Need camping advice
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  1. #1
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    Default Need camping advice

    My dh and I want to go and take the kids. The kids are 4 and 5. We plan on sleeping in tents in a state park with restrooms and such near by, it won't be primitive. This is our first time. What else do we need to bring besides sleeping bags? What kind of food do you bring? What kind of bug spray? Should I bring them a toy or two?

  2. #2
    Registered User thriftstorequeen's Avatar
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    We took our five kids camping growing up. Now that they are grown we still go. As a matter of fact we are going this weekend. Now it's alot easier because we share the meals. If are cooking on the open fire, cast iron pans work best. When we started we used a camp stove. Which is pretty much like cooking at home (but you are out doors). We love hot dogs a marshmellows cooked over the fire. We use long sticks for this because the metal ones get too hot! You'll need a cooler to store stuff that needs to be kept cold. You could have cold cereal or instant oatmeal for breakfast. We still like pbj sandwiches for lunch. Dinner could be canned pasta or soup warmed on the stove or fire. Just add some bread and baby carrots and you're set. My kids always like canned pudding because we didn't have that at home. I've also made chili or stew at home a froze it and just warmed it up. We found that simple was better for us. Tick spray this time of the year would be good. Be sure to have a first aid kit and a flashlight or two. We also like to bring our own water. We use milk jugs for that. I hope this helps. It's alot of work but it's fun and they never forget it! Hope you have a nice time. Let us know how it goes!

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    Registered User pita1213's Avatar
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    if you don't have a cook stove to use and will be cooking over a fire for teh first time, stick with foods that you cook on a grill. simple foods are best. hot dogs, hamburgers, and such for lunch or dinner. cereal for breakfast. you can make biscuits on a stick for breakfast. cover a wooden dowel that is about the thickness of a broom handle with foil. wrap a canned biscuit around it (the ones in the can you pop open) and cook over the fire until done. youcan then fill it with butter and jelly. we did that in girl scouts.
    you're gonna want to bring things to play with. even if you plan on taking nature walks and such, the kids are going to need something to do while you are in camp. i wouldn't bring anything expensive just in case it gets left behind. if your kids are afraid of the dark, bring a couple of glow sticks to put in the tent at night. they aren't as bright as a flashlight and won't waste the batteries.

    find out if there are any restrictions at the campground about anything you can or can't bring including food items and cooking. if you decide to do a soup or stew but dont have a cast iron pot to but it in, you can use enamel pots. just cover teh OUTSIDE with dish soap and let it dry before using it. it helps the soot wash off easier.
    don't forget trashbags. there aren't always emtpy trashcans near by when you need to clean up. and it's easier t carry a trash bag to the dumpster than loose trash.

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    Registered User thriftstorequeen's Avatar
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    I thought of a couple of more ideas. This is the only time I use paper plates and plactic flatware. It's much easier to trow dishes away that to haul water and wash them. I used to bring play dough for my kids. We tried it in our house and i hated the mess. I'd bring it camping and they could play with it at the picnic table. Another fun thing might bee\ to have a cd or tape player to play some story or songs tapes for the kids before bed.

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    You'll want a camping lantern of some sort. Plenty of warm clothes and some old blankets for extra warmth at night and if you have it, some foam rubber/mats/old cushions/cots to sleep on, at least for the adults. The ground gets awful hard. A couple of board games and a deck of cards too. You can teach the kids go fish or war if they don't already know. Don't forget the ingredients for S'mores! Graham crackers, marshmallows and plain chocolate bars. I'll post again if I think of more stuff.

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    The food depends on how you're cooking it - if you're bringing a portable bbq, then it's pretty much unlimited. If you have a camp stove, soups, stews, etc are awesome. Don't forget weiners for the campfire! Make sure you have a cooler. Don't forget stuff like butter, mayo, relish, etc. Bring extra food, even just a bit, such as KD, canned soup, etc just in case you forget something as it is your first time out. Cutlery, spatulas, knives, soup ladle, etc, can opener, bottle opener, etc. Bring TP just in case they have run out in the washrooms. Your own soap, and antibacterial stuff works wonders (stuff you rub in and leave on). Any kind of bug repellent. Sunblock. Lots of dry clothes just in case other stuff gets wet. A few old blankets as well, just in case the sleeping bags get wet, or it gets extra cold at night. A piece of rope to hang between two trees to use as a clothes line (and clothes pins). Bandaids, ointment, allergy relief, headache relief, peroxide to clean scratches, cuts, etc. Immodium and Gravol. A hat for each member of the family, in case it's sunny out - if you're in it all day, a good chance to catch sunstroke so be careful! A small axe to cut firewood, tea towels and dish cloths, paper towels, zip lock bags (I always find some sort of use out of these and always grateful they are there!), matches, fire flickers, books, games, a few toys for the kiddies, a camera to catch your first camping experiences, boots if it's raining. Tarps to hang over the tent (make sure stuff in the tent is away from the walls and make sure that any food or any scented stuff including toothpaste, etc is in your vehicle or hung up high to avoid animals). A flashlight, and back up batteries, or even better a couple of flashlights. And most important of all, let someone you know know exactly where you are going, when you are leaving, and when you will be coming back. If you have a cell phone on you, make sure it's charged, and that your contact person has the number. Chances are you won't need any of this, but it's always when you're not prepared that bad stuff happens!! Be cautious, be prepared, and you are ready for your adventure!! Have fun!!!! You are teaching your kids a lot - trust me, they will remember this trip into their adult lives!!

