Planning for Puerto Rico – family adventure camping

13 02 2009

We have been looking at taking the boys camping somewhere this winter and are criteria were: somewhere warm and new to us, didn’t need passports, and good priced flights. We were set on going to Arizona, but flight prices weren’t working with our schedules.  After much research, we have finally booked our trip and are going to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We will be leaving on March 19 and returning March 24. I would like to go longer, but I didn’t want Kallen to miss too much school, and with a holiday in there, he will only be gone from the classroom for 3 days.

Now this is going to be a first time experience packing for a camping trip without a vehicle. I am used to having all kinds of room in our Yukon and now I have to learn to pack extra light since we are flying and will be moving between campsites. I sure am thankful that Jason has tons of experience portage packing for his Boundary Waters canoe trips – he knows how to pack only the essentials.

So far we have decided to bring these packs – my new Osprey daypack, Jason’s REI daypack, 2 REI and Kelty backpack carriers for the boys, and a rolling REI dufflebag/suitcase. I have made new friends with Heidi from and I downloaded this list for camping with young children from her website. I deleted some items that don’t pertain to us, like mittens since the weather is 75-85 degrees year around in Puerto Rico.

1. Sleeping mat (We have 1 Big Agnes and will try and borrow 3 more from friends).

2. Sleeping bags (we will either bring sleeping bags or light blankets)

3. Tent (we are bringing our Kelty Mantra 5 person)

4. Matches and lighter (will buy these when we get there as to not get in trouble at the airport)

5. We are buying all of our food at local markets when we get there

6. Tarp

7. Stove, fuel, bowl, spoon, eco friendly soap and dish towel, knife (once again – will buy fuel once we get there – not good to bring to airport I think)

8. Water (we are camping at places with fresh water, so will just pack a few Camelbak bottles to fill up)

9. Two sets of shoes, socks and warm clothes for your child and yourself. (I am thinking of packing 2 tees, 2 shorts, one pair long pants, one long sleeve shirt, swimsuit, towels, my Keen hiking shoes and sandals – oh and probably some undies and my Naturally Bamboo socks of course).

10. Rain gear (mmm…have to think about this one and may just take our chances).

11. Trowel to dig a hole for your human waste. Read up on Leave no Trace before camping. (I’ll probably just use a stick).

12. Camp chair and head lamps (will be bringing 2 head lamps for sure – just purchased 2 Crazy Creek chairs, Jason got the original with a trout design and I opted for the hexalite long-back because it had extra back height and would be extra light for packing).

13. Bring one thing that your child will like to fall asleep with, a favorite book, teddy, etc to make them feel at home. (for our boys – their blankies are a must along with some small match box cars and books)

14. Diapers cloth or disposable. Should be kept in plastic bags seal each one for odor (Noah is about half-way potty trained right now. My goal is to not bring any diapers on this trip. At least we are going somewhere warm and he can run around in a swimsuit most of the day and we can rinse out as needed if there are accidents. I am worried about night time however. Maybe I will just pack a couple just in case.) Do not dispose of them in the woods. Flush human waste when you get home.

15. Plastic bags (check)

16. P-cord (not sure what this is – I’ll have to look it up)

17. First aid kit (good idea)

18. Something for shade if there will not be any natural shade (I’ll hide under a palm tree or the tarp)

19. Something for bugs – repellant you feel comfortable with or net ( I have some natural bug spray made by Earth something. The island we are spending part of our time on has lots of bugs I guess).

20. Sun hat and sun screen (yes -for everybody!)

This is just a starting list. Once we get closer, I will edit as necessary. I also hope to have new styles of Naturally Bamboo tees ready for our trip so me and Jason can do some gear testing.

Here is a link to a small island off of Puerto Rico that we plan on camping at for part of our trip: Here is a teaser picture – we can’t wait!





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