Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don’t Want This Hug


Sequoia Nat'l Park
California
We love to camp at primitive campsites.  Okay, my husband and I love to camp at these non-electrical locales.  The children just put up with the fact that there is no pool or playground.  Without all the electricity, the brilliant stars fill the sky and the lightning bugs look like lace along the leafy edge of deciduous trees. 

 

Primitive campsites usually provide campers with “bear boxes” or places to hang food packs to keep uninvited guests from wandering into camp as “guests” can come in all sizes and strengths.  Bear boxes are strong, hinged, heavy metal boxes with a clamp or clip for security from hungry animals.  There can be one bear box for every two or three campsites.  As for hanging your own food pack, the campgrounds provide metal pole uprights with a line across the top.  Some campgrounds provide the rope and clips needed to hang your pack over the line.  Make sure you secure the rope to a pole or nearby tree. 

 

We were camping at a primitive campsite in Sequoia National Park in California and had just finished having a delicious dinner of roasted tube steaks [that’s what my husband calls hot dogs so that I’ll eat them] and were contemplating whether or not we wished to wait before having s’mores when we heard screaming coming from the campsite on the knoll below ours.  Even in the early twilight, we could see him.  A mature black bear had wandered into their tent campsite and the woman was trying to get into her car, which is what you should do, as the man banged pots together to frighten it away. 

 

Our children scrambled into the tent trailer like chicks hiding under the mother hen.  My husband hopped into the van and drove to the Rangers’ station in the campground to alert them of the bear’s presence.  The rangers came out to the camp site with a foghorn-type sounding device which frightened the bear away. 

 

Needless to say, the children didn’t want any s’mores that night and refused to brush their teeth at the bathroom located down by the people’s tent.       

 

Make no mistake.  A hungry bear can shred a tent or tent trailer easily to get at the food it smells.  To be safe, the park rangers told us to keep all food in airtight containers or packaging and use the bear boxes provided.  Also, be sure to leave a clean tent/trailer area.  Place all trash—especially food packaging—in a dumpster at night and before leaving your site for the day.  

13 comments:

  1. Wow! That sounds like a scary experience. Glad we don't have wildlife like that in the UK. The worst we have to contend with is the lousy weather.

    Bill

    http://www.tentcampingworld.com

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  2. You are not alone. We have lousy weather days here in the United States, too. And yes, it does in fact follow us on our many camping trips across the country.

    There must be some wonderful places to camp in the UK even if there isn't any bear. Have you camped out in the UK?

    Thank you so much, Bill, for visiting my blog. Please stop by again to see more adventures. ~Victoria Marie

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    1. Hi Victoria Marie

      Yes, there are some great places to camp here, especially in Scotland.

      My only camping experience outside of the UK was a recent trip to East Africa to climb Mt Kilmanjaro. If you are interested I have written some posts about it on my walking blog.

      http://walksintameside.co.uk/blog/great-mountain-walks/

      Bill

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  3. That must have been extremely nerve-racking. I couldn't imagine staying in a campsite where the wildlife came right up to your campsite. I would have been like your children: hiding in the tent.

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  4. Wow, Bill! Kilimanjaro! Don't think we could bring the children and camper to East Africa, although we've climbed many a mountain here in the United States and parts of Canada and Newfoundland.

    We've done a little backpacking. Do you backpack in to camp in East Africa? How about Scotland? Do you camp at campgrounds? Use a tent or tent trailer?

    I will definitely check out your blog, Bill. Thanks again for visiting mine. Please stop by again.

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    1. Great to see you are a mountain climbing fan Victoria Marie. I bet your children love it. I have just started taking my 8 year old grandson on higher climbs.

      We did backpack in East Africa but fortunately we had porters to carry the real heavy loads. They also pitched the tents and generally looked after us extremely well.

      I used to camp at campgrounds in Scotland but nowadays prefer a little luxury in my old age. I leave the camping to my son and daughter who seem to enjoy it.

      Bill

      http://walksintameside.co.uk/blog


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    2. Two out of the five children "love" mountain hiking. The other three merely survive it, although recently, they seem more inclined to hike.

      It must be wonderful to infuse the love of nature and hiking with your grandson. It will be neat to get to that point.

      Great to have porters carry the loads and pitch the tents after a long day of hiking. Did you go with a large group? Wow! It would really be exciting to backpack in East Africa.

      I'm hoping that some my children, at least, will carry the love of hiking and camping to the next generation.

      Thank you again, Bill, for visiting my blog.

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  5. It was indeed scary, Michelle Kathryn. When camping in nature you are in the animal world. As long as you remain calm and follow good sense rules, you are usually safe.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Please stop by again.

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  6. Oh my goodness. I would have been very frightened. Bears are powerful animals and they've lost their fear of man because of the food. Well glad all went well and I hope the rest of the trip was less stressful:)

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  7. You don't win against a bear for sure, Marie. Backing away slowly is always best. Don't run as the bear may think it's a game and chase.

    We also saw bear on a ranger hike during our California trip. The ranger said, "If you see a cub, back away and look for mom. She'll ALWAYS be close by. Try NEVER to get between mom and cub. She'll think you're threatening the cub regardless if you are."

    Good advice. Thanks for visiting my blog, Marie. Please stop by again.

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    1. Belive me, I would be frozen in fear to do any running:)

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  8. Awesome post! I mean minus the bear stories. :D

    Enjoyed reading your blogs! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Davis
    ----
    "What I like about camping is you can get really dirty." Unknown http://campingcactus.com

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  9. Thank you so much, Davis, for visiting my Camping With Kids blog. Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

    I'll be visiting your Camping Cactus blog for sure. Thanks again for visiting. Please stop by again.

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