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Camping with a 15 month Old

Let’s Talk Camping!! I grew up camping. I don’t remember a time before Jr High, where we didn’t have a camper. I loved being outdoors, using my imagination and Sean (although camper life was mainly at the deer lease) felt the same. We knew we wanted that for Laney. As far as buying a camper, I know we will eventually, but I want to keep renting to see what we like, and also wait for baby #2 (whenever that happens) to be around 1 or 2. This July 4th trip was our first camping trip with Laney. I’m sure like the rest of America at the time, we had been cooped up for too long and were desperate to get out of our bubble. We decided to head to Big Bend area. If you don’t know already, Outdoorsy is a company similar to AirBnB, but instead of houses, it’s RVs!! You can rent an RV and they make it seamless and easy. We decided to rent in the San Antonio area and then hitch up and head west. For those of you who don’t know, driving through Texas can feel like forever.. especially if you’re going from one region to another.. with a one year old. The whole drive from our house to Terlingua is about 8 hours. We decided we’d break it up about the halfway mark by stopping in Sonora.

Day 1- Sonora. Day 2- Caverns then hit the road.

We set up camp for the night and the next morning, we saw the caverns then were on our way. We only had a 4 hour drive in front of us and we ended up getting into Terlingua and setting up our camper around 5 or so. If you haven’t been to Big Bend area, I highly recommend it. We stayed in a town called Terlingua, which if we ever go back, I think we’d stay closer to the park. The park was about 45 minutes away. We’re lucky enough to have friends who own a camper and have kiddos, so they came with us! Laney and their son, although two years apart, always have a blast together.

Day 2- Arrive at campground in Terlingua

As always, with any traveling, the mantra should be to stay flexible. Laney was pretty set on a schedule with bedtime being a 7pm. Our friends were in charge of dinner that night, and between setting the campers up, having a total of 3 kiddos around- one being 3 months old, and attempting to prep dinner, we didn’t eat until like 8-9pm. We were still able to get Laney down- although she was a bit overtired, and enjoy the late West Texas sunset.

The next morning, we had plans to head to Big Bend early, and hopefully see Santa Elena…. as our GPS is guiding us there, we find ourselves blocked with a whole section of Big Bend (the one with Santa Elena) closed off.. Closed due to Covid… I guess an employee got it and they couldn’t have people running the visitor/info area. Who knows. Did I say you need to be flexible when traveling? We ended up finding an area of Big Bend that was open and hiked that with the kids until it got too hot and we needed to have lunch and have Laney take a nap.

Once we got back to the campers, we let the kiddos enjoy a movie, then were back outdoors with a blow up pool, then some exploring while we prepped for food. Can you tell I had to make matching outfits for the kiddos?

Day 3- Shenanigans

The next morning, I took Laney for a run so Sean could pack and get the camper ready to roll out toddler free. I know you may be thinking I should’ve helped him, but honestly, with a busy toddler, us both trying to pack up while parent a kiddo would’ve probably taken waaay more time than me just taking her so Sean could get everything done quickly. We wanted to head out around 8ish that morning so we could make it to our next stop (remember Texas takes forever!

Day 4- Leaving West Texas

We wanted to make it to Concan, TX to camp around the Frio River. It was about a 6 hour drive. We stopped for lunch (we pack our own) at a park so Laney could play around and made it to the campground by the late afternoon. After being cooped up in a truck for so long, Laney loved being able to play in the river. We hung there for over an hour!

I should’ve known all that fun in the river would lead to an overtired baby. It was like a train hit her. One minute she was all fun and games not wanting to stop playing, the next minute it’s 7:30 and she’s throwing a fit wondering why the hell we didn’t stop her playing and have some quiet time so she could’ve been sleeping.

My favorite “matching” outfits and this is the best picture we could get. Her onesie says “Campfires make me hot” and his says “I got wood” because we’re terrible parents and found that hilarious. He was clearly unsure on why we wanted the picture so badly when Laney was not in the mood. Such a good future hubby. We were able to get her down somewhat easily. There was a park right at our campsite where our monitor could reach so we got to enjoy a nightcap of watching our friend’s boy playing with other kiddos as if covid didn’t exist. Because it was 4th of July weekend, they had glowsticks everywhere. Once our friends went to bed with their kiddos, we took the monitor to the campground behind ours to crash their party. They ended up being from Houston where I’m originally from. We ended with a campfire and roasted marshmallows with them. Ha! Again, best part of traveling is by far the people you meet and the company your around. Luckily, the next day’s drive was only an hour and a half to San Antonio to drop the camper off. Then we curbsided groceries for normal life and was on our way back home with a ton of fun memories with us.

Categories: Family Travel Travel

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