Last month we took Everly on her second big adventure…camping in Havasupai Falls! While camping down in the Grand Canyon with an 8 month old may seem overly ambitious to some, it’s an inevitable rite of passage for the Bennett family. We take groups of people to Supai on guided tours as a side biz and we went down last year while Everly was 5 months old on the inside!
This trip was also a really important heart check for me. Although we enjoyed Everly’s first adventure to Mexico at 5 months, I found myself too often mourning the change of pace that came with traveling with a baby.
So approaching this camping trip I let go of all expectations. Not in a pesimistic sense, but one open-handed to whatever new blessings the Lord had in store for our adventuring family.
True to his gracious character, God far exceeded whatever shallow expectations I had in mind!
Mom slept! (Can I get a hallelujah!)
Everly ate on schedule and even experimented with new foods!
We got over 6 miles of hiking in with Everly asleep on Mike’s back.
And I got to explore a part of the canyon I hadn’t in over four years!
Tips and Tricks
With only 1 camping trip under our belts, we are by no means experts, but the things that worked for us we are more than happy to pass on!
- Get Osprey Child Carrier Pack. We were fortunate enough to be able to borrow one from friends and now we’ll definitely be getting one of our own! It was light weight and had an optional sun-shade built into it – which was a must!
- Wear your babe. The Osprey pack worked great while hiking, but this ring sling is my at-all-times-go-to for wearing Everly. She feels safe exploring with me in the sling and it’s a great way to soothe her to sleep when it’s nap-time and we’re on the go.
- Dock your tot. I held out until this camping trip to get a Dock-a-Tot, and I probably won’t use it again until the next kid since Everly’s nearly out-grown it. But it worked great for this trip since Everly couldn’t fit in our sleeping bag with us and we didn’t want to lug around a pack-and-play just for night-time. Even though she’s typically a stomach sleeper, she slept soundly tucked into the Dock-a-Tot.
- Bundle up your babe. Did you know they make sleeping bags for babies!? I didn’t. But they’re adorable and a must for camping. I ended up getting this footmuff instead of an actual sleeping bag because it can be fastened into a stroller as well.
- Pack a play space. Everly was in the put-any-and-all-objects into my mouth stage during this trip, so giving her free range in the dirt wasn’t an option. We picked up a water-proof picnic blanket from Costco and it was a life-saver! It’s easy to clean, light weight, and it folds up small enough to carry in a pack. Here’s a similar one.
- Travel with Grandparents. This tip is the one most key to the trip’s success! Having my parents along on the trip was an enormous blessing – for everyone. 🙂
Any experienced camping mama’s out there have more tips to share? I’d love to hear!