This week’s blog post is by Leah Kelley.
I love camping! Before my husband and I had kids, we went camping all the time. We would just pack up and go. We would pick a state park and off we went. One of our best camping trips was at Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky. We did a little hiking then came back to our campsite where it started to lightly rain. Ironically, that was one of the only times we didn’t have a problem starting a fire and keeping it going. We camped next to a stream, and the sound of running water and rain was so peaceful. I think that’s the best night of sleep I’ve ever had on a camping trip.
We’ve held off camping with the kids until now. Well, actually we did try when my daughters were six months old and three years old but that was a hot mess! I was finally able to talk my husband into camping with the kids this summer – woo hoo! We’re planning on going next month when he’s on vacation from work and me and kids are super excited. Preparing to camp with kids is completely different then preparing to camp with just your spouse or significant other. There’s so much planning and prepping! Thankfully I love planning and list making. I thought I’d share with you all a few tips I picked up from my favorite site – Pinterest.
Make a Meal Plan ~ Yes, even though you’re on vacation you will still need a meal plan while camping. It can be as simple or extensive as you wish but my advice is to make it simple when camping with kids.
Hope for the Best, but Plan for the Worst ~ I don’t mean plan on your kids to get extremely sick but throwing together a first aid kit might save you a bit of sanity if one of them does fall and scrapes a knee or has some tummy troubles.
Pack Extra Clothes ~ As you know it gets colder at night so make sure you pack them weather appropriate pajamas and extra blankets. You might not need them but better to be prepared then not.
Make a Checklist ~ I’m addicted to checklists so this one is easy for me. If you’re not a list-maker just type in “Camping Checklist” into Google and print one off. This is will make sure you remember all those little details like bug spray and sunscreen.
Stay Close to Home ~ If it’s your first camping trip with kids stay close to home. We’re lucky to have a variety of campgrounds within an hour of our city. Just in case our trip becomes too overwhelming, it’s not a big deal to pack up and head home.
Bring a Few Toys ~ Keeping your kids occupied is a lot easier with a few of their favorite toys. Bring cars, a few dolls, bikes, or any outside toys.
Remember to Relax and Have Fun ~ I anticipate my kids not going to bed until late and that’s fine with me. (I will have to remind my husband of this though since he’s a stickler for bed times.) I’m hoping the fresh air, hiking, and running around will wear them out but you never know. Be sure to check out all the great camping ideas and recipes I’ve been collecting on my “Camping” Pinterest board!
Here’s a recipe I can’t wait to try! My packet will contain vegetarian sausage
Foil Dinners ~ I got the recipe from Simple Bites
- 8 pre-cooked sausages, cut into thirds.
- 2 lbs new potatoes, halved and par-boiled
- 1 small red onion, cut into chunks
- 6 small sweet peppers, cubed
- 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
- fresh herbs, torn, (I used basil and oregano)
- salt & pepper
- Prepare fire by allowing to burn down to coals.
- On the picnic table, lay out six squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about one foot square, and oil lightly.
- In the center of each piece of foil, place four pieces of sausage, a handful of baby potatoes and a few cloves of garlic.
- Divide up the onion, peppers, and herbs among the packages. Season with salt and pepper and dot with butter, if available.
- Bring opposite corners of foil together and seal. Fold over the seam and seal tightly to make a secure package.
- Place on coals (a little flame is fine) and roast, turning occasionally, for about ten minutes. Serve.