And the reason for my ultra sore legs:
Carrying a back pack that weighed 30 lbs (but felt like 60 lbs) down an entire mountain and then back up an entire mountain the next day. This was my first backpacking experience ever and I had no idea what to expect. It was incredible. I want to go every weekend for the rest of my life. This is definitely the cheapest way to vacation, you get TONS of family time, you get to unplug from everything, nature is awesome and hiking is good for you.
I don’t know how in the world Billy was able to carry Brooke and his pack.
I think Brooke likes the taste of nature because her tongue was out a lot.
about a mile into our trip Brooke needed a break. She was exhausted.
We decided it would be the perfect time for lunch. PB and J and Wheat Thins… we went through a ridiculous amount of bags of Wheat Thins. PS you have to try the Spicy Buffalo flavored Wheat Thins.
After lunch the Brooker fell fast asleep and we kept going. We started at the main parking lot of Henry Coe and hiked 5 miles down the mountain to our spot (China Hole).
She was a very helpful navigation guide.
Once we got down the mountain we went along the stream for a while so I wanted to try to carry Brooke and my pack. I lasted a total of .7 miles before my shoulders wanted to fall off. I need to get better at this because we have some pretty awesome backpacking trips in mind already that are longer than the one we went on this weekend.
The camp site only allows one group of people there at a time. We had the whole place to ourselves and didn’t see anyone else the entire time.
It was awesome.
Brooke loved hanging out in the tent.
I feel really cool because we were real campers and did everything ourselves… even filter our own water. I should go on some sort of survival reality show now.
Dinner was loaded potato with bacon soup, wheat thins and pb bars (Brooke had squash with apple baby food in case you wanted to know;). That little green thing was our stove that we cooked everything on. Delicious.
Part 2 coming up.
So my biggest piece of advice when you go camping is….
-Do not bring your iPad and decide to watch I am Legend (or any other really creepy movie for that matter) after your baby falls asleep late at night. Dark + lots of animals around you + a crazy imagination = I almost died from being so scared.
Do you like scary movies? Scariest movie you have ever watched? Did you ever see I am Legend?
What was your long run this weekend? Anyone race this weekend?
Last vacation that you took? Next vacation that you are going to go on?
Hahaha your advice is great. My long run 15 miles this weekend! A PDR for me :) obviously followed with a ton of food because that’s how I roll. Your weekend looks perfect! My family isn’t good at camping. My mom and I don’t like the little bugs and it never works out well haha Brooke clearly liked it though jusging by that tongue of hers so I bet you have lots more trips to come. It seems to me that your weekend couldn’t have been a better way to end billy’s spring break!
I love camping but we’ve always driven right to site. Good for you guys for actually making it exercise! I wouldn’t have slept after a scary movie in the woods though; I don’t even do scary movies at home.
17 miles planned for today, and we are having unseasonably awesome running weather just in time!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats
This looks like so much fun! I love camping/hiking. We are planning our next camping trip this month. Last vacay I took was to Orlando with some family and it was wonderful :)
I love hiking more than anything in the whole wide world, but I’ve never been bitten by the backpacking bug.
An HRG survival show… now THATS a show I would watch :)
I love backpacking (especially since I got my pack down to 30lbs with a weeks worth of food :)). For longer trips, I’d advise leaving the cans at home and using powdered milk and instant mashed potatoes to make soup.
I would be so freaked out..bears, snakes, arrrhhhh…
Now I want to go camping, too!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
That looks like so much fun! Unfortunately, I am NOT an outdoorsy girl who could survive doing that.
You all are too cute! I tried camping once and I didn’t like it at all. Sorry! But I can say I tried it, right?!
It is an easy week for me so only 4 miles this weekend.
We are heading to Mystic, CT for my birthday weeken next month! I haven’t been there since I had my daughter so it will be fun to see it through her eyes.
Andrea @ mainerunnergirl
It looks beautiful! I can’t watch scary movies if I’m going to be staying by myself anytime soon. I raced a half marathon- a hilly one but still had a good time!
Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes
Thanks for all the advice! It looks like an incredible time!!! I hate scary movies… And our next vacay is coming to see YOU in Cali! We can’t wait!!!
I love everything about this post! So many memories of our backpacking trips. I totally agree with the wild imagination……that goes away the more you do it.
We are going to Costa Rica for spring break……..so a few weeks.
Long run was only 7.5, but a very happy 7.5!!
Danica @ It's Progression
Yep I’m pretty sure that is the best advice for a camping trip…yikes!
Ali @ Ali Eats Clean
One of our family vacations growing up was camping in Maine and it was definitely one of the best! I’m trying to plan a surprise vacation there this summer as an anniversary trip for my husband and me. Your post just made me 1000x more excited!
I can’t even imagine watching I Am Legend while camping. I couldn’t go outside at night for WEEKS after watching it.
I feel partially inspired to go camping now…my husband has been trying to get me to go for years but I’m wary of all of the nature. But you made it look so fun!
Natalie @ Free Range Human
I am so ridiculously excited that you are getting into backpacking! It’s definitely my favorite thing in the world to do! We have a ten night 150 mile backpacking trip planned for this summer in Colorado and I can’t wait!
It looks like you’re using a Bjorn to carry Brooke which might explain why your shoulders hurt (they can be really hard on your back as the wearer). You might want to see about an Ergo or a Beco for future hikes. I promise you won’t regret it! They are so comfy to wear and my 16 month old loves to be carried in ours.
I would have died if I watched I am Legend in the woods. I only watched it once and I am too scared to watch it again. Big fraidy cat here :)
Looks like you guys had a great time!!
Wow, you really roughed it! I’ve never been camping away from civilization like that. I can’t believe you watched I am Legend out there in the sticks. I would have demanded the we pack up and go home immediately. Wait, walking home in the dark would’ve been scary. I would have demanded a rescue team come.
Love henry coe! We live near the morgan hill entrance and love to hike up there. Their 10k is pretty fun- last year they had like 27 water crossings! My friend told me its the largest national park in cali–not sure if thats true. Has megan told you her and ross’s camping story? I dont think she’ll be camping for a while lol. And enough rambling from me :) glad u had fun!! We should plan a camping trip to Big Sur–i want to go sooo bad!
Oh we have gone camping again. Ross has learned his lesson though and will never make that mistake again ;)
We went camping with a bunch if friends when we were first married and ross (unbeknownst to me) switched out our tent for his brothers ONE man backpacking tent. We got to our site late. It was dark and raining and when he set it up I almost lost it. His friends laughed so hard. I should send you a pic (his friends took one so they could always relive the moment ;) ) we barely fit and it leaked on my face the whole friggin night.
I love backpacking! This is so awesome, I can’t believe you guys went with a baby- now I’ll never complain about my pack being heavy again. Looks like it was a blast :)
Wendy @ New Moms Talk
Our last vacation was to the Bahamas last summer, and it was more of a Learn-Cation than anything else. We learned what we all need on a vacation which was highly beneficial, and will positively impact future vacation decisions.
This year is a hodge-podge of conferences and family visits, so I’m not foreseeing a “vacation” but rather tons of mini trips which is perfect. Though there’s a chance of a Mom-Baby Daughter trip for a week to Montana while the hub writes for a week.
Camping for a week with an 8 month old? Yes, please!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
That looks like heaven. Seriously. You are one lucky lady.
I am SO jealous and I immediately showed my husband what we must do with our baby.
My last vacation was Chicago in October for the marathon (I think), and going to Costa Rica in 3 weeks!
That looks awesome. I’ve been too nervous to camp with our baby. I think because he still gets up and night an trying to breastfeed. How did Brooke do at night?
You definitely need to look into a hiking backpack k for Brooke! Wayyyy more comfy and a bit safer too. For regular carries you should get an ergo! My 14 mo old still loves it and its comfy enough that I just used it for a whole week at Disney World.
The Hungry Runner Girl
That is awesome! Can you still carry them on the front with that? We need a front carrier so we can still have our packs!
