10 Awesome Tips For Perfect Backyard Camping

10 awesome tips for backyard camping - tipsaholic

 
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Follow along with Summer Family Activities Week by clicking here or on social media with #SummerFamilyActivities. Better yet share you favorite summer family activities by using #SummerFamilyActivities. Or play along and add your ideas in the comments here on Tipsaholic.

 

Camping is an awesome summertime adventure!  Kids love the novelty – sleeping in bags, watching the stars, hearing the nighttime sounds up close, using flashlights and eating s’mores!  You may not have the time or money to spend on an official campground, or maybe your summer schedule is just too jam-packed to squeeze in another trip.  Guess what?  You can still have all the fun of camping right in your own backyard.  Maybe you’re a backyard camping pro, or maybe you’ve always wanted to try it – whatever the case here are some tips for backyard camping that will really take your event to the next level!

 

1. Don’t forget the comforts of home.  True, you’re only a few steps away from the house, but this tip’s important, particularly if you’r camping with younger kids or if this is their first time in a tent.  The outdoors can get a bit intimidating, with unrecognizable sounds, unfamiliar surroundings and DARK, so make sure the kids get to bring a few favorite stuffed animals and blankets to sleep with.  Take a battery operated nightlight or lantern if the kids are used to keeping a light on at night.  Try to remember anything that will make your kids less anxious ahead of time, so you won’t be making tons of trips back inside.

 

2. Only take essentials.  There are lots of camping packing checklists you can find online, but for backyard camping, you really only need the essentials.  Don’t get bogged down in minutia.  BUT, on the flip side, don’t forget necessities like sunblock or bug spray, even if you’re only in the backyard. You’ll need a tent, some sort of light, sleeping bags, bug spray and sunscreen and really that’s it.  You’ll also want a tarp if you live in a wet area and an extra warm blanket if it tends to get cold at night.  Kids will need some comforting items, as well, and if you want to eat while on your campout, you’ll want to plan ahead for meals.  What you don’t need?  Extra clothes for everyone, toiletries and personal items, air mattresses (unless you really need them), specialized camping gear/accessories (like gps or a compass).  If you discover you DO need one of these items you can always run back inside for them.  But you probably won’t.

 

3. Plan lots of fun activities.  Make sure you’ve got ideas for before dinner and after, including some fun games you can play in the dark.  You’ll keep the kids entertained, have a ton of fun and encourage them to try this camping thing again!  Take a nature hike around the neighborhood with a list for scavenger hunt items, play outdoor games like tag and Ghost in the Graveyard, pick leaves and make leaf rubbings with paper and crayon.  You can even go bird watching with binoculars or stargazing (with or without a telescope).  Hide all the makings for s’mores in the yard and make a treasure hunt to find them!  With toddlers and young kids, play “Grab the Flashlight” – shine the flashlight around the yard and have them chase and try to catch the light.

 

4. Set up together.  Part of the fun of camping is setting everything up.  Have the kids help pick a spot for every station – tents, fire, eating, crafts, games.  Then let them put up the tent with guidance, gather wood for the fire and put all the fire necessities by the campfire spot, set out the cooler and picnic blanket, etc.  They can also fill the tent with their sleeping bags and other items and set up their beds.

 

5. Invest in an Easy Up tent.  This goes hand in hand with number four.  If you’re going on short camping trips, doing overnight camps in the backyard or have kids that love to help, you’ll probably want to invest in a simple tent – one that’s easy to set up and takes minimal time.  This Sundome Tent is a great example.

 

6. Try a neighborhood hike.  To set the tone for the evening and encourage a love of nature, try starting with a neighborhood hike.  You can try identifying different types of trees you come across, try checking things out through binoculars, catch a frog or two, or look for gross bugs under rocks!  Consider keeping a list or taking photos of all the nature treasures you find!

 

7. Make a fire for authenticity.  Every campsite needs a fire, it’s an unspoken rule!  If you live in the country or rural area, this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you follow fire safety rules.  Maybe you have a fire pit already in your backyard, or are considering making one.  This is an awesome way to cook all of your food during your campout!  Plan lots of different campfire dinners, lunches and sweet treats to keep everyone happy!  If a full campfire isn’t an option for you, consider creating a “mini fire pit.”  And if you’re still concerned about fire around your little ones, you could DIY an awesome no-fire campfire out of felt or paper!

 

8. Break out the glow sticks.  Kids love glow in the dark toys!  Not only will they have a blast playing with sticks and making bracelets and crowns, but it’ll help them forget to be afraid of the dark!  They can use them outside for glow-in-the-dark tag and take them into the tent with them later.  This glow stick party pack looks perfect – you can make headbands and glasses!  Or take it up a notch with these cool batons!

