We decided to camp at Alice Lake to test Toothless out on camping and get him accustomed to his sleeping bag.
He napped on the drive out. His nap was cut short by about 30 mins but he had already slept in by 30 mins on the morning so we were hopeful this would just be a wash.
We immediately put him in a travel crib while we set up the tent and unpacked. He was sort of entertained at first and eventually took pleasure in watching us pitch the tent.
After setting up the tent, we walked to the beach. He tried to eat sand, had fun crawling and walking in sand, tried climbing a boulder and explored the grass. We left when a bear came and took someone’s BBQ.
Thankfully Toothless was pretty calm during the entire ordeal. I was probably the only person actively trying to make noise, and the other people at the park were approaching the bear. But despite my clapping and a bear present, Toothless was quiet and calm and we were able to safely leave the area.
His nap in the travel crib in the tent went alright, but a little short. He seemed to struggle with the sleeves of his sweater. They seemed to get in the way of rolling over and crawling.
We went for a walk and he seemed into it, then fell asleep for almost an hour. This made up for his short nap.
He became annoyed after the walk and getting him to crawl around and showing him the trees and plants and rocks around the campsite kept him engaged and happy.
Dinner (pasta, broccoli and sausage) went well but he immediately started playing and was distracted by the environment. He didn’t eat much today.
For dinner we found that sitting him on his sleeping pad between our legs was a good way to keep him and the food contained – but obviously getting food on his sleeping pad isn’t a great idea so we will have to rethink this one for backpacking.
Sleeping was a bit of a struggle to start. He woke many times at night and didn’t seem to understand the entire premise of sleeping next to Natasha. We had a travel crib, but the side panel on it was unzipped, so when he wanted to feed Natasha could slide him over. He also did not seem to like how soft the crib walls were – normally be pushes himself against the corner of his crib and sleeps with his head in the corner. With the travel crib there is no firm walls so he just keeps crawling and pushing forward against the mesh walls.
The next morning I took him for a walk around the lake while Natasha slept more. He loved the sights and sounds and was super engaged with the environment.
We ate breakfast and then went on a longer walk around the Four Lakes Trail to let him nap as we walked. This worked out quite well.
After eating lunch and him having an afternoon nap in the travel crib, we went for another walk partially up the Debeck’s Hill trail. Not very interesting, but good practice walking uphill on a rocky road while carrying him. We had to turn around early to make it back for dinner.
We tried our backpacking pesto noodle recipe for dinner and, while he loved it, it was definitely an “at home” meal and not a “backpacking” or “camping” meal with him. The noodle cling together and they got everywhere!
The second night was similar to the first night. He struggled to get to sleep and stay sleeping in the middle of the night after waking. We ended up co-sleeping a bit with him and he would settle on his own side of the mattress half into his travel crib.
However, we realized in the morning that he started teething and had a tooth coming up, so we aren’t sure if that was bothering him or if he was waking due to something else.
We packed up and headed home in the morning, with a little more knowledge in the bag. Lots to think about!