The kids and I played hookey last week and went camping! This was a very last minute trip, and we were gone for six days during which I learned a lot. I learned that it is possible to plan, shop and pack for a week in less than 24 hours. And I also learned that when your plan, shop and pack for a week in less than 24 hours you will forget stuff. Important stuff like raincoats, Pull-Ups and hoodies. This is where my master camping list would have helped me except I couldn’t find the darn file before we left! Tragedy! Needless to say, now that I have unearthed it, I will go back to using it.
But issues with spontaneity aside, here are some new (and old) camping tricks!
1. Superstore bins are indispensable. I love them. I have 3 and use them for schlepping groceries from the house to the trailer and back. I use them as a wash and rinse bin for dishes and laundry, and I use them for corralling all our shoes by the door, so I don’t trip over them. As a bonus, because they nest inside each other nicely, they don’t take up a lot of space when not in use. They are something I wouldn’t want to forget!
2. Shades for the windows and skylights. Camping is a vacation for me. When I am on vacation, I like to *attempt* to sleep in which is usually impossible since my children are roosters. So I find it frustrating that most trailers come with flimsy blinds on the windows that do not block light significantly and nothing for the window on the door(s) or the skylight(s). At home, we like it very dark when we sleep; I’ve tried many things to darken up the trailer so that maybe, oh please maybe, the children would sleep in past 6:30 am. I know I’m not the only one that has this issue; we have friends that would climb on the roof and put a lawn chair on their skylight. I used to duct tape placemats to the skylights and tape a towel over the door’s window. Then I discovered blackout fabric and used it to make shades that attach to the windows and the skylights with Velcro. They look a lot better than the duct tape!
This is the skylight over my bed. It lets in A LOT of light.
This is the skylight covered with one of the covers I sewed.
This is the backside of the shade. All I did was sew some blackout fabric to another fabric, then sewed the loop part of Velcro to the back. I stuck the hook part to the ceiling. And if you look behind the cover you’ll see the funky bedding I found for $24.99 at Superstore 🙂
3. Handheld device holder. Love it or hate it, technology, smartphones, iPods and small video games are part of our lives and many people will bring them camping. I found these neat plastic things in the Regal catalogue last year, and I installed one near an electrical outlet so that the device and its charger can be neatly stored while recharging. They come in a package of two sizes and I kind of regret not using the larger one here as it would hold more/larger devices. I don’t know if these are still available, but it is always fun to flip through that catalogue!
4. Bubble wands make great clothespin holders. My kids made off with the little bucket that held our clothespins, so I had to improvise. Fortunately for me, the tube of one of their bubble tubes was broken, so I was able to re-purpose the wand to hold my clothespins. I was pretty pumped at this solution. The long handle makes it easy to grip and it stores compactly.
We are going out to the Okanagan for a week next month, so I’m sure there will be much more to learn! Until then, feel free to share your handy tips with us in the comment section below!