The Trip That Inspired it All
Updated: May 16
Although there were many times that we thought making this blog would be a good idea, one particular hiking trip set the ball in motion.
It was a beautiful summer day in July. We, unfortunately, left much later than we anticipated for our overnight hike to Bedwell Lake. We wanted to start in the early AM, however, we didn’t hit the trail until 2 pm… not a good start. The last time we hiked Bedwell, it was the pre-kids era and we had to turn around due to snow on the trail in June… and the time before that, my husband stated he hiked to Bedwell Lake in his sandals… so this shouldn’t take us that long right? And it’s not that strenuous right? WRONG!!
At the start of the hike
I forgot how much of an elevation gain it was on this particular trail, even for experienced hikers without toddlers and backpacks strapped to their bodies.
Had we started in the early morning as we planned, we could have hiked at a more leisurely pace, and not panicked that it was getting late and we would be setting up camp in the dark.
After many breaks for snacks and breastfeeding along the way, we finally arrived at Baby Bedwell Lake which we decided would be our endpoint considering it was now 7 pm and we had been hiking for 5 hours with our two small humans.
We set up our tent, had a lovely family dinner, got the boys sleeping, and then had a good laugh about how ridiculous the day was.
However, we did survive and the boys had a lot of fun. At one point, I did wonder WTF we were thinking, this is too hard and far for the boys, what happens if we run into trouble? Are we going to get there before it’s dark? Are we going to run out of snacks? How will we have the energy to hike back out the next day?
So would I do it again? Yes, absolutely! Would I start at 2 pm again? Not a chance in hell. My words of advice are to start early, or camp in the parking lot to ensure you get an early start the next day. Or if that’s not feasible, wait till your kids have longer legs and can carry their own weight.
Although most of our hikes and camping trips with our toddlers are empowering as parents (it takes a certain amount of crazy to do what we do sometimes), this one was the most empowering to date.
Baby Bedwell Lake
What sets this one apart from the others?
The encouraging words we got from other hikers we passed along the way. They were impressed as well as shocked to see us taking this hike on with two toddlers in tow.
Hell, we surprised ourselves as well. Before kids, we’d hiked more intense and strenuous multiple day hikes, however, that was just preparing us for the days to come when we would be carrying more than just the weight of our packs.
“Wow, we left our kids at home to do this hike, good for you guys!”
“I’m struggling to get up this hill and I don’t even have a baby on my back.”
“You camped for the night with them?"
“You guys are amazing! I couldn’t imagine doing this when my kids were that young.”
These were just a handful of the many comments we heard on the trail. We were proud to be out there making memories with our family while doing something we enjoy and hearing uplifting words along the way. This was also the defining moment for Camping with Chaos.
We want other families to feel empowered too.
We encourage you to step outside your comfort level and summit that mountain, hike that trail, or pitch that tent. Don’t let having children stop you from doing these things. Yes, they slow things down, but that’s actually a blessing because you would have missed smelling those flowers, or chasing that frog had you left your toddler at home with Grandma and Grandpa.
Kids live for the moment and enjoy the small things in life.
That is something, as adults, we could learn a thing or two about.
Baby Bedwell Lake