Friday, January 15, 2010

With Kids. And Dogs. In A Tent. 1-10

This wintery weather is giving me a bad attitude. I am tired of the ice and cold. And the thought of it ONLY being January pisses me off even more.

I need to blog about something that lifts my spirits and that I can look forward to when winter is finally over.

Camping! With kids. And dogs. In a tent.

Right now, the idea of being able to get away from people makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I would pack everybody up and head out to the woods right now except for the little freezing to death issue. I am going to try and post 10 camping tips at least once a week until spring. Or until I run out of useful things to say. Or until I forget.

For the readers that might have missed all my Camping Is Fun posts this summer, here is a little history. For those of you who have already read about it, you can skip the next 3 paragraphs.

Up until last summer (2009) we really hadn't done much as a family. My boys are little hellions so I avoided public things as much as possible. Plus I don't really like to be around a bunch of people. So that means the Circus, the Fair, Water parks, the zoo, the Carnival, Disney Land, for the love of pete even the mall, all those things are BAD ideas for us.

Anyway, some time last summer, Hubbs had the brilliant idea of trying camping. We went on our very first "As A Family" camping trip in August (I think) and we were hooked. We spent almost every weekend of August and September out in the woods.

It solved our problems with not spending time together and not doing much with the boys.

So here are 1-10 of my tips for camping with kids. And dogs. In a tent.
1) Bring twice as many diapers. It is inevitable that Bobblehead gets the squirts for at least half of a day when we are camping.
2) Bring 3 times the wipes. I have baby wipes everywhere. In the car, in the tent, in the diaper bag, in all 3 of the trucks, at work, in every room of our home. Baby wipes are great for those "good enough" cleanings, especially when you are camping. Marshmallowy fingers? Get the wipes. Dirty face? Get the wipes. Need to blow your nose? Get the wipes. They also take makeup off.
3) Dress in layers. Even for bed. Out here, the temperature changes quickly. It can go from hot and sunny to cold and rainy in no time.
4) Don't forget the sunscreen. I got a horrible sunburn on one of the trips. I was sitting under the trees, in the shade and still got burned.
5) Remember the First Aid Kit! Someone always gets hurt.
6) If foods need to be cut up, do it at home and not at camp if at all possible. You know all those Ziploc containers we can get for cheap/free? The ones with the blue lids? Those are PERFECT to use to store food in a cooler. They seal up well enough to keep the melted ice out and they stack!
7) If you can find one, buy a plastic egg holder. You will know it when you see it. Look in the camping section at Walmart or Big 5. It is bright yellow and folds up. Now it will NOT keep water off of your eggs but it WILL keep your eggs from breaking better than the egg cartons which disintegrate in a cooler. Ok, I found a green one at
8) Bring Glow Sticks! The bracelet size is perfect. As soon as it starts to get dark, break out the glow sticks and cover your kids in them. Arms, legs, belt loops, anywhere you can. They help me keep track of the boys in the dark and they help the boys get to sleep in the tent. They also help me keep track of the dogs in the dark. 1 bracelet sized stick around the little dogs neck, 2 around the big dogs neck. If you are camping with a group, the glow sticks will make you the coolest mom in camp for the night.
9) Bring REAL shoes. Like sneakers with laces. If you are anything like me and live in sandals in the summer, you will want to fight this tip. BUT good shoes are a must! I wear my sandals when I am driving up to our camping spot but change into real shoes as soon as we start unloading our stuff. I put my sandals inside the tent until after the kids are asleep and I don't have to chase anyone or even walk farther than the pee bush.
And 10) Make sure all the food is put away before you start getting drunk. This includes the dog food and even the garbage. We had a furry friend run off with all the dog food on our first camping trip because we forgot to put our stuff away. I learned my lesson and everything gets put away before the kids even get put to bed.

Check back next week for tips 11-20. Maybe. If I don't forget. :)

1 comment:

Eric said...

Great article. I've had some great and not-so-great experiences camping with the family dog.

If you have a moment, swing by my blog and read this fun post