Of Course I Can Go Camping as a Single Mom!

by Leila on January 26, 2011

What?! Of course I can go camping as a single Mom! When someone tells me that I can’t do something it lights a giant fire up my butt to prove them wrong. It is kind of ridiculous. Sometimes it causes me to do silly things like hurt myself by doing headstands in my living room and other times it creates a new tradition for our family of three: Camping.

I had a conversation with my relatives about camping and their immediate reaction was, “You don’t go alone right!?” Well, I hadn’t at that point but I wanted to. Then I was met with all this negativity from them about how I wouldn’t be able to do it, it’s too much work and I need a man there. Should I not do it? Am I crazy for this!? Camping as a single Mom is bad?! Why can’t I?!

Less than a week later I was searching online at Reserve America and I happened to be on at the right time when someone cancelled their spots at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. I made my lists, double checked all of our supplies and made a food menu for our first camping trip with just the three of us. Sure, we were going just for a one night but I was going to do it! We were camping, just the three of us, a week after I had that conversation and I probably would have procrastinated or invited friends had I not had that conversation. Yeah, I know… it is ridiculous.

Leo Carrillo has it all! We are fortunate to live in Southern California to enjoy places like this. It has tide pools, a beautiful beach, huge campground that is perfect for riding bikes and scooters, hiking trails and its bathroom facilities are great. At the time it was not site specific so we didn’t know what our campground would look like. This was the only part of the trip that made me nervous! We scored a beautiful secluded site, near the bathrooms and it had so many trees that the kids spend a ton of time exploring.  The Grunion were running when we were there so we enjoyed that as well!

Things I learned for our first trip:

  • Pack lighter!!!!
  • Pitching a Tent is really funny when you have a 3 year old who decided at that moment that the game “Smack Mommy’s Booty” was the best idea ever
  • There is such a thing as too much food and this is something I will never actually listen to because I am known for always having too much! But, in the event of some punk ass squirrels who roll up on you to take your bread its good to know that you brought an extra loaf
  • Things will not always go the way you want when camping and that is ok. Laugh at it. Stuff breaks. You forget things. Your kids may freak out in the middle of the night and want to sleep in the back shell of the truck! So that means you end up holding two kids, sleeping bags, flashlights and pillows when its pitch black. Laugh. A. Lot.
  • Layers are really good!
  • Oh and carry pepper spray and know how to use it. Safety first.

So yes, it can be done! We have a yearly fun budget that we use for trips and passes but my kids have decided they want to use the majority of that money for camping! I’m very excited about this.

Check back here soon if you want to learn more details about camping with kids! I will be adding lots of information on what to pack, how to stay safe and why we all should disconnect and rough it every once and awhile!

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara May 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

“in the event of some punk ass squirrels who roll up on you to take your bread its good to know that you brought an extra loaf” – Thanks for the laugh, I sure needed it. A friend and I (another single mom) are taking our first camping trip in a couple week. Thanks for the advice! :)


Leila May 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! If you seriously want any other tips or ideas for camping as single Moms feel free to email me. I have an insane amount of camping trips under my belt since this trip. :) You are very welcome for the laugh… and squirrels (and blue jays) are jerks. Keep an eye on them! Have fun!!
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Jen Leone September 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

In San Diego and going in two weeks, just my girl and I – one night only, but going to do this and planning more. Thanks for inspiration and confirmation!



Rochelle April 15, 2014 at 10:37 am

Love it. 😉 Love your website name too! lol. Went on my first camping trip last year on the shores of Lake Michigan, overlooking the lighthouse, sand right outside our tent…pretty magical. Took a big fear factor pill and just went with FOUR daughters…triplets age 7 and 4 year old…or maybe she was still 3 still!…definitely over-packed, kites, beach toys, ring tosses, baseballs and fresbies…but at least we made a lot of friends who wanted to play with my girls and all their gear.

We went for 2 nights…first night was magical, the sound of the waves, we weren’t nearly as scared as I thought we’d be…and the lite up lighthouse was really cool…then night two the storm from hell came, blowing rain UNDER our rain gaurd and literally soaking us…we had to make a mad dash for our minivan (thank God for reclining seats and a dvd player!)…hoping I can convince them to try again, maybe not so close to a raging lake during a storm? lol :) Happy camping, and YES I have my pepper spray in pretty pink, and I will spray a squirrel shamelessly if he enters my tent, lol…and a man, he’d get a grand kick in the nuts AND the pepper spray (but given most of the people either had kids with them or were in their 50’s+ I felt pretty safe.

Thanks for the great article, had me laughing, nice to know I’m not the only single mama who wants to make these cool experiences with her children come hell or high-waters (literally and figuratively)! Bought two 3 person kayaks last year too! Yep, I’m taking my kids alone if I have to…I love kayaking and calm lakes are a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

My husband died 3 years ago and I’m determined to do the things that I wanted to do with them, even if I have to do it alone and look absolutely crazy! I was so proud to pitch my super big tent…with only the help of my girls…never thought I could, but very empowering for all of us I think. :) Happy Camping! (If I lived closer we could do a single mama’s camping trip!) maybe if we take the plunge to move to AZ…


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