Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Camping with Penny

For those of you who don't know us, the Loonie family, we are serious campers.  We try and go as much as we can in the summer, which is pretty short up here in northern Alberta.  Since Mr.Loonie and I have met we have been on a few BIG camping/road trips going for at least 3 weeks.  We've done the 3 provinces around us, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. and we also did a Wyoming/Idaho/Montana trip which is the three states Yellowstone National Park lies in.  These trips were full of partying, loving and a lot of driving so we could see as much as possible. Our most recent trip down the Oregon/Washington coast was a little different due to the addition of our little Pen Pen.  There was no partying on my part. Mr.Loonie may have got a little tipsy on red wine a few nights with his best buddy Stryker but we were pretty much in bed every night before 10:30 pm and up and on the road by 9 am (with a large coffee to go!) with Stryker walked and breakfast ate.

Gregoire Lake - July 2012
On all our previous trips we just used a quick pop-up tent and a small car. When I got pregnant, we decided that our 2 man tenting days with a dog were over.  We really should have bought a bigger tent back then to make things easier but nope, being the cheapskates that we are, we huddled in that little tent with Stryker and our luggage every trip!  To do our U.S. 2012 trip with Penny in a tent would have been absolutely crazy, and in the late fall of last year, we picked up a used tent trailer. The tent trailer can pack so much stuff , especially with the addition of the cargo box on top of the trailer and the car.  The box above the trailer held the stroller, hiking backpacks and extra wood - this all had to be removed before raising the trailer because of the weight.  The car's cargo box held  a laundry basket of extra clothes/shoes for all weather - we hit all extremes on our trip including rain storms, below zero temperatures, and hot dry sunny weather.  It also held the geocaching backpack, a spare box of diapers and other items needed at quick access.

So what did we need for Penny?

  • Diaper and more diapers
  • Changing pad and wipes
  • The Bumbo for joining us at the picnic/trailer table
  • MEC hiking backpack and the Baby Bjorn carrier
  • Mommy's boobs - I can't imagine doing this trip bottle feeding! How would you do it??
  • Clothes for all weather
  • Go Pod (camping chair)
  • Pea Pod (sun shade)
  • Blankets including one with vinyl on one side for lying in the grass or on the beach
  • Car seat entertainment - We have the "Fisher Price Music and Lights" which would usually put Penny to sleep
  • Sophie and other toys 
  • Baby toiletries and towel
  • Baby Aspirin....just in case.
  • The stroller was iffy, we could have done without it as it is always easier to carry her
  • Some kind of travel bed or not.
  • A travel neck pillow - perfect for nursing!
This picture is from Penny's first camping trip which also happened to be her one month birthday!  She was a trooper even with a couple bug bites on her forehead. 

The pictures below show our tent trailer set-up.  To the left by the door is the dry food bin.  Another bin of the same size full of cookware and dishes stacks on top, we found keeping this stuff in the cuprbords were just to hard to access and keep organized.

On both of the local camping trips we did this summer, Penny slept in her travel sleep bed.  See pictures below: this thing was awesome, we took it everywhere the first two months but she quickly grew out of it.  So the plan for our big trip was to make her a bed using a rubbermaid "under the bed shoe bin" with a foamy inside cut to fit to sit on the stove just like the travel bed did.  Great idea right? Well if it wasn't below zero or close to it most nights, it would have been. She just would have been too cold so the truth is, she slept with us in the bed.  Now I know you are thinking, how the heck did we get her back into her own bed when we got home? Well, all I can say is we got lucky!

My friend taught me about laundry basket packing - awesome for weekend trips for the 3 of us but for the big trip we had a lot more luggage.  Mr.Loonie and I shared a suit case and Penny had her own small duffel bag. The laundry basket was then used in the cargo box for quick access.
Below is the same view one cold night on our trip.