I am a camper. I know that statement may be debated by my family, but what I mean is that I have camped and do camp… consequently, I am a camper.
I am however, a fair weather/condition camper. You will not find me sleeping directly on the ground, relieving myself in the woods, or evening bathing from a bucket or makeshift shower. But, because I have an Eagle Scout husband, three teenage boys, and a little girl that would live in a tent, I have created a version of camping that we can ALL enjoy. So, I’m going to share MY camping tips with you.
1. Invest in a good air mattress. I’ve camped both ways and let me assure you, camping with an air mattress makes the whole family a lot happier.
This is the “adult tent” on one side of the campsite…
2. Put your kids in a separate tent. It’s not wise to do this if your kids are little, but for me, sleeping in a confined space with three teenage boys, is not really my idea of a “vacation”.
And the kiddos, on the other side. Years ago, they were attached…not anymore.
3. Choose a campsite close to the bathroom. Because campground bathrooms aren’t always the cleanest, make sure you are upwind from the facilities.
4. Pay the extra money and get a campsite with electricity. As much as I like to get away from the real world on vacation, having some access can be nice.
I didn’t notice the cups of water around the outlet…I’m glad now it was a GFI!
5. Take your coffee maker and plug it in to your campsite electrical outlet. Trust me… it’s worth it!!
6. Purchase sheets of plastic or tarps to cover your supplies. It is NO fun to have to get up at 3am in the rain to throw things in the van. Save yourself some moments of sleep and cover them up before you head to
bed the air mattress.
7. Put your garbage in a closed container or in your vehicle before dark. The last time we went camping, we were all sitting around our campfire and a raccoon came right near us to get our trash that was hanging from a nearby tree. My boys chased the raccoon up into a tree, where he stayed until we went to our tents. It made for an exciting night for a couple of my kiddos…for the rest of us, it was just scary!!
8. Make use of the campground’s amenities. The campground we stayed at had nighttime geocaching, free wifi, a really fun campstore, a nice playground with a basketball court, corn hole to rent, and a new family favorite…disc golf.
9. Be prepared with first aid supplies. It never fails…someone always gets hurt. From a stubbed toe/flip flop injury to a sour stomach, make sure you bring bandages, peroxide, pepto, pain killers, and an antihistimine.
10. Plan good food. We’ve done the soggy pop-tart camping before and it just left me hungry and consequently crabby. Some of the things we enjoyed on our last camping trip were:
-walking tacos – you take the little bags of Doritos and add all sorts of taco ingredients (meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sourcream). Just a little tip. I bought already cooked and seasoned chicken fajita strips and just heated them at the campsite. It was really a great alternative to frying up ground beef.
-Jiffy pop – for kiddos who haven’t seen this before, it’s a lot of fun over the fire. (just a disclaimer…the jiffy pop package says not to cook it over open fire, so I’m not responsible for any issues, I’m just sharing about our experience)
-s’mores – not just the ordinary ones but the ones with a Reese’s cup in the center. Oh my…so yummy!!
-bacon, eggs, and hashbrown patties – the bacon and hashbrown patties cooked very well on foil over the fire.
–cinnamon rolls over the fire – These are phenomenal! I just bought some cinnamon rolls to do these on our fire in the back yard.
-Chinese – YES, we ordered Chinese. Why not? Just because you are at a campground doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the local eateries!!
11. Camp close to home – I know this isn’t always possible or practical, but if you are just camping for the experience, go somewhere close to home. Last month we camped about 10 minutes from our home. Everyone got the experience and I got to come home everyday and shower in my own bathroom. It’s a win, win!!
12. Make memories – Life is short, people! We do not know what tomorrow will hold, so enjoy the time you have today!!!