In the woods

10 Apr

I am not really a hippie.

While many of my beliefs lie on the fence of the hippie nation, I have never, and will never identify with that cause or movement or style. Frankly, because I’ve known too many startlingly stupid hippies.

However, I like long skirts, wear patchouli, have long hair, and like chick singers. This is balanced out with an unholy love for my army boots, hair dye and very loud, very aggressive music.

There’s a festival fairly local to us that we’re thinking of attending this year. If one of our favorite bands does end up headlining, we WILL be going.

It’s a 3 day, outdoor festival. We had kids. I get paranoid.

So here is where my dilemma is. I have never camped with kids. I don’t particularly like camping by myself-the last time, when I was 15 started as a good drunk and ended with me walking around barefoot in the muddy rain for 2 days because my sandals broke. There was water in the tents and foxes outside.

To say I didn’t enjoy it is an understatement.

Part of me would love to really enjoy nature, and I do. But not in a “hang out in it” sort of way. As I’m fond of saying, we climbed out of the trees, and I have absolutely NO intention of climbing back up them if I don’t have to.

So me being Ms. Un-nature, I’m asking you guys. Have you ever camped with your kids? And not just camped, but attended a multi day festival with them? Any advice?

If we do this, I’m going to make sure we have back ups in the form of hotels, that we know where the local medical clinic is, etc etc. But I worry about the camping part, and that might just be my brain doing it’s thing instead of reality?

So…advice folks? Hell, even advice on tents and what to bring is welcome.


15 Responses to “In the woods”

  1. Mogo April 10, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    um, you do know that Battles have been confirmed, right?

    also, I asked Harknett about the kid thing and he said friends of his have brought kids the same age as ours in the past without problems. he said no matter where you set-up you’re no more than a 2 minute walk from the stages or the waterfall, and that there are enough secluded areas that we’d be able to set up camp in a spot that would keep a distance from any of the more “boisterous” elements…

    so I think we should do it. even if we skip the Friday.

  2. thordora April 10, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    um no, I didn’t. When I was on the site yesterday or the day before, they only had the old lineup there.

    Well, see if you can get your vacation moved then. If you can, I’ll book mine.

  3. thordora April 10, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    and dude, they’re listing the dates noe as July 18-20 on their site….I’m so confused….

  4. Mogo April 10, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    the site hasn’t been updated. Harknett knows the organizer, so I’ll take his word.

  5. thordora April 10, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    ask him about the dates as well-there are two different ones online.

  6. bromac April 10, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    I am a very outdoorsy person as we live in the state of the sun. We camp at least once a year and try more. Our daughter always does great. She is a bit younger than yours, just over 2.5 now, but she has always loved it. Goes crazy like a banshee and expends so much energy she passes right out every night and sleeps like a rock. I would certainly recommend it. The only thing I would caution against is whether the girls are outdoorsy. We have always spent a lot of time outdoors with our daughter so she is accustomed to it and is able to find her own activities and imagination outdoors. However, try to ascertain whether this will be completely foreign to the girls or not. It sounds like a fantastic time to me!

    I would recommend easy travel toys like coloring books and travel checkers. Also, try to find some games and toys that would be fun for outdoors, like catching bugs. We had a great time with this recently and all it required was a cleaned peanut butter jar and some bugs. Think about games like duck-duck-goose that can’t be played inside but are great outdoors games.

    Make sure you have lots of snacks and a lot of water. I don’t know how hot it gets there in the summer (nothing compared to fl, i’m sure) but we always have to be real careful to keep her hydrated b/c she won’t think about it on her own b/c she is having too much fun and then becomes overheated. Ummmmmm, I’ll keep thinking for ya, this is right up my alley.

  7. Caitlin April 10, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    I would suggest camping out with the kids one night well in advance, even if it’s just the backyard. I think it really depends on the kids. I started camping at a very early age, but Paul has a tendency to wake up and walk out of the tent when I’ve tried it in the backyard with him. But if it goes well, I would work up to sleeping out for the same amount of nights you plan to camp at the festival. Practicing might also help them get past any problems/fears before the festival.

    Another thing you may want to take into consideration is the state of the restrooms. Are they primitive latrines or closer to rest area facilities? We only had primitive toilets (think hole in the ground with sheets hung for privacy) and I managed to give myself a bladder infection by refusing to urinate in the primitive latrine. I think I was about Paul and Rosalyn’s age that trip.

