Monday 4 September 2017


This summer we had our first every camping trip! I'm really a city girl at heart, and so camping honestly seemed totally out of my comfort zone. But I do love being outdoors and came around to trying a short camping trip with our family.

I've only ever been camping one other time with my own family when I was younger. So really, I had no idea what to expect or prepare for. But after reading many many blogs, I put together a little list of what I felt was important for our family.

We packed all our things (except for big items like cooktop, tent, matresses, sleeping bags, etc) in reusable rubbermaid containers and it was SO helpful to do this. It kept our things dry and safe, and it made it really easy to find what we were looking for. We ended up using one of them as a small table for the kids which worked out great. (I love things that can do double duty!)


Paper cups (for hot and cold)
Paper bowls and plates
Plastic bags (from grocery shopping)
Ziplock bags 
Paper Towel roll
Toilet paper roll
Dish soap and scrubber
Hand soap
Hand sanitizer
Baby wipes
Cooking utensils
Salt, pepper, seasoning, oil
Pot and pans
Oven mitts
Washing container
Door mat/towel
First aid and medicines
Bug Spray
Bug candle
Paper and pen
Lighter and matches


Jacket or puffy vests
Bathing Suits
Water shoes, runners
Individual blankets


Stuffies and blankies (or whatever they use to comfort themselves)
Colouring books
Pencil crayons
Sticker books and activity books
A few small toys (we brought some Peppa Pig figurines and some small play food)


Sleeping bags
Foam/Air matress
Frozen water jugs and drinking water
Cooktop and Grill
Camping chairs

So I'll mention also a few tips I learned along the way...
  • It gets cold at night and in the morning. Like really really cold. Lots of friends told us that so we were prepared for that. I brought each kids their own small fleece blankets and puffy vests. We were pretty thankful we brought them becuase it was really chilly.
Early morning hot chocolate was a hit!

  • I bought the kids some new activity books for our camping trip. Although they loved playing around in the trees and trails around our campsite, sometimes we just wanted them to stay in our personal camp area while we were cooking or setting up/taking down. New sticker books, colouring books and some small toys were perfect for that. I should have brought a little book for my older son Ben (7 yr) but I forgot. He probably would have been happy reading as well.

  • Make sure you do all your meal planning ahead of time. And make sure you write down everything you need for that meal. We planned to have pancakes one morning but I ended up forgetting to bring oil and maple syrup (#cookingfail) But our kids are used to having pancakes a snacks at home, which they eat just plain. So they were ok with not having the syrup. Still, breaky would have been a tiny bit tastier with some extra fixings!
  • Pre-plan your meals as much as you can. I bought some prepackaged pancake mix with me to save on time. I ended up putting the mix in a ziplock bag and wrote down the measurements of how much milk to add to it. When I went to make it in the morning, all I did was add the liquid and then mixed it with a spatula. I sealed it back up, and cut a tiny hole in the bottom corner of the bag and just squeezed it out. There was no mess and I loved that it was all self contained.
  • If you're making more extravagant meals, make sure you put all your marinated meats in a ziploc bag so that all you have to do is take it out to cook. 
And camping's not really camping without some s'mores, right? :)

  • Instead of bringing lots of freezer packs for our cooler, we cleaned out and froze our old 4L containers of milk. They kept really well and worked great to keep our food cold. We also used an old 4L milk container filled with water - added a headlight facing inwards and used it as a light source inside our tent. It worked SO great! 
  • Bring a tarp! We forgot a tarp which still ended up being ok. But if it had rained, it would have been a major damper. And I really wish we had brought one to put under our tent for some extra protection and so that our tent didn't get as dusty. If we go next summer, we will definitely bring one to put under our tent. 
  • Bring an old towel as a little doormat. Camping is super dusty! And we realized that we really should have thought of something to place right at the entrance of the tent. It would have made putting shoes on and off a little easier for them. We ended up using one of our towels for the inside of the tent (right where you enter) which helped keep it a little cleaner. We felt it helped keep the rest of the tent cleaner. And at the end of the 2 days, it was pretty dusty and dirty. 
  • The campsite we stayed at had running water (great for cleaning dishes and filling our water containers), flushable toilets and one hot water shower. I couldn't imagine taking the kids on their first trip without those things. If you think you'll need those things, make sure to check your campground to make sure they have them available.
I hope these tips help! Happy camping friends!

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