Monday, October 20, 2008

Camping 101

To start my camping series I'd like to start with the basics of camping. If you haven't been camping, then it may seem like a daunting task. What do I need? Where do I start?

I grew up camping. I was never a fan of the backpacking trips where you hiked in with everything, and you brought it back out. My dad and my brother lived for these trips though. Instead I enjoyed the family going up with our tents and coolers. There was an outhouse, and at some locations real flushing toilets, and always fresh water to use. I'm going to assume, that is the kind of trip you will take too.

  1. Make sure you have enough. That includes everything. Think you have your meals all planned out and don't need anymore food? Take a box of mac and cheese or a can of ravioli, just in case. No one is sick? Still take some fever reducer/pain reliever with you and a basic first aid kit. Always have an extra pair of socks and shoes, and an extra change of clothes too. Also, plan an extra blanket per person. Even with a trailer like ours, things happen. Heaters can go out, and then you are in need of those extra clothes and blankets. If you have a propane stove, make sure you have plenty of bottles. If you are using battery operated lights, have extra batteries.
  2. Have water. We always fill the water tank up in the trailer before leaving. Even though we have all that water, we also take some water jugs with us. We set one up on the tailgate for handwashing. Another is used to fill the dogs water bucket. And if you are tent camping you will need it for washing dishes and drinking/cooking water. Most organized campsites have a place to refill the jugs as needed.
  3. Setting up camp. The first night at camp can be a bit hectic. You have to level a trailer or set up tents, a campfire to start and everything to unload. A good idea is to plan a quick and easy dinner for that first night. Something made ahead that just needs reheated, or something with very little prep. We've tried to do hamburgers, but it just takes too long. Spaghetti, chili, or even hot dogs are good first night dinners.
  4. Have fun! Camping is a time to kick back and relax. It's also a time to play. So go for a hike, play in river, catch frogs and snakes (and release them), just enjoy your time playing. We also have a bubble machine, horseshoe set, and books and magazines to enjoy.
More camping fun and ideas, coming up! Here is a recipe for an easy, one skillet breakfast:

Dana's Camp Breakfast
2 Large Links of Spicy Sausage
1 Green Pepper
1/2 white or yellow onion
6 eggs
2 T oil
Cheddar cheese to taste

In a large skillet heat the oil. Cut the sausage into small pieces and add to hot skillet. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add diced green pepper and onion. Cook until soft. Reduce heat to medium/medium low. Break eggs into skillet, and stir lightly. Let sit until eggs start to firm underneath, then gently push the eggs around. Let sit again. When eggs are almost set, add some cubed or shredded cheddar. Stir, then turn off heat, cover and let cheese melt. Serve with Tabasco sauce or Tapatio and enjoy!


Julie of blessedwith5 said...

TJ - I camped with my family from the time I was small. We camped EVERY WEEKEND.

I applaud you for the camping list and for ENJOYING camping.

jennifer said...

We have camped every year for the Alabama Tennessee game for the past three years. Since we have moved, we won't get to this year. We will still get to watch the game, just not outside! That was always SO much fun.

Great idea TJ!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

TJ, this is a really good idea for a post! You might very well convert a non-camper like me to the joys of camping. My husband's family are campers, but I just have never gotten into it. Maybe I can learn from your camping series.

Danielle said...

TJ- I so want to go camping.
BTW, stop by my blog, I gave you an award.