In the “Is Father’s Day a ‘day on’ or ‘day off’?“ debate, I chose to have a day on with my kids this year.
I packed up the boys (6 and 3) for a 3 hour car ride, and a 30 hour camping adventure. It was the youngest’s first time camping and he was bursting with excitement.
My wife didn’t come because, well, she doesn’t like camping. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to shed my city slicking skin by getting the boys into the backcountry as much as possible. We climb mountains, go fishing, and camp. I suck at all of these endeavours but, dammit, I try and I have fun camping with kids.
So for one weekend it was just me and the boys, a new tradition begun of the men in the family becoming one with nature and what better day to do it than Father’s Day.
My blogging handle is DadCAMP, click through the slides below for details on this adventure of 1 Dad, 2 Kids, and a tent.
1 Dad. 2 Kids. And A Tent. 1 of 14
It was an adventure in the wilderness. Check out how we survived.
Dinosaur Bones 2 of 14
We went to a park that is home to the largest collection of dinosaur fossils on the continent. They were literally lying everywhere you walked. How do you know you have a fossil by the way? Do the lick test. If your finger sticks to the "rock," it's actually a fossil.
Dinosaur Park 3 of 14
We took a bus tour where my oldest son demonstrated how the rare Zacharieosaurus was discovered by fossil hunters in the Canadian Badlands.
Star Wars Pose 4 of 14
They call this the "Star Wars Pose." The Badlands are pretty desolate, the guys thought they would pretend they were on Tatooine and took this strong "Jedi" pose whenever I wanted to take their picture.
Star Wars Pose Hoodoos 5 of 14
Everything was pretending they had light sabres.
Star Wars Sunset 6 of 14
There was only one sun to set, but with nobody really falling asleep, we climbed a mountain in our jammies and... had a light sabre battle.
Pinterest Camping Tip 7 of 14
I got this idea from Pinterest. Take some bread dough, wrap it around some sticks and roast it over the fire. I bought some Pillsbury stuff, and should have had it stretched a little thinner before putting over the fire as it was hard for the center to bake. Still, campfire bread!
Baggies 8 of 14
Pro tip: do a lot of meal prep before you go. For me, that means everything in Ziploc bags. I'll bring along steaks, bacon, pancake mix, veggies, whatever all in baggies so it's easy to grab. For the meats, I also bring them frozen in the cooler, and then they act as ice blocks on the trip.
‘Smores 9 of 14
Charlie's first campground 'smore.
iPad 10 of 14
Yes, I bring iPads with me when I take my kids camping. Usually when it's just the oldest and me, we go through the Star Wars saga together. With Charlie along this time, we started Iron Man.
1:17 AM 11 of 14
This was my youngest's first camping trip. Every 30 minutes, it seemed, he was up and asking for his mama.
Sleeping Bags 12 of 14
We have adult sleeping bags. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time staying in my sleeping bag the entire night. For a 3-year-old, it's virtually impossible. Charlie kept slipping in and out of his all night long which led to...
Geocaching 13 of 14
A 3 hour trip to the campsite in the country is easily chopped up into digestible blocks by going geocaching. Look up your route map on geocaching.com and see where a good collection of caches can be found. Make it a snack/bathroom/meal break and it will keep the kids occupied before hitting the road.
Playgrounds 14 of 14
If you can't find geocaching on your way, find a playground. Same difference.
All images via Buzz Bishop. No use without permission.