I know, I know, you’ve heard it a million times from me before, but my family REALLY loves camping and we especially love camping tips that make it easier! The Victoria Day weekend, also known as the unofficial start to camping season, is a few short weeks away and we’re ready to roll. I’ve talked about camping with the kids before but each adventure brings about new ideas, so here are some of the new camping tips and tricks I’ve gleaned over the last year. I also love learning new tricks so please share with me too by leaving a comment below or sending us an email!
1. ALWAYS pack laundry detergent. I have a small bottle of ultra concentrated liquid that I tuck away in the bathroom. Kids clothing and bedding gets wet and dirty and smelly, and in close quarters that’s icky. And we all know that accidents happen, so I started carrying detergent with me after one trip when I went to a laundromat twice (once for bedwetting, once for vomit) and spent $5 on two tiny (and insufficient) cartons of soap.
2. Streamline your hygiene and cleaning products with an all-purpose soap such as liquid castile soap. It’s great because you can use it as shampoo, body wash, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap and even as laundry soap (see above). It’s vegetable based and organic so that I can use it on my son’s very sensitive skin. I like Dr Bronner’s, and I’ve seen it at Choices, Thrifty Foods, Sobey’s and Superstore. Many health food stores carry it too.
3. Streamline your equipment Think of the ways that you can use regular items in unique ways to make them serve double duty; I use a salad spinner as a colander and a frying pan as a pot lid. A six-pack holder is fantastic for carrying cutlery & napkins back and forth or for carting toiletries to the showers. And in a trailer, an over-the-door shoe rack with pockets is great for holding everything that doesn’t have a home; sunglasses, keys, remote control, cell phone charger, pad of paper and pen, BBQ lighter, etc.
4. Always bring a drying rack, clothesline, etc. and clothespins. Again, kids get wet, and there is nothing worse than when the whole family smells like wet dog. I have this round thingy with clothespins that I found at the dollar store which works great for dish towels and kids stuff. It also compact enough to fit in the shower in the trailer so even if it’s raining outside I can hang the clothes inside. A rope or bungee cord between two trees is excellent for towels etc.
5. I’ve started pre-washing fruits and veggies at home. The less water you use camping, the better because you either have to lug it if your tenting, or pay to dispose of it if you’re RVing. Its also super nice to skip a step en route to making dinner or serving snacks; it cuts into mommy’s wine time if I have to prep food every time the family feels peckish 😉
Speaking of dinner, it can get boring and unhealthy to eat a lot of ‘camping food’ so I’ve started planning my camping meals like I plan meals at home. There are a few camp meals that we HAVE to have each time, but with careful meal planning, delicious food in the bush is just as easy to prepare as smokies. Our friend Merry published an article on Easy & Healthy Camp Cooking so check out some of her great recipes and camping tips too!