Camping out is such a fabulous way to make memories that last a lifetime. Even if you are not an experienced outdoors person you can still enjoy a night out under the stars. But as a mother, it’s sometimes hard to determine if your children are ready for camping.
One inventive idea is to start small.
Camping in your own yard may be the best place to start. The kids wont mind having all the convenience of bathrooms and a safe place to run if things get too scary. Parents will love not having to drag half the kitchen out to a campsite. Even our toddlers made it through the night in our own front yard. Getting them familiar with the tents and camp gear in such a way made it a lot less scary. It also gave me an indication of what it takes to camp with small children.
Good planning is crucial to making things run smoothly during camping. Bringing a diaper bag out to the tent full of spare clothes, diapers and wipes is a very handy idea. I even pack some empty plastic grocery bags on the flat sides of the diaper bag to contain trash and other toddler messes. The end pockets on the diaper bag were perfect for holding my twins sipper cups so that they didn’t spill inside our tent.
Placing your camp fire into a cheap aluminum stand up grill is a great idea if you have smaller children. This keeps babies from getting too close to the fire. Also as the Summer gets drier laws may prohibit a campfire on the ground, but often still allows for grills to be used. A smaller fire like that you would get from a standing grill is a lot safer to contain once your ready for bed too. For the purchase of gift, the meeting of the specifications is great for your lady. The gift should suit with the needs and requirement of the lady. The use of the best skills can be done to meet with the standards for the purchase. The budget should be short to get effective results with the right decision.
Another good tip is to check online for camping gear deals.
I found almost everything we use on our small overnight camp outs on Ebay for a fraction of the retail price. The first thing I found was a campfire grill, this converts a campfire into a cooking station where you can grill, roast, fry or even boil water. Searching around I found this cast iron one for an incredible bargain of about $30.00(with shipping and handling). Other websites were charging double or more for the same product so I was happy to find a dealer with a good price.
I also bought a campfire griddle, this makes larger breakfasts so much faster! It can also be used to make grilled cheese and other items that need a stable flat surface. I bought this griddle for a far greater discount from a direct dealer of Comal grills- a traditional Mexican grill used for campfire cooking. Cost-about $14.00(with shipping and handling).
One of the more helpful items I bought was a nested aluminum camping cook set. The nostalgia and usefulness of an aluminum nested mess set makes it a must have for camping. Our set was a very much needed addition to our gear. Nestled in a 4 Qt pot was an entire mess kit for 6 with lids that converted into skillets. All for under 10 dollars. Though it was a used set from the 1970’s it was in pristine condition and was as good as new.
One real disappointment was the velvet flocked air mattress we purchased online. It had a hole right in the center. We only discovered this after blowing it completely up. Luckily it was only a few dollars so it wasn’t a great loss.
For our toddlers we used the nap time mats which we had to purchase for one of our other children for their first year in school. They were just cushioned enough to keep them comfortable and off the ground. On a cold night you can loose a lot of body heat laying directly on the floor of a tent. But luckily those mats kept them warm and comfy all night.
The main item we had to purchase at this time was a family cabin size tent. Though Ebay had plenty of deals I found this one of those times when Target and other retails stores had better deals. We bought a seven person, cabin size tent with room to spare. This tent was bought new in the box but on clearance. It also included camping chairs, sleeping bags, and lights for two adults. The sleeping bags were matching red satin, I have to say they were amazing. We also bought a small rug for in front of the door to our tent because it prevents a lot of grass and other ground clutter from getting into the sleeping area.
Another must have item for a campsite is a new product made by the OFF! brand. Off camping fogger kept every single bug off our campsite for an entire night. Just set up your tents and chairs and spray the grounds completely. This spray repels everything from the tiniest gnats to hornets and other pests. We took this spray with us during our Independence Day fireworks celebration, even in a field full of ticks we were safe. One nearby family even requested we spray their area after a member of their family was found to have ticks on them. Not one person was bit by a mosquito or other pest during the entire night. I have several children who are sensitive to chemical sprays and this product didn’t seem to adversely affect anyone in our family. Though the spray is a bit expensive it does last for several outings. After finding several deer ticks on my children in earlier camping trips, I wouldn’t think of going back to the woods without this product.
The last thing which helped immensely when camping with our large family was to use a medium size ice chest for bottled water to drink. Even though the Off Fogger will keep the wasps and hornets from coming too close. Bringing sweet drinks to a camp out is just asking for some kind of insect invasion. Small bottles of water in an ice chest keeps everyone hydrated and happy.
Having sealed bowls or bags of dry snacks is also great for toddler camp outs. Having a fresh bowl of buttered popcorn that can be resealed to keep the bugs away is a tasty treat for everyone.
Don’t forget to bring a camera. It may seem silly, here you are with your children camping under the stars in your font yard. But this is a really special moment for first time campers. So take loads of pictures so that they don’t forget the moment.
Though it is a bit more work to bring smaller children along I found that it has been an overall wonderful experience. You know that it was worth it when your toddler asks to camp out again. Happy trails!