We survived our first camping trip as a family of seven. Not only did we survive, but we had a great time! We camped at Trial Lake in the high Uintahs, which is located in northeastern Utah. It was beautiful and, as luck would have it, our campground was perfect. We were right on the lake, which I loved. It did mean that we had to watch Walker, who loves water, very closely, but with a life jacket on we let him play in the water as much as he wanted.
I talked about preparing for camping here and used a lot of the helpful hints discussed there. One of the tips that I read was to buy gallons of water and freeze them. You then use the frozen gallons for your ice and as drinking water. This tip worked wonderfully. I packed each of my kids their own Klean Kanteen. Each child has their own color so they know which one belongs to them.
Because we were close to the lake, we went through a lot of clothes and shoes. Luckily, I had packed several extra outfits and pairs of shoes for each child. Walker and Adalayde went through every single outfit. If you know my children this will not come as a surprise. One thing that I did not even think about that would have been helpful was a clothes line. This one looks good. Between towels and wet clothes, socks and shoes, I felt like clothes were everywhere and it would have been nice to have a place to hang them up to dry.
I ended up taking my KidCo Peapod and our DockATot for Madsen to sleep in. The Peapod was so nice to have because I could move it around and have him close to us in the shade for naps. I also loved that it has the screen built in. Madsen is so used to sleeping in his DockATot and it was great that it fit right inside the PeaPod.
I packed lots of warm clothes for us and I was so glad that I did because it got pretty cold at night. I packed footed pajamas for all of my kids except Anderson. The downfall is that footed sleepers do not fit in shoes, so once they were in their pajamas going outside was tricky. Next time I will pack warm pajamas and warm socks that fit in shoes. Another thing that I did not think of was hats for my kids. My kids slept pretty well, but I wished I had warm hats to stick on their heads to keep them extra warm. Madsen slept in his pajamas and in his Columbia Baby fleece and that seemed to keep him warm.
We also brought our Summer Infant Pop N’Play. It was so great to have a place for Madsen to play and stay safe. Summer Infant is now selling a full size sun shade for the Pop N’ Play Portable Playard. You can get it here. Another mistake I made was that I brought our Summer Infant Pop N’ Sit Portable Booster chair. I talked about my love for this product here. I absolutely love this chair, but Madsen is really grabby right now and he kept trying to eat dirt. Next time I will take my Ciao! Baby Chair. I think it would be easier to have Madsen off the ground and in his own chair.
While I read about a lot of camping crafts and cute project kids could do while camping, I enjoyed just watching my kids explore, entertain themselves and play together. Plus, it would have been just more stuff to pack. In the end, I have no regrets about not planning any crafts or projects. I do, however, wish that I had brought more books to read, especially for my younger kids. Another thing that I forgot were some board games. Live and learn my friends, live and learn.
All in all, we had a great first camping trip as a family of seven. I loved watching my kids explore and play out in nature. I also loved that we had no phone service and we did not bring one electronic with us. Justin and I did use our phones to snap a few pictures, but other than that we were electronic free. We will definitely be camping again soon!