Renaissance Dad: Camping with Toddlers, and Other Really Bad Ideas

Renaissance Dad: Camping with Toddlers, and Other Really Bad Ideas

Having spent much of my f-f-fifty years camping, hunting, and fishing, I have gleaned a number of essential skills and tips on the subject that I feel it’s my duty to pass on to the next generation of outdoorsmen and women . . . assuming we can wrest the X-Box controllers from their pale little hands and drag them outside.

So, when I finally had my own child, I was really excited to introduce her to the joys of bring outdoors. In fact, she went on her first camping trip at three weeks old. Of course, at three weeks old, she was basically a big loaf of bread dough with eyes, plus we brought approximately forty-seven thousand baby-care items with us. Unfortunately, that first camping trip created a false sense of security that camping with babies was easy.

Which, honestly, it is . . . as long as you bring a tractor-trailer load of diapers, wet wipes, and onesies.

Flash forward two years . . .

Our adorable little bread loaf is now an ambulatory, self-aware ankle biter, and I’ve discovered that camping with a toddler is like overseeing a chain-gang of escape-artist sociopaths, except you’re not allowed to use shotguns and leg irons (except maybe in Texas . . .).

Toddlers on a camping trip have one simple goal: to kill themselves.

To read more, pick up a copy of the April 2019 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

Perry P. Perkins is a third-generation chef, award-winning writer, and culinary instructor. He lives with his family in Longview, and operates the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, for at-risk and under-served youth. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including sixteen “Chicken Soup for the Soul” anthologies. He is also a reoccurring guest-chef on AM Northwest. More of Perry’s work can be found on Amazon at, and his cooking blog at

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