Family & Parenting

Camping Smart Tip #1 + a Giveaway! (closed)



Be aware that when manufacturers call a tent a “four-man” tent, they are assuming that bodies are being lined up inside, in alternating head-to-toe directions, like shrink-wrapped ballpark franks. If you want some breathing room for you and your brood, your gear, and maybe even the family dog, you might go with a six- or eight-man tent for a family of four.

We’ll be posting a weekly Smart Tip for your camping adventures all summer long. To celebrate the first, we’re giving away a copy of the book that inspired us! Leave a comment telling us about your favorite camping spot (or where you’d love to pitch a tent if you’re a novice) and we’ll pick a winner on Wednesday, July 18.

And the winner is…
Danzel, who said “My favorite camping spot was a little area near a watering hole, not far from Dahlonega, Georgia, but that was pre-kids, pre-marriage. It’s been too long! Someday, we want to take the kids camping either somewhere in the Ozarks, where the hubby grew up, or in Colorado, where my family always vacationed when I was little.”
Congratulations Danzel!

Tip excerpted from The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature by Helen Olsson


12 thoughts on “Camping Smart Tip #1 + a Giveaway! (closed)

  1. Our favorite camping spot is our backyard 🙂
    But we’re thinking of venturing out into the woods soon. This book sounds like it would help us make that happen!

  2. My favorite camping spot is in Kings Canyon National Park. We drive up the mountain to the Grant Grove area, and it’s like camping inside a cloud sometimes. Beautiful, mysterious and cool!

  3. best camping spot was granfathers farm,springport,michigan.he had alot of land so we camped out in different spot became our home for the summer due to our house not ready to move was so fun for us kids.and now that im growin with kids of my own it will be fun to get back out there with my kids

  4. Our favorite place to camp is Shenandoah National Park. It is such a treasure and so close to those of us who live on the East Coast. We camped (well, stayed in the Lewis Mountain Cabins) this June with our 4 1/2 year olds. We hiked to see 3 different waterfalls, enjoyed a ranger talk about birds of prey, saw 4 bears and countless dear on our trip.

    • What a fun topic to get to comment on! My filmay, (4 young kids, me, husband and 2 dogs) camp at least once a month through the fall and spring. Summer is out of the question in Texas! We treasure each trip out. Some helpful tips that have made my life easier I’d love to share. -I have a master packing list on the computer, before each trip I print, use it while packing, and take it along to jot down anything else that will be helpful for next time. -We have a huge number of people and dogs for one minivan! Packing smartly is a must. I have each kid bring the prescribed amount of clothes/personal necessities, and they go in a collapsible fabric basket in the tent, and if their clothes are not on their person, they need to be in there or in the dirty clothes bag. Really cuts down on clutter in the tent. We also have tubs for kitchen stuff, dry goods, etc. -Chop, cook, combine whatever you can at home and haul it out there in ziplocs. I love to cook, but when we’re camping, nothing is better than dumping a bunch of ziplocs in the dutch oven and making something delicious! -I also do the separate coolers for food/drinks thing. Way more convenient. -Instead of buying ketchup and mustard to keep in our camping bins, we save the leftover packets from the drive thru and keep them handy. -always bring a roll of tp and a roll of paper towels. You never know how well equipped the facilities may be. -plan your menu in advance but be prepared to adjust. If it pours down rain make sure your meal can be cooked on a coleman stove and not just the campfire. Plan as much as you can beforehand, and be prepared for it to change! It seems like a lot of work, but it is most definitely worth it! Have fun

  5. We loved camping with our little one many years ago; favorite places werer parks where we could camp, swim, hike all in one place with no real need to get in car. South Branch Pond in Baxter State Park was perfect!

  6. We lived at Tuttle Creek Lake near Manhattan, KS for 4 months while buying our house- great spot!

    Our other favorite was the Olympic National Rain Forest in WA!

  7. In Point Reyes National Recreation Area there are several camping areas. My favorite is Wildcat Camp, which may be a stretch with kids, since there is a bit of a hike to get there, but there are other camps that are more accessible, all are beautiful and close to people living in the SF Bay Area.

  8. My favorite camping spot was a little area near a watering hole, not far from Dahlonega, Georgia, but that was pre-kids, pre-marriage. It’s been too long! Someday, we want to take the kids camping either somewhere in the Ozarks, where the hubby grew up, or in Colorado, where my family always vacationed when I was little.

  9. Camping! What a great subject. Camping is my abutsloe favorite thing to do when it is warm out. The biggest expense for me is usually the campsite, but this cost can be cut by finding a primitive campground or a cheaper campground. There have been so many great ideas laid out already but i do have to say that i disagree with cooking as much as possible before you leave. I love the experience of cooking while camping. We have our favorites that we like to make and the majority can all be made over the campfire. Breakfast burritos- scramble your eggs up in an old pot/pan over the fire do the same with sausage, peppers, etc. Tortillas can be heated using a marshmallow fork. Grab the cheese, salsa, and sour cream from the cooler and chow down.Instead of traditional smores i suggest using chocolate chip cookies with a toasted marshmallow sandwhiched in the middle. Don’t think of what you would usually make at home. Find special things that you can make just over a fire. This is something that has really made camping special to me since I was a child. No matter what happens during the trip you always have that favorite camping food to look forward to. Condiment packets from fast food restaurants work great for camping if it is just a couple people going.Remember you don’t need to bring EVERYTHING with you. Camping should be simpler than your home life and it should be fun/relaxing or whatever you are looking for in a camping experience. Camping is what you make of it. Dont forget a can opener if you are taking canned goods and dont leave the bread in the car (it will mold!)

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