Camping is a great family or group activity. There are some things to bring to make camping more fun and memorable for everyone, rain or shine.
Comforts of Home
Bring your favorite blanket and pillow. If you are tenting then an air mattress is a comfort worth bringing on your trip and your back will thank you.
Pack summer clothes, but bring that favorite sweatshirt or hoodie. Sandals, gym shoes, and hiking shoes are great footwear to pack.
Make sure your first-aid kit is full. Pack sunscreen and bug repellant.
Have a great battery, solar or propane lantern. Bring extra batteries.
Either I bring filtered water, bottled water, or my camper has a carbon filter, found at many department and outdoor stores. The filter attaches to your hose right at the hookup to your camper.
Load your e-reader with some great reading materials or bring a book to relax and read during lazy, or rainy days.
Music is another thing that soothes the soul. Download some favorite tunes onto your mp3, iPod or bring a radio or CD player. Playing your favorite camp songs contributes to the camping experience. If anyone plays a guitar, tell him to bring it to sing to around a campfire.
Games — board, group, trivia, and card — are great fun with a group. Outdoor sport games need a little more space but most campgrounds have an area to play volleyball, football, soccer, baseball, catch, tag, or a water balloon fight.
Crafts will keep children and many adults busy making something to bring home. I always brought a craft box full of things I would collect to construct with on camping trips. I collected Popsicle sticks, plastic cups, toilet paper tubes, corks, feathers, and many other items to be creative. I also kept embroidery floss, buttons, beads, and fasteners to make jewelry.
Fishing is always a great activity to relax to on a summer day. Bring poles, tackle, and bait. Some areas require a fishing license, however many private campgrounds do not need a license. Be sure to ask when making your camping reservations.
Campfire cooking is something my family always looked forward to participating in. Have pie irons, long roasting sticks, foil, pots, and pans to cook the yummy food.
Bring marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham cracker for s’mores.
Breakfast food can include eggs, pancakes, ham, and bacon, or be inventive.
Hot dogs are nice to roast on a stick over a fire. Bring buns and condiments to load up your roasted hot dogs.
We like making mini pizzas in our pie irons. To make pizza bring a loaf of bread, cooking spray, shredded mozzarella cheese, jar pizza sauce, and any ingredients you like on your pizza. A clean board is great to set hot pie irons on as everyone builds their pizza.
Potatoes are great camp food. They are good shredded and mixed with chopped green peppers, onion, salt and pepper and placed in aluminum foil. Double wrap in foil and put them on a tri-pod or grill over a hot fire. Potatoes wrapped in foil and placed in the hot coals to cook make great baked potatoes.
Bring camp chairs, wood, fire starters, and a poker to enjoy your nighttime campfire. Nothing is more memorable or enjoyable than a group campfire. Many a song, scary story, or funny antidotal story is fun to share around a summer campfire.
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