I was a little hesitant about camping for three nights in a tent with L. We have done it before – but only one night, back in January 2016, on the Florida Keys. I typical book rustic cabins, camping cottages, yurts, or (as of recently!) tentiks, when traveling with L. It makes sense to do this while he is young – especially for naps, but also, just to have a place to have quiet time OR hang out if the weather is not cooperating (he can paint, color, read, play legos, eat, etc). Camping, adventuring, being outside, all can wear him out – one morning on our recent trip he asked if we could stay inside all day! (Don’t worry, he changed his mind a couple hours later 😉
I also camp alone in my tent often enough (and I love it!), but, I have to be honest – I do get a little scared at night sometimes! It usually takes at least the first night to adjust, to get used to the noises, the darkness.
So, I was worried about the tight space (keeping a small kid confined that way!), that he (we) would get scared – he is somewhat afraid of the dark, that napping wouldn’t happen, that he wouldn’t sleep well at night, etc. I actually wondered if we’d end up in a hotel at some point, if things really went badly. I worried about how long it would take for me to set up – the sun would set less than an hour after we arrived.
BUT, I was so pleasantly surprised. Setting the tent up was a piece of cake (I know it so well now), and L even helped! He helped unfold and straighten out the tent, tent footprint and rain fly, and put the tent poles together. He also insisted on pumping up the air mattresses (by hand)…which was not exactly helpful, but it was adorable. When I walked in the tent, the familiarity, the smell…a feeling of “home” washed over me. I suppose I have been through so much with that tent…
Our set up was comfortable – our pillows, sleeping bags and air mattresses, and we both slept very well. I had replaced his Thomas the Train kids sleeping bag with a “real” sleeping bag, since the weather was going to be low 50s. Other than L asking occasionally “what was that?!” at someone walking by, or a bird making a unique sound, neither of us felt scared. It really was the perfect tent camping spot – there was plenty of space and privacy, we were truly in a fairly remote location, but there were plenty of families close by that made me feel safe. We stayed at Lamoine State Park – about a 30 minute drive from Acadia National Park. More on that later.
In the mornings, L would start rolling closer and closer to me, until he was pretty much on my air mattress, arms wrapped around my neck. It was sweet. Overall, super successful tent camping with L – I can’t wait to do it again. I’m thrilled to discover the confidence and comfort I have with tent camping now, how being inside that tent felt this time around.