–A photo recap from a brief overnight in George Washington National Forest with my son, H. But first, a few thoughts on camping with a one-and-a-half year old:

EVERYTHING will go more slowly. He can only walk at a quarter of my speed and that’s when he’s focused enough to walk in one direction, or even walk at all. And when he doesn’t, I should prepare to carry him if I want to cover some distance on the trail.

MANAGE my expectations. It’s not going to be the kind of hiking and camping that I’m probably used to, and that’s OK. Move slowly, take notice of everything around us, use each opportunity to teach him something – about being in the woods, about treading carefully, about remaining conscious of our resources (those that we brought and those around us).

REMEMBER that this is still a foreign experience to him, as different from the comforts of home as dehydrated milk is from the real thing. Be patient, be reassuring, be empathetic. A good snuggle and warm blanket are better comfort than the thin veneer of nylon and a hung bearbag when night finally settles.

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