We went “camping” (in a yurt) in May and had a great time. I booked it a year in advance because the yurts book up super fast. I wanted to try camping in a tent, too, but kind of waited too long and everything (EVERYWHERE) was booked for most of the summer. I did manage to find one spot available to reserve: Camp Creek Campground up on Mount Hood.
Over the weekend we packed up the car and drove to the mountain to camp. In a tent. With a toddler. And a dog.
We had no idea what to expect. There were definitely some things against us: the recent wildfires = smoky conditions; due to fire hazards campfires were banned everywhere in Oregon; I was getting over a mild head cold (fun); we had no idea how Bella would react sleeping in a tent hearing everything outside; and it was supposed to rain on Sunday (of course). But…we decided to give it a go and try anyways. Besides, we were an hour from home so if it was absolutely terrible, we could always just go home.
Our camping gear needed some SERIOUS organizing and updating. I went through everything Friday morning and replaced it with some new stuff I got on Amazon:
A collapsible space-saving bin for doing dishes
A new waterproof bag for storing sleeping bags
A sleeping bag for Logan, and a new sleeping bag for me!
When we drove to the campground, we realized it was Hood to Coast! We saw tons of runners and several of the relay points. It was cool.
We got to the campground at the base of Mount Hood and found our spot, #6. It was towards the end of the right loop, right by a hike and the creek.
The campground is small, I think 25 sites or so, and they are spaced apart nicely so you aren’t right on top of your neighbor. It makes for a much nicer and quieter camping experience. Our spot was a decent size. Michael set up the tent while I unpacked stuff and kept Logan busy.
It was also nice that the road in the campground was pretty quiet.
I saw a few other sites that would be nice to check out next year.
Michael got us a new air mattress and I guess he splurged and got a 18 inch one! Wowza! It was pretty nice. A lot more comfortable than sleeping on the ground and it didn’t lose air like the thinner ones tend to do. After camp was set up we had some refreshments and then set out to explore a bit.
Then back to camp for dinner. Hot dogs and baked beans.
It was a real bummer we couldn’t have a campfire. I think that definitely changed the experience. 🙁 We didn’t have much to do by way of entertainment for the kiddo (no s’mores, campfire songs, etc) so it was a little harder to keep Logan occupied.
We ended up just going to bed when it got dark.
Soooo………Logan isn’t quite ready for a tent. He didn’t really understand it. He was scared at first and cried and then when we were all in there together to go to sleep he thought it was playtime. HOW do parents co-sleep??? I’ve never done it until now and it was hard.
Logan was jumping around in his sleeping bag, flopping around, hitting us, rolling over. Geeez. He thought jumping up and down was a good idea. Eventually I rolled over and ignored him and he finally laid down and went to sleep.
Overnight was ok. Logan slept really well all night. I was a little concerned about him being cold but whenever I woke up to check on him and put his blanket back on him, he’d throw it off in his sleep.
Our campsite was nice! We weren’t directly next to the creek but it was loud and we could hear it just fine. It was like magic for sleep. Who needs a sleep machine? The creek was peaceful and we all went right to sleep.
I woke up a few times in the night when it got really cold. I think it was 40 degrees or so overnight. We planned for it still was a little shocking, especially first thing in the morning. When Logan woke us up at dawn.
We ended up getting up at 6:30am or so because there was no keeping Logan quiet at this point. He was raring to go and I was worried he’d wake up other campers. That’s what I meant by, he’s not ready for tent camping. The yurt was perfect and I think that’s what we need to stick to for a few more years. Once he’s older and understands the etiquette of tent camping it will be fun.
So we got up at dawn and had breakfast. It was friggin’ cold! We all layers and hats on and it was still freezing. So we discussed our next move.
Rain was in the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday. We decided it would NOT be fun to wake up at dawn in the cold and pouring rain with a toddler and then pack up camp so we decided to just make our trip a one night event. It was the best decision.
I will say, Bella was AMAZING. She did SUCH a good job camping and staying at our campsite and sleeping in the tent. She was a little rock star.
After breakfast we sat in the car to try and warm up a bit (I was a little worried about how cold Logan was) and then we packed everything up and went for a “hike.”
At the bridge in the campground there is a trailhead for Still Creek Trail. It was easy and 1.5 miles and something Logan could do. So that’s what we did after breakfast.
It was a nice little hike along the creek and then the trail goes into the old growth forest and it’s really peaceful and pretty.
We eventually turned around and went back because we didn’t know if it was a loop or not and didn’t want to get stuck at the end having to turn around (and carry Logan back). So we hiked back and then loaded the car.
We got home for lunch, showers, and AMAZING naps. We ALL took a glorious nap. It was a lazy afternoon and just what we all needed!
Ooh I’m going camping this weekend on Mt Hood – and it’s been several years since my last time out. This post was timely – I will bring extra layers! And my warmest sleeping bag!
I feel like air mattresses suck the heat away from my body – was that a problem for you? I have a really thick thermarest I’ll be using, but a mattress DOES look pretty sweet.
Which campground are you going to? Hopefully you can have campfires by then!
I never noticed that with the air mattresses.
Your camping experience. It might be the air mattress was motivating for him – like a trampoline.
Co sleeping. They get used to it as babies. And I never had any jumping around or wanting to play issues.
Kids slept with us from Birth thru age 2. However I would not recommend it. And none of my kids would do it (with their kids).
At the time I thought it was easier with breast feeding. And while I would never let a baby cry, I think I could have done things at lot easier.
I have read a lot of Amalah and Taking Cara Babies. I wish that information had been available 30 years ago.
And I am very curious about your childhoods. You might have said – your family and your in laws, what types of family/activity things did your families both do?
An Unheated WATER bed absolutely will suck the heat out of you. Great in summer, bad in winter.
But an air mattress does not usually.
I also wanted to say the Off! Mosquito repellent fans (clip on your body, refills available, runs on batteries) work really great for us.
We now buy them thru amazon.
I’ll give it a try! THanks 🙂
Oh yeah he definitely thought it was a trampoline!
I’m not sure about Michael’s family, I know he was a boyscout and did camping like that as a kid.
For me, my family were back-packers. We’d all carry our own pack and hike to camp, camp, fish, etc. and then hike back. As a kid it was hard and I didn’t enjoy the hiking part of it. But I liked the camping part! We also camped at the same two or three campsites (not backpacking) every summer that I loved.
I’m not a camper so I wanted to know how you cooked your hot dogs. A small grill with charcoal?
A coleman camping stove that uses propane. Super easy!
Thanks. Enjoy anymore camping trips this fall!
Your camping trip sounded fun. We were up in that area last week. Now home in hot muggy Florida. Logan is getting so big they grow up too fast!
How was your trip to Oregon?
It was absolutely gorgeous!!! I want to live in Oregon! The Columbia River Gorge area was beautiful. I especially loved Oregon and also visited Powell’s Books. What an unique place. We did so much also visited Seattle for four days.
That sounds great! Glad you made it to Powells. It’s one of my favorite places here.