We packed up the kids and took them camping this past weekend! It had been almost a year since we had done an overnight camping trip! We typically try to do at least a 7-day car camping trip each summer but this summer has been a little different because of Oliver’s bone marrow transplant.
Oliver has a LOT of rules to follow for one year after transplant including no digging in dirt/sand, no touching lake/ocean/hose water, no crowded public places, no daycare/school, no being in the sun without massive sun protection…the list goes on and on! The doctors said camping was ok as long as we kept him off the dirt as much as possible and away from rummaging through ferns/other plants and away from crowds!
We probably wouldn’t have taken him camping 4 or 5 months after transplant but since we are 7 months out from transplant his immune system has had more time to recover and we were comfortable taking him. One year after transplant he will have all his restrictions lifted!
We decided to choose a location that was close to us in case any sort of emergency came up. (Both kids still need to be at an ER within an hour if they get a fever). We went to Larrabee State Park without a reservation but luckily there was someone that did not show up so we got a spot!
We had never camped at Larrabee before. Overall I would probably rate Larrabee State Park a 2/5 for a camping place.
- Close to home
- Nearby beach access (about 1/2 mile)
- Nearly no bugs
- Fun playground for kids
- Picnic and open grassy areas
- You don’t need a Discover Pass if you are camping overnight but you do need one if you are just visiting for the day.
- It cost $32 per night for a basic tent site which seems a little high.
- There is a train that goes through the park and blows its horn all night long. We were about as far from the train as you could be so it didn’t bother us too much but if you were close it would definitely wake you/kids up!
- The garbages were overflowing and the bathrooms had running water but no hot water. Normally I’m not too picky about bathrooms and garbage but when paying $32 it seems like it could be a little better!
- We had TERRIBLE neighbors. This isn’t really the park’s fault, you can have bad neighbors anywhere but they were loud, smoking cigarettes and weed, openly drinking hard alcohol (which was allowed), constantly swearing, and had kids and a dog running all over the place including into our campsite a couple times. They stayed up at least until 1am loudly talking. We have kids that are GREAT sleepers but if they would have woken our kids up I would not have been happy!
Modifications we made for Oliver included bringing lots of hand sanitizer and baby wipes, letting him play in the tent with toys while Eliza went to the playground with Seth, and having him sit in our lap or his camping chair instead of following Eliza around.
Overall we have had better luck with national parks than state parks as far as overnight camping but we were extremely happy to be able to fit in at least one tent camping trip this summer!