Monday, June 26, 2017

Adventures in Family Camping: Glacier National Park (Part 1)

Our only family camping history consists of a two-night trip up to Lost Lake two years ago, and we had to leave early because all three of the girls were very sick and just continued to get sicker. It had its fun moments but it was mostly we need a little redemption.

So when the life/school/work planets aligned to give us almost a month of free schedules this summer, we decided to go on a big camping trip in our new (to us) tent trailer and really see if we can make this "we're a camping family" thing happen.

I have always loved to camp but it's been pre-children. When it comes to executing a successful camping trip with small people and making sure we have all our ducks in a row, I'm a complete novice with a tendency towards disorganization and forgetfulness. Thank God for checklists.

The Tent Trailer: 

Our little tent trailer is a 2004 Tucson in great condition. My dad found it through a neighbor and we caught it before it went up on Craigslist. The trailer pops out to a full on one side and twin on the other, and the little kitchen setup has a propane stove and a hand pump sink, plus a little furnace. The canvas and upholstery is all in good shape, although I'd love to eventually cover at least the upholstery. It runs on propane, electricity, or battery. We also asked the girls to name the little trailer but we haven't come up with a suitable moniker beyond Disney princess name suggestions. Best of all, it can be towed by our Subaru Outback!

The Itinerary: 

We live in an stunningly beautiful area of the U.S.: The Pacific Northwest! Having our jumping off point of Portland makes it relatively easy to go anywhere. We have Washington and the Puget Sound area to the North, the high desert and prairie of Oregon to the East, Redwoods and abundant mountain lakes to the South, and the rugged coastline of the West.

It's been hard to pin down where we want to go (and to make sure I don't overload our itinerary as is my habit). I had reserved a campsite in northern Washington but Glacier National Park in Montana was calling my name. I also found out that the glaciers are melting! So I ran the idea by Andy and we cancelled the reservation in Washington and decided to take our chances with the first-come, first-serve system at the Glacier campgrounds. Neither of us have been, so it's a true adventure.

Check out Part 2 for how we found a campsite in peak season without a reservation!

{This is Part 1 of our Family Camping series}

See the rest of the posts here:

Part 2 - Finding a Campsite in Glacier National Park
Part 3 - Packing List for a Family Camping Trip
Part 4 - Our Kid-Friendly Glacier National Park Itinerary

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