Outside of sleeping in your hiking clothes, there are actually some easy steps to take in order to prepare for a weekend camping trip with the kids in just a day in advance. It’s a bit like a fireman drill, and once everything is in place, you can amaze your friends and family at how quickly you are able to pack up and go camping with your entire family.
Packing for a camping trip the day before you leave is not impossible when you are prepared ahead of time. If you start to think about it, there are many types of outings that take only minutes to prepare for and out the door to be ready and out the door with your young children. Trips to the mall require that you grab your purse, diaper bag, stroller, children, car with a full tank of gas and go. Trips to the zoo may need a few extra items such as pack a lunch, and bring sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. Then there is camping.
Overnight camping needs proper preparation to insure that your kids are safe and comfortable. You need to think about first aid, bug bites, injuries from camp fires, weather, comfort, location, shelter, food, water, and clothing. Then there are preparations that can be made ahead of time to prepare for multiple day camping trips.
Would you honestly feel comfortable taking your young children on an extended 5 day camping trip out in the wilderness on a one day notice? How do some people pull it off when there is a hurricane disaster, massive earth quake or tornado? Why do some people seem to struggle helplessly while other families survive natural disasters gracefully until power and water is restored in their neighborhoods? The key to it all is being prepared.
Those families that survive natural disasters gracefully along with a bit of luck, have also planned ahead on every detail for an emergency situation. They planned for the worst, and hoped for the best as they stored everything they would possibly need to get through weeks, and even months of a disaster until help arrives. Allowing yourself months to put together your camping gear is your key to happy successful travel trips with your family. Start with a check list, a family menu, and then slowly gather and store those items in an organized manner to get started. A list helps you to organize the essentials on paper so nothing important is missing. You can also add new items to your list that you hadn’t thought of until you read that out door survival magazine at the doctors office.
Preparation is a life long process and each camping trip you will learn new necessities to bring, and new ways to downsize and organize for even easier travel experiences. You may decide to bring standard camping food such as hot dogs and buns, smores, and sodas. Or you may have dietary issues like we do, and be a bit more adventurous by learning how to cook with Dutch Oven. Food always tastes better when you are camping, and if you have never had chili, stew, pot roast, green bean casserole, biscuits and gravy, fresh baked bread, chocolate cake, or peach cobbler from a Dutch Oven, you have no idea what you are missing. Dutch oven meals provide for some of the best home cooking out in the wilderness that there is.
Organization is the key to successfully preparing for extended camping trips with young children. The following steps will assist you in your quest to prepare ahead of time for camping trips with your family, so you can get up and go within a day:
- Store camping food such as dried goods, cereals, boxed juices, rice milk, canned goods, in bulk months before the camping season.
- Store tent, poles stakes, rope, all tent supplies, in a clear storage bin and label it.
- Store cooking supplies, pans, cook stove, fuel, etc in another clear storage bin and label it.
- Have an emergency first aid kit as well as tools, water purification system/tablets, emergency blankets, fire starter, in another clear bin and label it.
- These bins can then be stored all winter on storage shelves in your garage, or storage closet and will be ready to pack in the car at a moments notice come camping season.
Why wait for June to go camping with your family when camp grounds are usually already packed? By preparing ahead of time, you will find you can now easily get out on a weekend in April or May to take the kids camping right when some camp grounds are just opening up. The best part is, you will have the whole place to yourselves. Even if you are car camping!
Just put together your lists, pack your bins, inventory your supplies, go over all your maps, pick out your favorite camping spots, pack your favorite family meals according to your family menu list, pack extra food and water, check over your car, and get out and go!