With some of the bigger baby liking carriers they come with tons of load able space on the carrier so you can basically use it as your pack..but probably if you has lots of stuff the ergo would be the best bet :) it’s so neat that you guys are starting it whiles she’s young, she’s going to love it!
The Hungry Runner Girl
Awesome! Thank you so much Heather!
I just want to second the Ergo. You will notice a huge HUGE difference. Like, REALLY huge!
Definitely look into an Ergo. I hiked many a mile wearing my babies well into toddlerhood. It has a strap that goes around your waist to help distribute their weight, instead of digging into your shoulders.
luv what you do
Backpacking is the BEST and you definitely need to schedule a massage for when you are done. I can’t believe you guys hiked with heavy metal soup cans…next time buy the lighter bags of soup! thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. I am super jealous!
Love scary movies. High Tension is super scary and has a great twist. I loved I am Legend, did you see the alternate ending?
6 miles this weekend…4 yesterday. Easy weekend :)
Last vacation was to Las Vegas, and the next is Orlando Florida!! Disney World with the boys.
I’m not really into camping but that camp spot looks so beautiful!
We watched I Am Legend late one night and I had to leave for work the next day at 4am. We lived in our condo and so my car was almost a block away. It was dark and I don’t think I have ever ran so fast from my front door to my car as I did that morning. I could have friggin qualified for the Olympics ;) I can’t even imagine being camping while watching that movie!!
Last weekend I was in beautiful St George and this weekend we leave for DC!
That place looks amazing – so beautiful and serene. What a great way to spend time together. How did brooke do? Anna was afraid of the tent when we took her camping for the first time at 9months. She woke up screaming at night and screamed for almost an hour (she hated the wind. She still is deathly afraid of it to this day). I can’t wait to hear.more about your trip! Have a great Sunday!
How did you eat a baked potato if you couldn’t build a fire?
The Hungry Runner Girl
We had loaded potato with bacon soup and we had a little stove to cook it on:) have a great day!
So awesome you took Brooke camping already AND you backpacked! We did this a lot growing up and we’ve taken Sam (3yrs old) a bunch already. He especially loves to sit a around the campfire :)
I also used to work at REI for about six years and more recently worked for Backcountry.com. It’s been really hard not to buy stuff for our every camping, hiking, running, biking needs!
Can’t wait for your part 2!
Oh, and we have three of those Jetboil stoves. They’re awesome!
Amanda, RD- The Nutritionist Reviews
Wow that’s crazy that you were able to carry that heavy pack all that distance!
Gah – so pretty (and cute!).
You either need to get a Kelty (where the baby sits up high and includes a back pack) or an Ergo, or Beco baby carrier (where you can wear her on the front) for hiking! They all take the weight off of your shoulders!!
Ran 6.1 yesterday. Went to Disneyland last month and might be going to Florida in July.
Ok, you actually made that look fun, but I still don’t know if I could do it! I Am Legend scared the crap out of me and its the last scary movie I watched. My husband travels for work 50% of the time and I can’t watch scary stuff. I did a really long run yesterday. It’s finally feeling like spring in the south!
You guys need to go backpacking down to Havasupai! It is so amazing!
You should try combos for backpacking snacks! Tons of calories and lightweight.
The Hungry Runner Girl
Awesome! Thank you! Those sound perfect!
Katie @ running4cupcakes
So fun! When we go camping, we use the soups that are in the packets =less weight to carry! And it gets easier carrying all that stuff. . . never totally easy, but easier! ;)
Cori @ olivetorun
Scary movies while camping? Are you crazy!? :) I would’ve wanted to run home.
Adorable pictures and the one of your tent all alone makes me want to head out to the mountains tomorrow.
We do like scary movies. We just watched Sinister recently which was really good.
I didn’t do much running this weekend. 3 miles. On the treadmill. And I hated every minute of it.
We took the anti-camping trip and went to Vegas.
The Kidless Kronicles
This trip sounds amazing!
I usually just drive to the campsite, I would love to do a whole weekend camping/hiking. It must’ve been really hard without a campfire, that’s basically my favorite part of camping!
