Fire, Tent, and Stars

The most memorable experiences often do not cost thousands of dollars; instead, the success of the event is due to good company, delicious food, and preparedness!   If you love the great outdoors, and find an evening sitting in foldable chairs, observing an open fire below the starry sky, unplugged from technology the ideal getaway, then perhaps consider camping!

The Test Run

Spontaneity can accompany many endeavors—except for camping.  Coordinating all the moving pieces effectively without bringing the kitchen sink, too, can ensure your trip is a pleasant experience for everyone!  Rather than confirm a reservation at a camping site, try a test run in the comfort of your backyard. Assess whether a sleeping bag provides enough support, or is padding a necessity?  If you haven’t invested in a sleeping bag yet, start researching the “hammock tent with an attachable rainfly,” to bring you closer to the stars!

Practice Starting a Fire

One of the absolute joys of camping is cooking over an open fire.  With young children participating in the experience, take the opportunity to practice and teach fire safety.  Children will enjoy collecting tinder and gathering wood of all sizes; yet, they will also want to learn how to start a fire.  Use cotton balls smeared in petroleum jelly to show one method.  Opening the conversation to other burning materials may help create ongoing discussions regarding safety measures and possible dangers.

Meals and Planning

Camp food is far from boring.  To ease food supplies, create a menu for each day. With the aid of a cast-iron skillet and Dutch oven, you can easily create a variety of casseroles and stews, as well as fabulous desserts, such as peach cobbler.  Check out online campfire recipes, and try them out at home.  The family will love the opportunity to practice their camping skills!

The Essential Items

It can feel daunting to pack all the essential items needed, whether it’s for one night, a long weekend, or a week.  Despite the period, you still need the same amount of gear.  To help maintain organization, create a list according to item titles:

  • Bedding
  • Clothing and Shoes
  • Food and Snacks
  • Kitchen Supplies
  • Coolers and Bags
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid Kit
  • Power and Heat Sources
  • Recreational Equipment

Keep the list handy to add essential articles.  Just remember, weather conditions affect every outdoor event, day-to-day and sometimes hourly. Look ahead to determine what other items will ensure warmth, safety, and comfort.

Use Solar Powered Technology

In addition to your camping site having bathing facilities, a grill, and a picnic table, you’ll need light.  The portable power source is one piece of technology that can change your outlook on enjoying the outdoor lifestyle.  Whether it is stationary or carried in a backpack on a hike, the power source often has multiple functions, such as a radio, USB drive, and flashlight.   Think of all the items that one power station can serve.  You can charge camera batteries, power phones, and operate a small fan, depending on the size of your unit.

Create an Itinerary

Beyond the camp is a wide range of activities to keep the family or group busy throughout the days and nights.  Depending on where you decide to go, you may have extensive options to boat and fish, hike and swim, or visit unique historical sites.  Research thoroughly what is available to the region and be prepared to explore.  At times, families and groups have different expectations of the daily agenda; therefore, choose the evening campfire to gather together and make plans!

Games for Everyone

Sometimes, a clever idea can change emotions and the environment. One suggestion is to reward every person who helps to make the campsite tidy and clean!  The reward could be the gift of a slackline, glow sticks, or a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Leaving behind technology and amenities to participate in rough living is not for everyone. All camping requires is a positive attitude, a willingness to try something new, and an appreciation of nature!  Happy camping!



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