Camping is about as "family" as you can get. Those who camp know tips and tricks that most of us don't. On this post, we asked one of our devout camping friends, Susan Gillespie, her tips and tricks for a successful camping trip. She didn't disappoint...
Here is Susan's list of how to make a great camping trip:
Make a list! This is the most important thing when planning a camping trip. Depending on if you are tent camping or RV camping, your list will be a little different. Either way, there are some great camping packing lists on Pinterest.
Reserve your campsite early especially for holiday weekends.
Start small and within your adventure limits. Choose a location nearby for a typical 2 ½ day weekend (Fri afternoon – Sunday). Definitely plan for 2 nights unless weather is a factor. All that work for one night is not worth it!
Make a rain plan! Bring games, books, coloring, etc to do in the tent or RV.
Give the kids a job or two. This will help them teach them that camping involves the entire family – everyone has a job! If you plan to camp often, keep the kids’ jobs consistent each time so they know exactly what to do to help set up (i.e. putting the chairs and tables out, hanging the eno’s, etc.) and when you are packing up to leave (i.e. picking up trash, rolling up sleeping bags, etc).
For meals, be sure to count the number of meals you will be having and plan accordingly. Prep as much ahead as you can and freeze if need be (allowing time in the cooler for items to defrost). Prepping food ahead of time is a time saver at meal time! And the crockpot is so helpful as long as you have an electricity on your site. There are lots of good camping recipe ideas online.
Put the electronics away. If your kids have friends, keep a basket out for them to put their phones. Understandably they’ll want it for the occasional picture, but try to get everyone to unplug.
The campfire is probably the most special together time when camping. Be sure you have dry firewood, s’mores, guitars (if you have musicians), ghost stories, campfire games (and don't forget the Here's a Question book!).
Always put food in lidded containers/coolers and if bears are around, leave food in the back of your car or in the RV. Throw trash bags away before bed; critters love to tear into the bags at night.
If tent camping, never bring food into your tent, especially where bears are active.
Leave no trace behind! In other words, clean up your campsite!
Check the weather before leave. Better to reschedule than to get stuck in dangerous weather.