We learned SO much this weekend about what works and what doesn't - from the prep to the camping itself! And just this week, I asked my Instagram friends good vacay ideas for the fam, and an overwhelming majority said camping. If camping is in your summer plans and you've never gone before, you will learn a bit from our mistakes and these 5 camping tips for beginners.
If you want to tent camp, go for it! But, with a high maintenance toddler (and maybe mama but who's counting), we rented an RV! If you're new to the RV world, which we clearly are, rent one first to see how it is. There are SO many options - it's crazy to be honest. For our family of four, we went with a set of bunk beds and a queen bed. Our camper looked similar to this one.
And while we may purchase one some day, we prefer to rent when the camping bug strikes. Feeling out a few is also helpful to picking one we really love. Renting one also helps you learn the ins and outs of RV living - it takes work to get it set up and to take down, so learn away!
TRUST THE EXPERIENCED CAMPERS
God bless our camping friends. We went with three other families who all go camping often. We met to plan our meals, and they sent us packing lists, too. Though we forgot a few staples (the wine opener...hello??), they had back-ups. And, we walked through their campers and took notes on what necessities we would need should we go again. They were life savers!
Find your camping expert buddies and pick their brains. But, better yet - GO CAMPING WITH THEM! You learn as you go!
No matter if you go with friends or go solo, meal plan just as you do at home. Pick a night for grilling or a night for a fish fry (we did both). These RVs have the capacity to cook almost anything, and if you are missing a kitchen appliance/pot/etc, I can bet you can find it and add it to your camping supplies.
Plan out lunches too - we did sandwiches which are easy to tote around as you swim, hike, or picnic. Snacks are easy too - goldfish, chips, cut up fruit, s'mores, and cheese were our favorites. Trust me, you will SNACK like a boss.
This tip is seriously my favorite. I loved packing for this trip - all the graphic tees, shorts, yoga pants, and bathing suits I could find. And, I didn't even bring a hair dryer! Hats, dry shampoo, and boom. You are not fancy, and it's awesome!
Packing for the kids is simple too - play clothes and all their bathing suits. No craziness needed because it's just you, your peeps, and nature.
If you've been reading a while, you know I can get worked up pretty easily. And, I did have crazy scenarios flash through my head about what could happen while out in the wilderness, but once I saw my kids' excitement, I tried to chill. It was nice losing service and not having anyone scream for an iPad. It was nice to sip coffee under the trees. And it was nice to sit around the late-night campfire after the littles went to bed.
You are creating amazing memories with your kids. When you can see their joy (even after a certain toddler melted down like a loon when hiking), it's just plain fun.
Have you been camping before? I'd love to hear tips that made your trip awesome. We are excited for our summer camping adventure - and you can bet I will have that wine opener!
Special thanks to Jane - camping/photographer/breakfast extraordinaire for the help, pictures, and that breakfast I can't stop thinking about!