Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Camping Tip Tuesday- 10 Tips to Make Your Camping Trip Rock

Howdy, folks, and welcome to Camping Tip Tuesday! (insert big cheesy grin and redneck accent here) How ya'll doin' today?

Let's talk about ways to make your life easier while camping.  Shall we?
Camping Tip 1. First of all, SIMPLIFY. Let me say it again. SIMPLIFY. I know it's fun to bring everything including the kitchen sink (ha ha ha), because "We might need this". I know. Been there, done that, brought 32 pairs of flip flops camping. (Yes. I did. 32. And that doesn't include the sneakers, or water shoes, or slippers.)

And I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, suggesting you come camping with a tent, sleeping bag, and a toothbrush. If that's your cup of tea, my hat's off to you! I like camping with all the comforts of home. But there are some times you can get a little too carried away. We're trying to get AWAY from home, remember?? 

You probably don't need 7 blankets per person (um, again, true story), unless you're camping in Alaska. And, even then, that's probably a bit excessive!

Camping Tip 2. Before you pack it, ask yourself- Is this making my life easier, or harder???

Camping Tip 3. Now, there are, in fact, some seemingly over the top items that are actually quite useful for camping. 
  • A toaster oven. Okay, I know I just told you to simplify. Hear me out. During the summertime, using the big RV oven can seriously heat up a small camper. We store ours in the cabinet under the stove and just open the door to the compartment when the toaster oven is on.If you're tent camping, a toaster oven provides a way to cook other than the campfire. 
  • Bird feeders. You know, the small kind you can hang from a branch. We enjoy so much watching the birds come eat. We try to identify them and imitate their calls using apps. Great fun, I tell you!
  • Over the door hangers with pockets. We use them to store all kinds of small items like jewelry, batteries, etc. 
Camping Tip 4. Utilize every inch of available storage. Milk crates fit perfectly in the underbed storage area and help keep the area organized. We can actually find things under the bed now!

Camping Tip 5. Again, utilize every inch of storage space. Your RV may be different, but our RV has some great usable space above the window valence boxes. It's perfect for storing pill bottles, spices, paper towels, etc. (not during transit, of course). 

Camping Tip 6. Always bring an Easy-Up (or whatever you call a canopy tent). Put it up above the picnic table. In case it rains, you've still got a place to sit around outside and play games, etc. 

Camping Tip 7. Christmas lights make great campsite lights. You can hang them on the awning, wrap 'em around trees, etc. Icicle lights in particular are beautiful. 

Camping Tip 8. Plan your meals before you go, and bring all ingredients, including special spices. Do any prep work you can beforehand. I find it freeing to look at my list and go, "It's Tuesday, we're having hot dogs" than to have to figure out what everyone wants for dinner and what I feel like cooking. Even fulltiming it, having a meal plan takes one thing off my plate, so to speak. 

Camping Tip 9. Reservations, reservations, reservations. Many popular campgrounds will fill up, especially on weekends and holdiays. Check policies for your capground to see if they accept or need reservations. There's nothing worse than packing up all your stuff, being excited to camp, and finding out there's no room in the inn.

Camping Tip 10. Have fun! Plan some new, fun, family activities for your trip! Make Biscuits on a Stick or Smores in a Cone over the campfire. Grab some paper and make Sun Prints or hit the sidewalk for some Fizzy Sidewalk Chalk Paint.  Better yet, play Sardines! No matter what, just have fun!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Family Fun Friday- Water Bottle Bubble Blower- Just right for Earth Day

Looking for an Earth Day Craft? Trying to find a fun, family activity for your next camping trip that's also frugal, and uses recycled materials? Well, this fits the bill! Make a water bottle bubble blower!

You will need:
bubble solution
an empty water bottle
an old sock

Cut the bottom off an empty water bottle. Insert the cut off end into a sock (you may need to trim the scok first, depending on the size.) Remove the lid, dip the sock into the bubble solution, and blow!
Presto- magical bubble snakes!

The best thing about this craft is that pretty much anyone will have water bottles and socks while camping. When the kiddos get bored (HOW does that happen while kids are camping? I mean, seriously, they're outside! Sticks, mud, bugs, nature.... ), grab some dish soap if you don't have bubble solution, and blow away! (It's okay! Dish soap actually makes way more bubbles than regular bubble solution, and I know you've got that in your camping supplies!)