 

9. Don’t be a stickler for curfew.  If you and your kids thrive on a schedule, this might not work for you, but consider forgoing bedtime just for a night.  Kids will likely not easily fall asleep while lying in close quarters with the excitement of camping outside anyway.  Instead of getting irritated and enforcing a “quiet/no talking” rule, let the kids giggle and wear themselves out.  They’ll get tired eventually, and no doubt they’ll remember the fun of staying up late for a long time to come!  Who knows, you might be happy when you overhear some of the secrets they share with each other!

 

10. Join the Great American Campout by the National Wildlife Federation.  Once a summer, the NWF hosts a national campout that you can pledge to join.  For everyone who participates, supporters will donate $1 to the NWF charity which raises money to protect American wildlife.  Go to the site to read more, and you can sign up for group camps in your local area or pledge to camp by yourself!

 

Check here for some fun campfire traditions to start!

 

You might like these:

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nature-weaving-craft-4-250x250camp-with-kids-202x250Tips for Toddlers and Tents                      How to Camp With Kids                          Camping Crafts for Kids

 

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

9 Tips for Getting a Toddler to Sleep in a Tent

9 tips for getting your toddler to sleep in a tent - @tipsaholic. #tent #camping #kids #summer

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Going camping as a family is a great way to create memories together and to spend a lot of time outside. It might feel scary to bring along a baby or a toddler (or both!), but you’ll have so much fun!  When nightfall comes, many parents are unsure of how to put their kids to sleep in a dark and unfamiliar tent. Here are 9 tips to getting a toddler to sleep in a tent when on a camping trip. (These tips also apply to getting a baby to sleep in a tent, too!)

 

1. Bring a nightlight.

A campground can be pitch dark during nighttime… how scary that must be to a little human! Try this tent ceiling fan and light; it’s great for getting a toddler to sleep in a tent because it has two light settings: nightlight and regular light. The nightlight is perfectly dim – dark enough to sleep, but not so dark you can’t see. The fan is just a bonus, though it only circulates the air, it doesn’t cool the tent.  It’s worth the price for the nightlight feature!  Another idea is to get a night light that doesn’t need to be plugged in, especially if your campsite doesn’t have electricity and you have no generator. Bonus points if it’s soft and something you can put in the crib with your kid. This SPOKA night light from IKEA is a good option.  Or consider a stuffed animal with a night light.   If you need ideas, check out the Twilight Buddies or Dream Light Pillow Pets.

 

2. Stay in the tent until your toddler sleeps.

Just as it does when you are trying to acclimate your child to a new crib or bed, it can take a while for him or her to feel comfortable enough to sleep on their own.  Once you leave the tent, it’s quite possible they’ll think it’s play time again!  In an unfamiliar area, it’s even more important for you to help your child feel relaxed enough to drift off, so that means you may have to stay with them until they do.  Just put your child to sleep in their sleeping bag or portable crib and lay down in your own spot.  Hopefully this will give them enough reassurance for them to nod off in no time.

 

3. Bring a play yard (or two).

If your baby or toddler still sleeps in a crib, a play yard (or pack ‘n play or play pen) is your best bet. It’s similar to a crib and will keep them in one spot until they zonk out. It will work even better if they are used to sleeping in one occasionally.  You may have to upgrade to a large tent in order to accommodate a pack ‘n play, but it’s worth it!  If your toddler isn’t sleeping in a crib anymore, you might still want to enclose them to help them feel safe and sleep. This enclosed bed, the PeaPod is a great option if this is the case! It’s probably not a good idea to introduce a new sleeping routine, like co-sleeping when camping if you don’t do that at home.

 

3. Put your tent in a shaded area.

For naps, you want the tent to be cool and not too hot or humid. If you pitch your tent in the morning, check where the sun is and it’s path.  This will ensure you find the best spot for your tent, which will aid in afternoon nap times.  Keeping your child as comfy as possible is key!

 

4. Recreate their beds/cribs at home.

It’s important to make sure your child has their security objects – whether that’s a stuffed animal or a blanket.  If they’re used to sleeping with certain items, don’t expect them to do will without.  BUT, on the other hand, don’t overpack either — only bring the things that you KNOW your kids will want when they go to sleep.

 

5. A new toy or bag with things in it.

This may sound unusual, but there’s a purpose!   If your kid does well with toys in the crib and goes to sleep with them, then try this trick. Get a small bag and put in a few things in there, maybe new toys that don’t do much or random things like a brush, a baby mirror, a DVD cover, and a card, for example, that are safe for a toddler to handle. Your toddler will dig through the bag and relax as she explores these things. Before she knows it, it’s dreamland time.

