When Chris first proposed a family camping trip with our not-yet three month old baby I thought he had lost his damn mind. I was just getting the hang of keeping a baby alive with all the modern conveniences of home. What was I supposed to do in the wild?
I know, I know. People have literally been raising babies since the dawn of time but that doesn’t make parenting any less daunting. I like being able to spy on the little guy with our electronic baby monitor. And last time I checked, running water and the ability to wash our hands was a good thing with an infant. Every bad scenario ran through my head. What would we do if he was stung by a bee? How would we evacuate in the event of a forest fire? If we couldn’t bring his electronic baby monitor, how would we know if he stopped breathing in the middle of the night? And how are we supposed to sleep comfortably in a tent?
As I get older, camping seems to fall lower on my list of preferred accommodations. I am starting to favor plush beds and private bathrooms to sleeping bags and outhouses. Luckily, Chris’ dad found a little middle ground with a stay at Scottish Lakes High Camp in the Cascade Mountains. Instead of tents and sleeping bags, we would be staying in adorable A-frame cabins with real beds. There was no electricity or running water in the cabins, but the outhouses were clean and very accessible. It was the perfect foray into camping with a baby.
And while my relationship with camping seems to diminish, my sweet son appears to adore camping. Holden loves trees. They are probably his favorite thing in the world right now. He likes to sit under a tree and watch the leaves move in the wind. His love of nature warms my heart and makes me want to do more activities outdoors with him. He even slept for NINE hours straight our first night at Scottish Lakes High Camp. That’s the most he’s consecutively slept EVER. And when Holden sleeps well, mama sleeps well. Who knew my best night of sleep in three months would happen while camping?
This camping trip was graciously organized by Chris’ dad. Nine cabins are available at Scottish Lakes High Camp. Chris, Holden, and I slept in the Larkspur cabin while Chris’ dad, brother, and godfather stayed in the Columbine cabin. Each cabin comes outfitted with a wood stove, propane lamps and cooking stove, kitchen utensils, a large carafe of fresh water, cozy mattresses, and pillows. The “village” also boasts a main lodge chock full of games and books as well as a wood-fired hot tub and sauna. We also roasted marshmallows around the community campfire and I might have eaten all the s’mores.
Hiking with a baby was much easier than I anticipated. Holden threw a pretty big fit during our first hiking attempt. He decided halfway through our hike that he abhors his carrier and screamed until Chris carried him in his arms. This meant that Chris carried our nearly 15 pound baby over two miles back to camp. A father’s love, I tell ya.
Our four mile hike on day two went much better. We learned that Holden now prefers to face out of his carrier. He wants to be able to see everything around him. He made it nearly three miles before he decided he wanted to be in dad’s arms again. While on our hike we made two little pit stops: one to nurse the bebe and another to change his diaper. I kind of adore breastfeeding because it means that Holden’s food is always available and we don’t have to lug around bottles and formula. Our portable changing pad is super handy and I love that it carries everything we need to change diapers and folds up super small. All we needed for our hike was a small backpack filled with water, snacks, and the changing pad. Easy peasy.
Holden wasn’t the only one that ate well while at Scottish Lakes High Camp. The adult menu featured meals like pancakes, spaghetti with sausages, and quesadillas. If there’s one thing that Staudinger men do really well, it’s camping meal prep.
Overall, our first time camping with baby went swimmingly. Holden was a champ and really took to the wilderness. I see more hikes and stays at Scottish Lakes High Camp in our future. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be brave enough to go legit camping (AKA with tents) soon. But baby steps.
And for those of you that are contemplating camping with a baby, a few of our must-have items are:
Pack ‘N Play: Holden slept really well in his Pack ‘N Play and I like that ours comes with a changing table option. It was small enough that it didn’t take up too much space in our tiny cabin.
Snuza Portable Baby Monitor: We bought this monitor to test drive for our future travels. We love it so much that we now use it while at home. It’s small and portable. The Snuza clips to baby’s diaper and monitors movement. It will attempt to shake the baby awake if it doesn’t detect breathing after fifteen seconds. If no movement is detected after five more seconds it will sound an alarm to alert guardians. We plan on bringing our Snuza with us to Europe in a few short weeks.
Baby Bopp Portable Changing Station: We kind of love this thing. The portable changing pad folds up nicely and fits in my purse. We take it everywhere. The Baby Bopp changing station fits all the diapers, wipes, and baby gear needed for even the dirtiest of diaper changes.
I actually look forward to more camping trips with our little guy. Experiencing the world through his eyes is kind of the best thing ever. Have you been camping recently? Is there anywhere that you would recommend? Let us know in the comment section below!