In the month of August we have the opportunity to camp 3 weekends in a row. First on some private property right on the South Fork of the American River with a nice natural beach where the kids can play, raft, and watch all the rafts and kayaks float by the the afternoon. Secondly will be our annual wine tasting "slash" camping trip to Santa Rosa - Sonoma's Kenwood region. And third to Camp Richardson at Lake Tahoe.
But our last camping trip of last season our son was only 8months old and therefore less mobile. So as we did with our daughter we are thinking might be good to do again...a trial run. Huh?
We are lucky enough to have property as well as do some of our friends...so we tend to early in the summer throw up the tent for a single night and see how the kids do. Taking special notes on sleeping needs. A quiet tent leads to a peaceful evening around the campfire for the adults. So we take all the bedding options...sleeping bags, Thermarest, Aerobed, etc.. and we do one night out. This one night out generally occurs within a half an hour of our home (or in our yard). This way if it is a complete disaster we can bail on the experiment. However, I am happy to say we have not had to to date.
Another piece of equipment good to trial run is the sleeping bag. Have you had your toddler or preschooler crawl into bed with you. They sure like the freedom to turn every which way...generally with our kids it is horizontally across the bed with their feet in our ribs. So the confinement of a sleeping bag may take some getting used to. So when our daughter got her first sleeping bag we even did trials in our home to get her used to it. And to get her excited we let her help pick it out...REI's Kindercone.
Besides getting the kids all squared away such that they will be ready for 2-3 nights that are 2-3 hours away from home it also allows us to check out our camping gear to see what we need, what didn't survive storage from last season, etc.. This is good as generally at the end of camping season we simply toss everything in plastic storage crates and tuck them away to be untouched until the next season.
So wish us luck...our trial night will be mid-July.