 

6. Get your kids excited about sleeping in a tent.

Around two weeks before you go on your camping trip, pitch your tent in your backyard – this is standard when checking your equipment for holes and leaks.  Since the tent is already set up, it’s a great idea to set up beds inside and treat it like a mini camping trip!  At first, you may want to start slow with simply nap time.  Leave the tent up for a day or two longer and work up to spending the whole night inside with your child.  That way, the tent and their bed inside the tent will already be familiar when you get to your campsite.

 

7. Try to stick with naps.

Follow your usual schedule and try to help your kids to nap at their usual times.  Most kids do much better when they have a set routine and will become out of sorts if too many things are changed at once.  They are already getting used to a new environment with all sorts of unusual distractions, so sticking with a familiar schedule will help.  However, don’t stress if they simply refuse naps. They’ll be ok.

 

8. Keep them warm.

Nights can be cold. Keep your little ones warm with several layers of fleece or wool, but don’t put them all on at once. Here’s a good explanation of how to do it!

 

Tenting can seem intimidating when you have toddlers or babies, but with these tips you’ll be prepared and ready to go!  What other tips do you have when getting a toddler to sleep in a tent?

 

For more camping tips, check out 25 Camping Ideas for Families or the Camping Kitchen Box Checklist.  Don’t miss our Packing Tips for Camping Trips.  And plan your menu with 8 Ideas for No-Cook Camping Breakfasts and 25 Delicious Camping Desserts.  Finally, have some fun with your kids and these 10 No Fuss Camping Crafts!

 

Featured image via Remodelaholic.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

25 Delicious Camping Desserts

Delicious Camping Desserts

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Kick your camp food up a notch!  Don't miss out on these 25 Delicious Camping Desserts!

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The season of campfires, sleeping under the stars and “roughing it” is upon us!   A campfire isn’t the same without some good, old fashioned s’mores… but if you’re ready to kick your camping treats up a notch we’ve got a delicious gallery for you!  From some delightfully ingenious takes on the classic s’more, to the more elaborate skillet brownies and grilled cheesecakes, these scrumptious dessert recipes are bound to give you plenty of inspiration for your next campout!  With simple roasting stick style desserts, skillet and dutch oven cooking, tin foil and grilling, and a few ideas with special cookware, there’s something on this list for every camper.  With a little menu planning, you’ll impress your family with some campfire cookery while satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth!  Whether you’re planning a fun-filled camping vacation or cooking over the fire pit in the backyard, don’t miss these 25 delicious camping desserts!

 

Tin Foil and Grills:

Grilled Banana Boats – The Taylor House

Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Echoes Of Laughter

Campfire Cones – Come Together Kids

Fudgy Campfire Cakes – Tablespoon

Campfire Baked Cinnamon Apples – Cheerios and Lattes

Grilled Peach Crumble – Camille Styles

Grilled Apple Crisp – Cooking With Jax

Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Burritos – Group Recipes

Caramel Peaches with Pecans – Simple Bites

 

Roasting Sticks:

Campfire Eclairs – The Bigler’s Best Belly Pleasers

Roasted Strawberries – blog.AL.com

Roasted Starburst – Chief Domestic Officer

Strawberry Marshmallow Kebabs – Good Foods

Pie on a Stick – Spoonful

S’mOREOS – Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!

Smashing S’mores – Home Sweet Eats

 

Dutch Oven and Skillet Cooking:

Grilled S’more Brownie – Created By Diane

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies – Simply Food Love

Campfire Cheesecake – The Pomegranate Chronicles

Canned Biscuit Campfire Donuts – Thoreau’s Daughter

Cake, Berry and Chocolate Skillet – Ricardo Cuisine

Dutch Oven Cherry Cobbler – Downright Delish

Strawberry Cobbler – Simply Delicious

 

Special Cookers:

Campfire Fruit Tarts – Cooking Classy

Campfire Pies – Andrea Meyers

Blueberry Cheese Pudgy Pie – Maroc Mama

 

25 Delicious Camping Desserts ~ Tipsaholic.com #camping #dessert

 

Looking for more great ideas for camping meals? Try these 8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas!

 

Featured image via Rand McNally Blog

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Ideas for No-Cook Camping Breakfasts

8 ideas for easy, no cook camping breakfasts, #camping, #breakfast, #easyfood

 

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Cooking while camping – some love it, and some just don’t. If you tend to be on the “don’t” side of things or are just looking for some simple early-morning meals, these no-cook camping breakfasts are perfect for your next adventure in the woods. Simplify your camping trip by leaving the eggs and frying pans at home for Sunday brunch. If cooking anything but hot dogs over an open fire makes you cringe, take these 8 great ideas and get your breakfast on!

