We decided earlier in the week that we would go camping for the Memorial Day weekend. We have been on a couple of camping trips with the family, but this is the first time I felt like the children were old enough to make camping pleasant for all of us. In the past, I was worried about a little one falling in the water or worried about wetting the sleeping bag in the middle of the night, but this trip was much more peaceful. How else can you sleep in a spot beside the ocean for just $35? With the help withof ListPlanIt’s Camping List, I felt very prepared for staying 2 nights away from home with 3 children and a dog.
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Here are a few things that I was extremely glad I had remembered to bring.
- Jackets – It was very warm when we left home and I almost forgot to bring them. At the last minute, I ran around scooping up a jacket for everyone and we were very glad to have them.
- Cards – We haven’t played much cards as a family yet, but I brought a deck anyway. At one point when Trey was canoeing with one of the kids, I decided to break out the cards and teach them Solitaire (one of my favorite pastimes). We played it as a team and it was a lot of fun!
- Dish soap – I didn’t really use it on the dishes. We didn’t need to reuse any of the dishes we’d brought. But I was grateful for the dish soap so that we could wash our hands.
- A Sharpie – I brought some paper cups for morning milk and some water bottles for our primary drink. I would always write a name on the bottle before I doled them out. It really helped us keep track of whose water was whose.
- Cut up Carrots – Trey bought a dutch oven that he has been using to cook us food on a fire. I knew that he was planning to make us swiss steak on Saturday night, so before we left home, I cut up several carrots. This way, not only was I ready for the swiss steak, but the kids and I munched on them throughout the weekend.
- Air Mattress – I am not a spring chicken anymore. I used to be able to sleep ANYWHERE and hardly know the difference. Now, a hard floor with only a thin layer of sleeping back for a cushion is not enough.
- Baby Wipes – Very handy post-beach, post-bathroom, and even post-s’mores.
- A Lantern – Trey bought us an all-weather lantern a couple of months ago and I love it for using like a flashlight or for hanging in the tent as an overhead light. It was perfect for pre-bed storytelling.
- Shoes – This is not something most people would forget, but we did forget to bring my little Claire Bear’s shoes. She spent the first day walking on gravel roads, rocky out-croppings, and rough trails with no shoes on. She has some tough feet. Luckily we were camping only 20 miles from our house, so on the 2nd day, we drove home to pick up a few forgotten items – including shoes for Claire.
- Marshmallow Sticks – How can you say you’ve been camping without s’mores? Yummy, ooey, gooey, marshmallows.
We had such a lovely camping trip that I think we are going to try to go more often. It is a lot of work: before, during, and after, but we are building an arsenal of family memories and I think camping contributes a good number. What is your favorite camping tool or resource?