Here is another thing we used to do. Place a towel or large rag over your ice chest and then keep it wet. This will keep the ice chest cooler on a hot day and help the ice last long. It should be kept in the shade, too. We have a canvas water bag--the kind that use to be hung in front of the radiator as you traveled--which is hung above the ice chest or laid on top. It has a steady drip for keeping the towel wet, although you may need to pour water on occasionally. The water in the bag will also get almost icy cold. Yummy on a hot day. We have had two of these bags for about five years so they are still around, but may be hard to find.
Sharon G, I'm with you that trailers are nicer, especially as we get older, or with very small children. We still have our old stuff but pretty much decided that tent camping isn't that much fun any more, so a year ago we bought an older 22' RV. (One of the perks of hitting old age. ) It is so neat and we even pack up now and then during the winter and head 10 miles to the lake and stay for four or five days. We wouldn't be doing this if we had to use the tent. Also, with our gas prices around $2.03 it doesn't cost a bunch to drive that far.
"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." ~Anne Frank
I tent camped for years until I bought a very small trailer. I still miss the smell of a tent actually. I find that life is a lot more relaxed if you do as much food prep as you can AT HOME. I take most everything out of its original wrapper and put into whatever type container you would have to use at camp to store it in. This also saves on garbage that you may have to haul back home! For instance: hot dogs go into a ziploc bag (minus the messy juices that always make your hands sticky), pre-mixed salads into baggies, meats are prepared ahead such as making the hamburgers into patties, flouring meats, marinades etc. Shred cheese, chop onions and veggies etc. Cereal boxes are space wasters. Just remove the inner bag and put a rubber band around it. I have even scrambled eggs ahead and put into tupperware. Another space saver for your cooler is to buy (one time) condiments in small containers that you can refill. All the jars of mayo, salad dressing, ketchup, bbq sauce and such really take up the room in a cooler. You can also save the packets from fast food joints if your only going for a weekend and don't have many people. Designate one cooler for drinks. This will hold your ice longer as everyone is not searching through all the coolers. Top your coolers with a blanket of some kind to help keep it cool and always keep in the shade. Keep a small rug at the tent entrance and watch which way the wind blows before deciding where to put your tent if you have a choice. Those embers from the fire will carry a long way and put melt holes in it. Consider your view when looking out the door. I always like to face the fire and if you like to sleep in you may want to keep your tent out of the morning sun if able.
I could just go on and on because you've got me day dreaming now. We usually camp from March through November depending on weather. We are still under threat of snow here but that doesn't usually prevent us from going as long as there's no threat of getting the truck stuck.
I used to scramble our eggs ahead of time, but my mother-in-law who is a retired food service worker says you should not do that because of food contamination. It is apparently possibly not safe to crack the eggs ahead of time.
On that note, if you want to do it go for it...we did several times and didn't get sick. Ha! I do take ours uncracked now though.
Also, I have heard you can crack medium sized eggs into a Tupperware shaker and refrigerate. When ready to use open top of shaker and they will come out 1 at a time through the pouring hole. This is what someone gave for a tip at a Tupperware party I went to awhile back.
Happy Camping...I can't wait! We've got another 3 or 4 weeks before we will try and go in Iowa.
The suggestions were great and I have added them to my book that has all the lists in it.
I am very blessed to have an aventerous hubby. He is 11 years younger than me ( I will be 50 this year). We still love to tent camp - but we do cater more to my health issues than my age! We have a small ceramic heater/fan that with 2 dogs in the tent & we do put something under our air bed. We also put one queen sleeping bag under us. Then the sheets then and a blanket or sleeping bag on top as needed. We have been camping when it was approx. 50 degrees F and were perfectly warm.
Randy claims that we take everything but the kitchen sink with us. Our electric cooler keeps the food plenty cool. We keep it suspended between two trees with an extention cord attached to it.
We put a tarp over our tents to help shade them from the hot Texas sun. And we have tarped over the fire when it is raining. We are true addicts it has to be very cold to stop.
Hey jns131 how cool getting to go to a reinactment. We have those in Georgia also with the people dressed out in full uniform and all and the old rifles and they sometimes cook food the way they cooked it back then and from that time period.
Preacherswife thanks for the camping site.
Peaches loved the stepping stones craft idea, my daughter loves doing crafts and will really enjoy this one. Also the solar light idea is a great one, never thought of that, we'll be heading to Walmarts or Home Depot before we go camping this year.