 

1. Yogurt parfait bar

A container of yogurt and some sliced fruit are all you need for this light and healthy camping breakfast. Layer your favorite yogurt with your favorite fruits – try peaches, strawberries, or blueberries for starters – and top it with granola for a bit of crunch.

 

2. Fruit and make-ahead dips

It doesn’t get much simpler than fruit for breakfast. It’s light, healthy, satisfying, and you can always choose your favorites. If plain fruit doesn’t appeal, try making this easy cherry fruit dip to go with it or this even easier two-ingredient “Strawberry Fluff” dip from Oh, Sweet Basil.

 

3. Cereal and milk

You heard me. Throw a box of your cereal of choice in the camper and a carton of milk in the cooler and call it good. Or, if you’ve got a crowd, try the miniature boxes in a variety pack like this  that carries a little something for everyone! Oh, and don’t forget the spoons!

 

4. PB&J or other simple sandwiches

It might sound like more of a mid-day meal, but nothing beats the simplicity of a sandwich. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can easily replace toast and jam on a campout, particularly where the kids are concerned. Even your favorite sliced meats and cheeses go great with fruit.

 

5. Make-ahead refrigerator oatmeal

Oatmeal doesn’t have to be cooked with this great idea! Whip up a batch of refrigerator oatmeal breakfasts with this recipe from Happy Go Lucky and pack the jars in the cooler. If your group of campers enjoys trying new meals together, you might consider simply bringing the ingredients and jars along and letting everyone mix up their own the night before.

 

6. Tortilla roll-ups

Grab a package of flour tortillas on your way out of town and give this simple breakfast a try! Spread a tortilla with peanut butter, hazelnut spread, or cream cheese, then add bananas, strawberries, or other fruits you like.

 

7. Bagels, donuts, or muffins

A store-bought breakfast should never be underestimated. When the campers are hungry and anxious to start the day, you can bet they’ll be ready for anything. Bagels and cream cheese, donuts, muffins with butter, and other quick breakfast options will be welcome in the campsite. Add in a side of yogurt or fruit to round out the meal.

 

8. Breakfast cookies

If you’ve got the time, a couple dozen of these breakfast cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction can be made ahead and used for a quick meal while enjoying the great outdoors.  These compact finger foods are also great for hikers!

 

Looking for more great camping foods for your summer? Try these 8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas!

Featured image via Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids

10 No Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids

 

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Camping with kids makes wonderful memories. It can also be a lot of work if the kids ever get tired of playing in the dirt! Crafts are great, but packing a bunch of craft supplies along with the sleeping bags, food, and other camp gear just makes more work. Instead, keep the kids busy with minimal effort by trying a few of these easy, no-fuss camping crafts made with natural elements.

 

1. Pounded flower prints

Take advantage of the colorful wildflowers in and around your campsite by using a “pounding” technique to transfer the color to watercolor paper. You won’t even need to bring a hammer for this pretty nature craft – you’re sure to find some good pounding rocks around camp!

 

2. Rainy splatter painting

Summer thunderstorms can spring up at any time, but rather than letting a drizzle ruin your camping experience, take advantage of it instead! Tote a few bottles of food coloring and some thick paper (watercolor paper is great but cardstock works too!) along when you camp and let the fun begin with these splatter paintings! And hey – if the rain doesn’t happen, why not spend an afternoon letting the kids sprinkle water over the project themselves?

 

3. Painted rock monsters

Send the kids on a rock hunt and watch their imaginations come to life when you provide a bit of paint and some googly eyes. Everyone will love seeing these little rock monsters around the campsite!

 

4. Pine needle stars

Clean up your camping area and make a craft at the same time? There’s nothing better! Small twigs or sturdy pine needles can be transformed into these decorative stars with just a bit of wire or string to hold them together. Allow children to add flowers, leaves, or berries they find to make each star unique and hang them from nearby trees for a festive camp experience.

 

5. Nature mobile

This fun project is one of the simplest on the list! All you need to bring for this craft is a roll of yarn or string. Help children select a sturdy stick for the base, then let them go wild tying on whatever else they can find to make this clever mobile.

 

6. Leaf creatures

There are sure to be plenty of leaves around your campsite, and that makes this craft perfect for fun in the great outdoors. Paper and glue are all you really need, but you can add fun details to your leaf creatures with googly eyes and markers too!

 

7. Nature bracelet

A perfect craft for little collectors, this nature bracelet is sure to keep kids busy creating. Kids can stick flowers, twigs, leaves, and other found items to the sticky side of a piece of duct tape and wear it on their wrist to show off their collection. To protect the items and keep other things from sticking to the bracelet, a strip of clear packing tape can be placed on top.

