Thursday, June 4, 2009

What to Pack When Child Goes Camping....

I finally got serious with camping trip #2 of 2009 this weekend and put pen to paper in the high tech sense and made a re printable check-list of our must-have's...minus food. And I am sure via our own experiences and the wonderful inputs of this blog's readers it will grow and evolve. I left nearly all inputs as generic, but would like to take a minute in this week's posting and share some products or brands we prefer.

Starting in the Toiletries section. Now I know it is hard to go Eco-friendly (most notably because a lot of these items are expensive) all the time on things such as shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste, wipes, but there is something that truly eats away at my consciousness when I am camping in some of the most pristine and preserved lands in our nation and then leave behind a huge bag of trash or soap scum from the showers. So for our camping provisions I do go out of my way to spend the extra dollar and get products to leave a lesser footprint on these areas I hope survive long enough to see my children's grandchildren one day.

Also in the toiletries section you will find sunscreen and bug spray mentioned. We are huge fans of Avon's SKIN SO SOFT Bug Guard SPF 30. At $14 a pop you may feel it is a little pricey, but remember you are getting 2 in 1....bug spray and sunscreen. Also if you keep your eye out you can always find a sale on it about every few weeks. We are also fans of the Off! Towelettes for use on the kids' faces. Spraying their face or wiping on matter how hard I try we seem to always be flushing their eyes due to their rubbing or our misdirection. The towelettes dry quickly and are more error free. We are also fans of the Off! Power Pad Lamp. Stronger than 15 citronella candles, flame is protected in lantern from little hands...and a little mood lighting all in one.

When it comes to kitchen supplies we have pretty much stocked our trailer or camping box with very used things from our home kitchen. The only splurges came in some very heavy picnic plates, bowls, silverware, etc.. And even those you can find on sale at the end of summer or even at a dollar store. Again on the environmental front...we try to only use paper goods for perhaps the first meal or the last meal when you are busy unpacking or packing up. Otherwise reusable plastic that can be washed with your enviro soap is a great way to protect the environment...and over time save a dime and offset the expensive Seventh Generation or other Dish Soap.
Otherwise the list is pretty self explanatory...and here's a few closing remarks. We always keep a crate of kids toys at the ready...with sand toys, bug catchers, etc.. Most are very good about this in general, but make sure to pack your kids helmets if they bring their bikes or scooters. If under the age of 18 most campgrounds require a helmet within their properties and rangers will quickly approach any child out for a spin without one and escort them back to their parents. Always have extra batteries...rechargeable that are charged are best. We carry a utility type bucket...this is good for washing dishes, hands, feet, or carrying your stuff to and from the public restroom or shower as there is generally very little space to sit things in or on... and let's be frank...even the cleanest of campground restroom/shower floors are still a little scary. Whether camping via a tent or a trailer a large outdoor carpet or in our case the cheap way out...a huge swath of faux grass from Home Depot serves as a place to leave shoes and dirt before entering the sleeping quarters. We are also big fans of the Alps Mountaineering chairs, tables, and camping gear in general as well as REI. Make sure you shop around...lots of places carry it and the prices can be very different.

I know...we are missing food on here. I will tell you we pack three ways...1 large crate for dry goods, 1 cooler for beverages, and 1 cooler for cold foods. As the summer progresses I will take the time to share some camping recipes and some of our favorite must have beverages, snacks, and foods while in the wild.

Please review our ever evolving list...and share what's on yours or your favorite brands or products.

1 comment:

A. Jolly said...

An add after last weekend trip...mesh laundry bags. I hate putting campfire smoke filled clothes back into my bag. Target had some in the $1 bins this morning.