Camping with Preschoolers…help?

We will be driving a minivan, not a classic convertible, but the road trip is on the way!

We will be driving a minivan, not a classic convertible, but the road trip is on the way!

I got home from storytime at the library with Kaitlyn to find my husband with various diagrams and lists and maps spread in front of him at the kitchen table.  I knew what this was in an instant.  This was a pitch.  I was getting pitched.  And it’s a doozy alright.

Let me jump to the end of the story.  As of noon today we have gone from a family with no real vacation plans for the summer, to a family planning a 16 day car trip to points west.  Oh, and we leave in less than a month.

I need some help.  Some of you think I mean of the mental variety, and you could be right, but here is what I am specifically looking for help with now.

  •  A tent – One of those jazzy numbers with multiple rooms and ultra-lightweight construction so it folds really small is nifty, but ANY tent is better than the one we have, which is no tent.  Do you or a friend have one we could borrow?  Rent?
  • Suggestions –  Have you been to Yellowstone/Grand Canyon/Vegas/Mt. Rushmore?  Have you travelled long distances in a car with preschoolers?  Have you been camping?  I need suggestions for things to see/do, there and on the way, with an eye towards frugality (though hot air ballooning across the Grand Canyon sounds awesome) and feasibility (no Vegas shows with a four year old, I fear).
  • Prayers We could stay at hotels more.  I can use a AAA guide and internet searches.  But if you think I can make it 2-1/2 weeks cross-country with two preschoolers and no prayers, well, I’ll just tell you you’re wrong.  That’s not even counting the prayers of making it through the abbreviated planning period.  How my husband thinks we can just wash clothes once is beyond me, and I’m already getting discouraged looking at campsites.
I’m actually really excited by the trip.  We had talked of going in the future, but with this being our last chance to go without being constrained by school schedules, Keith crunched the numbers and it’s more feasible than we thought.  We’re planning on hitting Vegas/Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore, plus dart into California, hopefully go to the badlands, maybe swing by Branson… who knows?  And I’m sure there are giant ears of corn or balls of yarn that really need their picture taken with us next to them 🙂
Oh, and does anyone want to cut our grass for us while we’re gone?  Haha.

2 responses to “Camping with Preschoolers…help?

  1. shawn and steph

    Sounds like fun!! I can’t help you with any of your needs, but I thought maybe all of us girls could get together before you leave. I’m home all day on Mondays and Tuesdays, and mornings on Wednesdays. Let me know!


  2. Mark & Ash

    Hey – you will have so much fun! Keep your eyes peeled for us! We are hiking out that way in June. Anyway, we’re traveling sans-kiddo, so it’ll be a whole different ball game for us. That being said, we’ve done a Vegas/Canyon trip twice. Love it. I have lots of resources. Want me to mail you some books? Email me. We had some excellent hotel deals too, and they were for places I would recommend!

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