 

8. Nature weaving

This project is one that your whole camping group can have fun with! Help kids create “frames” with sticks and a bit of yarn or string, then wrap the string around the frame in intervals to create the weaving base. For the rest of your time in camp, kids and adults alike can add interesting flowers, plants, and branches they find in order to create a one-of-a-kind piece of natural art.

 

9. Bug catcher

No matter where you camp, there are two things you can always count on having around – bugs and garbage! But instead of tossing empty plastic bottles in the trash, consider this fun craft and let the kids rid your campsite of a few of those bugs. The bug catcher in this tutorial uses craft foam and hot glue to keep the required bit of mesh (or tulle!) in place, but we think a few strips of duct tape would do the job just fine.

 

10. Walking stick

Kids will love creating their own walking stick to use on hikes around camp! Send them on a search for their perfect stick, and then supply colored duct tape or paints for decorating. If you’re up for it, you can bring string, beads, and other decorative items for added creativity.

 

Don’t miss these 7 helpful tips to make your camping trip even easier!

 

10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids - tipsaholic, #camping, #kids, #naturecrafts, #summer

Featured image via Craftiments.

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

 

How To: Camp With Kids (8 Tips for Success)

camp with kids

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Now that summer is here, it’s time to pack up the gear and head into the woods for a night of camping. With young kids though, a little more is involved to guarantee a successful  camping trip. With a little preparation and some advance planning, the whole family will enjoy this adventure into the outdoors. Here are 8 tips for success when you camp with kids.

 

1. Read a good book.

A few days before the camping trip prepare your young kids for what the outing will be like by reading a few books. Some good ones to try are S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet, Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide, The Camping Trip that Changed America, or Curious George Goes Camping

 

2. Stake the tent in the back yard first.

Ease into this adventure by starting out slow. For the first excursion, keep it close to home. Set up the tent in your backyard so the kids can get used to the idea of camping, but the comforts of home are only a few short steps away.

 

3. Make a Check List

After a successful backyard camping excursion, the kids will be ready to venture out into the wild. Just make sure YOU are prepared, too, by making a check list.  Confirm that you have everything you need. Be sure to include tents, bedding, clothes, toiletry items, cooking supplies, food and water. Also, the list should include all things related to activities you plan to do while camping – like fishing gear.

 

4. Bring a first aid kit

Include a first aid kit with your camping gear, because you never know if it might be needed. A well stocked first aid kit includes medical tape, antibiotic wipes and creams, bandages, burn ointment, eye wash, hydrogen peroxide, pain relievers, scissors, snake bite kit, insect repellent, sterile gauze, sunburn lotion, sunscreen and tweezers.  You’ll feel more at ease knowing you can take care of your kids if needed.

 

5. Pick easy foods

Bring food that is easy to prepare. Hot dogs are always a big hit when roasted over a camp fire. And of course,  S’mores are a must have for any camping trip with young kids. Be sure that all food is stored in waterproof bags or containers and kept in an insulated cooler. Insure that food is cooked to the proper temperature. Also, bring plenty of drinking water if a reliable, clean source will not be available at the camping site.

 

6. Wear the right things

Dress appropriately for a trip into the woods with long pants and long sleeved shirts. Also, include a wide-brimmed hat to minimize exposure to the sun’s rays. Kids can get cold easily, so bring extra sweatshirts or jackets for cooler nights. And as much fun as it is to run barefoot through the grass, it’s best to keep shoes on the whole time since there are lots of things in the woods that can injure unprotected feet. Hiking boots are great for long walks, swim socks can be used when swimming in a lake or stream, and flip-flops are appropriate for hanging out at the camp site.

 

7. Be aware of potential harm

While camping can be fun, there are still a few things to be wary of.  Show young kids how to avoid poisonous plants such as poison ivy or berries they might want to eat. Also, teach them that they cannot approach wild animals or attempt to feed them. The animals might look cute, but they can be unpredictable, territorial and protective.  Go over camp rules ahead of time and reinforce them once at camp.

 

8. Plan Up-Past-Bedtime Activities

Of course this camping trip with young kids is supposed to be fun, so plan in advance a few activities for when the sun goes down. Flashlights can easily be used for a great game of tag. Singing or telling stories (not too scary) around the campfire are always a must for any camping trip. End the evening with some star gazing. There are always so many more stars to see away from the bright city lights.

 

Hopefully with the completion of a successful first camping trip, your young kids will be begging to do this get-away again soon!

