Making a camping plan

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We’ve talked a lot on our blog about how camping can be a good way to practice some of your preparedness skills. This summer we have a goal as a family to camp a 3-4 times. Last summer we went once during a major rainstorm for one night and it was a disaster. I was newly pregnant and feeling sick AND got food poisoning from a gas station treat on our way up to the campsite. Let’s just say anything this summer will be way better.

That night has me determined to be better prepared for the elements and better prepared to go camping regularly. After last year’s disaster I decided I have two steps to take. I’m sure more will come as we become better campers but this year I’m working on two things:

  1. Get the right equipment
  2. Having camping headquarters where all my stuff is easy to access and pack/li>

1. EQUIPMENT

Here are some immediate things I’m looking to change and purchase.

Tent: I wish I can say I have this one solved. I have a tent that’s super heavy duty for long term and winter conditions, but I don’t have one that is good for recreational camping yet. I’ve just borrowed from my parents until now. Here are things I’m looking for in a tent.

  • Without fail every time we camp in rains. Having a waterproof tent is really important to me. It seems as though every review I read on tents people complain of their tents leaking.
  • Easy set-up is a big deal too. If it’s hard to set up I’m sure camping will lose it’s apeal really fast.
  • I’m ok with a tent being heavy. I’m not a backpacker. Not yet at least? Who knows maybe this camping thing will turn out fun in the future, but for now I don’t need the material to be air thin and portable on my back.
  • Reputable company. I’d like a tent with a decent warranty. One that protects against 4 crazy young boys would be nice but we’d put them out of business with replacements.

“Air Mattresses”: I always make sure to bring some form of air mattress because I’m a giant sissy. Last weekend my husband and sons went on a Father’s sons camp-out and they didn’t bring the mattresses. They actually ended up being cold. Somehow it never dawned on us that having air mattresses on the ground insulates you from the cold. I’m thinking a big regular air mattress is too bulky but I’m looking for ones that will wrap up and do the trick.

Tarp:
I know a lot of tents have built in tarps. I’m looking to have a tarp under our tent to keep it clean. Cleaning the tent after camping isn’t that fun at all. I’m thinking if we place the tent on a tarp we can pack away the tent and then clean the tarp easily after.

Other stuff:
I’m pretty prepared in the outdoor cooking tools and fuels. These aren’t a problem for me. I did get an extra big cooler since my family has grown since the last time I bought one. I could do better with dishes though. We usually do a lot of disposable things and I’d like to get better at using more sustainable products.

CAMPING HEADQUARTERS


My plan is to have all my stuff easy to pack in the car and go. Over the year’s I’ve realized I really like camping. I just don’t like preparing and packing for it. So far I’ve got the shelf put up and got some bins ready. I have a lot of gear scattered around and will be compiling it. Here are two great resources to help you put together your list. I’m looking at both and tailoring mine to our personal families needs.

1. Inspired by Misty’s post at Your Own Homestore I’m building a camping headquarters shelf. She explains her system in her post here. It’s amazing and right up my alley!

2. In addition to Misty’s list my dad is a big camper and sent me an excel spreadsheet of everything he packs for camping trips. Here is a link to the excel file. If you don’t have excel here is the list from his excel file. Like I said (this isn’t backpacking). Feel free to modify the list to fit your own preferences.

shelves

CLOTHES


EVERY DAY
JACKETS AND/OR PONCHOS
PAJAMAS
SHOES/SANDALS/SWIMMING SLIPPERS
SWIMMING SUITS

COOKING/FOOD


CHARCOAL
CHARCOAL STARTING FLUID
COLEMAN GRILL
COLEMAN STOVE
COOLER – DRINKS
COOLER – FOOD
DISH SOAP
DISHES/POTS/PANS/CUPS/UTENSILS
DUTCH OVEN LINERS
DUTCH OVENS
FOOD
MARSH MELLOW STICKS
TABLE CLOTHS

ENTERTAINMENT


SPORTING EQUIPMENT

EQUIPMENT


AIR COMPRESSOR
AX AND HATCHET
CAMERA – VIDEO AND SNAP SHOT
CELL PHONE & RECHARGER
CHAIRS (4 lawn chairs and 2 tri-pods)
COLEMAN CANISTERS
FIRST AID KIT
GARBAGE BAGS
HAMMER FOR TENT PEGS
INSECT REPELLENT AND CANDLES
JUMPER CABLES
LIGHT – BATTERY POWERED LANTERN
LIGHT – COLEMAN LANTERNS AND MANTLES
LIGHT – FLASH LIGHTS PLUS BATTERIES
LIGHT – TENT LIGHT – BATTERY
MAPS
MATCHES & STARTER FLUID FOR FIRE
MATTRESS INFLATER
REGULAR GLOVES AND PLASTIC GLOVES
TOOL BOX
UMBRELLA
WALKIE – TALKIE
WET WIPES
WOOD AND PAPER FOR FIRE

PERSONAL


EYE GLASSES / SUN GLASSES
KEYS – 2ND SET
KOA CARD OR DISCOUNT COUPONS
MEDICINE
MONEY
SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER
SHAVING KIT
SUN SCREEN
TOWELS

SLEEPING


AIR MATTRESSES & COT
PILLOWS AND SHEETS
SLEEPING BAGS
BROOM/DUST PAN FOR TENT
CANOPY POLES
CANOPY ROPE (8 YELLOW ROPES)
CANOPY TARPS
CARPET FOR IN FRONT OF TENT
GROUND CLOTH
ROPES FOR TYING CANOPY
TENT – SCREENED COOKING TENT
TENTS – LARGE AND/OR PUP TENTS

So my thought process helps you a little bit. I’ve still got some learning to do but this is where I’m starting. I’m kind of excited to see the adventures we have this summer!


  • Misty

    Thanks for the link ladies! I’m glad you liked the camping list. (-:

  • Adrienne Z. Milligan

    We have a 10-man Coleman tent. (10-man means if you have ten people in sleeping bags with minimal gear they will all fit.) We purchased ours at Costco. We love it! It has a lot of windows. It has a main door as well as a screen-door that you can use for eating inside without bugs. πŸ™‚ It has two “partitions” inside that can be lowered for dividing the tent into two or three sections. It has a higher-than-average seam on the bottom (like 6-8″ I think) so the bottom will not take water in as fast. It is waterproof – we have also sprayed it over the years. The rain fly is a must to put on – even when it’s not raining. (Helps keep dew out.) We do get a little wet – though in a rain storm, we do not get drenched. It’s heavy; though with our truck it is a not an issue. It is fairly easy to set up. (It’s not as fast as the 3-minute ones.) This is a larger tent so it does take time to set up and take down – though not a lot once you do it a few times. My husband wanted our family to start camping and this was the tent I insisted on if we were going to get one. My husband also takes it to Scout Camp each summer for the adult leaders to sleep in – lots of room for four or five adults. Cots fit in this one as do air bed mattresses. We had a queen air bed mattress in it. Now, we use a dual-cot and our four boys get another third to sleep in. The middle third is for gear and room to move. Keep items away from the sides or they will be wet in the morning. I hope this helps. πŸ˜€

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