    You might also want to look into renting an RV or pop up trailer for the festival. Several geocachers I know that attend events with multiple young children do this, so I’m guessing it might be a little more relaxed for everyone and you always have a private restroom. But if you go with a tent, either get a multi room one with a “screened porch” area or a screened pavilion type area. I know when I’ve done event camping, it’s nice to have a haven from the sun and insects. You could also look up fun camping meals to make with the kids. We used to always do paper bag breakfasts (eggs and bacon cooked over the fire in a paper bag) and foil dinners.

    I will try to remember more of the stuff that my grandparents did to keep me entertained when they took me camping.

  8. merseydotes April 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    We tent camped last summer for two nights with a three and a half year old kid and a two and a half year old retriever. It went fine. There was a bathhouse to walk to for toilets and showers, and while it took awhile to accomplish either, all went well. Petunia was happy to crash around inside the tent (a la a moonbounce) while we sat outside and read. I had recently bought Basil a two-burner propane-fueled camp stove (I think it is this one) and the cooking was pretty easy. Put plenty of ground cloths down before you pitch the tent and that will help keep out the water and keep it warm. We also have foam bed rolls that made it much more comfortable.

  9. kate April 10, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    Two words: BABY. SITTER.

    Ok, ok, if you insist on taking them with you, as others have said, be sure to take lots of coloring, games, books etc. because if it rains, whoa man are you in for a treat. Also, lots of water. Also crucial: towels and lots of extra clothes for the kiddos, who will get dirtier than you could imagine.

    It can be really fun camping with kids. But a multi-day music festival? Personally, there’s just no way in hell. 🙂

  10. thordora April 10, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    It’s the rain thing that’s got me worried. They can enteratin themselves, and they’ll be other kids and weird people there, so I’m sure they’ll have fun (a little body paint and glitter will help them blend in)

    It’s in the 80’s and 90’s mid July NORMALLY, but Canadian summers are NOT normal…..

  11. bine April 10, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    my parents took me on camping trips once a year since age one. but that was our annual extended-family pentecost camping trip, with only about 30 people, and knowing all of them. i could imagine if it’s a well-organised festival with good orientation and secluded areas, it might work. then again the rain issue is another thing – you don’t want to spend the weekend entertaining and re-dressing your cranky and muddy girls.
    what about getting a baby sitter on hold, so if the forecast says rain you could leave them at home? no … probably not.
    i’d say give it a try. you can always head home if it proves to be terrible.

  12. misspudding April 11, 2008 at 12:50 am #

    My dad was a die-hard “we’re all going camping and you’ll like it” kind of guy. I ended up adoring camping and probably became a geologist because of it.

    That said, I LOVE camping. If I could, I’d spend weeks camping all over the world each summer if I could. My husband hates it, so I haven’t taken Anthony and him camping. This means I haven’t gone camping in about four years and it makes me very, very sad.

    As for camping essentials, here’s what you need: a tent with raingear (some kind of weatherproofing that’s breathable that will fit on top of the tent if it starts to rain). Either raingear or a tarp but, if you use a tarp, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE VENTILATION. I kid you not, I just about suffocated in Yellowstone with a buddy of mine who got a little overzealous with the tarp. You also need a tarp below, even if the tent is “waterproof”. It makes a difference in long-term tent happiness.

    Uh, you don’t actually need a stove. You can, in fact, subsist on powerbars and gatorade all week, if you’d like, but it’s not as much fun. You really don’t need to shower, either. I spent 10 days camping in Alaska one summer and that shower I took at the end (actually meltwater from a glacier) is the most beloved showering memory of my life. 🙂

    Shit, I totally keep digressing here…ugh.

    Sunscreen. Bug repellent. Something to wash your hands (water, preferably, but baby wipes in a pinch). Sleeping bags or a lot of bedding, and blankies. You don’t want to be cold. Think of the surface your tent will be on: is it gravel or sand. Gravel really hurts. Sand is nice. Flashlights (so much fun!). Marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate (s’mores…mmm!). Some alcohol for mom and dad. Drunk camping is so much fun!

    Can you tell I LOVE CAMPING?! Geezus, I need to plan something for us soon.

  13. misspudding April 11, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Oh, and as for Battles being one of the performers? OMG! So jealous!

  14. thordora April 11, 2008 at 8:06 am #

    I’m pretty fucking excited too. Apparently there’s another big name act being announced soon as well. So if all goes well dates wise, we’re going.

    thank you! for all the advice! While I may know in theory stuff I need, I love to hear from others about it.

    And I would like them to enjoy it. I love hiking…we never did any of this stuff when I was a kid….

  15. Nat April 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    Never camped WITH kids but camped AS A KID. hahaha Things have changed since then. 😉

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