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OT-Camping trip?! help!'**UPDATE**

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM
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We are taking our kids camping, two nights.  We have no plans whatsoever except the area we are heading to and that we will bring a tent.  I have lists for the kids to pack bags, we haven't told them anything except we are going "on an adventure" lol.  I am a planner.  I feel like I need to plan.  We haven't taken a 'vacation' in 7 years with the kids.  They are 11 and 12.  I am excited for this 'adventure' but really anxious about the no planning part.  This was DH's condition and he never wants to go away so I am just excited we are doing this.  So I am ok with the no planning on where we are going to stay or what we will do.

However, I haven't been camping since I was a kid.  So if you have any tips/ideas/musts for camping with middle school aged kids-please share!  We will have no showers, probably no bathrooms.  I know we will need to pay for the site and we will have to buy wood around the area for fire wood.  I have a short list of what I think we need, but I am bound to not know something and/or forget something.  So please share anything you have to share!

UPDATE: We went! Overall, it was a really good experience and we will do it again.

The first night it rained, the morning was cold and wet and pretty miserable.  All night was rough.  We packed up the campsite and tried to do some other things but since it was so awful out, there wasn't much to do.  (This was north of where we live, in the mountains).  So we decided to head south, out of the rain/cloudiness.  The second night was 10x better.  We had a nice fire, it was fairly warm, running water, flushing toilets....it was enjoyable.  The worst part was that the second campsite had a two night minimum and we could only stay one night...so that was an expense we didn't plan for, but it worked out.  We had a great second night and second morning.    Which has encouraged us to want to do it again.  I am glad we moved south because if we had spent a second night where we were, I don't think I ever would have gone again!  But we really had a good time.  We overpacked, but it was better to have extras than not enough.  We learned some lessons, and next time I think we will have a great time :)  Thank for all of the ideas and well wishes!

by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Molimomma
by Member on Aug. 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM
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I don't camp...ever. But the smartest thing I ever saw for camping on Pinterest was to take 1 of those rectangle shaped water/drink dispenser bottles with the spout on the bottom and bungie cord a roll of paper towels to the side and make a "hand washing station" you can put it on a picnic or folding table and then you have a place to wash hands before/after you eat!

Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Aug. 13, 2014 at 10:25 PM
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I camp almost mo thly with my boys scout Troop. What kind of advice are you looking for? We do things like geocaching and map and compass hikes. Finding evidence of different plants and animals...look for fur, scqt, tracks, bones, etc. Identifying plants. You can get inexpensive laminated"field guide" sheets at most outdoor stores or book stores or local visitor centers.

How far are you going? I have state sheets we printed out when we went Cross country and I took an atlas and they would find basic facts about each state we went through. You could write down out of state license plates and have them find and color those states on a map.

They may or may not be too old for car bingo. You can buy premade ones at the same places listed earlier or AAA offices.

Knife axe and saw safety are good things to teach. Fire safety and how to build a fire if you are not in a high danger area.

Campfire or dutch oven cooking.
coala
by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:06 AM
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I just recently found out that you can dryer lint with you and use that for kindling to make a fire.....seriously!!  I learned that from our dryer repair man.  Pack some into a zip lock baggie and push air out and it should lay flat and takes up no room and bares no weight.  Toilet paper......take a couple rolls.  You always need toilet paper.  I've only been truly camping once.....and I didn't enjoy it.  I hope you have fun!!

hwblyf
by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM
1 mom liked this

Roll with it.  Nothing ever goes as planned, so maybe your husband is trying to avoid that by having no plans.  :)  Have games or crafts handy for rain.  It stinks to be stuck in a tent just staring at each other.  My boys LOVE exploding craft stick frisbees.

momtomany315
by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM
2 moms liked this
Take dryer lint to help start a fire. Also I made breakfast burritos ahead then froze them then wrapped in aluminum foil to be able to warm it over the fire. First Aid kit. Baby wipes. I also packed granola bars and crackers and pop tarts. I also made sure I had enough water and a pan and instant coffee for me and hot cocoa for the kids. I bought disposable travel cups. This year we are camping in our back yard.
Leissaintexas
by Bronze Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM
2 moms liked this
Oh my goodness you need to check Pinterest ! Camping will never be the same for us after finding all these cool ideas! From how to make campfire dinner packs in foil to how to make an outdoor toilet, from crafts and games to menu ideas, its seriously the best thing to ever happen to camping.
Decemberlov
by Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM
2 moms liked this

We do geocahing while camping. Kids love it and so do the adults. I always bring a dust pan & brush to clean sand out of the tents. Cards and a board game in case we get stuck in our tents because of rain. I keep all my dry food in a big tupperware container and in the trunk where animals can't get to it.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:19 PM
OMG! I am taking you if I ever decide to go camping! Wow. You're awesome. :)

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3: I camp almost mo thly with my boys scout Troop. What kind of advice are you looking for? We do things like geocaching and map and compass hikes. Finding evidence of different plants and animals...look for fur, scqt, tracks, bones, etc. Identifying plants. You can get inexpensive laminated"field guide" sheets at most outdoor stores or book stores or local visitor centers.

How far are you going? I have state sheets we printed out when we went Cross country and I took an atlas and they would find basic facts about each state we went through. You could write down out of state license plates and have them find and color those states on a map.

They may or may not be too old for car bingo. You can buy premade ones at the same places listed earlier or AAA offices.

Knife axe and saw safety are good things to teach. Fire safety and how to build a fire if you are not in a high danger area.

Campfire or dutch oven cooking.
mischele
by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:29 PM
Always take baby wipes and hand sanitizer they really come in handy
craftyzenmom
by Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM
1 mom liked this

I also echo the Pinterest idea... SO many cool tips! One of my own though, not sure where you live, we're in California near the Sierra Nevada's. I took my 3 kids on my first solo trip back in early June - we got caught in a freak thunder/lightening/snow storm in the middle of this massive drought! I was in the tent with my daughter and started Googling whether or not it was safe to be in a tent in lightening storm (Nope)... we all ended up in the van for the night, but because it was summer the kids had only packed shorts, hiking sandal type shoes...NOT anything for snow, we survived but learned a lesson about being prepared :) Throw in some jackets and extra socks, lots of stuff to make s'mores and you'll be fine!

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