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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 ideas for happy Campers

I love to camp and I shared this post on Erika's blog early in the month. I also wanted to share my ideas for a happy camping trip.

You don't often have to go far to camp. There are state parks and campsites all over. Do some online research to find out what's nearby. Use a weekend camping trip to see some sites you live near, but have never taken the time to explore for yourself. I live in Massachusetts (and have for nearly 10 years), but hadn't seen a cranberry bog until my husband and I went camping in a state forest a few weeks ago. We had to drive through dozens of cranberry bogs to get to the park.

If you go to a state park, there are likely trails on the same property or very close by. If not, it may take some research/planning ahead of time to figure out where to go for a hike. And this may sound crazy but trust me, leave your phone in the car or turn it off altogether. If you're going somewhere that's not too far from "real life," you may need to cut off your ties with reality (just for the camping trip). A break from technology will do you good ;-) Seriously, just enjoy being outside!

There's no need to sacrifice quality or flavor when you're away from your kitchen. With some planning and prep before you leave your home, you can have a delicious dinner. Foil is my best friend when it comes to car camping. There are so many meals that can be cooked in foil. I came across a list from The Food Network of 50 things to grill in foil from desserts to side dishes to meat. We cutup the veggies ahead of time, put them in foil packages, and then pop them on the grill once dinnertime rolls around. No need to pack a cutting board or sharp knife. I'm all about keeping meals simple, so you can spend your energy enjoying the place and people you're camping with.

Get to know your camping neighbors. I've learned it's very easy to do so when you bring your dog. People are often intrigued and ask questions about our dog or want to pet him, so I end up meeting the nearby campers. I only mention this as a suggestion because I'm a bit of an introvert so meeting strangers at a campground isn't my default mode. It seriously paid off recently when we forgot to bring coffee and a camping neighbor offered us each a cup o' joe after we had chatted for a bit (what a lifesaver)!

Bring your favorite (card) games. Without TV, computers, and phones, once the sun goes down there isn't much to do. I'm pretty sure card games are a camper's best friend. Get comfy in your tent or by the campfire (where ever you're most comfortable) and play a game you enjoy. We usually bring Phase 10, Uno and a regular deck of cards.

What's your must-have camping accessory?


  1. i LOVE camping! i haven't been in forever but am just DYING to go!

  2. Pie irons!!! We make little pizzas and then pies for dessert! They are SO good!!

  3. haha great tips, I love going camping and havent had the chance to go this summer :(

    Hosting a giveaway, would love for you to enter!

  4. Cooking with foil is definitely a great tip!

  5. I haven't been camping in years, but I'm dying to go with my boys. Thank you for the tips!


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