I seriously cannot even handle how cute Brooke is. She is going to LOVE all of these pics when she’s older.
awwww, little Brooke seems so happy!
We have that stove, it makes backpacking meal prep SO much easier!! Looks like a great trip!
You guys are the coolest people I know.
They are the coolest!!!
My long run is supposed to be 10 miles today but I am currently unmotivated because of Daylight Savings robbing me of a precious hour of the day and the fact that it is raining:( However, I will prevail!
My next vacation is AZ next week, woohoo!! I can’t wait for some hiking and trail runs in the great outdoors:):)
I’d be freaked out if I watched that movie while camping too! Your camping adventures look super fun! I’ve never gone as extreme as that–aka backpacking and such. We’ve just gone to camping sights. Seems like a good time though!
Miranda @ Miranda Runs
WHEEEEAT THINSSS <3 I love Wheat Thins. And PB&J's. We should make a Wheat Thin and PB&J swap group so we're never without either one.
I cannot stand scary movies! I get creeped out in my own house with everything locked down, let alone in a tent in the middle of the woods!
Looks like y’all had a great time! Brooke especially looks like she had a blast, which I guess makes sense since she loves being outside so much.
I do not like scary movies, but will watch them occasionally. I have seen I Am Legend. It’s a good movie, but sad at times, and definitely scary!
My long run was 8 hilly miles. I’m racing a 10K next weekend!! It’ll be my first 10K… I’ve run half’s, 10 milers, and 5K’s, but somehow have never run a 10K.
Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom
I don’t really find a lot of movies to be scary…I just can’t believe a lot of the things that happen and it doesn’t affect me as much as it affects others. Too logical? However, movies like Saw and When a Stranger Calls scare the bejesus out of me because crazy serial killers like that can exist. I have never seen I Am Legend, but then again, I haven’t seen a lot of movies.
My long run was only 6 miles, but it was my first “long” run back since the half and I felt good and did it at a decent pace. Almost got kidnapped by a woman though…
I haven’t been on a vacation vacation in a while but I do take a lot of weekend trips. Next one will be to Tampa..next weekend probably!
Love scary movies, but def not in the middle of the woods!!!!!!! We usually don’t bring much in the way of electronics camping (our phones and a camera) just so that the Bebe’s get the whole “you don’t need it all the time” thing =)
I ran in the last Shenandoah Valley Runners winter series race yesterday! Not a great race for me (my knee has been killing me as of late), but fun nonetheless, not to mention I finished first for my age group for the whole series! Confidence booster for sure! My SIL and I did get in about 8.5 miles this morning, that’s the longest she has ran, like ever, so we stopped after that! So fun! Glad you and the fam had a blast!
I was in Santa Cruz doing a course preview for the Santa Cruz half marathon (in April). I’m going to be a pace group leader, so I joined my running group in running the course so we can be familiar with it :)
Looks like you guys are enjoying your camping weekend!
Debbie @ Deb Runs
Your campsite was gorgeous!
My longest run for the weekend was 8 miles yesterday. Our last vacay was ten days at the beach house last summer… just me and the hubs! It was sooooo relaxing! We ran every day along the shore at low tide. :-)
That looks amazing and beautiful!
I HATE scary movies with a passion deep within my soul. My husband took me to see I am Legend on our first date…I don’t know why we ended up getting married (LOL)
What a perfect little vacation!
I made the hard (but very smart) decision to skip my long run and rest my foot that’s been bugging me. I did squeeze in a nice yoga class though and I hope to be back on the roads tomorrow :-)
I’m so bad with scary movies that I even cancelled a morning run last week that would have been in pitch black darkness because I watched a creepy episode of the X-Files the night before. I’m such a wuss…
Looks incredible! Those pictures are beautiful, where did you camp at? I went to Big Sur once and it was probably one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been and ever will be.
You guys are awesome! I love that you went camping with your baby! You are creating such awesome memories for her, even at such a young age! :)
I do like scary movies but my husband has to be home if I watch one. I start hearing things! The Strangers is sooo scary. My long run was 8 miles and it was great! Your campsite looked so beautiful.
