Camping is a great family activity for summer. It's the perfect chance to create some amazing — and fun — memories.
I grew up camping, but as a mother of four, I must say it took me many years (10 to be exact) to overcome the daunting task of planning a camping night with my family.
Yes, I said night. Just one single night. Our first camping adventure was one night and only 45 minutes from our house. It took a lot of planning to pull it off. Our kids declared it a success, and camping became a regular summer event.
I learned from experience that the most important aspect of camping is what you do the week leading up to the trip. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Figure out your meal plan. Start with two pieces of paper. One will be your shopping list, and one will be your packing list. Go through each meal and note the ingredients on your shopping list. While you do this, add the pots, pans, utensils, spices and pantry items for each meal to your packing list.
2. Complete your packing list. Everything you can think of needs to be listed. Even the obvious, like the tent. If you are not sure what you need, do a web search for “camping supply list” and adjust it to your needs. Don’t forget bug spray and sunscreen. After you build your list, save it digitally for your next trip.
3. Make food ahead. Anything you can slice and dice is great to put in zip-close bags. Walking Tacos is our favorite camping food (see recipe). I prepare the taco meat at home and freeze it until it’s time to pack the cooler. The frozen meat helps keep the cooler cold, and all you have to do is heat to serve. Easy and delicious.
4. Use bins to store your camping gear. When it’s time to pack, pull the bins out of storage, double check the contents against your packing list and add any necessary items. The bins can then be packed in your car. When you get home, clean the bins, refill with your gear and store.
You will probably forget something, but you’ll make do. Just be sure to add any forgotten items to your list when you get home. On our first trip, we brought the coffee and coffee pot, but we forgot the coffee cups. Ugh. I made sure that got on my list for the next trip.
Below is a great camping recipe for walking tacos. Enjoy!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco meat seasoning
- Prepare meat according to package directions. If taking camping, freeze the prepared taco meat.
- 6 single serving bags of Doritos
- Sour cream
- Other taco toppings as desired
To assemble, open the chip bag, add warm meat and other toppings. Stir and eat straight from the bag.
This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of the Momaha Magazine.