Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gear Up For A Stress-Free Camping Trip

Barren River Lake State Park Campground. 
Camping can be exhausting, especially when kids come along for the ride.  Don't let an unprepared trip spoil your fun. 

Here we are, already at the end of April, and there have been so many great opportunities for camping this spring!  Normally, an unpredictable season for weather, we've not had much rain or severe storms here in Kentucky this spring so far.  Our first camp out is coming up next month, as are for many campers, so I'll be writing a review on that trip afterwards. 

However in preparation for the many people venturing out with their tents and stakes, pop-ups and trailers, tempers will rise with warmer weather.  Here are some tips to help you avoid those stressful moments, especially if children are involved.

  1. Pack enough drinking water.  I can't stress this enough.  This was mentioned in my first post about camping a few months ago, but I'm going to relay the importance again.  Sodas and tea are OK, but don't rely on them solely to effectively quench your thirst.  Only water can satisfy your thirst, prevent dehydration, headaches, muscle aches and helps your ability to function well when doing a lot of physical activity.
  2. Don't freak out when the kids get messy.  I write this to you because I am guilty of the same exact thing!  I've always packed extra clothing for the kids because there are mud puddles to fall in, tree sap, plates of food that spill into laps, etc, but I didn't think I'd need to pack extra PJs on our last camping trip with the kids.  We were gazing at stars and one simple step later, my daughter slipped on mud, soiling her pajamas.  I was livid, but it wasn't her fault.  She was OK, but I was not.  At some point, you must take a deep breath (or two) and just go with it. 
  3. Does your infant really need to go on that camp out?  Most of you might be saying 'yes', but it's probably best to leave the little one with Grandma if possible.  This will create less stress on you, and enable you to enjoy campfire stories with the older children who may be begging for your attention anyway. 
  4. Bring a box fan.  This is a simple way to help cool down on those summer camp outs.  We don't always want to stay cooped up in an RV with the AC running if we can help it.  After all, we camp to enjoy the great outdoors, right?  Most campgrounds come equipped with electricity (which is also great for electric skillets for those pancakes in the morning), so plug it up and enjoy your lawn chair.  This may sound obvious, but pairing the box fan with a shaded camp site is a MUST in the summer.  Most camp sites have descriptions on their website if the site is shaded or not.  Pay attention to these details before booking a reservation. 
  5. Buy paper plates.  I realize we are in a time and age of going "green" and that's a great thing, but unless you are camping every single weekend, buying paper plates and cups will save a huge amount of time on washing, packing away dishes and reduce the stress of your camping trip. Hefty Basics is a brand available that is friendlier on the the environment.  Their products are free of inks, dyes, and coatings and are biodegradable. 
Now, are you ready for the hiss of the lantern?  The crackle of the fire?  Me too!  Be safe out there is season.  Happy camping!

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