Brooke @ Running In Heels
You are the cutest family in the whole wide world.
My last vacation was to Alaska a few weeks ago. We skied from cabin to cabin in the mountains and saw the aurora. Cabin/fire lookout trips are also pretty cheap, certain parts of California have them too.
I laughed pretty hard about the scary movie thing. I sometimes have a hard time sleeping with the animals without any help from a movie or book.
This looks like such an amazing camping trip! The overloaded backpack totally made me think of Cheryl Strayed who wrote “Wild” – I just finished reading it last weekend. She went on a crazy hike with a backpack that held her life for months. I imagine it must have felt great on the trip back though when a lot of the food has been consumed, etc. Have a great day! :)
That looks like so much fun! My daughter is 13 months old (actually almost 14 months!) and I would love to go camping with her, but I am curious of the sleep situation. She goes to bed super early (5-5:30pm) and I don’t know if that would work well with camping. Plus sleeping with us is not something she would like.
How did Brooke do with sleeping?
This camping trip looks like SO much fun, now I want to go camping too!
Amy @ Writing While Running
So awesome you are enjoying backpacking! I *almost* like it as much as running.
I just raced a 20K this morning, but finished in about the same as my half PR time (20K is almost 21K anyway!). With warm-up and extra distance on the race (I must learn to hug corners), I evened out at 15 miles. Not bad for a long run 3 weeks post marathon.
Larissa@ Running with the Dragonflies
My long run was supposed to be 7… but my knee wasn’t having it. So i made it to 3, stopped and called my doctor :(
I love and hate scary movies. Refuse to watch any of the exorcist movies… by my favorites are the Paranormal Activity ones :)
With the packs that were suggested for Brooke- the ones where she goes in the back can be not so safe. My nanny family went hiking with their baby in one of the packs where he was on their back and his poor knees were rubbing up against the pack and they didn’t know. He had some pretty bad cuts an bruises from it. Especially with her so young I think the Ergo will be the safest because you can make sure she is safe and sound!
What a beautiful area! I need to move to your neck of the woods! I’m glad you all had a good time.
I told my boyfriend today that we need to go camping after I saw this and he didn’t seem too excited about the idea lol.
Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal
Janae! I am so impressed! I can’t believe you guys just spontaneously did this trip! I am inspired. I keep saying I am going to go backpacking/camping and I never do, but if you two can do it with a BABY then I have NO excuses.
The site looks beautiful!! So jealous!
kendra @ http://www.kennygump.com/
is billy eating his pb and j with an end piece?
what a beautiful spot. bummer on the no camp fire thing. that’s 1/2 of camping. we have never done a backpacking camping trip. we’ve actually only been camping once in the last 5 1/2 years (since having kids) and it was with our oldest daughter at 22 months. it was not the funnest sleeping with her in our tent. now our kids are almost 3 and 5 1/2 so a small backpacking trip may be fun. as in a few miles or less. we have some friends that have 3 and go with them and want to plan one this summer. if they can do it with 3 we can surely do it with 2 right?
We just got back from Pennsylvania and we are going to San Fran soon!! I may or may not have used your pictures to tempt my mom to book the tickets. I adore that city with all my heart and cannot wait to get back!
Hate scary movies. I was told I am Legend was not scary (in order to get me to the movie theater). Still to this day i can’t go into our basement (which is completely finished and nice) without turning all the lights on first. Dang movie.
While I am NOT a camper, I enjoyed your pictures!!!
How fun! That looks like such an incredible place to camp. I can’t handle scary movies but used to love them as a kid! My husband is super into the TV show The Walking Dead (zombies) and I can’t watch it with him. My imagination goes wild and I freak out in the shower or while washing my face!
OMG I Am Legend really is a creepy movie! The first time I watched it, the “vampires” totally creeped me out! Looks like yall had a fun camping trip and Brooke really enjoyed herself!
