Summer is for camping, at least for my family. Living out here in Montana, there are so many wonderful places to camp. My husband and I enjoyed tent camping before we had kids. We live in a place where there are bears, so we don't tent camp much since the kids have come along. Some good friends of ours gave us a 1969 Skamper tent trailer a few years ago and we've put it to good use. Here's a pic of our sweet set up from a few years ago. Not many people in 2013 camp with a 1969 camper and an 1988 suburban.
This weekend is Memorial Day. In more years than not, the weather is crappy over Memorial Day. Usually it's raining, sometimes snowing. The one year we had a big camp trip planned we got rained out the whole weekend. We stick close to home for the most part. This year, I happened to find out that a nearby campground has a tipi site people can reserve for camping. The campground is family friendly, it's about 30-40 minutes from home and is adjacent to one of the most popular state parks (Lewis and Clark Caverns). I reserved it for my family for one night (that's all that was available) and we're going to have an overnight adventure in the tipi.
Since we've been so lucky to have the tent trailer, most of our camping gear is stored inside it. It's been a long time since we car camped and I wanted to make sure we had everything we needed for the night. This mama entered list mode. As I've been working on my lists and packing up our Toyota, I thought I'd share with you 5 quick camping tips that make trips easier. These are helpful for the experienced or novice camper. You might know these or they night be new. Hopefully, you find it helpful.
1. Food. You're not going to be camping long without food. One of the things I do is make a list similar to my meal planning lists at home. I write down what we're eating for meals and tape it to a big tote. This way my family knows what is planned and what is available to eat.
2. Save space. Yes, I am one of "those" people who save condiment packs. I pop them in the drawer in my refrigerator. When camping time rolls around they're handy because I can pack less than a baggie full of condiments and save space in my cooler. Who wants to pack around full size bottles of condiments?
3. Save Space Even More. My kids have been out of baby food for years, but I still keep a few jars at home to use on occasion. The jar you see below has our coffee creamer in it. We've become snobs and drink only the italian sweet cream creamer in our coffee. Again, I don't want to bring the big bottle, so I put a little in my baby food jar to use for the morning cuppa joe.
4. Clean Up Is A Breeze. We have a great Coleman camp stove. It has a regular burner with a separate part that is either a grill or a griddle depending on which part is place on the stove. The grill is very handy, but is a pain in the butt to clean. I just line the bottom with a little aluminum foil to catch any drippings. When we're done, we can wad it up and throw it away with minimal cleanup left.
5. Pack It In, Pack It Out. Lots of the campgrounds in Montana are fairly remote, plus there are countless other places to camp that aren't in an established campground. Because of these, we're always prepared to pack out whatever we brought, including trash. I saw a great tip on pinterest to fold up plastic grocery bags into little triangles (think the paper "footballs" from childhood). It allows me to pack quite a few bags in a small space so we have enough receptacles to remove all our trash.
You probably noticed many of my hints are reusing or repurposing items from around the home. It's a great way to get the kids thinking about how we can reuse items instead of throwing them directly in the trash.
We're looking forward to our overnight camp trip. It's sure to be an adventure we're remember for years! Happy camping!