I'll Follow You Anywhere

In an effort to get better at quick, informative blog posts without all of the fluff, I’ve challenged myself to get this guide to camping with a toddler live the same week we went on our very first camping trip. Let’s hit the road!

To start, I’d like to say I’m an extremely inexperienced camper and definitely not an expert on this subject – in fact I’ve probably only camped 6 times in my entire life and two of those times were at music festivals in a field. I was really nervous about taking Summer out on an overnight camp, but being back in BC has pushed me to reconnect with my roots and spend as much time in nature as possible, so I figured why not give it a shot? Turns out all of my fears about camping with a kid were the biggest obstacle to overcome – she LOVED it and other than the intense packing and unpacking, the whole experience was super stress-free.

A few notes //

-We did just one night for our first trip as a test run, and I highly recommend this route as a fun way to introduce camping without being too overwhelming.

-So much of parenting is about knowing your kid, and in my case, Summer is an outdoor baby through and through. She loves to get dirty, sit in the sun, explore, and actually spends a lot of our indoor time at the front door banging to go out with the dog, so I had a feeling sleeping under the stars would be a hit, and it was.

-I did not attempt our first camp alone! We took this trip with the very lovely guy I’m dating (I will share more about this at some point but for now I’m keeping the details to myself!) and I was really grateful to have the extra set of hands. Not to say you can’t camp solo with kids, but toddler age is definitely easier with a partner / friend / family member to share the responsibilities.

Top Tips //

-Pack a few familiar toys and books (especially those you use at bedtime), but keep it simple – rocks and sticks won every time!

-Even if you plan to co-sleep, bring your travel crib! In our case the travel crib didn’t fit in the tent, but it was extremely helpful to have while making dinner over the fire and setting up the camp site.

-If you have a travel stroller, bring it for evening strolls around the campground (great to set the stage for bedtime!) We also found a carrier was super helpful when we went on longer hikes – I swear by the Sakura Bloom Scout, which I’ve been using since the day Summer was born and absolutely adore!

-Do your research on the campground and it’s amenities. We went to BirkenHead Lake and though it was amazing, in the future I would probably choose a warmer lake for Summer to swim in more comfortably!

-Food-wise a lot of folks recommended pre-cooking meals that could be heated and served instantly, but we mostly just did lots of snacks like handheld fruit, crackers, juice boxes and baby food pouches. I did make a big batch of orzo salad that we all ate, and we cooked veggie dogs on the fire, but otherwise we kept food as simple as possible (Summer prefers snacks to full meals at this stage anyway, so it worked!)

-Load up on layers (for you and your child!) We went through more changes of clothes than I could ever have thought possible and barely made it home with anything dry / cleanish to wear.

-if you’re risking a longer road trip, try to plan it around nap time and make sure you do something to tire your toddler out before loading up the car and hitting the road! We learned this lesson the hard way on the drive up because we were rushing to get going, and she ended up awake and angry for 2.5 of the 3 hours. Before heading home we spent the morning at the beach, and she slept 2.5 hours instead!

-Be prepared, then have fun! I made sure we had Summer’s favourite hat, the best natural sunscreen (works for the whole family) and natural bug spray (I highly recommend this one!) I also put together a little emergency pack with an assortment of kiddo medication, bandaids, and antibacterial cream.

-My last *very* unofficial tip: use your stroller muff as a sleeping bag if it’s cold at night! Summer slept in pjs with feet and hand covers, a warm sweater, her sleep sack, a knit hat, and then I put her down in her Bugaboo winter stroller muff (as far as I can tell… it’s the exact same thing as a toddler sleeping bag!) We also hung her white noise machine in the tent and brought her blankie from home, and she did so well! You can also put a hot water bottle or hot pockets in the bottom of the sleeping bag on extra cold evenings for good measure.

That about covers everything I learned from our first experience overnight in the great outdoors! More camping trips (and probably more camping tips) to come soon!

Dear Diary

Of all the phrases that can be used to describe me as a human being, none is more true than “No Chill”. I am the opposite of chill in every capacity, from emotional stability to the way I workout, and above all things I have the hardest time slowing down and learning to just be still.

I am not zen, I am not relaxed and sometimes I worry I’m going to grind my teeth down to tiny stubs in my sleep.

I mentioned my attempts to take on a more “chill” demeanour in my previous post about LA (the land of the chill), but I wanted to do an update and share what’s been working best for me now that I’ve been home for a bit and the seasons are finally starting to shift. It’s the perfect time to make changes, to adapt healthy habits and switch from comfort food to clean food. Here’s what’s working for me:

Scroll down for the list!






Stay Hydrated // I know everyone says this for pretty much everything, but I can’t stress staying hydrated enough. The infused water trend is a Pinterest favourite right now, but if you don’t have time to infuse with 100 kinds of fancy fruit or you’re on the go, Oasis Infusion does the job! Infused with fruits, herbs and flowers, and then topped off with a hint of fresh juice, these beauties have no sugar added and can be found at grocery stores everywhere you turn. My favourite flavour is obviously Strawberry Hibiscus Basil, but all 3 are seriously refreshing.

Grow a Green Thumb // I’ve been loading up my new apartment with plants and I’m hoping at some point it starts to look more like a scene from Jumanji than a Toronto condo. My good friend Tellie from Hunt and Gather helped me out with picking out some “hard to kill” houseplants, and I’ll be sharing my green thumb wisdom here soon!

Back to the Books // Getting lost in the mind of someone else is the easiest way to take a step back from your own busy life. I’m currently reading “One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter” by Scaachi Koul, and it’s the perfect book for taking in snippets of wisdom and laughter when you don’t have too much time on your hands.

On a Roll // Exercise always automatically takes my stress-level from 1000 to 0, and this Spring I’m investing my time mainly into Climbing and Cycling. With brand new gear from my pals at MEC, I’ve been heading up to Basecamp Climbing to test my strength on the walls, and now that the weather is warming up I can start to bike to and from the gym too! Seeya stress!







This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com