Ahh this looks like SO MUCH fun!! What a cool burner thing! And the water purifying? Bear Grills, watch out! Question: Where did you get your leggings?! I LOVE THEM!! And you and I are the same height, and I love how long they are! Share, please!!
The Hungry Runner Girl
Hey girl!!!! They are lululemon leggings!
Looks like you all had the best time!!
What a camping location.. wish it was spring/summer already in MN so we could camp!
Looks like you have the camping thing all figured out!
Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk
HOLY COW Brooke’s heart hat is adorable! And that is definitely the most gorgeous campsite I’ve ever seen!
My long run was 8 miles. It actually felt like the perfect distance and pace and I really enjoyed it.
My next vacation is to Durango, CO in less than three months. I seriously CANNOT wait! We are renting a gorgeous cabin in the middle of the mountains and doing lots of nature adventuring. I love vacays!
I adore the “tasting nature” photo – and caption.
Not a scary movie girl myself…I have no desire to add extra stress/tension to my life. :)
Last proper vacation (an uber-vacation, really): 4 month, round-the-world trip. We hit New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, England, and the US. Exhausting, amazing fun.
Next vacation: Back to the US to see family. East Coast/West Coast. Maybe a stop in Japan on the way back. :)
Awesome trip report :) I did an 18 mile backpacking /snowshoe trip last weekend. I’m working on hiking New Hampshire’s 48 highest peaks – I have 5 left. Backpacking is right up there with running when it cs to my favorite activities. I’m always amazed by how much harder (longer/slower) my hiking miles are than my running miles :P. If you haven’t already, invest in some good quality hiking poles…they’ll save your back and knees….especially on the way down.
Logan @ Mountains and Miles
I have a lot of backpacking camping trips coming up!! The organization I work for has what they call “Green Fridays” starting in March and going through August, which are basically a Friday off every other week (or so)…so I am hoping to get out and go backpacking for each of those. Our first one is next week, but I have a race on Saturday, so I’ll have to wait until April! I also just planned my two vacations for the year – I’m going home to Colorado in July to go backpacking and hiking with my friends and visit my parents and in September I am going on a week long rafting/kayaking trip on the Gates of Ladore, which goes through Dinosaur National Monument.
It looks like you guys had such an incredible time!!!
May I suggest the ergo baby carrier….I had one for my 4th baby and it was amazing in that baby/toddler weight is so evenly distributed that you don’t get the shoulder or back discomfort. My husband always used it as the back pack carrier but I preferred the front carrier.
Your camping trip looked amazing!
OMG that spot looks fab, I live here and don’t even know where that is, maybe because my brother tried to get me to wear a backpack once…..I say NO THANK YOU, my shoulder will never be the same.
I must go to this spot, looks beautiful, but not as beautiful as Brooke!!
Koryn @ High Heels & Healthy Alternatives
Wow, looks like you all had an AMAZING time! I’m not an outdoorsy girl, myself, but it actually looks/sounds like a lot of fun! I’d be up for trying a camping adventure with the hubby. I’m LOVING the idea of being able to unplug from everything for a night and get some great quality time while experiencing nature, at its finest. :-)
P.S. I had to laugh at the camping advice – GREAT tip! Especially since the hubby is a big fan of “I AM Legend”… but I’m def. more of a scaredy cat. I imagine I would be just as terrified after watching it in the woods (i.e. we’d be watching it AFTER we got back home, instead). Lol!
I love your post! My husband were hikers pre-baby and have been psyching ourselves up for backpacking with the baby this summer and this was just the inspiring post I needed.
Kayla @ kpLovingit
That’s a beautiful camp site!!!
Kari @ Running Ricig
Your trip looks awesome, but I am most impressed that Billy carried Brooke and a pack the whole time!
A baby AND metal soup cans?? I think you guys need to win some sort of hiking award haha!
Lora @ Crazy Running Girl
This sounds like such an amazing adventure!! I wish I could convince my husband to do something like this, he is such a city boy!! The views are beautiful!
They are having a sale on camping stuff, just thought I’d let you know!
What water filer did you guys get? I’m looking into brands now and would love to hear how you liked your one :)