  8. #7
    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    I've been camping for years and the most imporant thing to take is a good attitude! Even if things go wrong like
    a flood in the tent (happened on the Blue Ridge), an early snow storm (happened in Yellowstone), a rattle snake in the camp (happened at Mammoth Cave), a bear rocking the camper (happened Black Hills). You've got to smile and remember this is a memory you'all look back on someday. In my family we do and laugh til we cry!
    I do 90% of my cooking either over a firepit or the grill if one is there. We carry just in case the grate from our grill at home in a black garage bag. I make up shisk-a-bobs the night before and put them in a tupperware
    Makes the frist meal easy if we're late getting to the site. We splurge and buy a bag of premixed salad which we transfer to a ziplock at home. That way we have fresh salad for several meals and its easy to reseal. The bags it comes in doesn't. Got one of those tupperware shakers that we make up our own dressing ahead of time. No glass bottles to break. Several plastic bottles cleaned out and filled with water at home and frozen help to keep the cooler cold and give us ice water and water to heat with out having to haul water or run it at a communal tap which can get muddy. Over the years I have purchased fry pans at Goodwill and yard sales and use them only for camping. I clean the inside after each use but save the outside til we get ready to leave. Love the soap idea will keep that. Usually I just scrub it last.They stay in a big rubbermaid tub just for camping stuff.
    For the first breakfast I make porklink sausages and french toast. Always a special meal. I make the sausage first and save alittle of the grease for the pan to cook the french toast in. I mix up the egg, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a tupperware before we leave home. Pour it in to a ziplock and dip in bread. Takes alittle pratice
    but cuts down on the mess. For lunch we do chef salads. A prepackaged tupperware at home has all the little goodies we like strips of meat, cheese, and olives. Use a piece of wax paper between your layers.Drain your olives. A dozen hard boiled eggs also go along. These are used as easy snacks or can be turned into eggsalad.
    We have a large plastic pnut butter jar that lives in the refrig at home. Into this go extra ketcups, mustards,jellies and other condiments. When we take the cooler out it goes in. DD has even made up a new jar with her BBQ sauces from Sonny's and ketcups just for her food.
    Fresh fruits are also big take alongs for us.
    As for games scrabble, uno and mexican train dominos.
    My metal shick-a-bob sticks get used for raosting marshmellow and hot dogs. Hot dogs and beans are usually the second night meal. Hot dogs have been frozen solid in their package and thrown into the cooler. All this prefrozen stuff helps to keep the cooler cold. We take a seperate drink cooler which also has frozen t, juice and water in it. This cooler gets opened more often and that way our food doesn't. Check for bears in the area your camping. If they are there please follow the park rules on food.
    Since you taking smaller kids please get each one a whistle and have them put it on. If they get lost it will help to find them. Take id books like bugs, flowers and birds. If you don't have any let me know I get them all the time.Collect things like rocks, leaves. Look them up together.
    Maybe collect a few leaves and pinecones for a Thanksgiving Table piece. Leaves can be sealed in wax paper when you get home. Take pictures! Have fun! Sing Songs!

    Laurie in Bradenton

  9. #8
    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    Warm hats and socks!

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    Registered User Droppedonmyhead's Avatar
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    Oh you'll have a lot of fun! You've gotten some great advice. Just watch out for racoons. They are notorious about getting into food lockers and coolers. Once I went camping, the next morning racoons had opened up the neighboring camper's coolers and had strewn/eaten all of their food. It was a horrible mess and they had to go buy more food to replace it.

    Also too. . .take a box of moth balls and put them around your tents on the outside. It will keep away animals. They don't like moth balls. . .it will even repel bears.

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    Registered User Michelle68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droppedonmyhead View Post
    Oh you'll have a lot of fun! You've gotten some great advice. Just watch out for racoons. They are notorious about getting into food lockers and coolers. Once I went camping, the next morning racoons had opened up the neighboring camper's coolers and had strewn/eaten all of their food. It was a horrible mess and they had to go buy more food to replace it.

    Which reminds me of a funny story...we went camping a couple of years ago and we were getting everything ready for bed, cleaning up the area, putting out the campfire, etc. The cooler of food was under the back bunk and I asked my DH to put it in the back of the truck. (There's a camper shell on the back.) Unfortunately, for whatever reason, DH didn't feel that it was necessary to put away the cooler that night and the next morning we woke up, walked out of the pop up and, you guessed it, all the food was gone. It was really hilarious..you could see little raccoon tracks all over the place. Plus they had even gotten into packages of sealed food but were not courteous enough to close the cooler back up after they finished so all the ice was melted. DH was so mad at himself and he had to drive about 20 miles to get us breakfast. Those raccoons are wily!


    ---Michelle

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    Thanks for all the advice!

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    Registered User Droppedonmyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle68 View Post
    Which reminds me of a funny story...we went camping a couple of years ago and we were getting everything ready for bed, cleaning up the area, putting out the campfire, etc. The cooler of food was under the back bunk and I asked my DH to put it in the back of the truck. (There's a camper shell on the back.) Unfortunately, for whatever reason, DH didn't feel that it was necessary to put away the cooler that night and the next morning we woke up, walked out of the pop up and, you guessed it, all the food was gone. It was really hilarious..you could see little raccoon tracks all over the place. Plus they had even gotten into packages of sealed food but were not courteous enough to close the cooler back up after they finished so all the ice was melted. DH was so mad at himself and he had to drive about 20 miles to get us breakfast. Those raccoons are wily!


    ---Michelle

    LOL. . .that was a great story. . .and a good lesson for your DH. . . It's amazing what racoons can do in just a short amount of time.

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    Registered User inneedofhope's Avatar
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    Where we camp the kids usually bring bikes. I always bring a few books along, something with a woodsy or camping theme. Bring extra shoes, they come in handy. We usually bring one set of dishes and silverware a peice and wash them at the dish washing area.

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