Hiking with baby, Teanaway, Top Trips

Mother’s Day Weekend Part Une: Camping

My first Mother’s Day! I’m a mom! I still can’t believe it sometimes.

Mother’s Day has never been a big deal in our family, but I’ve started acknowledging it now in order to get to decide how we spend the weekend. Moahahaha. This year, I wanted to go camping.

Teanaway Camping Teanaway Camping

Problem one: We hit the first snafu pretty early on in the planning process when we realized there was no way we were going to be able to fit our dogs in the car along with Nora and all our camping crap. Luckily a friend agreed to watch Wellie and Basil, but for next time, we’re probably going to have to get one of those rooftop ski boxes or something so we have enough room to bring the boys. They love camping too!

Shooting stars in camp

Problem two: Sleep. Sleep sleep sleep. Since Nora is used to sleeping in her own room, we decided to bring some sort of enclosure for her to snooze in. We settled on a Peapod portable bed (henceforth to be known as Podrick) that would let her have her own space but still fit between us in our little backpacking tent. It would also keep her from getting into any sort of mischief in the tent when she’s there alone, since she goes to bed before us, and when we do bring the dogs along, Podrick will protect Nora from being trampled by pointy Italian Greyhound legs.

Playing in Podrick while we pack up camp

Bringing Podrick along paid off right away – Nora had a safe, bug-free place to hang out and play while we were busy setting up camp. She even played by herself in there while we grabbed lunch and got some reading done! I highly recommend getting one of these for camping or beach trips with small humans.

Too excited to nap!

Unfortunately, Nora wouldn’t nap in Podrick. Before we had a baby, I thought night sleep was the thing to worry about – I had no idea what a pain in the ass naps can be. Decent naps make the difference between Happiest Baby in the Universe and Cranky Gremlin. Nora won’t nap in the car, either (it’s happened like, say, three times), so driving inevitably turns into an overtired screamfest.

DeRoux trail (nap hike)

This drive was no exception, and by the time we made it to our campsite along the Teanaway River, she was overdue for a nap. I think the campsite was just too full of new, exciting things for her to fall asleep, so we went to the nearest trailhead and hiked for a while so she could sleep in the Ergo.

She’s a very light sleeper (the one thing this little JK-clone definitely inherited from me), so her naps in the carrier are nowhere as good as her crib naps – she wakes up the second I stop moving – but they’re definitely better than nothing. Of course the DeRoux Trail was full of downed trees that I had to climb over without waking Nora up, for which I surely deserve some sort of hurdling medal.

oh hai

Once Nora woke up, we looked for morels (we found four tiny ones, which JK unfortunately incinerated in the campfire while cooking dinner) and stumbled across a rubber boa – very cool!

Teanaway Camping Teanaway Camping

Back in camp, life was good. We had storytime, I showed Nora the creek, the river, and the thick, fragrant ponderosa bark, and kept her from eating all the different woodland things.

Story time

Then it was time for Nora’s first campfire. Maybe she’ll get s’mores next year. And stick bread!


After the failed nap attempts, I was worried that Nora wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, either. Luckily, she has such a strong biological urge to fall asleep for the night between 6 and 7 that it was not a problem. We bundled her up in a wool base layer, fleece pajamas, and a thick fleece snowsuit, then put her in the same sleep sack she usually wears at home. It stayed warmer than usual (even though this was a month before our normal Teanaway camping trip!) and the snowsuit hood was nice and cozy, so we skipped the hat.

Nora asleep in Podrick

With lil’ Norbert fast asnooze, JK and I proceeded to just veg out by the campfire, eating and reading. I’m obsessively plowing through Carrot Quinn’s Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart right now, reading whenever I find the time. It is so, so good. And now the book smells like campfire, which seems appropriate.

Teanaway Camping Teanaway Camping

We went to bed early – I think we both expected Nora to wake up a bajillion times that night – and I slept like a rock until 1 AM, when I woke up and made sure my little camper wasn’t too cold. Or too warm. And that she was still breathing. It was like being the parent of a newborn again.

Morning zzzz

Nora usually sleeps until 5-6, eats a little bit, then goes back to sleep until 7 or so, but this time she woke up at 4. I fed her, then decided to snuggle with her the rest of the night. I should have thought about what a light sleeper she is (cosleeping has never worked for us), because she woke up at 5:30 when I made the slightest little movement, and there was just no getting her back to sleep. Yawn. I think we would have gotten at least another hour if I had just put her back in the pod…but then I would have missed out on those cuddles, so it was worth it. Mostly.


The morning was crisp and cool until the sun climbed over the ridge to warm us, so we hung out in the tent for a while before making hot soup and coffee (and a whole banana for Nora). We ate breakfast all snuggled up under my sleeping bag, and then Nora amused herself by banging a titanium cup against the chair while we relaxed. Aaahh.

I’ll admit I came into this weekend expecting the worst, but we really did have a wonderful time. When it comes to babies, pretty much everything you do involves more work and less sleep, but also more fun.

Bundled up Happy camper

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  • Reply Bobby May 13, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Yay baby camping! I’m so glad to hear it went smoothly. We just bought one of those mini popup tents too for Jack but we weren’t brave enough to try to get him to sleep in it yet because we think he’ll be too preoccupied playing with the mesh on it. Also, your photos are amazing!

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz May 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you! And I still think you guys were bananas (in a good, very brave way) for bringing Jack camping when he was six weeks old. At that point, our life was still total chaos!

  • Reply ARC May 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    That is so cool!! I love the photo of you reading to her – what a great shot!

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz May 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I love it too! She’s reached a stage where she gets really excited about books (and not just because she wants to eat them).

  • Reply Lisa May 14, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Lovely photos! It looks like Nora’s first camping experience was a success! She’s so adorable. :D

  • Reply Michelle May 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Nora sounds like C to a T when it comes to infant sleep habits!! Love the pics, sounds like a grea first trip, well done!

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz May 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I’m envious of people with babies who magically fall asleep in cars and strollers, but luckily Nora makes up for it with her excessive cuteness. ;)

  • Reply Alpine Lily May 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Ahh! I love love love Trail Snail! I’m so happy you found my site and I am returning the (totally appropriate) light stalking, haha. :) The Teanaway is so great and Iron Peak is one of my favorites- a great choice for a traditional hike. I just bought Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart and I didn’t know much about her story so I’m glad that you are loving it- I’m excited to read it now. And can we talk about books that smell like campfire- best thing ever! I also adore the picture of you reading to Nora, she is beyond adorable.

    I’m so inspired by women like you that have kids and make it a priority to get outside. It gives me hope for becoming a mother someday soon. And it’s always great to meet a kindred spirit. Cheers :)

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