As you may remember, I have an ongoing partnership with Firefly® as part of their Healthy Habit Helpers team, and as part of that, I get sent occasional care packages with new products for the kids to try out. This summer, we were very lucky to be sent an amazing package full of travel essentials to make our family travel even better, including these awesome Firefly travel toothbrushes!
Since we had been planning for ages to take a family camping trip to Flaming Gorge, we decided to try out these travel packs on our adventure. It was a VERY long car ride, which took us north out of Utah and east into Wyoming. Then it was back roads all the way down into Utah again until we hit the KOA campground. We had brought our own 8 man family tent, but when we arrived, the camp ground offered us use of their amazing teepee! It had camp beds inside to make it easier for us to set up, and it gave us more time to enjoy our surroundings.
Chester slept for quite a lot of the car journey, which was great because it meant he had energy to spare once we arrived. Since we were only going to be there for one night, we wanted to make the most of our time. We also dug out the provided family game and took turn answering questions on our journey, which seemed to make time go faster.
The funniest part was every time we asked Chester a question, his answer was inevitably “Humpty Dumpty.” It gave us all a good laugh and became a new family joke, with all of us answering future questions with “Humpty Dumpty.”
On arrival at the camp site, we almost immediately changed into our swim suits and headed for the pool area. It was a VERY hot day, and we’d been stuck in a car sweating the whole time, so we wanted to ensure we cooled off and let the kids have fun. We’d forgotten our pool floaties, but thankfully the camp had a few for our use.
Camping Tip #1 – Don’t forget safety gear!
Dexter and Dan were in their element, kicking and paddling along as mom and dad watched. They both have prior pool experience, so we knew they’d be okay. Chester, on the other hand, was needing to be held for the most part, as every time we tried to put him in a floating ring, he’d get so excited that he’d tip over!
Swimming with three kids (especially since I’m pregnant!) gets really stressful, so after a while, we decided we’d had enough. The kids were disappointed to leave the pool – especially since we’d forgotten to bring towels! We ended up buying some from the little store at the camp.
Camping Tip #2 – Don’t forget towels. They are essential on windy days!
After the pool fun was exhausted, we headed back to our teepee and started a nice fire in the fire ring. We’d forgotten to bring our own firewood, so we once again had to buy some at the store. Are you getting the feeling we are not the most experienced campers?
Camping Tip #3 – If you want to build a fire, don’t forget to bring some wood to burn!
Thankfully we DID remember to bring plenty of food, including a cooler full of hot dogs and chips and drinks. We even stopped at a gas station along the way and got many little packets of ketchup for the kids. Incredibly, we even remembered hot dog buns, skewers and a lighter!
The boys had a lot of fun roasting weenies over the fire and eating them at the little picnic table.
Normally we are very careful with what we let the kids eat. We don’t indulge in soda very often (and always caffeine free), nor do we allow them to go hog wild on junk food or desserts. But since we were camping, we had to go for convenience over health. The kids LOVED it, obviously. They ate their weight in cookies, chips, and mini cupcakes. They washed it all down with can after can of sugary sodas.
I have to admit, I was SO glad that we had our Firefly travel toothbrushes handy! With our on-site faucet, we were able to let them brush their teeth several times over the course of the evening. I get really paranoid about oral care, and it was killing me to see them eating all that sugar!
Camping Tip #4 – Don’t forget your travel toothbrushes!
Once it got to be early evening, we set off to go on a hike, adventuring out into the local area to see what we could find. Sadly, we hadn’t realized that the so-called “Flaming Gorge KOA” was actually MILES away from the ACTUAL Flaming Gorge. We were also quite a ways away from any other tourist site to explore. So we contented ourselves with going for a nice drive along the Utah/Wyoming border and seeing the gorgeous lakes.
Camping Trip #5 – Research the area you are staying to make sure you know where you are!
We let the kids out to run around and skip rocks, but since it was getting late, we didn’t do as much exploring as we wanted. But after our long travel day, swimming and overindulging, the boys were quite content to go back to our campsite.
We whiled away the evening hours until darkness set in by playing more of our family talk game. The boys kept climbing the little tree next to our teepee while resting on the ground and lamenting the total lack of internet access.
Camping Tip #6 – Warn your children in advance about the lack of technology in nature.
We headed to bed with full tummies, full hearts and clean teeth, and we spent a restless night freezing our butts off because we had once again failed to anticipate how cold it can get at night. While the day had been nearly 100 degrees, overnight it fell to the 40s! We had brought what we thought was plenty of blankets and sleeping bags, but we ended up having to resort to cuddling together in order to stay warm.
Camping Tip #7 – Bring extra clothes and sleeping bags in case you get cold.
All in all, our camping trip was a fun new adventure. I don’t think any of us got the experience we THOUGHT we were going to get, but it taught us a lot about preparation and how to deal with disappointment. While we left early the next day, I think we all felt like we’d like to try it again in the future.
I’m especially grateful that we were able to practice good oral hygiene while we were there, as the kids were in desperate need of it given all the junk they took in. I was able to teach them a valuable lesson about how important it is to take care of yourself even when you’re not at home.
Check out their Show Us Your Rinse Face sweepstakes to win a family trip to a top theme and water park in sunny Carlsbad, CA. Rinsing is part of a healthy brushing routine, and also part of the fun with Firefly’s Anti-Cavity Fun Pump Rinse! Share your kids’ silliest ‘rinse faces’ and enter daily from June 12, 2017 through September 15, 2017.
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.