My husband has been wanting to go tent camping for a really long time. For many years we have ALWAYS had babies and lots of little ones. To me, tent camping did not sound like something that I would envision as “fun.” Watching toddlers steer clear of the fire, taking little ones to the bathroom multiple times , and trying to keep them on somewhat of a schedule was not VACATION for me. Oh, and did I mention all of the dirt?!?!!?
Well those days are behind us now, we decided to embark on a family tent camping trip this past week. I myself, grew up sleeping in an RV. When we had the tent out in the backyard, some of the children and Dad would sleep in it, I had no interest whatsoever. But I was determined to “enjoy” this tent camping experience.
But I had to do it in a way that was low stress and doing it with some sort of “feeling” of control. Even though I knew that anything could happen and who knows how the little ones would do. I just had to be prepared and embrace whatever situation I was faced with.
I first started with a menu. What were we going to eat?
Breakfast was going to be on the road, so I made breakfast for everyone before hand and kept it warm in mini thermos tubs. Some chose oatmeal, some had eggs in a cup and some had bagels. I wanted to steer clear of fast food and keep my children on somewhat of a “normal” food schedule and avoid upset tummies and sugar spikes.
Lunch was on the road but we stopped and ate at a picnic site. I made a Mexican buffet. Sounds different then your typical camping foods. But for the next 2 days our lunch meals were going to be sandwiches with lunchmeat or peanut butter and honey. I didn’t want to be sick of eating sandwiches so I went this route. I kept these items warmed in a casserole cooler bag. It stayed warm for 6 hours. Everyone enjoyed a lunch of nachos and burritos.
The rest of our meals I bagged in individual grocery bags. That way all we had to do was grab a bag marked with that meal and take it to the table to prepare it. This was only for the non cooler items.
I made individual snack sized bags of treats for my children. For the younger half I made some puppy chow and kids snack mix. I added Goldfish crackers and veggie sticks to it, to give it a new variety. I also bought some mini Oreo and mini Chips Ahoy cookies. I NEVER buy these types of items for regular consumption. But sometimes my children get a treat at the store they will typically want these. I thought it would be a nice treat for vacation time. It would help cut down on the need to feel like we had to buy a treat for them.
I did not do Smores for this trip. All I could envision was sticky little fingers and marshmallows stuck in hair and I wouldn’t be able to wash it out properly. I stuck with the mini snack bags. For breakfast, Daddy likes to cook over the fire. He loves to make eggs. The first night, we did fire pit pizzas. Pita bread, topped with pizza items. That left us with leftover veggies and meat….perfect for scrambled eggs. Instead of taking 2 dozen eggs in a carton with us. I cracked them into an old coffee creamer bottle. This worked out perfectly to store in the cooler with way less space. Dad likes to have some treats while driving. I stocked this wash pan up front with some fun foods. Jerky, candies, and healthy cracker snacks. I also kept a smaller cooler up front with our water bottles and cucumbers and carrot sticks perfect for munching.
For all of our clothing. I rolled up everyone’s complete outfit for each day individually with a rubber band. This was a GREAT idea. It kept clothing mess to a minimal and was great just to grab a roll and pass it out to someone that wanted to help get little ones dressed. In each roll contained the outfit, leggings, socks, and underwear.–if you were a girl. I then put them into a large plastic tub. This one fit everyone’s outfits and pajamas. We went for 3 days and 2 nights. I took 3 outfits and 1 pair of pajamas per person. In the plastic bag on left is towels, one for each person. We took 2 pairs of shoes per person—1 gym shoe, 1 flip flop.
Want to see more about how we packed?? Plus some photos of us on our trip, up next….stay tuned part 2