to take the first step, you don’t see them fail and never try again, do you? It’s not how they operate. My children don’t stop they keep trying again and again. You see my son really wanted inside that toilet. I’m not sure how he got in there, but I’m almost positive it didn’t happen his first try. He was playing while I was doing laundry and it couldn’t have been an easy task, but he wanted in there and he kept trying. 
  2. Keep learning. Children are always learning new things. And they don’t stop developing. We as adults stop trying to learn and we get the “What more is there” attitude and then we stop developing. We send our children to school so they may learn new things. It is so vital to keep learning and developing. Amazing things happen in our brains when we learn something new.
  3. Keep smiling. My children’s sadness last for a total of like five seconds. They don’t have “bad days” only bad moments. They continue to smile no matter what they were just crying about two seconds before.
  4. It’s ok to make mistakes. Kids are always making mistakes and learning from them. Krystina, is queen of mistakes. She once stuck a key in an outlet, she has not done it since. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. It’s when we continue to make the same mistake over again that it becomes a problem.
  5. Smiles really are the best medicine. One smile from their sweet little faces and it can melt away the toughest situations. My daughter lost her two front teeth recently and when she smiles, I instantly become filled with joy. You can’t even help, but laugh.
  6. Love unconditionally. No matter how many times I correct them or discipline them, they love me absolutely unconditionally. No matter how much Jaydon’s little sister drives him crazy he adores her. My children have the most forgiving and unconditional love it is amazing.
  7. Make messes. When I first had children I struggled OCD something fierce! Every time they left a mess I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. Over time I’ve learned to let them make messes, and let them be responsible to clean up. If we never allow the house to be a mess we will always stress. So sit back and let the mess happen.
  8. Sleep is entirely overrated. After delivering my fourth child I have decided I am never going to sleep again. I know that if it’s not the baby, it’s the two year old or maybe on some off moment it’s an older child. Most nights I’m lucky to get 5 hours straight.20170713_073057
  9. Farts are always funny no matter where you are. Recently my two year old had discovered the noises his body makes during these bodily functions and boy does it make him giggle. I’m not sure why, but every child laughs hysterically when someone farts. It doesn’t matter who did it, you can almost guarantee it’s funny!
  10. If they break something it’s not the end of the world. Everything is replaceable, but your children are not. One of my kiddos broke an irreplaceable trinket. It was just a piece of memorabilia. It shattered everywhere. My concern was not for the fact that that my pretty was broken, but if my child was OK.
  11. Don’t blink. The most important thing they’ve taught me is not to blink. As soon as you do you will miss it. You’ll miss their tiny smiles, their little toes, and little steps. Don’t fret the small things and just don’t blink ever. . .img_20161214_161552_0030001

Outdoor Mom Academy-HLAW

Let me just tell you about Hike like a woman‘s Outdoor Mom Academy! I had the opportunity to be a student in the very first session of Outdoor mom academy and I truly enjoyed it. I found it to be helpful as a refresher in areas and to learn new things from other outdoor moms. Although the outdoors has always been my thing, being outdoors with kids has been a huge learning experience. For me I am either super prepared or way way under prepared. Most of that comes from trying to push 4 kids out of my door and onto the trail.

The course is 6 weeks long with a new topic each week. Each topic lead by 3 amazing outdoor mommas. Rebecca from Hike like a woman, Susan from Mountain mom and tots, and Amelia from Tales of a mountain mama.

Each week I would get an email with all my curriculum, videos, and resources. Then there was a discussion board. The best part was the discussions. I honestly feel like I am doing it all wrong half of the time and to hear other mommas doing it exactly the same as me makes me feel so much better. For instance my son thought it was cool to poop like 3 feet from a highly trafficked local trail and I could have done one of two things. One I could’ve freaked out and screamed at him or two I could laugh it off and show him how to properly handle pooping in the wilderness. The stories of other mom’s having similar situations definitely put my mind at ease.

Another cool thing about the course is that each week they did a giveaway based on participation. Although I never won, it encouraged me want to stay on top of the conversation. They were giving away some pretty neat stuff too. Week one was a mommy and me Deuter pack! How freaking cool is that!? I was pretty sad when I didn’t win that.

Six weeks are broken up into the following topics:

Week one-Raising outdoor leaders

Week two- Reducing risk

Week three- First aid

Week four- Camping with kids

Week five- How to pack

Week six- Preparing an outdoor budget

Each lesson had new areas to learn more or touch up on. I believe that week two was my favorite, identifying and reducing risk in the outdoors. There are two reasons this part of the course was my favorite.

  1. I really needed to refresh my risk management skills ( or lack there of). Growing up I was not in bear country, watching for rattlesnakes, or have the dangers like I have here in the mountains. Wyoming has way more potentially dangerous wildlife camping/on the trial. I am also more aware now that I have my own children.
  2. I lead a hiking group of mothers and their minions in my area. I lead them through various outdoor activities and having the know how really ensures safety for our group. Learning how to plan a safe kids hike really was a huge help. They even offered detailed directions and print offs for your use. I actually participated in Rebecca’s safe kids hike during week 2 as well. So I had a little hands on during this lesson.

There was a slight glitch with the emails, but these three ladies did not let that get in the way. They were on top of it and had it fixed right away. Rebecca, Susan, and Amelia did an amazing job correcting the email mishap and everyone was right back on track.

So the pretty amazing thing about the course is at the end I received a pretty awesome certificate and patch!

If you’re looking to learn the tricks of an outdoor momma this course is for you! The next session’s registration runs from August 28th-September 10th. Class starts on September 11th. You don’t want to miss it!

Outdoor Mom Academy

Dinosaurs and Fern Clyffe Waterfall

I don’t see my sister to often, but this year I surprised her by visiting her for her 30th birthday. Sara had been calling me multiple times in the weeks prior to her birthday really saddened about her birthday. She was telling me how she felt forgotten, because people had made other plans the week of her birthday. So when Garon (Sara’s hubs) messaged me to ask if I could make it home for her birthday, I without hesitation said yes.

We have always been pretty inseparable. So much to the point everyone always thought we were twins, which we kind of are in a way. Sara and I are what they call Irish Twins. We were born pretty close.

Sara always raved about her adventures of the beautiful Fern Clyffe waterfall in the Shawnee hills of Southern Illinois. “There are rocks as big as houses, and you can climb inside the waterfall from the bottom and the top.” She would describe.

We had went there a couple of times when we were younger, but I had lost these childhood memories in a car accident when I was a teen. Many of my childhood memories are gone, unless there are pictures I don’t remember much.

So while I was home to see her for her birthday, we took a trip even further south to hike the beloved Fern Clyffe. Sara would light up with joy showing her husband some of the awesome cliffs. Garon is talented photographer and cinematographer in the St Louis area and Sara knew that he would love the opportunity that laid in the Shawnee hills. And love it he did. We explored the caves, rocks, and creek. We took our time and just enjoyed the time together.

The waterfall was dried up, so this gave us an opportunity that Sara had not yet had. We hiked to the top of the waterfall and laid on the spout of the falls in the sunshine. Garon pulled out his handy drone and took some fun shots of us from an aerial view.

I really do miss my sister and spending her 30th birthday with her, was the best day I could ask for. I call my sister at least 3 times a week just to chat. Sometimes we chat about our Etsy businesses and sometimes we chat about the ups and downs of the week. It is hard being away from her, but hiking with her for her birthday brought my heart so much joy. I will impatiently wait for the day where we hike together again.