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!

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