Camping with Kids (Fort Stevens)

So I spent a whole week with my family at Fort Stevens State Park. That is right all 8 of us. What’s more, we slept in a 16ft camper trailer built in 1961. At one point we had two extra kids to make a total of 10 people sleeping in that trailer.

I originally was not going to stay for the whole week. I did not have the required time off. To be honest, I wasn’t so sure I really wanted to spend that kind of time with everyone. I’m an introvert for crying out loud. But I remembered what someone once said, “There is no quality time without quantity time.” This was some serious quantity time so something good would have to come of it.

Fort Stevens has some great multi-use paths. They are paved and you can go for quite some time. There are also many hiking trails. What is even better is that these paths have destinations. The beach complete with a shipwreck from 1906 is only a few minutes biker ride. Not into that much salt? There is a good sized lake even closer than the beach. Wildlife watcher? There are plenty of viewing areas. I did see a Peregrine Falcon just of one of the trails. I only knew what it was because I took my kids to one of the Jr. Ranger programs where they were talking about animals. History buff? Believe it or not, Ft Stevens State Park is named after Ft Stevens the former military base that is contained within the park boundary. Well, most of it anyway. I’m not sure why the guard shack was outside the fence.

This place is loaded with things to do. My calorie count was very high each day. We are talking 4,000 to 5,000 calories burned per day. Seven of these days I did not sit in a vehicle. I did lots of bike riding.

One day I spent about 4 hours riding with my oldest and going where he wanted to. We explored the batteries and took a long shortcut. A good portion of the time was on bikes. We went about the longest way possible to every place there is.

I took all the kids to all the areas. My youngest saw many sites from the bike trailer. He was napping for some of it too. I took him on a 11.5 mile ride.

Some of the time I wore my Luna sandals, other times I wore my Vibram Fivefingers. I was almost barefoot the whole time. But not unlike most days.

The first day we rode bikes and then played Frisbee. We started just throwing it, then it ended up in a game. First it was me my daughter and a young neighbor kid against my teenage son and his teenage friend. Then it was me and the young neighbor kid against the other three. Then my daughter and I against the other three. I was on the winning team each time. I thank my exercise program, P90X3, for being able to do that.c there my middle boy was knocked over by the incoming tide and he split his head open. We stopped the bleeding and loaded him, his youngest brother, and his bicycle onto the bike trailer and I pulled it all back to the campsite. Again, thanks P90X3.


I was low on calories the day we had a large spaghetti dinner. I ate a lot that night, but did not feel bad about it. I really did not feel bad when I got on the scale Monday morning and saw I was down another pound. We had to bring our own sauce because most people evidently put meat in their sauce. I have always liked a good marinara sauce. Just another complication of being vegan. But contributing to the meal was a good thing. Not sure what else we brought I was focused on what I could eat.

If you want to know more about this trip or just about Fort Stevens, comment below.

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Joshua Smith

I am the father of six beloved children and a husband to a lovely woman. I am also a follower of Christ, an electrical engineer in the power industry, a cancer fighter and a motorcycle rider

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