Memorial Day weekend is coming up and if you know anything about camping, this is a HUGE camping weekend! Reservations for a spot at Beeds Lake State Park (right outside our hometown) happened back in February when the Iowa DNR opened up reservations for the season! It will be jam packed that weekend! The boys aren’t technically scheduled to be with us that weekend, but camping at Beeds Lake with friends and family is a tradition, so they are choosing to come with us. We don’t venture too far away on Memorial Day as we usually have baseball games scheduled and we never know T’s schedule with field work and farmer support! So, now that I know we’ll be there for 3 nights and 2 full days the planning must begin! (Yes, we are only about 3 miles from home, but what’s the fun in camping if you’re constantly going back forth!) Here is how I prep for several days of camping (especially with kids)!
- Meal Plan – I figure out how many of each meal (breakfast, dinner, & supper) we’ll be having at the campgrounds and then
make sure I have a “main dish” for each of those! I fill in around the sides. Now, this doesn’t mean we have to eat these meals on certain days, but I want to make sure I have enough food for meals and snacks of course!
- Plan Outfits – Now, this might sound ridiculous and I don’t do it so much for T and myself or even R for that matter (although I do make sure he has enough of every item of clothing), but this is HUGE for M! I do this when we camp for weekends and especially when we go on family vacation! I figure however many days we are going to be gone and add at least 2 extra outfits, plus extra socks & underwear! Then, I place them in “packs” together like in the picture! This makes it so easy for a couple different reasons! The main one for us is that M awakes usually before the rest of us. He can grab a “pack” and get
dressed without disturbing anyone else. No need for me to worry or monitor matching of clothes because let’s face it…guys don’t really care! I do and don’t want the boys looking like homeless children, so…I have everything prematched and no fear! I then place these in a tub or on hanging shelves that we have put in their closet.
- Make Lists – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I typically make at least 2 lists. I make the list of items to get from the grocery store and I make a list of things that need to be taken from the house. That list might include perishables that we don’t pack ahead of time in the camper, the dog dish, food for the dog, a lighter for starting fires, etc. Again, it seems like an easy one, but does help make the final steps of leaving home much smoother. We actually have a list started already from 2 weeks ago when we went camping!
- Know Your Role – This is something that T and I have fallen into without even trying, but it works so well. We both know what each other is taking care of without even really discussing it! He takes care of filling the camper with water, loading the truck with fire wood, getting fishing poles, bikes, etc. I’m responsible for clothes and food. Then, the rest of it we work together on. Similarly he hooks the camper to the truck, I lift the 4 corner jacks, same when we get to our site…we have a routine. Find a routing that works well for your family and stick with it every time you camp.
While camping is never without hiccups, these four simple steps can help ensure that it goes smooth and with as few as hiccups as possible! Have a great holiday weekend!