Welcome back! It is the 5th and final day of our 5 days series on Mothering and Homemaking! I hope you’ve been having a great time! My kids sure have been! They’re going to be asking me to do a series EVERY week, lol.
If you missed the first 4 days of the series, you’ll want to check them out. There’s all kinds of fun to be had!
Today’s topic is CAMPING. There are times that I am totally looking forward to camping and then there are times when I dread it. It all depends on my perspective of life at the time. My kids on the other hand….they love it ANY TIME! We make all kinds of fun memories by camping. Let me tell you a little about how we got started.
I grew up in a camping family. We had a musty old canvas tent that took up half the trunk and was not super easy to set up like today’s tents are. Eventually, we got a pop up camper and loved touring the country in it! Fast forward to a grown up me. My husband and I bought a tent. We used it sparingly and eventually, we bought a pop up camper. Get this…. we bought it on Ebay. When we bought it, we paid for it over Paypal, sight unseen (besides the pictures) and asked them to hold it for us until we could get to Michigan (about 12 hour drive from us). We made Michigan our vacation. The person we bought it from delivered it to the state park we chose for us and helped us to set it up. Our kids were ecstatic! We [the adults] were super happy that we had made a deal with an honest man and he had fulfilled his end of the deal! Some day, we’d like to get a hard sided camper that we don’t have to pop up and down, but for now, we’re all still squeezing into our 8 sleeper pop up. Yep, all 8 of us!
This is a picture of the first day we bought our camper. It was in 2008, back when we only had 4 children
Some people think camping is a ton of work. It can be, if you allow it to be. Me? I just love to take it easy. I’m lucky to have a husband who loves helping out around the camp, so he makes my work load a lot smaller than it normally is.
1. Check the Weather Forecast. If there’s a chance of thunderstorms, you may not want to plan it that weekend. Thunder is very loud when you’re camping. Children don’t like thunder. Enough said. 🙂 If it’s supposed to get cold, take jackets, if it’s supposed to be hot, take swim suits.
2. Plan easy foods. We tend to eat sandwiches or hot dogs and chips for one meal and then if we have electricity, we may throw something in the slow cooker OR we’ll grill hamburgers or chicken. We do have a propane stove, so if we need to have a burner or two, it’s available. We try to do our shopping close to the destination so we’re not hauling a bunch of food in addition to all of our gear.
3. Pack bug spray, sunscreen, aloe gel & a first aid kit. You know how camping is, there’s always bugs…..unless of course, you’re in Michigan. We were amazed at the lack of bugs and flies in September there. You’re going to be out in the elements more, so you need to be sure to apply sunscreen when necessary. Come prepared for a sunburn, too so you’re not making a run into town to buy some aloe gel, in case you forget to apply the sunscreen enough.
4. Pick a Family Friendly area. We like to pick camp grounds with a playground and flushing toilets. No, that’s not roughing it like some people like to do in primitive spots, but it’s just right for our family. One of the camp grounds near us has volleyball, tetherball and plenty of hiking trails as well.
5. Let the kids help with the chores. While you may find heating water to wash dishes in the outdoors in a bucket a chore, the kids may find it very intriguing to help with that chore. They love gathering fire wood for the camp fire as well as helping to get the camp all set up. It’s all so exciting to them! You may as well let them pitch in. It’ll only make your job easier in the end.
6. Educate Yourself on Poisonous insects, plants and snakes. It never hurts to know what you’re up against. If for some reason someone comes in contact with something poisonous you will want to know what you’re looking for. It’s a rare occurrence, but it could happen. Be prepared!
7. Take the time to Relax. What fun is camping if you don’t get to relax? Plan in a nap or a slow walk. Enjoy sitting around the camp fire. Just enjoy being together where there’s nothing else pressing to do.
8. Make it fun education. Being a homeschooler, I can’t forget about what we can learn while we’re out camping. Search the sky for constellations. Listen for and Identify night sounds. Attend park events where they tell about birds or other creatures in the area. Identify birds or trees. Identify paw prints you may find.
9. Come prepared with plenty of flashlights. You also may want to make sure you have back up batteries. Try giving each child their own flashlight that they can use any time they’re in the dark. They love playing with flashlights. Just make sure they’re reminded to not leave them on when they’re not needed!
10. Don’t forget the S’mores – We always plan S’mores for while we’re sitting around the campfire. We recently made a different take on S’mores. It was absolutely delicious! You should try it!
- Sugar cones
- Chocolate chips
- Miniature marshmallows
Cut up the bananas and layer bananas, then marshmallows, then chocolate chips. Layer them 2-3 times in your cone. Wrap them in foil. Throw on the grill or over the fire for about 5-10 minutes. Unwrap the gooey deliciousness and enjoy!
Today’s post is part of the 5 Days of Mothering & Homemaking series.