Everyone else is giving checklists. I just want to tell you to be sure to weather proof the tent before you use it. Your can get the stuff needed at a camping supply or sporting goods store (comes in a spray can). Your have to set the tent up and then spray it and leave it up until it dries. We borrowed a tent and unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way. We had a miserable night!
Also do not put anything directly against the walls of the tent (coolers, cots, etc.). This draws the moisture into the tent to the point of forming puddles.
When choosing your site, pick a slightly downhill slope instead of a perfectly level site. If it rains the rain shouldn't puddle up under your tent as it naturally drains downhill.
Set up your kitchen site under your canopy if you have one and are cooking on a cookstove. If cooking on an open fire it should be a safe distance from your tent and contained in a fire ring. Clear away debris where your fire is to be. Make a ring of larger stones to mark the perimeter of your campfire. Turn the earth inside of the ring or put a layer of sand down and then build your fire. Always keep a bucket of sand, dirt or water near the fire. Before you leave your site make sure your fire is smothered completely. Turn the earth and water it down just to be sure.
Also make sure no food is open on your site. Either hang supplies from a high tree branch or store it in your vehicle. Even the kids snacks. This will prevent visiting critters. Coolers are not meant to keep animals out of your food and they can open them, BELIEVE ME! Have a fun and safe time! Camping is great! Bev
So for everybody has great tips here. But, here's one that is really useful. If you're cooking in a camp fire. Soap down the outside of your pots and pans it makes it alot easier to wash them up after using. Even our Boy Scout Troop does this and hardly ever do the boys complain when having to wash up. Happy camping.
What great lists! I wish that I had seen this before we went on our first trip. The only thing that I can add is a little tent fan(mine got very stuffy), a cutting board, tongs, & seasonings. Also get all your food at home where the prices are alot less.
We started camping with my daughter at age 3-4. I have included my master camping list. I have been working on this list for several years. Make changes to make list work for you. Look into finding a cast iron dutch oven and recipes. You can make any thing from a hearty breakfast to a yummy desserts, over an open fire. Please, Please do not cook in your tent. contact a local Girl or Boy Scout leader who camps for some advice. Big Stuff o Toolbox o Chairs o Fishing Gear (if into fishing) o Cooking Box (cookware, silverware, plates, cooking utensil potholders,etc o Dishwashing Tote-stuff to wash dishes
o Lights & Lanterns w/fuel o Radio, batteries or/& DC cord
o Tarps o Sleeping Bags o Tents o Wood o Shovel o Sheets & Blankets o Winter Coats, Hats & Gloves o Rain Gear o Cushions o Pocket Knives o Water Jugs or pail (if not near running water) o Ax & Wedges in case you need to cut your own wood
o 2-way Radios o Camera o Flashlights o Batteries
o Hand Soap
Coolers o Apples o Bacon o Butter o Cheese o Eggs o Jelly o Ketchup o Lunchmeat o Mustard o Potato Salad o Miracle Whip o Pickles o Hot Dogs o Hamburger o Milk
Dog Stuff o Dog Beds o Dog Food o Chains & Stakes o Leashes o Water Pail
Entertainment Stuff o Activity Books o Book to read o Game boy & acc o Croquet o Bocce o Horseshoes o Volleyball o BB Guns & Ammo o Telescope o Frisbees o Game Box o Indoor Game Tote- string for cat's cradle, small board games, deck of cards rainy day stuff
First Aid o Ace Bandages o Advil o Cotton Balls & Q-tips o Excedrin o Insect Spray o Peroxide & Alcohol o Tweezers o Prescription o Sunscreen o Band-aids
Food Tote o Bananas o Bread o Bisquick o Chips o Cereal o Crystal Light o Maple Syrup o Pam o Peanut Butter o Water o Beefalo o Spaghetti o Tuna o Garlic Powder o Meat Tenderizer o Italian Seasoning o Chopped Onion
Paper Goods o Garbage Bags o Kleenex o Paper Napkins o Paper Plates o Paper Towel o Toilet Paper o Aluminum Foil o Zip-lock Bags
Personal Care Items o Deodorant o Hair Brush & Combs o Razor o Toothbrush & Paste
Swimming Bags o Beach Towel o Goggles o Swimsuits o Water shoes o Life Jackets
Shower Bags o Towels o Wash clothes o Umbrella o Shower curtain o Towel o Body Soap o Shampoo & Conditioner