 

Photo Source: www.bhg.com

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

7 Tips to Make Camping Easier

7 tips to make camping easier, #camping, #summertime, #campingtips

 
tips to make camping easier

Summertime, the weather is fine, and it’s time to head into the great outdoors. But the outdoors can be anything but great without the proper preparation and organization for your group.  If you’re in charge of this year’s camping adventure, use these 7 tips to plan ahead, turn camping into “glamping,” and ensure that this summer’s wilderness vacation will be the best ever!

 

1. Prepare ahead of time. Anything that takes a while to do at home will take even longer when you’re camping if you don’t have the right gear! Consider setting up tents and other gear at home to check for broken zippers, holes, and missing parts that might really ruin your campout. Make-aheads like these DIY firestarters are definitely worth the prep time. Consider bringing glowsticks or even solar-powered stake lights to make it easier for everyone to find their way around tent stakes and long anchor cords that always seem to trip people up. Old rugs or pieces of carpet can be placed outside tents to keep dirt inside to a minimum. Extra tarps, garbage bags, and sturdy rope and string also come in handy more often than not. Use this basic camping checklist if you’re not quite sure what else you might need.

 

2. Organize, organize, and stay organized. The organization should begin as you pack for your trip. Try to use boxes or bins that will stack together well and take up the least amount of space possible. Pack the paper plates, cups, and utensils in one box. Pack the cooking tools in another. Pack bug sprays, sunscreens, and first-aid gear together. Pack foods like chips and bread that don’t require refrigeration in the same box.  You might even go so far as to create a small box of supplies for each of the meals you have planned. Organize and pack in a way that makes sense to you, because you will most likely be the one that everyone will run to when they need something.

 

3. Designate areas within your campsite for different “stations.” Handwashing, food preparation, cooking, first aid, drink, and snack stations are just a few suggestions. Take into account that you probably don’t want high-traffic stations near food prep or first aid areas, as these places require a certain amount of sanitation. Food prep and cooking areas may be best kept under a canopy or within a shelter of some kind to reduce the amount of insects, animals, and dirt.

 

4. Institute some “camp rules.” Especially if you’ve got a large group, are camping with small children, or are near water, you’ll want to let everyone know what to expect from the get-go. Does everyone have a “buddy?” Do the kids know water safety rules? Is the group aware of hazardous plant and animal life around your campsite? Make sure the rules are clear and be consistent so that everyone stays safe.

 

5. Establish a “restroom” if there are no man-made facilities at your campsite. Chances are, this is one of the first things your campers will need! Always check the waste disposal requirements for your area before you hit the road – you may be required to remove all waste or at least any toilet paper that may be used. In general, you should select a spot at least 200 feet from water, camp, and hiking trails to avoid contamination and plain old nastiness. Dig a hole with a shovel or rock and use it as your toilet, burying the waste afterwards. If you plan to be in your campsite for long, you may want to use a shovel to dig a deep hole to be used by your group for the entire trip. A hanging tarp or an old sheet can serve as an extra privacy measure if bushes aren’t enough. When the trip is over, top the hole off with dirt. Other campers will thank you.

 

6. Keep the meals basic. It can be tempting to try to feed your campers the same way you would at home, and there are lots of “camping recipes” that seem easy enough, but try to think ahead. Keeping ingredients and pre-made items cold enough can be tough if all you’ve got is a cooler, and refrigerators in RVs and campers are usually limited in space. The preparation and cleanup required for meals can be messy and time consuming when you’re out in the wilderness. Consider making a simple menu with lots of pre-packaged and easy to store items, and don’t be afraid of old camp favorites like sandwiches, hot dogs, and pre-made tinfoil dinners like these.

 

7.  Plan simple entertainments for kids. The wonders of the outdoors will keep them busy for quite a while, but there’s sure to come a time during your campout that the kids need something new to do. Bringing tons of toys and books from home takes up a lot of storage space and you can bet they’ll come home with camp grime on them. Inspire the kids with some simple nature crafts instead, like these 10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids, or hold a camping scavenger hunt!

 

Remember that your area’s weather, your family’s needs, and the activities you enjoy together while camping make a big difference when it comes to getting the most out of the experience. Use these tips and add to them to make your campout unique and special to you! And if you’re looking for more great ideas to make camping easier and more fun, try these tips from Remodelaholic!

 

Featured Image via Kayla Lilly

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Packing Tips (for camping trips)

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Camping is a great way to create a relatively low-stress, low-cost, low-maintenance vacation.  It takes just a bit of forethought to plan, register, pack and execute a camping trip as opposed to months or more of budgeting, researching, planning, mapping and creating a more elaborate vacation experience.  Camping can help you reconnect with your family and yourself, creates lasting bonds and memories and instills relaxation and calmness to what can be an overworked, overstimulated lifestyle.  If you want to make the most of your camping trip, you’ll need to know how, what and WHERE to pack all your gear and equipment.  Follow these 10 packing tips for camping trips and take the stress out of planning your next getaway!

