Camping Report, part 2

I am pleased to report that the second night of camping was a success! It rained again, but we didn’t have to flee the campground, and our new tent kept us all dry. It didn’t start raining until we went to bed for the night. In fact, it started almost immediately after we made the last trip the bathroom, checked to make sure nothing was left outside, and stepped into the tent and zipped up the door. Perfect timing! There was a period between midnight and 2 AM when I kept checking the radar to see if the storm would get worse, then making sure it was going away for the night, but once I pried myself away from the phone, it was a good night’s sleep.

Although I have been taking my kids camping for many years now, since the boy was not quite one (he’ll be 9 next month), I am getting organized all over again. There was a time, before I bought the house, when I had my camping stuff fairly organized, but it all got scattered in the move. Plus, there is the whole ADHD medication issue, so I am better at this sort of thing in general now.

I started a bin of camping dedicated supplies for this trip. My goal is to have just about everything we need in that bin so that we can come home from one trip, refill anything that needs refilling (like paper towels, spices, cooking oil, batteries, and the like), and set it aside, ready to go for the next trip. We didn’t have everything we needed for this trip, so I had to borrow some things from the regular kitchen, but I am planning ahead now, so that we can build up the camping kit. Every time I wished I had something that wasn’t in the bin this weekend, I whipped out my phone and made a note, so that there is a good chance I will actually bring these things next time.

Stuff we have in the kit already (the big bin, plus bigger things just stored next to it, on the shelf:

  • Tent
  • Air mattresses
  • Air mattress pump
  • Tabletop grill
  • Lanterns and a flashlight
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Spices: salt, pepper, garlic salt, everyday seasoning
  • Plastic cups
  • Can opener
  • Wine bottle opener
  • Extra batteries
  • Deck of cards
  • Bug spray

Things I want to get to add to the kit:

  • Serving platter
  • Reusable plates, bowls, silverware
  • Plastic wine glasses (or maybe stainless steel)
  • Cutting board
  • Overhead fan for tent (battery operated)
  • Dish tub
  • Pots
  • Aluminum foil
  • Set of BBQ tools
  • Serving bowls
  • Moist towelettes
  • Water bottles
  • Cots for sleeping
  • Sheets dedicated to camping trips
  • Notebooks, sketchpad, notepads
  • Pens, pencils
  • Sunscreen
  • Plastic baggies

Things we will continue to pack from home:

  • Pillows
  • Clothes
  • Food
  • Books
  • Games

Lessons learned in this trip:

  • At 13, almost 14, the girl is finally a useful camping partner; she helped a lot with the packing and unpacking
  • Simpler is better when it comes to meal times; if I must do an elaborate meal, I should have most of the prep work done already
  • I have got to prepare these kiddoes better for the idea that camping involves *actual exercise* like hiking, not just sitting around at the campsite
  • I really want to find a way to buy myself a new bike and get a bike rack for the car before the weeklong trip in July; stupid need to eat every single day
  • Planning ahead is key! But once I have a good camping kit, I won’t need as much planning time
  • Don’t let the girl pack the car–she did put the tent on top for easy retrieval when we got to the campsite, but the rest of the stuff was kind of random, and it was hard to keep organized.

All in all, it was a good trip. I think we could even manage a weekend with just me and the kids sometime, which would be fun.

2 responses »

  1. BC (before children), P & I not only kept pre-packed camping supplies, but I made a checklist that we'd print out every time we went camping. It helped speed the process of getting out on Friday afternoons for the weekend. Although we've always meant to, we've never taken the kids camping. Glad the weekend was redeemed!

  2. Wow, that is organized, Hilary. Maybe I will get there at some point–I do like the idea of being able to get away quickly. It is harder to get away with the kids, since weekends are busy with other things, too. If you want to schedule a trip sometime and get sites near each other, let me know!

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