We love to backpack, tent camp and we even have a little vintage trailer. Now if you aren't a regular camper, I know camping can seem like a ton of work and effort to just be cold, dirty and hungry. So, I'm going to give you a few tips to help make camping a breeze. These are really tips for making the weekend trip simple and totally doable. So, this Friday, load up the car and head to your favorite spot.
1. Pack Ahead of Time
We keep all our sleeping bags in a duffle and all our thermarests (sleeping pads) in another duffle. They are in our garage, ready to go. It's just a matter of throwing them in the back of the truck with a tent, and we are about ready to go. It's a good idea to invest in good sleeping bags. We don't have the cheapest sleeping bags, but we've also used them for 12+ years. Once we throw our duffles, tent and kitchen in a bin in the truck, all that's left to pack is our clothes and the cooler with food.
2. Kitchen in a Bin
I keep all of our camping kitchen supplies in one plastic bin. It has all our dishes, pots, stove, foil, wash basin, towels, table cloth, Dreft Wipes, marshmallow sticks, etc. Everything except the food is in this bin and ready to go. Once again, we can just grab it from the garage and there's no thinking through what we might need. It's all there ready to go.
I love these Dreft Gentle Clean Multi-Surface Wipes, they are perfect for wiping down picnic tables and cooking surfaces in your camp. They are gentle cleaning wipes, perfect for surfaces that kiddos are going to touch. Who wants to take harsh chemicals out into the great outdoors?
3. Keep the Food Simple
I love food that can be made ahead. It makes my job so much easier when we are camping. Then I'm not stuck over the camp stove or fire for hours preparing food. We love these Campfire Breakfast Bagels. They are packed with protein and even some veggies to start our day right. We also have our go-to meals that we stick to. If I don't have time in the week to make food ahead of time, we stick to the basics like instant oatmeal for breakfast, PB & J for lunch and hot dogs over the campfire for dinner. It's not fancy, but it's totally easy fuel for the body. Keeping the food simple for a weekend of camping gives me time to enjoy my kids and go on more hikes.
Campfire Breakfast Bagels
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh spinach
12 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
12 slices of cheese
12 mini bagels
non-stick cooking spray
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until all of the yolks are broken. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a muffin tin generously with non-stick cooking spray. In the bottom of each muffin cup place about 5-6 spinach leaves and divide the cheese and bacon evenly among the cups. Ladle the egg mixture into the 12 cups, filling each one to the top. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 20 mins or until the a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove the from the muffin tins and allow to cool completely. Place in a large freezer bag and store in the freezer.
Store the cooked eggs in the cooler. When you are ready to eat them, make sure your fire has good coals. On a piece of foil make a bagel sandwich with the sliced cheese and baked egg. Wrap well with foil and place near the coals in the fire or on the grate above the fire. Rotate often. Cook over the fire until the cheese is melted and the eggs are hot throughout (about 15 mins).
4. Skip the Shower
No, really it's ok to not shower for a whole weekend. We do a lot of dry camping (like there is no water at the campsites) and for two days, this is totally doable. When you don't have to pack for showering, there is no need to bring towels, shampoo and even hair styling products. It simplifies your packing and makes that first shower back at home so much sweeter. We do takes baby wipes for quick armpit shower before bed and I love Boogie Wipes for little faces. They gently remove all the layers of dirt and campfire sot from a day of playing outside and collecting rocks and sticks.
We probably camp more then the average family. And when we do camp with friends, we always have way less gear then everyone else. We do have a truck, but often we fit our family of 5 and all our stuff in our tiny Toyota Matrix. The less you take, the less you'll have to clean up and put away when you get home. So, ask yourself, "Do you really need those camp chairs and the badminton set?" Kids will happily sit on a rock or tree stump and nature provides plenty of toys. Stick to the basics and concentrate on absorbing all that there is to see and do outside.
Now, get out there and go camping. We are headed to the Sequoias this weekend. You can follow our adventures on my Instagram. And for more camping recipes, here's some of our favorites.
Hobo Meals - Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Campfire Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Coconut Camp Cookies
Cranberry Orange Corn Pancakes
This post is a part of the Travel Tips Campaign with KSW Media. Thanks to Dreft and Boogie Wipes for sponsoring this post and today’s conversation. All content and opinions as always, are my own.
Here's some coupons for Boogie Wipes and Dreft Home products.