Family Camping Tips

Family Camping Tips

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Family Camping Tips By Brenda Hyde

Tent camping can be a challenge, but it's fun and inexpensive too! Here are some tips on making things a little smoother for the entire family.

Your Tent is Your Home

-Organize your tent and set down rules. Most tents now have more than one door. I decided to place our sleeping bags at one end and use the door at the other end- putting the clothing and bags on either side of the door. We had a piece of carpet to wipe feet and shoes were NOT allowed past the entry way. If someone had to change clothes, they stepped in side, grabbed what they needed, changed and left the tent without walking all over the bedding. It made a huge difference on keeping the tent clean. Be sure to bring a broom and dust pan to sweep up sand near the door-that is unavoidable!
-Our tent held up during rain and a thunderstorm with just a few tiny spots that dripped. Make sure you have a good tent (not expensive necessarily, but quality) with room for everyone and all of your things WITHOUT touching the sides of the tent. This is what makes the difference-where things indent the sides of the tent they mostly will leak. Have small hand towels available to wipe up small drips, and relax. The rain usually doesn't last long, and you'll be fine.

-Invest in a pad, or air mattress. Call me a wimp, but I love our air mattress. I sleep great on it, and it's the best $24.00 investment we made! We've taken it on three camping trips so far and it's holding up great. Sleeping on the ground is great for kids, but not moms:)

-Lastly, find a good light for the tent. You don't want to be using a flashlight to find things after dark. We used a small touch lamp and hung it from the middle of the tent. It had three settings and worked great. I did learn a lesson though- pack extra bulbs-they may not carry them in small stores!

Organizing Everything Else!

The best thing I found to use for quick organization is resealable plastic bags-I bought the large value pack and used them for everything! Here are some ways they made my life easier:

-Everything in our coolers goes into a bag-without fail. Even things that are "supposed" to be sealed shut! You would be amazed at the things that leak and end up full of water when they are brand new and SHOULD be sealed. I also group things together because I use the gallon bags. Ketchup, mustard and bottles of barbecue sauce are an example.

-Snacks like crackers and pretzels go into bags too. Some are packed away for the camp site, and some are left in the van for eating between destinations. (I make up muffins and loaves of bread that go into bags.)

-Wet wipes are divided into two bags-one for the van and one for the tent. These aren't just for the baby; they work great for all kinds of clean ups!

-Books, travel brochures and paper items that get shuffled from the van to the tent to the picnic table a hundred times. It helps them look a little less beat up and keeps things together.

-Misc. items like the salt and pepper shakers, matches, lotions that may leak, same with shampoo and powder.

The second thing I can never have too many of are tote bags-all shapes and sizes! I pick them up at garage sales, from family and friends or as giveaways. The cotton bags are great because they wash and dry easily. I have tote bags for the van, totes to take in the stroller, totes for the shower and bathroom, the beach, for the air mattress, rock collecting...you get the drift. Once you start watching for tote bags you'll end up with more than you'll ever need-maybe, unless you use them like I do!

About the Author:

Brenda Hyde is Mom to three little ones, a freelance writer and editor here at OldFashionedLiving.

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