As I go to hit the “publish” button on this post, I find myself remembering that there is a much less family-friendly interpretation of the word “tenting.”
I am going to hit publish anyway, because I think that’s funny.
We are now officially People Who Camp. I have declared this to be so via the ordering of several hundred dollars worth of camping supplies on Amazon. (The goal being to be able to vacation easily and inexpensively over the longer-term, and to make our kids happy because, as it turns out, they’re obsessed with camping.)
Having gone camping exactly once as a family of four (plus two dogs), we are now experts, and so I am going to gift you with a few pieces of knowledge. (And then I’m going to ask for your help on all the rest. Sound fair?)
This is important: Our tent – a purchase that I agonized over for weeks because tents can be very expensive, and I was worried that a tent in my price range would be more in the “tarp” category – is amazing.
The description says that it sleeps 12 people, so I thought it’d be almost embarrassingly huge, but having slept in it, I think it’s actually a perfect pick for families with kids (it’d be perfect for two couples, too, since they could each have a “bedroom” (plus a small living room in between). The removable room dividers are actually why we bought it – we pictured our kids in one bedroom, and us in the other, and the dogs in the middle room, and hahahahahahahaaha. What happened was Kendrick slept with our son, I slept with our daughter, and the dogs slept on my head.
P.S. it’s the easiest thing to set up ever – you just sort of pull on it the right way and it pops up into place.
Next: few things are more delicious than campfire baked potatoes.
(I made these by cutting each potato in half, adding a bunch of butter and salt to the middle, then smooshing the two halves together and wrapping them tightly in tin foil before tucking them into the coals for about 45 minutes.)
Oh, except for breakfast made from the previous night’s campfire potatoes and other assorted leftovers that I wanted to use up before we headed home. To make this hash, I cooked a bunch of bacon, then diced up the leftover potatoes and hamburgers and cooked them in the bacon grease until they were warm. Then I pushed the potatoes over to the side, fried a couple of eggs in the space, and mixed the whole mess together.
Now moving on to the stuff I could use some help with.
Sleeping! Our sleeping situation was not okay. I bought two of those skinny self-inflating mattresses and figured we’d pile a blanket or two on top and call it a day, and nope nope nope. I did a little online research and picked up this cot, but if you have any other affordable suggestions for how to make my vertebrae stay in the spots where they’re supposed to be, I’d love to hear them.
Recipes! Any ideas for things I can prep before we leave on our next trip? I feel like I can get more creative than hot dogs/hamburgers/etc, but don’t want to spend all my time cooking (or have too many dirty dishes).
Stuff To Do! Last time we brought a velcro catch set and a few board games, but since our kids spent most of their time rolling around in the dirt around the fire pit and locating anthills, zero boredom happened. I’d still love to bring a few more fun daytime activities, though, just for variety.
(Also if anyone’s from the Bay Area and can tell me where to camp that’s family-friendly and not too far, I’d be so appreciative. Yelp is not helping me with this.)