Wednesday, May 23, 2012
One Dozen Family Camping Adventure Tips and Tricks | Family Economics
It’s that time of year when many of us venture out on camping trips with our families. Get ready to pack those sleeping bags and tents with my one dozen tips and tricks to assist you during your next camping adventure:
1. Laundry Bag: Use a large, re-useable shopping bag to place all your dirty laundry in. I also tuck a couple of plastic grocery bags in it for the extra wet items that may not have had time to dry out prior to leaving the campground.
2. Plastic bag storage: Use a paper towel holder, empty or still full, to stuff your plastic shopping bags in.
3. Packing: When packing clothing or food items, you may want to choose bins over suitcases or duffel bags. Not only do clothes pack nicely in side bins and keep dry in the rain they also stack easily in the back of vans and SUV vehicles. For serious campers, use stackable plastic drawers to keep your supplies in throughout the year and be ready for your next trip.
4. Snack bin: Ever notice how everyone tends to eat a lot more when camping? If your kids are constantly on the hunt for snacks, then create a snack bin that you can use both in the car while traveling and during your camping days. Just be sure to limit them on how many snacks they can have each day.
5. Stick cooking: Go beyond the S’mores and cook up your breakfast on a stick using a can of cinnamon rolls. Wrap the dough around a stick and roast it over the fire like you do marshmallows until cooked and ready to eat. This keeps kids busy while they wait for the big breakfast meal to be made. Also consider pre-cutting your vegetables and meats at home to then let everyone make their own dinner kabob. Everything from hot dogs to steak, mushrooms and onions can be cooked on a stick.
6. Foil cooking: Be sure to pack the biggest box of foil you can buy to simplify your cooking. Everything from a complete meal of meat and veggies wrapped in foil and laid on the hot coals to nachos and quesadillas cooked in a foil wrapped packet can make your life easier. Lastly, don’t forget banana boats filled with marshmallows and chocolate or your traditional S’mores wrapped in foil and grilled over the coals.
7. Meal Preparation: Before you head out on the road, prepare as many of your meals as you can:
• Measure ingredients for each meal ahead of time and pack in Ziploc® Brand bags and be sure to label each accordingly.
• Cut up and bag all items that need chopping.
• Pre-cook items that can be re-heated such as taco meat, spaghetti sauce, noodles etc.
8. Menu creation: Create a menu for all of the meals you will need to prepare during your camping trip. This will help you to not forget a key ingredient when packing your camping food supplies.
9. Useable ice packs: Freeze meat before putting in your cooler. This will keep other food items cold and your meat will keep longer. You can also fill gallon milk jugs or 2-liter soda bottles with water or juice to freeze and use as ice packs.
10. Keep the water out: Pack all the items in your cooler in watertight bags or containers to prevent the water from spoiling your food.
11. Double use: Think about what you can use more than once:
• When packing your “camping kitchen,” save room by planning on using your pots as mixing bowls.
• When meal-planning, cook chicken for dinner one night and use leftovers for lunch meals the next day.
• Re-useable grocery bags are perfect for beach bags, shower bags etc.
• Put a pan of hot water on the fire while you eat so that it’ll be ready for cleanup when you are done.
12. Game fun: Cards, board games, lawn games, campfire games and stories are all a must have when camping. Bring age appropriate games, new ones and old ones to ensure a fun-filled camping adventure.
What are your family camping tips or tricks?