Happy bubble blowing!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get a FREE you@wedratherbecamping.com email address!

Okay, so we're probably a little too excited about having out own domain name! But, hey, small victories are babysteps in the right direction. Right??

Along with the new domain name, we have decided to offer our readers (that's YOU!) a free email address @wedratherbecamping.com

Yes, I know- you already have an email address. Who doesn't? I like to have a separate email address for signing up for coupons or free offers. Maybe this would work for you. I also like to have multiple email addresses in case a website is offering a good deal, limited to one per email address (Netflix free trials and  cardstore.com free cards are favorites). Just a thought!

Is your name Bob? Bob Camper? Well, you can be bobcamper@wedratherbecamping.com!
Or, if you'd like, your new email address can be ilovecamping@wedratherbecamping.com.
And the best part (other than having the most awesome email address ever, that is) is that it's free!

If you're interested, you can click the box at the top right of the page to sign up and to check your email!

Monday, April 15, 2013

We'd Rather be Camping Bucket Light

Yay! We've been working on establishing a business to fund the dream. We've come up with and trademarked several designs, and are excited to report we've made our first sale- a camping bucket light with our trademarked "We'd Rather Be Camping" slogan!

We've had a lot of interest in the past few days on purchasing these bucket lights, so we've opened a storefront to sell them.

Wondering what a camping bucket light is? Simply the coolest outdoor lighting there is! Our camping bucket lights are made of a 5 gallon bucket and bear our We'd Rather Be Camping slogan with either a tent, travel trailer, or RV. They are durable, waterproof, and unique- not the same old globe lights that you see at every campsite!

Check out our shop, and let us know what you think! Many more items in the "We'd Rather Be Camping" line are in the works!

Friday, April 12, 2013

377 Days in a Camper

Wow! Today marks our 377th night in our camper! Almost exactly a year ago, Brian and I were taking a walk, talking about how camping had completely revitalized our family. Hesitatingly, I brought up an idea that had been plaguing me for days, one that I felt drawn toward. I'm pretty sure I probably said something like, "You're probably gonna think this is completely crazy, but...."

The crazy thing turned out to be when Brian told me he'd been thinking about the same thing for several days. We both felt it was placed upon our hearts- this huge tug to do this crazy, completely nontraditional, people are gonna think we've lost our marbles, thing- pack up and hit the road in our camper, living full-time in an RV and traveling the US with our babies before they get too old. And thus The Dream was born.

It's been a crazy, chaotic, sort of downer of a time lately. We've felt stalled, stuck, like we're getting nowhere with our dream. We've been questioning ourselves-
"Is this really doable? Can we live full time in a camper?"
"Will this ever work out for us?"
"Is this really what God wants us to do?"
"What can we do to help us hit the road?"
"Does anyone read the blog? Do they care if we post or not?"
"What can we do to engage more of our audience?"
"Are we crazy?" (Dear readers, do you ever feel this way???)

Sometimes it's so easy to look at how much farther you have to go, rather than turning around to see how far you've come.  I guess it's the glass half empty kind of thing. Tonight, instead of staring ahead into that seemingly insurmountable abyss that represents our dream and how far away from it we are, we turned around.


We looked behind us to see how far we've come in those 377 days since we last slept in our sticks and bricks home. And, wow! We've come a long way, baby! In 377 days, we've....

  • Sucessfully roadschooled one child, and will be adding the second to our own BCCS (Beasley Camping Charter School)
  • Secured two campground hosting positions, each for 1/2 of the year. 
  • Started this blog
  • Started a Facebook Page
  • Started a Pinterest Page
  • Been featured in an advertising campaign on Jayco's Facebook Page about camping memories
  • Been contacted by a producer of a new television show about potentially appearing on TV
  • Been featured in a local newspaper article about our campground
  • Been interviewed for an upcoming article about roadschooling in Cobblestone Magazine
  • Happily lived together in a 31 by 8 foot camper and adapted to thriving in such a small spacce
  • Met dozens of new friends in the campground
  • Started writing an ebook on family camping activities
  • Adopted a completely different lifestyle- one that's certainly not for everyone- but that feels right for us
campingHave we achieved our dream yet? No. We're still working on the sponsorship or money-making on the road details that will allow us to pull up roots and travel the US with our kiddos. Are we a whole lot closer? You betcha!

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