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Make Camping More Enjoyable With These Tips

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After cooking a meal, fill a pan of water and leave it on the stove/fire, so the water will be warm enough for clean up.

Hang soap in a stocking or sock from a tree to keep it off the ground and clean.

Bring two coolers—one for drinks only and the other for food. This will help keep the food cooler from being opened and closed too many times.

Bring a throw rug or welcome mat to place in front of your tent/camper. Then make sure all campers wipe their feet before they enter.. A small broom and dustpan are a must too.

(Continued Below)

Always pack duct tape. It’s useful for many things.

Don’t overpack. Pots and pans can be used as mixing bowls to save room, and heavy duty aluminum foil can be used to cook vegetables and meats on or in the fire. (Use fingernail polish to mark foil dinners, as it won’t burn off.)

A crumpled ball of foil makes an excellent scouring pad for pots and pans.

To keep marshmallows from burning dip them in water before holding them over the flame.

Before you go, save clean, empty milk jugs, orange juice bottles, and 2-liter soda bottles. Fill them with water and freeze. They will work for both keeping food cold and for providing water to drink when they melt.

To save time and prep work, create a bin of essential camping items that you can keep packed and ready year-round.  Buy an extra set of pots and pans at a garage sale or rummage sale. Make sure the bin is rain and rodent proof.

While it’s best to cook on coals, sometimes you have to cook directly on open flames. For easier cleaning, rub the outside of your pots with dish soap. Allow it to dry and then cook with them. This will make the black soot come off easier in cleaning.

Plastic baggies are another must for camping. They can help keep things like matches and extra batteries clean and dry. Larger sizes can be used to mix cooking ingredients.

Pack cards, board games, and other nonelectric games to help you relax and enjoy your vacation outdoors.

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1 inSANEmom { 05.19.14 at 11:42 am }

Wow, Shayla. That escalated quickly. 🙁

I would recommend, if you’re going to do any dutch oven baking or preparing full meals… that you do as much prep work at home as possible. For example, mix dry ingredients together and put in a ziploc instead of bringing all the ingredients with you. Saves time and you will bring less stuff with you.

2 Cat { 05.19.14 at 8:59 am }

Sooo….we feel pretty passionate about our dogs. I brought my late dog, a standard poodle no less, on every camping tip I went on in her life (she lived 16 long, lovely years). Primitive camping, family camp ground camping, hiking etc. She was great. Didn’t bark (well, once in a while, but not incessantly), didn’t wander into other’s camping sites…she was a great camper. Even people who were afraid of dogs weren’t afraid of her. Our current dog is a whole other ball of wax. And energy. She is a hound mix and I couldn’t keep her in our camping area if I had it laced with raw beef and land mines. It’s about knowing your furry family member and making sure that it has appropriate manors. You want your trip to be enjoyable for everyone, and we will all be happier if our sweet girl stays at a friend’s house when we hit the woods. No need to be rude or disrespectful about it.

If I was going to add anything to this list, I would say to have your kids spend a night or two in the tent in the back yard to get used to sleeping and hearing outside sounds at night. Also, waterproof your tent BEFORE your trip (I know plenty who have made that mistake!), and finally, teach your children camping etiquette: Clean up more than you messed up, be mindful of noise (even during the day), don’t wander into other people’s space, and keep your site tidy and organized. In fact, the best way to teach them is to demonstrate this behavior. Have fun!

3 Evan { 05.18.14 at 5:20 pm }

Seems more like a list of what not to do at home.

I find conflict in “don’t overpack” and everything else you wrote 😉

Clearly camping has different meanings for different folks.

4 kent { 05.18.14 at 11:52 am }

Leave dogs at home please!

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