Preparing for camping

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For my Birthday I asked that we take a family camping trip. We have only been twice since having kids, which is sadly pathetic for two people who used to escape to the backwoods trails every chance we could get. One time was car camping the other a short backpacking stint. In our idealized world, we would still be packing it all in, doing crazy trips (like our beefy 60 miles in a day and a half trip that still stands out as one of the highlights of our first year of marriage) and bringing our kids along for the adventure. I know that is to come when they get a fair bit older (and can carry all their own gear). at this point, I think it is fairly unrealistic at this point to expect the 5 of us are really going to be doing much backpacking in the near future. To do so, and do it well, we would be needing to make some really major purchases of new, more appropriate gear now that we have more bodies in order to make the backpacking thing still work. But man, is it hard to find a 3 or 4-person tent under 5lbs. There are a few out there, but it seems most retailers consider ‘lightweight’ to be in the range of 7-10lbs. Instead, we purchased some decently priced, decent quality gear to use for Car Camping over the next (fingers crossed) 5 years. 

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Thanks to REI’s Labor Day Sale and good old Amazon, we picked up a very large, but surprisingly compact, 6-person, 3-room tent for car camping for under $100; two Lafuma Toddler sleeping bags (kid you not, we lucked out and they were very shortly on Sale for under $9 a piece); and two Junior Lafuma lightweight, low temperature-rated bags. My Birthday gift was to outfit our family so we can easily get out and rough it, giving our kids even at a very young age, the adventures and experiences we so love. It has been really hard to find good quality outdoor gear for really young kids. I think we spent over an hour as we scoured through pages and pages of cheap Dora the Explorer and Elmo sleeping bags intended for sleepovers on Amazon until we found something decent. I still remember as a kid having substandard gear and being miserable and then what a difference it made in my enjoyment, memories and experience when I got quality outerwear. So I don’t mind making sure my kids too have the opportunity to enjoy these things by providing them with this kind of stuff. Stuff that I wouldn’t mind using. Stuff that won’t be a hinderance or a burden to use. 

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Already, they are in love with these little sleeping bags. They are the first to arrive and provided hours of playtime indoors. They look really cute all bundled up in their little bags. Granted, they wouldn’t be suitable for a long wet trip, but for a few nights at a campground, they will be great. I am actually really impressed with the product. It isn’t just a cheapified version of a real sleeping bag, it is a real sleeping bag- just mini. There are a lot of really nice details- the fleecy interior is really cozy, there is a drawstring tightening for the hood/head opening and the zipper seems durable, doesn’t snag (I hated that in my cheap-o Coleman bags I had as a kid) and has the same velcro detail at the top of the zipper which prevents it from unzipping as you move around (hated those cold drafts too as a kid). Plus it packs down to a bit larger than a loaf of bread and weighs under 2lbs. I am excited to see what the rest of the gear is like. We all really can’t wait to use them and are trying to plan a few trips in early September (wanna come??).

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~ by gdesign on August 29, 2008.

2 Responses to “Preparing for camping”

  1. Yes, yes we would. But we decided to finish our actual day to day living space before outfitting for a little outdoor excursion. Ah, someday.

    Happy belated birthday by the way.

  2. We’re interested, when are you going?

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