The Family Home Blog

Camping Tips from a Seasoned Camper

Jul 14, 2015
Diane Hoffmaster

Tips from a Seasoned Camper 

Camping is a wonderful way to expose your children to nature. It is also a rather inexpensive and ecofriendly vacation idea for families. While camping can definitely be a lot of fun, it also takes a fair amount of planning in order to make it successful. Below are a few quick and easy tips to help prepare you for your excursion. If you have never been camping before, make sure you do a bit of research and read up on how you can reduce your environmental impact during your next camping adventure here. Before you know it you’ll be pitching your tent and embracing the beautiful nature that surrounds you!  

•    Make a detailed packing list. This is really important because if you forget something, there will not be a nearby store for you to pop in to for necessities. Make a list of everything you’ll need by outlining your daily meal plan for the week, sleeping preferences for each traveler (which will help you identify if you need extra blankets or pillows) and planned activities (day and night) that will require sunscreen and bug spray (my favorite is OFF! Deep Woods®).

•    Check the weather. Prepare ahead by checking the extended weather forecast for your local camp-site area ahead of time. This way you can come prepared with the right sleeping bags (be sure to check the temperature rating on each one!) and proper rain gear in case of a shower. Always bring a few warm or cool weather clothes, because as we all know, the weather can easily shift when you least expect it!

•    Set up your campsite before sundown. While it is understandable to want to go exploring as soon as you hit the woods, be sure to set up your campsite first. From experience, I can tell you that it is very difficult to put up a tent or find your toothbrush in the dark. Especially if you don't remember where you packed the flashlights!

•    Plan simple meals. Unless you are a seasoned camper, I do not recommend planning gourmet meals for your campers. Leave the disposable items at home and look for lightweight, reusable camping utensils for your camp kitchen. Pack a large cooler and store your food in Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags to prevent it from getting wet as ice melts. Make sure to pack on-the-go snacks, as well as full meal options, since camping and hiking will work up an appetite!

•    Leave no trace. The motto of a good camper should always be to leave no trace. Take only pictures and leave behind only footprints. Scan your campsite before leaving to make sure you packed up everything you brought from home.  

•    Keep a camping journal. Keep track of your camping trips in an online journal. Record the location of your campsite and note any nearby trails or activities you enjoyed. Keep your packing list up to date and make sure you add in things you forgot. Documenting all these learnings in a journal will help make the trip much easier as you’ll have something to reference the second time around!

What are some of your favorite camping sites to visit with your family?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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1 Comment so far

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On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Liz @ The Ritz Carton (nickname for our trailer) wrote

Your list didn't miss a thing. I wasn't sure I was a "seasoned camper" until I got to the gourmet meals part... I'm so there! My journal is a leather bound book that I find so helpful. I add funny stories, what worked/what didn't and why and more importantly what I forgot!


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