With summer being a few short months away, you and your family may consider going camping. It’s pretty exciting and even relieving, to get away from it all and be closer to nature. But whether it’s your first or your 15th time, prepping for camping may be a bit overwhelming when you have children to consider.
I remember the first time I went camping with my family as a child. I was about nine years old and my brother was seven. My parents chose not to completely “rough it”, forgoing tents and shower bags in favor of shelters with cots and a nearby public bathroom with showers.
I’m considering taking my own children camping this year but want to give them a more authentic experience than I did. I’m admittedly nervous however, about preparation. Luckily, there are countless other moms who are camping experts and have shared their knowledge. Here are some of their camping hacks that will make your camping experience a little easier and less daunting.
1. Keep Your TP Safe: From Field and Stream
Wash out an old coffee can then cut a toilet paper-width slit on the side. Thread the TP out. Cut out a hole on the top and bottom and thread a string through so you can hang it somewhere safe and clean.
2. Gallon Jug Lantern: from Creative Green Living
Get an empty, clean opaque gallon jug and fill with water (or better yet, buy an opaque water jug). Get a headlamp and wrap its strap around the jug so that it’s pointing to the side of the jug.
3. Shoe organizer: from LifeHacker
These shoe organizers have been used for keeping things tidy beyond shoes. They’re foldable and compact, so ideal for camping. Just hang them somewhere and fill up the pockets with your stuff.
4. No-Mess Scrambled Eggs: from Kids Activities
Instead of bringing an unsecured carton of fragile eggs and potentially causing a colossal mess, put them in a clean, clear plastic bottle like this and stick it in an ice cooler.
5. Homemade Campfire Starters: from Dukes and Duchesses
If you’re not accustomed to starting a campfire or have trouble doing so, consider bringing a starter – or rather, making some. This is a fun and easy way to make your own using materials around your home.
6. Scavenger Hunt: from Creative Homemakers
This is a really fun and easy way to entertain kids of all ages. If you have kids of varying ages, the older ones can team up with the younger ones. Set a time limit –an afternoon, or even a whole weekend—and come up with a fun prize.
7. Nature’s Tic-Tac-Toe: From Pinterest Summer 2012
This version of Tic-Tac-Toe literally needs no extra equipment and minimal set-up. Just look around for some twigs, rocks, acorns, or leaves and you’re set. This blogger was lucky to have a tree stump as a table, but you can set it up on a blanket or tarp as well.
8. Portable First Aid Kit: From Cutest Little Things
Let’s face it—your kids are bound to get some scrapes and bumps when they’re exploring in the woods. You’ll need to bring a travel first aid kit just in case. Put in some Neosporin, lip balm, bandages, sunscreen—whatever you think you’ll need on your trip.
9. Pancake Batter in Squeeze Bottle: From Real Simple
If you’re going to have eggs, why not have pancakes as well? Put pancake batter in a clean plastic squeeze bottle (an old ketchup bottle is perfect for this) and place it in a cooler. You’ll be able to serve up some pancakes with little mess and cleanup.
10. Hand Washing Station: From Making Memories with Your Kids
If your campsite is far from clean, running water then you’ll need to bring your own for washing hands, feet, and dishes. Simply get a plastic jug with a spout (an old water jug or clean detergent jug will do as well) and anchor it to a table. Add a paper towel roll and foam liquid soap and a washbin below (to not make a muddy mess), and you’re set.
If you’re thinking to go hiking with your family, make sure to check our guide “Essential Hiking Gear for the Ladies and the Kids“.