Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at SidewaysQ.com

More from this author »
RECENT PINS

Family Camping Mistakes

Once upon a time, my husband and I considered ourselves ultra-light hikers.  We had the gear, we traveled fast, we covered distance.

Six years and two kids later, we have a tent the size of a living room.  We got it for Christmas and finally put it to use, first in the backyard, and last weekend, in a state park.  Here are some camping mistakes we made on our first family camping trip.

My family = Example
You = Warned
 
  1. Our somewhat last-minute trip wasn’t planned well.  We rented a boat at the least expensive place we could find.  It was a nice marina, but it was 40 miles away.  We had no idea, looking at a poor map, that the marina was on the far side of a hundred fingers in the lake and we’d have to drive a circuitous route to get there.
  2. Check your pockets BEFORE you jump in the lake.  Also, the wet-cellphone-in-rice trick doesn’t work.
  3. Prep all food, even snacks.  Taking too much food is a return-trip packing buzz kill.  But also, be prepared to grab hotdogs rather than cook a full meal when you return from the day’s activity too late to cook.
  4. Unless there’s 0% chance of rain, put on your tent’s fly.
  5. If you have a new tent, check the fly for holes before camping.
  6. Take rainy day, inside-the-tent activities for the kids.
  7. Bring a picnic table cover.  Heck, throw in an all-purpose tarp, too. (Are you sensing a rain preparedness theme here?  Weathermen are not to be trusted).
  8. If you cook over the campfire, you’ll need a pan and a HOT PAD and UTENSILS.  Praying that you can successfully flip pancakes because you don’t have a spatula is nerve-wracking (but my husband, thank goodness, is a pro).
  9. Bring a first-aid kit that will help adults.  Out of desperation, my husband bought a $1.50 packet of “Moody’s Headache Powder” from a back woods gas station.  He lived.
  10. Have a casserole sitting in your refrigerator, so when you get home there’s fresh grub while you unpack all of your [wet] gear.

Well, we did #10 correctly.  And we still had fun, so there’s that.

Happy family camping!

 

More camping resources:

Family Camping – Outdoor Camping Gear

Family Camping: Meals

Road Trip Preparation Cartoon

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Comments (13)

  1. Smith 11/21/2012 at 5:48 am

    Great tips must say, haha the same i realized after jumped into the lake, it was my brand new iPod. The 10 last minute check ins before camping.

  2. Lisa 08/01/2012 at 11:10 am

    Too funny! I wrote a similar post- check it out!

  3. Lisa 08/01/2012 at 11:08 am

    Lol! Too funny. I wrote a similar post- check it out! http://wedratherbecamping.blogspot.com/2012/07/camping-101.html

  4. Candice 07/06/2012 at 7:42 pm

    On our first (and only) camping trip of the year this past May, we found out that in the White Mountains hydrocortisone cream is essential with a 2 year old. As seasoned as we might be with camping I found that being 5 months pregnant was also not as fun as I expected! At least we have many more fun years to look forward to!

  5. Hilda 07/06/2012 at 6:13 pm

    Great post! Our camping experiences changed a lot post kids compared to just hubby & I too. It’s so much more work than when it was just the 2 of us! But it’s so worth it when you see those little faces loving the outdoors.

  6. Jen Price 06/22/2012 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t know if I ever told you, but when we left evo last year and camped in Moab, it rained on us both days! A lady at McDonald’s told us that hadn’t had rain for a long time. Lucky us. Moral of the story, always be prepared for rain when you’re camping!

  7. Pingback: 7 Tips to Having An Enjoyable Camping Experience With Your Kids | Family Camping Fun

  8. Pingback: 7 Tips to Having An Enjoyable Camping Experience With Your Kids | Family Camping Fun

  9. Chris Balay 06/20/2012 at 11:06 am

    We have learned through years of camping with kids to ALWAYS put up the rain fly and then put up a tarp over that! You cannot have too many tarps or ropes when camping.

  10. Erin Oltmanns 06/19/2012 at 9:13 pm

    So you got wet, eh? Hilarious post. 🙂

  11. Amy 06/19/2012 at 5:05 pm

    Woah.. you just gave me a good laugh. Still, looks like what water you faced didn’t ruin all your fun. Cute photos!

  12. Melissa Choate 06/19/2012 at 1:43 pm

    #10 is absolute genius! I’m going to have a prepared dinner ready for our return from every camping and overnight trip. I make a mean tuna casserole!