Every now and then I decide to be brave, be a supportive wife and an adventurous mom and I agree halfheartedly to go camping with the kids.
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Spring it’s here and it’s the perfect weather here for camping so this weekend it happened again, we went camping and I lived to tell the tale or blog it.
I have somewhat of a dubious history with camping, when I was a teenager, I would go camping with my friends and always be the girl that gets dehydrated (I always forget to drink) while doing a track, sick of some dodgy food, and eaten by mosquitoes when no one else does. When I got married I tried to be a cool cooperating new wife, and embrace the idea of a camping trip honeymoon (starting at the Rocky Mountains ending in San Francisco). The first night I was literally shaking all over from the cold and the freezing wind despite the 3 layers of clothing and the two blankets. Shockingly enough I also still managed to get mosquito bites all over me! A very romantic start to our honeymoon.
These days I’m a little less cool and agreeable, but I do try to humor the rest of my family that for some reason LOVES it, and plan a camping trip when I feel mentally up to it.
This last camping trip was actually a bit more hardcore then I anticipated.
Usually, when I plan a trip of this sort, I go for more of a Glamping experience, I make sure it’s an organized campsite, with grass, hot showers, clean bathrooms, fridges etc. This time however I left the planning to the friends we were going with, and the glam part was, how should I put it mildly? MISSING.
It was the real deal, camp out in nature, the middle of nowhere, no showers, no bathrooms, no fridges, one tap of water. It was an experience for sure. The kids loved every minute of it which made up for my discomfort, however, I was never as happy to see my bathroom as I was today.
By now we have the essential camping gear list down to a T. We go out there very well organized, it’s a must if you are not made for roughing it (which I am not). I have to admit that despite taking the kids on many trips and vacations including very nice resorts and trips abroad – the ones that they remember and talk about are the camping trips. SO in case you want to try it, here is our list for successful camping holidays. I also attached at the bottom of this page, a printable list so you can use it and get set up easily.
- A quality spacious tent. (We have this Colman tent, fits all 5 of us comfortably)
- An outdoor rug to go under the tent.
- Camping mattresses/sleeping pads – NOT AIRBEDS, they tend to go flat in the middle of the night! (We fight over this one, we only have 2!( need to get more)
- Blankets – big warm nice blankets.
- Pillows – we bring our regular one from home.
- Lantern and batteries +headlights, flashlights.
- Folding table, chairs
- A few sets of clothing for each child, layered clothing – even if you camp in the summer, the nights tend to get cold out in nature, I bring layers, this way we are never too hot or too cold.
- PJ’s – always long sleeved and warm.
- Swimsuits – we always bring a folding kiddie pool, so the kids can cool off.
- Your regular toiletries (deodorant toothbrushes etc.)
- First Aid kit – always – someone will probably step on something sharp/trip/get a rash etc.
- Cold medicine
- allergy medicine
- Painkillers (camping gives me a headache – just kidding! Sort of).
- Insect repellent – a MUST.
- Sunscreen – also a MUST.
- Propane or Butane Portable Stove
- Frying pan
- Pots – at least two. I am a fan of this set – LOVE how compact it is.
- A grill for open fire cooking – if you are comfortable with it, and a skillet. We do a lot of cooking this way, we grill vegetables, tofu, veggie burgers for the vegetarians among us, meats for the ones who are not, we make flatbread on it (a kids favorite) etc.
- Utensils + spatula
- Plates, glasses, coffee mugs
- Cutting board, salad bowl, mixing bowls
- Coffee pot (we make it on the open fire or the stove).
- Trash bags
- Coolers with ice
- Paper towels
- Dish soap, sponges, dish towels
- Food – a lot of food – I don’t know why it is, but my barely eating kids, same ones I have to beg to eat something every meal at home, become a bottomless pit once we leave the house, they start eating once we load them into the car and never stop until we are back home.
We usually grill something for dinner, make lots of salads, make some hot beverages for everyone, cut up fruits for the kids and adults to munch on in between meals. In the morning we make scrambled eggs, Mexican eggs, make some flatbread, hot chocolate/coffee/herbal tea and that’s about it.
- Water is super important! Lots of water.
Additional items that are not a must but make it fun:
- Hammocks rest in
- a folding kiddie pool
- Toys, board games
Press here to get your printable camping like a pro gear list:
Camping like a Pro