Cabin Trip at Arrowhead
A last minute decision to book a cabin and take my boys on a mid week adventure was a success. We marked Milo's first(ish) camping trip and my first solo trip with two kids. I will celebrate full force when I do this again in a tent and not a cabin. Somehow the cabin feels like cheating despite all the high-fives I got from friends and the super powers I felt as a mother.
Scroll through these pictures and at the end of the post I'll go over some pointers that you might consider if you are in a similar circumstance and want to give this a try for yourself.
Do it. It's worth the moments of crazy.
The Menu: I kept it simple and toddler focused. Campfire hotdogs for dinner both nights, instant oatmeal for breakfast, and we barbecued a frozen pizza for lunch. Snacks were popcorn, chips, homemade powerballs (similar to Lara Bars), peaches, and goldfish crackers. Dessert was marshmallows and a special trip to the Park store for Popsicles. I recognize that this might not be the healthiest or the most creative camp menu but it was easy and my picky toddler ate it without the usual meal negotiations. So one major tip for your first trip with two kids (especially if one is an infant) is to keep the meals quick, simple, kid focused, and have an easy clean up.
(Note...I brought coffee but forgot the beer. Next time I will put a few tall cans in the cooler :)
Gear: We were sleeping in a one room cabin with beds so gear was very simple: sleeping bags, pillows, camp chairs, stroller, baby carrier, bassinet for baby, my FatMax camp kitchen box, and the hammock (of course). I made our roasting sticks out of twigs and we used the kettle and bbq provided to make our meals. The stroller proved invaluable as it served as a seat for Milo to chill in by the campfire and made our walks to the lake that much easier (despite the one trek in which Coen screamed for his lost caterpillar the entire ride down). Therefore, the limited car realestate is not wasted on a stroller for your first trip in the forest. Although I didn't get any hammock hangs in myself due to my two busy boys, Co loved playing in it, hiding, and swinging.
Extras: Co was given a small bag before we left that he could fill with whatever toys he wanted to bring. The only catch was that they all must fit in the bag. I also decided to bring along his bike and helmet. My hopes are that in our future family trips we will go on bike explorations of the park so this fed into those future dreams. Other items I brought along were clothes (obviously), hats, blankets, and headlamps. The clothes for all three of us fit in one medium sized duffle bag (including the diapers). I borrowed my parents Honda CRV and all the above (including the kids ha) fit inside the car (this wouldn't have worked in our current car, an old civic).
Next trip: I will attempt a tent camping trip at Awenda or Six Mile!
For those new parents this trip is totally doable even for novice campers. Get out there. You will feel like a superhero for doing it and your kids will know and learn how cool you are and that camping with mom is awesome! (Or dad ;)