July 16-17, 2020
Douglas Provincial Park is a little over an hour NW of Moose Jaw on Lake Diefenbaker. Douglas offers hiking trails, beach, playgrounds, and more.
Today, I will give you one of the greatest camping hacks ever. This hack might not be an option for everyone, but it was for us, and for that we are so thankful.
Go camping when your sister in law and family are camping. Bonus points for your sister in law having a camper.
I don’t remember what made us finally decide to do it. We knew we wanted to try, but the fear of the unknown was holding us back. This was another stepping stone in us going camping without a safety blanket. My SIL was our safety blanket this trip (and most of the time at home anyways haha).
As this was our fist time TENTING with 3 (ages 4, 2, 6 months) we played it safe and only booked one night (and we had existing weekend plans). It was a lot of work and equipment for one night, but a beneficial gauge in the camping experience. Douglas is also close enough to home that if it was TERRIBLE, we’d pack up and go home (that was our back up plan).
We were able to secure a camping site close enough to their site, but far enough so that we weren’t totally invading their summer vacation (it was only one night!). Our site featured a “secret path” to the bathroom, and through that path, down the road was our safety net.
Once again, we needed so much stuff, the truck was full, you think we were moving a small apartment.
Tent, air mattress, pillows, blankets, playpen, go pod, stroller, coolers, food, beach toys, clothes, formula, dishes, more food, fire stuff, camping chairs, bikes, snacks, special beverages.
While driving there reflecting on “did we get everything?” “Are we going to survive this?” “I feel like I’m forgetting something”.….. Then it hit me, I DID forget something. We forgot the dang hotdogs. This isn’t going well – we haven’t even arrived yet and we already are missing supper. Fingers crossed the store at the main beach has some (back up plan was ordering food from there). Update – They had hotdogs, we were ok.
When we arrived, the boys were excited to see their cousins, so it worked out that they hung out at their site while we set up. VERY HELPFUL. The sites are very treed, and relatively private.
Once set up we headed to the beach (with EVERYTHING in tow). As mentioned before, the beach area was quite small due to the water being high. We ventured down a mowed trail in hopes of finding a quieter spot. We did, it was hilly, but all that we needed. After a few hours at the beach we went back to our campsites to have supper (it was already the early evening).
Throughout our time there the boys would run away to the other campsite (which was mildly concerning). The moment P saw that no one had eyes on him he was off. We could see their campsite through the bush and had to communicate that he was on his way over, or way back (he really couldn’t make up his mind), and occasionally be wrangled in by his cousins.
We tried really hard to get the kids to bed at a decent hour. We were unsuccessful. We eventually gave up and let them run wild until they put themselves to bed. It was late. So so late. Cue when I realized we didn’t have coffee cups for the AM (Oh no song). Camping + caffeine were very important to us. SIL to the rescue – mugs delivered in the early AM, we were going to be ok….. again.
The kids slept in until about 8 am (a camping miracle). After breakfast, it was almost time for lunch. We (Ty) strategically packed up our site and truck and moved to our SIL’s. We spent the afternoon at the beach again, had a pre-supper icecream, and supper back at the campsite. We were all VERY tired, and headed home. WE DID IT. 8 days later we booked 2 camping trips for August.
Looking back – it looks like we ate, and went to the beach, and that’s all we needed.
Things that helped this trip:
- Plug in cooler, I’m not sure why we have one, but it’s great to not need ice every 5 minutes
- Sister in law (and family)
- SaskParks Activity Paks
- Glow sticks
Things I forgot this trip:
- Coffee mugs
Things I’d like to do next time:
- Hike the trails
- Check out the sand dunes
- Tour around Elbow
Also, your SIL always feels blessed to have your company!