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We are not a backpacking family. Nothing against it, but we typically load up the car until there is only room for our bodies. Sure, we could get better about this, but then we’d be missing something. With each camping trip, we think about what else we could do or bring to enhance the experience. These camping tips are things that you do not necessarily need, but I think makes the trip that much more enjoyable.
1. Warm sleeping bag
Of course you need a sleeping bag, but you can also get one for $10 a Walmart. They actually have a really cute selection right now. I like this Kelty Kids one below, because it is cute, and it has a 30 degree rating. When camping in Colorado, it can get really cold at night. A good sleeping bag really makes all the difference. Happy sleeping kids=happy sleeping parents.
During our first camping trip last year, we forgot our coffee maker. It was tragic. My husband did a MacGyver move and attempted to make a french press out of an aluminum can. He took the top off with a can opener. Then poked holes in the bottom. We put coffee and boiling water in the can and let the water-coffee concoction drip into our coffee mugs. It wasn’t perfect, but it was much needed caffeine. Ever since that trip, we bought a french press to leave in the camper. Crisis averted.
3. Solar Shower
These really do get quite hot. In fact, we usually check the water to make sure it isn’t burning before our kids use it. Another tip is to hang this on a tree. Bring some hand soap along, and turn this into a hand washing station.
I bought this as a stocking stuffer for my husband one year. I thought he would think it was a waste of money so I asked if he liked his present. He said, “As long as it wasn’t $30.” I think I paid $35 at the time. Sorry honey! However, it is his favorite can coozie to this day. You really do get what you pay for.
5. Camping wine glass
Wine is just better out of a wine glass. We are adding a couple of these to the camper this year.
We usually look for actual sticks at the campsite for roasting marshmallows. They are always too short or too flimsy. It’s nice to have the perfect length from the fire when roasting marshmallows with your kids.
7. Kid’s Fishing Pole
When camping, we like to find a nearby lake or even a little pond. We usually catch most of our fish on the kid’s fishing pole. It must be good luck.
Rain happens. The camper provides more than adequate shelter for our family when it’s raining. It doesn’t provide entertainment. We have a toddler that requires non-stop activity. Last year, he was a little too young for games, but we are going to introduce these this year:
Kids are messy. Kids and camping is a whole other level of messy. Having a laundry basket to throw all the dirt filled, campfire smelling, clothes into keeps the camper a little tidier.
10. Stargazing app
I usually advocate for completely unplugging on a camping trip, but this is one area of technology that can add to the experience. I love looking up the night sky with no light pollution. However, I think I missed that day in astronomy class where they teach you to identify the stars. Generally, I have no idea what I’m looking at. I can find Orion’s belt, and that’s it. This app can uses your location to tell you exactly what you see. How cool!
What are your tips for enhancing the camping experience?