 

1. Back to Basics.

Part of the fun of camping is forgetting about all the extras in life – electronics, toys, games, equipment, utensils and STUFF – that we get bogged down with.  Get back to basics by keeping your packing simple.  Consider everything you’re planning on taking carefully and think, “Is this NECESSARY for 3 days (5 days, 7 days, what have you) away?”  Take what you need and leave the rest behind.  If you realize you’ve left something that really is essential, most campsites or state and national parks have stores for your convenience.

2. Don’t go overboard.

Over-planning is one way to stress-out any family vacation, but it also makes packing a million times harder.  If you’re going camping for a few nights, chances are you won’t have the time (or energy!) to play every single outdoor game in your garage, do every single sport-related activity, or make every single gourmet meal and campfire treat you’ve got on your “ideal” list.  Limit yourself.  Pick just a few favorite games, activities, meals and treats and save the rest for another time.

3. Become ONE with nature.

Guess what?  You’re camping, not spending the night at the Ritz.  You’re going to get a little dirty.  There will be bugs.  You’re hair and clothes will probably smell like campfire from the minute you get there.  So don’t worry about bringing a new outfit for every single day for every single person.  You won’t need accessories and tons of shoes.  You’ll probably want some soap, but don’t worry about cosmetics and the whole beauty regime.  Don’t be afraid to be RUGGED!  That’s what camping is all about.  The biggest key when picking clothes is to remember you want to be warm and dry.  Pack extra socks and a sweatshirt for everyone, along with just a few items to wear daily.

4. Make a List.  Check it twice.

Camping doesn’t require a ton of fancy gadgets or equipment, but there are some definite things you don’t want to be caught without.  To make sure you pack what you NEED and leave what you DON’T get a complete list of gear.  You can find some sample lists online.  The Packing List Place has one, as well as Love The Outdoors.  Keep in mind that any pre-made list will likely need to be altered to fit your family and your particular geographic area so look it over ahead of time, whittle it down and add on as necessary.  It’s also a good idea to make two checked columns – one you can check off for “checked and ready” and one you can check off for “packed in car”.  That way you’re covering your bases and are less likely to accidentally leave something behind in the driveway.

5. Be prepared.

Check ahead for area conditions – weather, area emergency issues that might be a problem (wildfire probability, flooding, avalanche, etc.), park or camp site maintenance issues that might affect you, etc.  The more prepared you are, the better able you will be to refine your packing list.  When you check the forecast, for example, there may be no rain indicated for the week so you can likely pare down your wet weather gear.

6. Don’t lug your luggage.

Instead of packing a different suitcase for every family member, consider packing items into plastic tubs with lids according to category.  This is perfect since they come in different sizes for different amounts of things (extra large bins like these are great for bigger camp items like lanterns, emergency radios, skillets, hot plates, camp stoves, etc. while medium sized bins are good for clothing), stack nicely together, have flat tops, are water resistant, and pack up well since they aren’t odd shapes.  They are also easy to identify by using large labels such as these or simple tape with permanent markers.  Consider using bins for clothing, cooking, food, games and activities, and weather-related gear (ponchos, boots, warm sweatshirt, etc.).

7. Pace yourself.  

Don’t plan on throwing everything together willy nilly at the last moment.  While camping can be a relatively stress-free family vacation you’re simply asking for trouble if you don’t give yourself time.  Begin packing preparations two weeks in advance.  It might seem excessive, but you’ll want to make sure all of your gear and equipment is in working order before you actually pack it away.  You’ll also want to replace lost or broken items, make sure you have the right amount of things for your whole family, and create a “map” for packing your car.

8. SPACE yourself.  

Chances are you’ll be driving to your destination, so make sure to leave plenty of room for passengers.  Crowding can make people (especially little people!) crabby!  So don’t try to cram so much into the passenger area of your car.  Use storage areas for smaller items (like the pockets on the back of the front seats for small backpacks or bags) and fill up your trunk or cargo area with clean, well-packed, boxes and bags.

9. Think outside the box.  

Utilize the space outside your vehicle as well.  This will ensure that you have ample room for your passengers inside!  While clean and sturdy boxes, backpacks and bags are great in the cargo area, you can pack dirty, cumbersome or large items outside.  Use a bike rack on the top of your vehicle and consider getting a cargo carrier for the top of your vehicle, like this one.  You can carry other large items for outdoor activities (like kayaks, canoes, folding tables, etc.) with various types of carrying racks.

