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This List of Family Camping Tips Will Make Your Life Much Easier

This List of Family Camping Tips Will Make Your Life Much Easier

There’s nothing more relaxing than being out in nature, away from it all—unless you forgot to bring toilet paper, bug spray, or extra batteries for the flashlight.

And there’s nothing more bonding than sitting around a campfire together—unless you can’t get the fire started in the first place.

Camping really is great—don’t get me wrong—but it also requires planning and preparation work roughly the equivalent of building an entire house with your bare hands. If you crave that family time, togetherness, and the peace of nature, but you’re intimidated by the gear, the prep, and the set-up, check out these tips. They’ll help you avoid those “Oops!” moments and put some true brilliance into your camping adventures.

1. Prep all snacks and meal ingredients before you leave.

camping1

    You can check out an entire tutorial (with some recipe links) over at Echoes of Laughter. But the real take-away I want to drive home is to do as much prep work as possible when you’re still in your fully stocked kitchen, with your cutting boards and sink (you know, the one with running water?) and array of cutting, chopping, peeling, and prepping utensils. So if you want to have, say, kabobs one night, go ahead and chop those vegetables up to the right size; chop and marinate the meat; then freeze them in separate zip-top bags.

    For snacks, if you want anything besides individually pre-packaged stuff, prep and divide into snack-sized servings so you and your kids can just grab and go. Trust me; the fewer times you have to wash that camp knife using tepid water from a gallon jug, the happier you’ll be.

    2. Take glow sticks. Lots of glow sticks.

    camp2

      There are several reasons that glow sticks are awesome for camping.

      As mentioned at Living on a Latte, glow sticks are excellent for seeing your kids at night, and kids happen to think glow sticks are awesome. If you have a dog along with you, attach one to the collar so you can see pup coming before you trip over him.

      Hang a glow stick on tree stumps, tent pegs, or other obstacles that are obvious in the day, but are dangerous in the darkness. Nothing takes the fun out of family togetherness like Dad getting his foot impaled. Again.

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      You can also color-code stuff, and glow sticks can help you keep that going at night. If Kid #1 has the green sleeping bag, attach a few green glow sticks to it so it’s easy for him to find his spot at night.

      3. Take some toys for the kids.

      camp3

        No, you don’t need to bring along the entire Lego collection, a stack of board games, or all the sports gear you own.

        And camping is a perfect time to turn off the screens and encourage your kids to enjoy real-world fun.

        But don’t assume that your kids will be so enthralled by the bugs and branches around that they’ll find a dozen ways to entertain themselves. Come prepared with a simple, portable, but fun toy collection that will help spur them on to fun.

        For example, you might include:

        • a small collection of sports gear, especially if you’re near a big field or open area. A football, soccer ball, or baseball and bat; go with whatever sport(s) your child likes best.
        • some “explore the outdoors” stuff, such as a pair of binoculars, magnifying glass, bug keeper, butterfly net, and children’s nature guide.
        • a small selection of whatever your child is currently most into: trucks, trains, toy guns, dolls, dress-up stuff, a small box of Legos.
        • fun outdoor items, such as water guns, chalk, bubbles, toy buckets and shovels.
        • a few quiet toys, such as play-dough, a few art supplies, a few books, and/or a deck of cards. Travel-sized and/or magnetic versions of their favorite board games are nice to have along, too, especially for a rainy afternoon or some downtime after a hike.

        My kids always enjoy building their own, very temporary shelters for outdoor play; with a length of rope and a few old blankets, they’ve concocted teepees, lean-tos, and (I use the term loosely) their very own tents. Building the shelter is half the fun, and then they love hanging out in there with some toys and books.

        4. A tent is not enough. You need tarps.

        camp4

          Imagine you’re camping.

          Imagine you have a great tent, and you’re having a great time, and your kids love it, and everything is awesome.

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          Imagine you wake up the next morning to rain. And the rain doesn’t go away. And after two hours of everybody being stuck in that great tent, you’re ready to swear off camping forever.

          This, my friend, is why you need a tarp. Or multiple tarps.

          And when you first get to your site, and you set up your tents, you need to pitch a tarp shelter over your main cooking area. Should rain come, you can still have a fire, make some food, and sit around the fire without getting soaked.

          5. Pack clothes better, for you and the kids.

          camp6

            The worst thing is dirt and sand in your sleeping bag.

            The second worst thing is dirt and sand in your clothes—the “clean” ones you’re about to put on. This happens by Day 2 on most camping trips, when you or your kids have scrounged through the bag trying to find a pair of socks, scattering camp debris all over the bag and clothes while doing so.

            No fun.

            So pack clothes differently, as suggested by Rachel at KidsActivitiesBlog; put together an outfit for each day, roll it up with the smallest pieces on the inside (socks, underwear) and then secure each outfit roll with a rubber band. When it’s time to get dressed, pull out a roll and you’re set. Easy for kids, easy for adults, and keeps you from having to dig through a bag and get everything grimy. Plus, you’ll know if you have enough outfits! Bonus.

