It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
The entire, glorious summer is still ahead of us, and those long summer days and nights are just adventures waiting to happen. What will you do with them?
If you haven’t already been making some summer plans, then there’s no better time than the present. If those plans involve camping trips, I can help you with these fabulous pocket camping tips:
Camp on a school night
Let’s face it. If you’re a parent, you know that camping on weekends, especially long weekends, can be filled with boisterous young adults or even teenagers. That can mean waiting for them to run out of steam before you can relax and enjoy your time in nature.
You could wear earplugs (I do… I sleep soooo much better!), but another solution could be to camp through the week – yet another pocket tip!
Pack your car before heading to the office and by dinnertime, you could be setting up a campfire. Pack up and head back to work the next morning! There are almost always local campgrounds you stay at, and availability is usually pretty good. To check ahead of time, check out this fabulous app: https://campnab.com
Have superior campsite lighting
There are so many ways to light up your life at night, and it’s important because those tree roots come out of absolutely nowhere, I’m not gonna lie to you.
There are so many options! If you have an electrical campsite, you can bring twinkle lights and use them to brighten up your campsite.
With today’s solar light options, you can have great lighting without needing electricity.
Most smartphones have a great light source, as well.
Then there’s your flashlights and lanterns, of course. Make sure to replace the batteries every season (or more frequently if you camp quite often each season) and always have spare batteries available.
Don’t forget the caffeine!
One of my favourite things to do when I camp is to sit and enjoy a hot cup of fabulous coffee. We’ve done coffee a number of ways over the years: coffee bags, Tassimo, instant coffee packets, etc. Read more about coffee tricks in this post.
Ensure your bedding is comfortable
While it may be tempting to just grab whatever sleeping bag or camp pillow is on sale, consider how comfortable it will be on your trip.
It’s important to take into consideration the temperatures you will be sleeping in. Not all sleeping bags are fit for the same temperatures, so it’s important to read the labels before you buy. If you like things a little cooler or a little toastier, take that into consideration.
Air mattress or foam pad? Possibly a camping cot? Whatever you decide, test it out before you bring it to the campground. If you wake up with aches and pains, it’s in your best interest to exchange it and try something else. If you aren’t well-rested, your trip won’t be as enjoyable. This pocket tip is probably the most important one – comfort above all else!
You don’t have to eat like a homeless person
I have written numerous posts about camp food, and that’s because I really enjoy being creative and making our favourites camp-friendly.
I’m also a firm believer in doing all the prep work ahead of time, well before our camping trips. This is so important to me because I don’t want to waste time prepping food at the campsite, I want to be enjoying nature instead.
Consider camping on wheels
Tent camping is what my family and I are used to, however, we’ve been looking at retiring in a tiny home on wheels. That being said, there are tons of camper vans available for sale. You can also convert your own with inspiration from #vanlife on Instagram.
I’m sure this sounds like a broken record, however, it’s a truly crucial part of any camping excursion. This pocket tip is almost as important as your bedding.
There are plenty of checklists and organizational hacks on the web, and I offer a good selection here on Smores and Sundresses. If you haven’t downloaded my camping binder yet, it’s a fantastic place to start.
Have a dedicated area in your home for your camping gear. The easier it is to access, the less a camping trip will feel like work. Camping is supposed to be fun, so ensuring easy access to your gear will make a huge difference. A master camping list will also help you to keep tabs on what you need to replace or stock up on.
The tick situation has been steadily getting worse in Ontario (and likely in many other places as well). Make sure to bring both a deterrent and a tick removal kit (Canadian Tire sells these). Look for products containing DEET. For more information, check out this post.
Familiarize yourself with campground rules
Knowing what you can and cannot do is important. I’ve witnessed campers being asked to leave because they weren’t following the rules.
Usually, these rules are included with campground maps or other literature, which is usually accessible upon check-in.
Most of all, have fun
Camping is supposed to be fun, so plan activities and games to make it more fun. Take advantage of campground activities if offered (such as a wolf howl), and get the kids involved. I have a great scavenger hunt you can download, as well as some activity ideas.
What did you think of these pocket camping tips? What would you add?