We set out too late in the day to score a paid site with outhouse access and ended up roadside in Linville off Kistler Memorial Highway headed up to Wiseman's View. I was dead-set on not hiking into a site, and fortunately for us, there was a site within view of a small gravel lot. We set up two tents, our camp chairs and immediately dug in to a box of Cheez-its. The grands joined us for the evening and, after the boys went to bed, we had a lovely time telling stories around the fire and avoiding the topics of politics, religion and money. The next day we took one short hike to Linville Falls and then drove along a gravel road for twenty miles, which included a ridiculously tight and curvy road to the top of Table Rock for lunch and back out of the wilderness area.
Here are a few quick tips for camping with little ones.
- Keep the first trip short. One night will do! If you are having a great time and packed enough supplies, then stay an extra night.
- Keep it local or within close driving distance so you can make sure to get a site (we didn't do this).
- Prepare them. If you have a play tent, pull it out. Let them sleep in it inside for fun. Cook over a fire. Talk about what it's like to sleep in the woods.
- Have a light for everyone - lantern, flashlight, headlamp - it makes them feel safe and like they have a role to play.
- Bring snacks and simple meals. Kids need to be watched around the fire, so make sure your attention isn't divided between a gourmet meal and keeping them safe.
- Bring wipes for the super sticky stuff and don't worry about the dirt.