YAY, IT’S CAMPING SEASON!!!
Have I told you guys I love camping? It’s my favorite!. I’m guessing since your here, it must be your favorite too. In the summer we spend every available weekend camping. I love to find tips and hacks for stress-free camping.
I don’t know about your but, for me camping makes real life stuck less. In the middle of the mountains, I can forget all the day to day crap of real life. Whether its the giant pile of laundry I left at home or the stress of work, at camp none of it crosses my mind.
My goal is to have camping be as simple as possible. I work hard and plan ahead of time to decrease the amount of work I need to do while I’m at camp.
Try these prepping tips and hacks for a stress-free camping.
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- Plan your menus ahead of time. This way you don’t end up bringing a ton of stuff you don’t need. And, you don’t have to make decisions on what to cook while at camp. As adults, we are forced to make too many decisions already. Camp is for relaxing not adulting.
- Freeze what you can ahead of time. This way you need less ice and everything stays nice and cold in the coolers. We haven’t splurged and one of those fancy “your ice will last forever” coolers. But, would like to try one. If you have found a cooler you love, please share. I’ve been pondering on trying one like this, but haven’t bit the bullet yet.
- Marinade your meats before freezing. As the meats thaw in the cooler, they are marinading at the same time. These marinade bags are great for this.
- Chop vegetable and fruit ahead of time. Depending on how much time I have to prep ahead of time, I like to chop all the vegetables and fruit that will be needed. I usually make a big fruit bowel to take. Then I have containers of vegetables ready for meals and snacks.
- Par Fry Potatoes and Onions. Not sure if Par Fry is actually a thing. But, what I mean is, slice potatoes and onions and fry partially, but don’t cook all the way through. Then I cool and place in a resealable container. This makes breakfasts quicker for hungry campers.
- Always make ahead some kind of salad; pasta, potato, or macaroni.
- Always make ahead some kind of sweet dessert to share; coffee cake, muffins, dessert bars. Mom always makes cinnamon rolls and/or cookies. Just keep in mind the camping rule there are no calories at camp.
- When camping with kids, pack a ton of clothes. Kids will inevitably change clothing 5x a day. I have a large tote for my girls play clothes (hand me downs work great) I keep this tote in our camp trailer at all times. When we get home I wash the clothing and place back in the tote and back in the trailer it goes. -This brings me to my next tip.
- Get a camp trailer. Tent camping is for crazy young single people. Not moms who want less work and more sipping coffee by the campfire time. Pretty sure our camp trailer is my most favoritest purchase my husband and I have ever made. I’ve packed it full of all the essentials. When its time to make a run to the mountains or we make an impromptu trip most things are ready to go. It’s comfortable and warm and soooo much better than tent camping, especially if you have small kids.
- By those disposable tin-foil pans. When making meals ahead of time, these work great to take along.
- Always bring cast iron pans and dutch ovens– Cast Iron is the best to cook on an open fire with. Dutch ovens work great for a set it and forget it meal. We have a post on how to season and care for cast iron if you’re interested.
- Pack a separate cooler for drinks. Having a cooler just for drinks and one just for food. This keeps food from thawing too soon. And you won’t have to fish through food to get to your beer – 😉
- That brings me to… never forget beer or coffee for stress-free camping. Really this is the most important tip I can give you. In my mind camping is for relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends.
Hacks while at camp.
- Pack pine-sol, I wipe down the surfaces outside, like the picnic tables and BBQ. Pine-sol seems to keep the flies down.
- Place a dryer sheet in the outhouse, if your camping near one. This keeps bugs away and helps with the smell. Better yet bring a bundle of fresh herbs from your garden and tie in the outhouse, my aunts ( the camping queens) use to do this and it worked pretty well.
- Cleaning cast iron while at camp is easy if you forget a scrubber like this. Just use a pinecone.
- Get these pop-up laundry baskets. Not only can they be used for laundry, they work great as trash cans and save space too.
- Make a hand washing station with a wash tub– I have an enamel wash tub I place at the end of the folding table we use. I keep a bucket of water with large ladle, soap, and towel nearby. This will make it easier for the kiddos to keep their grubby little paws clean.
- Make a pot rack by hanging pots and pans on a belt with S-hooks around a tree. I got this one from Pinterest but it would work great.
Camping is a great way of reenergizing and recharging those mom batteries. Sometimes though it’s easy to spend too much time working and stressing and not relaxing and recharging. My theory is if I can do most of the tasks ahead of time then not only can my family have a great time but, I can relax and enjoy myself also.
Hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Let me know any tips or hacks you use to make your camping experience fun for not only your family but for you too.
Whelp See Ya!