Thursday, May 1, 2014

Helpful Camping Tips

This is the prelim of My Camping Series. For more camping info, check out the links at the bottom of this post.

Last month we went on one of our regular camping trips and we already have our summer trip planned. I love camping! Right now we stick to a local campground that has water and electric hook ups. I am looking forward to a few years from now when the kids are a little older and we can rough it. But no matter how 'rough' it gets there's a few tricks I've learned over the years that help keep things fun and comfortable.



1. Tub Trugs- I LOVE these containers. We take about 10 with us each trip. They stack inside each other and pack up so nicely, but there are SO many uses for them at camp:
  • Baby bath - As Little Lady is modeling above! Even Bubee likes to use it (and still fits) as a bath. Whether bathing the baby in a bath house or creek, this tub trug helps SO much!
  • Collect dirty dishes - We like to use an inexpensive set of picnic dishes. They are rugged, and reusable.  One of the trugs sits in the screen house (AKA our dinning "room") after meals everyone knows where to put their dishes. If someone randomly uses a single dish (It never fails that a cup or spoon gets used between meals), that dirty dish has a home until clean up time. No more having to wash one dish at a time.
  • Wash dishes - I like to use two tubs for this. One with soapy water (Usually I just fill the 'dirty dish trug' with soap and water), and one to rinse in. I love how quick these tubs make the job. NOTE: If you just fill the dirty dish tub with soap and water, make sure there are no sharp utensils in it first. Not fun, Trust me ;)
  • Collect kindling - The tubs are light enough that Rosey Posey and Bubee can each grab a handle and go collect kindling for me. It's the perfect camp chore for the young ones.
  • Store/move firewood -  We LOVE a campfire, so we always take a truck load of fire wood. I love using the tubs to move 5+ bundles of firewood at a time. It's also a great way to keep camp neat or quickly protect your wood from rain.
  • Store toys- Since we go camping for several days at a time, the kids have all sorts of toys: water toys, riding toys, small toys, big toys... We use a tub or two to store the toys not currently in play. It's great also when we go swimming to easily take all the water toys to the lake with us.
  • Store stuff- Anytime there is more than our family going camping, I like to give each child in our party a different colored tub. All of their clothes, toys, toiletries, and stuffed animals stay in their tub when not in use.
With their compact packing, durability, and multiple uses, these Tub Trugs are one of my favorite camping tricks. You can get them for less than $15 each and in MANY different colors!




2. Use fork-rests as a fire barrier - Before we build a fire, we first put a ring of fork-rests around the fire pit. This is not only for resting our forks on (right) when cooking, but is a visual barrier to remind the kids to stay back. If you don't have a fire pit, then this is an essential need for keeping the kiddos safe. So much easier than constantly saying "scoot back!" or "too close!"





3. Have a hand-washing station - Dirty hands are just a fact of camping. I don't want to send my kids to the wash house every 5 minutes, so each morning I fill a drink dispenser with water and set it up with soap and a towel. The nice thing about this is the sun warms it throughout the day, so you're not having to wash your hands in ice cold creek water. This collapsible drink dispenser is perfect for compact packing for camp.
 

4. Think Vertical - We love to take our hammocks camping, but there's not always enough strong trees the right distance apart, so sometimes you have to hang 2-3 hammocks on a tree set.

5. Outdoor Rug - Anytime I've had a toddler or younger, I make sure to use a baby fence and outdoor rug to make a baby play area. Most of the camp sites we go to have tent pads covered with pebbles (AKA choking hazards), so we make sure to use an outdoor rug (Got this one on clearance after the season) to provide a safe place for Little Lady to play freely.

We love camping and all 3 of my kids love the outdoors. These are just a few of my tips for making it relaxing even if you're 'roughing it'. What are some of your favorite camping tricks? What's your MUST HAVE camp item?

Camping Series: Tips and Tricks
#1: DIY Water Bombs + Camping Games
#2: Gourmet Campfire S'mores
#3: S'mored Banana Dip 

#4: Personal Camp Packing Lists Printable
#5: MORE Helpful Camping Tips and Tricks  



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19 comments:

  1. After reading this it looks like camping with little ones is possible! Pinning these great tips!

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    1. I love camping with my little ones. Little Lady will be 2 in July and loves the outdoors! she was 9 months old for her first trip.

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  2. How fabulous! It has been a while since I've gone camping (though I want to!) and your tips provide a great inspiration. I live near so many great places for camping - I need to get my butt out there. THANK YOU!

    I'm from SITSSharefest. Here's a link to my favorite post of the week!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you can get out there soon ;)

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  3. Great tips - I love the handwashing station idea!

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    1. Thanks! That has been such a life saver. The kids will even brush their teeth there in the mornings.

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  4. Oh, these are great tips! I like the buckets and the outdoor rug is brilliant. Even if you don't have toddlers it is a good idea.

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    1. It is nice to have a 'clean space' ;)

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  5. Love though tub tuggs, I can think of a zillion uses! These are all great tips. Last time we went camping I wanted a rug for myself lol!

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    1. LOL! Keep an eye out at the end of the season (aka fall) we got that large rug for less than $20 at Target.

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  6. Love your ideas! We love to camp, too, but going when your kids are tiny is always a challenge. Thanks for sharing, I'm going to pin this!

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    1. It's really not too bad taking the tiny ones camping. I've had friends take their babies as early as 6 weeks old (Not for me) but it's do able. Thanks for stopping by :D

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  7. Living in the woods of Northern WI, your tips will come in handy! Thanks for sharing on The Four Seasons Blog Hop! Lynn

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  8. A wading pool with the blow up sides makes a great place to lay an infant for play or sleeping. Helps keep blankets clean. Folds down small for packing. We used a small one because he was only 3 months old. It worked well out around the campfire and also at night sleeping in the tent. A portable play pen and bassinet in one.

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  9. Where did you get the green water dispenser (as in handwashing station) ? Would love to find one. Thx for the tips.

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    1. I think we got it at Walmart. It's just a basic drink dispenser ;)

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  10. Your blog is full of entertainment and helpful information that can allure to anyone anytime. Continue posting!

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