View Full Version : First time camping trip

10-01-2007, 23:10
I've recently adopted a nine year old boy and have been curious (and hoping) whether or not he'd like hiking and camping. Last weekend he experienced his first ever hiking day. Sure it was a short hike, he didn't have to carry a pack, and the terrain was fairly easy, but the important part is that he liked it. The day was a total success.

The next step was overnight camping and since the weather channel was calling for a mild weekend, I thought this would be the perfect time to give it a try. No need to tell you that friends and family were somewhat concerned that I wanted to take a child camping at the end of September. This is Canada after all and those who aren't avid hikers/campers just don't get it. We had a long talk in which I explained to him that if at any time he was cold or scared, we'd hop into the car and come home.

Well, I'm very proud (and excited) to anounce that everything went according to plan. We set up the tent, cuddled in with snacks and a good book. Just before saying goodnight we headed out to answer nature's call and I could tell he was a bit concerned that it was so dark. He also made a comment about the cold and wondered whether or not he'd be cold during the night. As soon as we were back in the tent, I pointed out how cozy it was inside our sleeping bags and reminded him one more time that we'd head home at the first mention of him being cold or scared.

The next time we spoke, it was morning. Almost scared to ask, I inquired about his night. He looked at me with a big smile and said that he slept very well. When we walked the short hike back to the car he was flabergasted to see the car windows were frosted and needed to be scrapped. On the way home, he asked how it was possible for it to be so warm in the tent while it was cold enough to frost the car windows. I explained that modern/high quality sleeping bags and a complete change of clothes had made all the difference. His answer: camping is cool!

After school today we went for a bike ride in the trails near our house. While we were stopped for a short break, he asked when we'd go camping again. Now that's what I'm talking about! Yes!!!

Of course, as I've said in previous posts, I have no intention of forcing him to be a part of my regular excursions. However it would be the icing on the cake if he were into it as much as I am. Let's just say that so far it's looking good.

Jim Adams
10-01-2007, 23:19
That is soooo cool.
Good Luck


10-01-2007, 23:28
Tell me about it!


10-02-2007, 04:55

10-02-2007, 07:02
Excellent! Congrats! I'm glad it went so well for both of you.

He's not only a kid, but he's adopted. We don't give kids enough credit. They are pretty tough, and unless we teach it out of them, smart and adventurous as well.

My parents took me camping, when I was an infant (I lost my pacifier in the Rocky Mountains), and many times a year after that. It was the only time I ever felt happy.

Fair warning: It may turn him into a tree-hugger freak. Hey, but some of us enjoy that status! ;)

10-02-2007, 07:33
How soon is too soon to tell him the story of the bloody hook? :eek:

10-02-2007, 07:37
How soon is too soon to tell him the story of the bloody hook? :eek:

"Whatever's wrong with you, 'tis no little thing!" :D

10-02-2007, 07:45
How soon is too soon to tell him the story of the bloody hook? :eek:

You gotta start with Snipe hunting and the Woodcutter's Sons and Ivory Soap story.

Tin Man
10-02-2007, 08:04
My two boys have been camping since they were very young and have always loved it. They joined the scouts so they could camp more often. I think boys naturally love camping. Their natural curiosity prompts them to ask questions like how they can be some warm in a tent when it frosts outside. Each trip, teach them a little more about camping and nature and they will get more out of it and will retain their interest. Enjoy!

10-02-2007, 08:13

Awesome adventure. Anotherone hooked on the great outdoors at an early age. Maybe a suitable trail name for this youngster would be "Frosty". Let him tell the world how he got his trail name--this ought to keep the memory alive.

A wise oldtimer told me that if you want to get someone hooked on the great outdoors--do everything in your power to ensure it is an enjoyable first time--sounds like you have done exactly that.

One of the first times I took my kids out on an overnight canoe trip, we got nailed by a super intense thunderstorm. Needless to say, we had to pull out and set up camp earlier than planned. Although the thunderstorm was a scary experience when it was happening, we all laugh about it today.

My oldest daughter often recalls the trip by starting the conversation with "remember the time you took us camping and almost got us killed?" That always raises a few eyebrows and people get to hear the whole story.

This memory is well engrained in their brains and they will never forget the experience. It's funny how as each year passes, the story gets embellished a little bit more.

Enjoy your time in the great outdoors with this future outdoorsman.

10-02-2007, 09:30
A small cheap flashlight would be a good gift.

Check out the keychain thermometers. Be aware you may be driven crazy with weather updates...


Got the next one planned? Mild thru Monday.

10-02-2007, 10:17
First of all, God Bless for adopting this very lucky boy who obviously has a wonderful and thoughtful new parent!!

Appreciation of the outdoors and nature is probably one of the greatest things you could teach him. I hope you both continue to enjoy your adventures together!!

Creek Dancer
10-02-2007, 10:35
This little guy has a really good mom! What a wonderful memory maker trip.

10-02-2007, 11:00
You are most likely his absolute hero! Sounds like the adoption was/is a perfect fit. Good luck and great work.