            6. Make starting a fire as easy as possible.

            camp8

              First, take plenty of matches, preferably the long kind.

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              Secondly, take a lighter because they’re way easier to use. Just have the matches for back-up.

              Thirdly, make these amazing little fire-starter things from stuff you would just be throwing away! Lint and used toilet paper rolls. Separately, just trash; put ’em together, and they’re portable packs of make-your-life-easier.

              7. Make coffee time as easy as possible with single-serve coffee packs.

              camp7

                I love this idea. Last time we went camping I took along my French Press and my tea kettle, and it worked out. But it was a little complicated and involved rinsing out the press often, which meant a lot of water jugs had to be refilled a lot more often.

                But this? This is simple. This is brilliance.

                Get your regular, basket coffee filters. Stick on in the bottom of a mug or measuring cup, spoon in 1–2 tablespoons of coffee, then pull the sides together and tie with twine or floss. Trim off the excess, because you don’t need a bunch of extra filter sticking out.

                Store the individual bags in a zip-top bag or air-tight container. When you’re ready for coffee, you just need boiling (or really, really hot) water. Put a bag in your mug, pour water over, and let sit for a few minutes. Use a spoon to get the bag out and discard, and your fresh, piping hot mug of coffee is ready for you with no dishes to wash.

                8. Make personal hygiene as easy as possible.

                camp8

                  Do you sense a theme here?

                  Easy is good. Simple is good. When you’re camping, complicated or multi-step or multi-tool requirements just mean more to bring, more to prep, and more to clean up.

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                  Start by making these little individual soap flakes with a regular bar of soap and a vegetable peeler. Store them in a bag or airtight container. Shower time? Pull one out, lather up, and then dispose of whatever remains, rather than trying to figure out what to do with a soggy, slimy bar of soap.

                  Take along a hanging bag to store your hygiene gear: you can use a half-size shoe organizer, a purse or small backpack, or one of those fancy organizer-type bags. It doesn’t really matter as long as it has a hook or other hanging mechanism on top. Pack all your toiletries and a washcloth in there, so you, your spouse, and kids can get clean without getting everything wet and gross from the questionable floor of the camp bathroom.

                  9. Set up a hand-washing station so your kids don’t get too gross.

                  camp9

                    The worst thing about kids and camping is dirt, germs, bug guts—stuff like that.

                    It’s a pain to hike to the nearest bathroom every time your kids need to clean their hands. Hand sanitizers are great, and so are moist wipes, but they don’t always cut it for messes like tree sap, marshmallow goo, or that unidentified brown smear…

                    So use your old laundry detergent bottle and set up a genuine hand-washing station. Easy, reusable (just refill the bottle) and simple enough for kids to use themselves.

                    10. Plan a couple of fun family activities.

                    camp10

                      You don’t have to get fancy here. We are not about fancy, complicated things that require lots of work. Remember? We are about easy. Simple. And fun!

                      My kids have enjoyed a nature scavenger hunt. You don’t even have to prep ahead of time for this; just make up a list (“Uhhh, pine cone! Bird feather! Acorn!”) and go for it. Or you can prep by printing out a list (with or without pictures) and bringing it along.

                      There are plenty of other simple activities, as well, such as building an obstacle course, making a map of the area, or building a fort. None of those require any prep work; you just need to have the ideas in mind and pull them out for a fun afternoon or morning adventure.

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                      Featured photo credit: Camping Tips and Hacks for Families via kidsactivitiesblog.com

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                      Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                      100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                      100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                      Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                      By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                      Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                      83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                        84 write random letter

                          85 use a rubberband

                            86 dorm smell bad

                              87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                  90 take a picture of the name card

                                    91 iron inside out

                                      92 old newspaper

                                        93 tumble try shoes

                                          keep a card like this

                                            SONY DSC

                                              94 soap bar

                                                95 make a hole

                                                  96 drop the battery

                                                    97 use a coozie

                                                      98 when taking a picture

                                                        use a clean dust pan

                                                          try a pants hanger

                                                            use your cellphone light

                                                              use a spring from an old pen

                                                                quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                  user binder clips

                                                                    wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                      put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                        clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                          use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                            doritos are great for kindling

                                                                              use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                  freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                    use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                      almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                        sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                          unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                            cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                              remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                  for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                    how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                      tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                        place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                          ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                            use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                              take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                  put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                    How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                      user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                        good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                          turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                            50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                              the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                  38

                                                                                                                                    hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                      stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                        the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                          how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                            the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                              use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                  user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                    a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                      rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                        use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                          50

                                                                                                                                                            51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                              52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                  kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                    use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                      58

                                                                                                                                                                        59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                          60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                            hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                              Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                  use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                    if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                      keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                          drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                            use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                              use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                  when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                    dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                      put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                        75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                          use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                            pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                              78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

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