Camping with the Kids

Camping is an inexpensive way to spend time with your children and family and a way to give back to your kids in this go-go era we now live in.  Very seldom do we take a step back as adults, but children do not slow down either.  Camping is a way go have unstructured time away from computers, TV, mounds of homework and afterschool activities.  If you don’t mind the outdoors and sleeping in a tent, then this is the fun way to enjoy the outdoors on a budget.  Here are some tips to make your week or weekend fun and enjoyable. Miss Tracy spoke with our friends at The Rhode Show about this topic. Watch it here!

You will need some gear to go camping but it doesn’t have to break the bank:

– Tents are inexpensive- you can get a two person up to a 12 person or higher. This just depends on how much room you would like and or need. 

– Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and or air mattresses are great to help keep you off the ground.

– Lanterns and flashlights, matches to light a fire, a couple of pans- cast iron works best.

– Folding chairs to sit in and some board games.

Next you want to decide what type of camping experience you want to do?

– Do you want to rough it with no electricity and bathrooms or a place that has facilities to use?

– What type of activities do you want you and your family to do? Go hiking, rafting, biking, or organized activities. Look for campgrounds that are child friendly if you are camping with children.

  • Next, reserve your campsite.  Check out places that are close to where you live it is your first time.  Once you get the hang of it you can venture out to places that are further away.
  • Ask friends if they have gone camping and where they go.  Sometimes you can find out the best places and the not so best places by just asking around.
  • Next, you want to plan your menu.  Planning on what to eat and bring can be very daunting.  But some simple tricks can make this process easy for you. 

You will need some essential utensils to cook with: tongs, spatula, tin foil, a pan, a coffee pot for a fire, a knife, and some plastic containers.  Salt and pepper, garbage bags, oil spray, paper dishes and cups.  Putting these items in a rubber maid container also helps to keep them dry. You might also want to consider a propane burner as a backup for cooking.

Food storage: if what you are planning on bringing needs to be kept cold, plan on bringing a cooler full of ice. But you also want to check with the campground to see if they also supply ice and fire wood most campgrounds do. 

Food– simple food and preparing some it at home saves a lot of time. Some ideas are:

– Cut up all the food that needs cutting such as vegetables season them and put them in a zip lock bag.  Slice up fruit for fruit salad.  You can also pre mix pancake batter to have for breakfast in the morning.  Chop up meats as well, season, and store for later.  Some easy tips on cooking to help make this trip a fun experience.

– Instead of cooking s’mores on an open fire, put all ingredients into a sugar cone, wrap in tinfoil, and toss on the grates for about 5-10 minutes. It is so much easier to eat!

– Cut open an orange in half and core it out.  Pour in pre-made muffin mix.  Then wrap in tin foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes on open flame. You now have orange flavored muffins for breakfast.

– You can also bring a muffin tin.  Spray it the tin and put an egg in each.  Just like frying on the stove.

The main thing is to plan ahead, make a check list of everything you need to bring and have. Plan a menu and look on websites.  There are so many ideas that you will not have trouble planning a fun filled weekend with your family

Resources:  Pinterest for recipes and Real simple. 

This blog was written by Tracy Martin Turgeon, VP of Operations at The Children’s Workshop.