10. Make a map.

A packing “map” can be super useful when planning for your trip.  Essentially, list the items you’ll need based on bin, bag, box, etc. along with WHEN you’ll need them.  Following the “first in, last out” rule, decide which items you’ll need to access right away and which can be accessed later.  Then either draw the items in a diagram or simply number and label them according to when they will be packed in the car – this way you’ll know ahead of time what needs to go where in order to not only make everything fit efficiently, but also to have what you need WHEN you need it.

 

Looking for more helpful ideas for camping? Try these 7 Tips for Easier Camping!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas

8 Easy and Delicious Camping Food Ideas | Tipsaholic.com #cooking #recipe #camping #campfire #food

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Planning a few camping trips during the warmer months? Me, too! But I always get kinda stuck when thinking about camping food ideas. Hot dogs are fine, but I love to cook delicious food at home and I want to eat good food while camping. I did some research and found so much information out there on camping food ideas! I’m excited to share these ideas with you.

 

1. Foil Packs

These nifty camping meals that are cooked in foil are also called hobo packs or hobo stew. Basically, you add a little oil (or butter) in heavy duty foil, add meat, veggies, and then wrap it up and put it on hot coals. Open it after the meat is cooked and dig in! So easy.

You could use hamburger patties, ground beef, pounded chicken, meatballs, or even fish as your meat. Many campers add potatoes, but you could also add red pepper, onions, tomatoes, corn on the cob, zucchini, and whatever else that can be cut up and put in a foil pack. Bring along your favorite condiments to add to your hobo stew.

Looking for more information on foil packs? Here’s a very clear step-by-step on how to assemble a hobo pack and how to wrap the foil just right. And here’s a delicious-looking breakfast that’s cooked in a foil pack!

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2. Breakfast Tacos

If you don’t know what a breakfast taco is, it’s a tortilla packed with scrambled eggs and whatever else you like with your eggs: sauteed veggies, chorizo, bacon, potatoes, and/or cheese. A great camping food idea is to prepare your breakfast tacos ahead of time and wrap them in foil and put them in your icebox. When it’s time to eat breakfast, heat them up a little bit over hot coals and eat!

You can do the same method with breakfast sandwiches if that’s more of your thing.

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3. Campfire Quesadillas

Quesadillas are very kid-friendly, so this is one of my favorite camping food ideas. Prepare the quesadillas ahead of time with your favorite filings and wrap them in foil. Heat them up over the grill and then consume. This sounds perfect for lunches!

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4. Kabobs

Kabobs are great for grilling and fun to eat. These qualities make them a good addition to any list of camping food ideas. Put your chopped meat in marinade in a zip lock bag and toss in your chopped vegetables in another zip lock bag. Bring along bamboo skewers and assemble when it’s time to eat. Camping food ideas don’t get any easier than this.

 

5. Breadsticks On a Stick

Camping is fun and this camping food idea is definitely a lot of fun. Send everyone into the forest to search for the perfect stick and have them wrap a long strip of bread dough around their sticks. You can make your bread dough ahead of time or buy ready-made dough in a can that you pop open at the campsite.

Turn this appetizer into a sweet dessert by rolling the dough in some butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Mmmmm.

 

6. “Baked” Sweet Potatoes

Maybe you’re sticking with hot dogs and burgers for dinner, but you’re looking for a side that’s healthier than a bag of potato chips. Try grabbing a couple of sweet potatoes on your next trip. Around 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, poke them a couple of times with a knife and wrap them with foil. Put them over hot coals and turn them every 5 minutes until they become soft to the touch. Then open the foil and cut them down in the middle. So good, without any seasoning needed!

You could bring precooked shredded chicken and an avocado and pile that on the top of the sweet potato. Delicious, filling, and healthy!

 

7. Campfire Cones

You just can’t go camping without gorging on smores, at least I think so. However, I have a toddler who would probably have a hard time eating a traditional smore. That’s why I really love this clever camping food idea: campfire cones! You put peanut butter, marshmallows, chocolate, and chopped banana in a sugar cone, wrap it in foil, and heat it until everything is melted and gooey. Okay, I’m officially hungry now.

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8. Easy Cobbler in a Dutch Oven

If you’re really serious about camping and go with your family often, you might want to consider investing in a dutch oven. There’s a lot of great information here and there’s also some recipes there for you to try.

Have a dutch oven already? Try this crazy easy cobbler! All you need is some fresh blackberries, a can of blueberry pie filling, classic yellow cake mix, and cut up butter for the top. Cook until it’s done and EAT.

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I’m officially ready for our next camping trip, food-wise. I hope you feel the same!

For more camping ideas, check out 25 Fun Camping Ideas for Families!

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Domestic Geek Girl.