Walk-In Camping with Kids

I had never been walk-in camping and found out days before leaving for a trip that the site my friend had booked was walk-in only!!! I was terrified, just my daughter and myself were going on this trip and I could not fathom unloading everything to the site ourselves! It was amazing, everything went well, and although it was hard work, I was inspired to bring my kids walk-in camping on the mainland and I found an amazing spot right on the ocean.

Campsite view
Map of Campground from Bcparks.ca

Porteau Cove books up well in advance but if you keep checking the Reservation website you might just luck out like I did! W16 the spot at the very end was available for two nights, but it was during the week and my husband had to work….

I decided it was too great of an opportunity to pass up and talked to my kids about helping me get everything to and from the camp site, showed them the pictures of the ocean that would be just steps from our site, took a deep breath and booked it!

There are vehicle camping spots as well but they are more expensive, and not as close to the water. Although our spot at the end was a longer walk, it was amazing to have nobody beside us. On the other side of our site was a group fire pit but since there was a fire ban nobody was using it, meaning even more privacy!

I had a couple stop on their way to the beach and ask if I had set up my campsite alone with my kids and they told me how impressed they were! I felt pretty proud of myself and my kiddos after that.

Our setup

They have a wagon and several wheelbarrows to help get your supplies to your campsite with which definitely came in handy.

It also helped that the kids could goof off with the empty wagon in between trips

There are no picnic tables in the campsites, just a wooden bench. There is a covered group eating area with many picnic tables as well as large stainless steel sinks and counter, as well as a few electrical outlets if you need to charge a device while you’re there!

I brought my folding table to cook on so we sat there and ate in our site but I definitely took advantage of the big sinks and counter area for washing dishes!

The first morning I woke up and got my coffee going, turned around and had the most beautiful view of the ocean. Once my kids woke up they were able to play on the beach while I cooked breakfast and could see them the whole time, it was amazing.

Swimming in the ocean a few steps from our campsite was amazing🥰

Porteau Cove has a lot to offer. You can wander down to the diving area and watch people getting ready to dive, you can shower at the shower house with flush toilets, you can wander the beach at low tide, or cross a bridge and explore!

Crossing the bridge at low tide
My son found a steep trail to try!

One morning my son woke up with my at 630am and we sat on the beach together. It was so peaceful and he even spotted something in the water swimming towards us!

Gorgeous morning view
Blurry but you can see his little head poking out of the water!

We experienced a lot of wildlife during our stay, including squirrels and birds right in our campsite.

The first night I forgot to put the dog food bowl in the truck with the rest of our food, and we had raccoons fighting in our campsite! Trying to keep my dog from launching herself out our tent and shushing her hoping the kids were still asleep was not fun!

I thought the kids slept through it but the next morning they asked if we could leave early because they were scared from the growling outside our tent the night before. I showed them the big baseball bat I had brought into the tent when we arrived, and dubbed it ‘The Mom Bat’ and assured them that between our dog and The Mom Bat, nothing would get into the tent!

They agreed to stay for our last night and it was great!

The campground has signs up reminding you to keep a Bare Campsite and you definitely need to abide by these guidelines.

Important rules to follow! As we learned the hard way forgetting the dog bowl 🤦🏻‍♀️

The last day was sad as we did not want to leave, plus we knew we had to haul all of our stuff back to the truck and be out of our campsite by 11am! Alone with two kids I was feeling a bit stressed but I woke up early, made some strong coffee and we worked slow and steady to get it all done.

Camping Coffee=Moms Best Friend
Pack up in progress
10:35am our campsite was empty!

As usual, packing up was not as fun as unloading. Have you ever noticed things never fit quite the same on the way home no matter what you do? Our final morning in Porteau Cove was beautiful and peaceful.

A few minutes by the beach before packing up.

I was so nervous when I was planning this trip by myself with the kids. I have shoulder and hip injuries and worried about my ability to not only haul everything to the campsite, but also set everything up without my husband’s help.

My kids were also nervous to camp without Dad, but we all felt empowered when we left knowing that we were able to set up and take down efficiently, just the three of us. It was the topic of conversation for most of the drive home.

Moms, adventure with your kids. Don’t let your fear or uncertainty hold you back. Research your destination, prepare accordingly, and give it your best shot. Even if it isn’t perfect, I guarantee you and your kids will remember this special time for years to come!

My kids surprised me with how well they got along, helped each other, and worked together. It was a really great learning experience for all of us and I encourage everyone to give it a try!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed our trip to Porteau Cove and try it yourself sometime!

Disclaimer: this trip was in 2017

Published by Road Trip Mama

I am a 33 year old Mom of two, married to my wonderful husband living in Beautiful British Columbia. My kids are 8 and 11 and pretty much complete opposites! My daughter loves to Road Trip like her Mama and my son is more ‘are we there yet?’ From 8 hour road trips to see family, ferries to the island or just a good old drive up a dirt road, I’ll have tips to keep the kids entertained, food to pack and road reports! We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place surrounded by mountains and rivers and endless trails to explore! Follow me and see how I maintain my sanity on these trips!

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