Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Camping We Will Go

My husband surprised me the other day by coming home with a 10-man tent and some camping gear. He and the kids got it set up in the backyard to check it out. They decided to go ahead and have a camp-out in our backyard. I opted to stay in the house with the baby just to make it easier for them ;)

They had so much fun that they stayed in the tent for a second night---but voted to send the 2yr. old in the house with me :)

Now that they feel like they have some camping experience, they want to go to a real campground. I know it will be great memories, but I'm not quite jumping for joy at the thought of camping. I really like having my own bathroom and shower, my own room, a fridge and microwave...since growing up I've morphed into a high-quality hotel vacationer :) So this is where I need some advice. For experienced family campers, what are some tips, tricks, or things you wish you knew when you first went camping? How did you organize all your supplies? What supplies did you find you really need? What about meals? Any great recipes for camping? Advice? Can you tell I really need some help! LOL!



Blogger Jennifer Hughes said...

Found your blog! Immediately became a follower! Love it!

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Beautiful children!


June 14, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

This has been on our family list of things to do lately. I want you to pass along any tips that come your way!

June 14, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Oh my... I have been there. I grew up camping, but I am definitely the one that needs some convincing when the rest of my gang wants to go because while they're thinking FUN, I'm thinking WORK!! My very best piece of advice, therefore, is to get the right mindset. Decide that YOU want to go, or you are not going to have much fun. Once you do that, keep it as simple as possible. Forget luxury ... think "how can we survive the night" and once you have that stuff, THEN see if you want any extras. If I were you, I'd push for a campground with some amenities, just to make it a little easier. Things like a decent restroom (or at least a cleanish outhouse), access to clean water, a place to leave your garbage, etc. My DH loves to go more, eh, "primitive," so these are all things I've come to appreciate much more!!! As for food, again - think SIMPLE. Forget your balanced, healthy meals and think easy to make, easy to store, easy to eat. Hot dogs, hamburgers, a very basic stew (hamburger, veggies, potatoes, canned tomatoes), maybe spaghetti, chicken you could just grill... basically things you could cook using just a fire, a pot of water, and maybe a long stick!! And then make sure you bring the pot!!! We pack our kitchen stuff in a big rubbermaid tub - easy to haul and waterproof. Bring paper plates, paper cups, a roll of paper towels, plastic silverware to make life easier. A big pot, perhaps a frying pan that you don't care about too much, something to make coffee in (if that's a thing for you), canned drinks, etc. Chips, granola bars, packaged cookies, a handful of actual potatoes, some frozen burger, maybe some sausages, hot dog & hamburger buns, a couple packages of hot dogs, canned beans, these are pretty much staples on our camping trips. And don't forget graham crackers, hershey's bars & marshmallows for s'mores!!! And your camera - make SURE you bring that!! ;) And then there's all the other gear - sleeping bags, pillows, tarps to keep things clean(er) and dry, a big water container (like 5 gallon or bigger), soap, the list can go on and on if you let it. It just depends on your preferences... and don't forget bug spray & sunscreen. We also like to throw in a couple simple games - usually Yahtzee, a deck of cards, maybe a puzzle book - in case of rain. And matches - remember matches!! And again depending on where you go, maybe firewood & definitely newspaper to help get it started. A Coleman grill is a GREAT help, as well as flashlights & a lantern. And throw in some toilet paper (you never know...) and extra blankets. Have I said enough??? It can be great fun ... probably my best tip would be to go somewhere close the first night and plan on a short trip - think of it as a test run. Bring what you think you'll need and throw in a notepad and pencil so as you think of things you "wish" you had while you are there, you can start making a list for the next bigger trip...

Hope you still want to go!! Have a blast & be sure to post about your experience.... :)

June 14, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous sarah said...

We are going this weekend, and I have to plan also... No one packs for camping like my mom though, I will send her ideas this way!!! I love that they camped in the backyard first - great way to get the feel of it!

June 14, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Cia Huston Dreves said...

I spent 15 years camping on a shoestring in Alaska. Am trying to figure a way to share information.

June 15, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Cia said...

Well, got thinking on tihs and turned it into a whole post. Hope you find something helpful there.

June 15, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Z. said...

Don't know if you already went.. but if you did not yet... somethings we did on our first camping trips was to keep a list of what we needed. We tend to camp primitavely.. so we bring in everthing... Kristen pretty much said it all.. but a few more things, A hammer is essential (which we forgot several times) If you have a head lamp (flashlight that goes on the head)... this is wonderful for putting up tents in the dark, or trips to the bathroom with little ones. And if you are going camping any time even around Labor day... HATS are a must. it gets cold at night and ears get cold, especially when sleeping. Also, when our youngest was 2-4 we brought our little potty... it was great for night time and other times too. Another thing... extention cords... especially if you are using ANYTHING electric, including air pumps for air mattresses. and one more thing... a misquito net for the little one.. that goes around the pack and play. That is one of the best inventions! Hope you have a great time! (or did)

August 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you could rent a porta-potty?

October 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM  

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