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Camping with Kids and Dogs – What was I thinking?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019


How to survive camping with kids & a puppy


So last year we decided to get an el cheapo tent and a gazebo to go camping with our kids. Where do we go that would not be too far off from home, just in case we had to make our way back home unexpectedly or in a hurry?



{First attempt Southern Highlands}:


So in the April School Holidays we took our little one Abba ( 3 years) camping for two nights on one of the local farm stays in Canyonleigh – Morton Park Farm. Great little spot if you want to just be by yourselves and enjoy being outdoors and experience the beautiful sky at night.

Turned out that in April it still gets pretty cold and I underestimated that totally. Smile - another lesson to be added to my Aussie Learning Experience! But it was beautiful; we had a campfire going the whole day and had sausages that we grilled over the campfire on sticks that we selected from the bush around us. No nasty creepy critters annoyed us – one advantage to travelling in the colder months.

We were so exited about our first real camping experience and immediately started planning our next one. Mind you we did get a puppy in between so this time it had to be dog friendly for our little Bear to come with us.


Morning wake up call! A bit chilly but so much fun!


{Second attempt Dubbo}:


Viral Asthma - What a start to the camping trip with some friends – argh. October School Holidays here we come! One of our girls has asthma and of course she was sick the days leading up to this trip. Hospital the day we left for camping to double check her cough, make sure she was still ok to go. (She was so exited to go – by now I was just terrified of going). Antibiotics, Redipred, Atrovent and a few hours later we made the call to give it a go! No risk no fun, right????

Whaaaaat was I thinking? We made it to our farm stay near Dubbo, beautiful place again! Lovely people and the property Pine View Camping & Farmstay is just beautiful. The day ended with pitching tents not in the greatest moods I must say, but we made it and finally tucked the kids into their sleeping bags, to have a well-deserved drink with our friends.

After a night of battling coughs and asthma the morning was gorgeous, the place was secluded but not out of reach. The farm owners Sue and Matt took the kids to feed the animals on the farm, an absolute ball for the kids. The adults sorted out the campsite and set up properly. But wait – NO – we found two holes at the bottom of the tent.



Could anything else go wrong??? Oh mind you yes – the so desperately needed rain was forecast : What to do? 1 Sick Kid, forecast temperature with only 14 for the day, rain and two dogs going crazy…. My mind was running overtime. I didn’t want to be the person to call the shots? Couldn’t someone else tell me what to do?????

Well, to be honest the second night didn’t get better for us. I just felt crap but the 4 kids where looking forward to Dubbo Zoo (me too actually)…..

Dubbo Zoo was a pretty amazing experience, riding around on bikes with the kids and looking at all the animals was fun. But our eldest just got worse during the day and on our way back we decided to pack up. The rain was coming and we didn’t want her to get even worse besides having to cope with wet dogs and coldish temperatures the next day.

After 2 nights of what should have been 4 we packed up and left the beautiful campsite! Crying disappointed kids, exhausted adults and 5 hours to drive home.

What do we do as parents? Wrap our kids in cotton wool and never experience the real stuff? Or give things a go and risk things?

To tell you the truth, sometimes I just think a hotel stay would be so much easier and it probably would. But then I think of all the childhood memories that I have and I really really want to do something that will create lasting memories for my family.



Give it a go! If we managed - YOU can too!

  • Pack essentials (usually we take too much)

  • Good first aid kit that travels every where with you

  • Emergency medication that doesn’t need cooling – especially when you go camping

  • Bottles of wine – to keep you sane

  • Humour – you’ll need that

  • Adventurous spirit

  • Less toys – kids get creative without all the stuff

Guess what we aimed for? Two more camping experiences. The next adventure however was cancelled due to bad weather – wind storms, rain and a funeral that we had to attend. The 3rd one just around Christmas was beautiful. We stayed at Riverwood Downs a dog friendly campsite close to Barrington Tops and we had a ball! Yes we had our struggles, with setting up tent and one child vomiting for one afternoon and the other one having a temperature for a day as well, but we stuck it out!


Never give up! Let's teach our kids that there is so much beauty in nature and usually the efforts to go and do something are outweighed by the beautiful experiences, moments of laughter and joy that we can experience!



Now, should we save up for a caravan instead of tenting???



I am looking forward to hearing what you have battled through with and/or just some feedback.



Cheers

Hadassa





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