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Camping Mamas - it's finally spring! - Page 3

post #41 of 71

Here is a nice recipe for a foil-packet meal! Just came across this today.



post #42 of 71

I'm in - let's revive the tribe! Our camping "stats" - husband and I have done a bit of proper backpacking (walk in/carry all kit on our backs) but we mostly car camp. We do the bulk of our camping in Wisconsin and Michigan, though we have been through a couple of national parks (Grand Canyon being the most notable). We haven't camped since our son was born, but we're headed out for our first family trip this summer (he's a year and a half old now). 


I'm totally OCD, so I go nuts with lists planning for trips. Besides, planning is half the fun. We should share our gear lists - always good to hear what other people use and what works and what doesn't. I'll try to put my list together soon when I'm not so tired I feel like collapsing! 

post #43 of 71

I usually go into crazy list mode, too - and need to see everything laid out before putting it in the car. Drives me nuts to have half the stuff packed in before I can recheck the list. I'll post my list when I have a chance to type it out here from post-its!

post #44 of 71

Okay, I'm going to attempt to post our gear list, so be prepared for a novel. 


Tent (we previously camped in a small Wenzel dome tent, but we will be upgrading to a larger family tent this summer)

Sleeping bags

Sleeping pads

Travel pillows


Folding camp chairs

Battery operated table lantern

Small camping hatchet (for cutting up firewood)


Backpacker stove

Stove fuel

Nesting pot/pan set

Mini coffee percolator (found it at a thrift store for $1 years ago - there's nothing like percolated coffee when you're outdoors!)

Plates (ours are actually kind of wide soup bowls, so they can double as plates and bowls)

Travel mugs

Cutlery (we have the basic Scout-style metal ones that hook together currently, but I covet this Swiss Army-style set)

Small knife and mini cutting board

Mini spatula (I use a cookie spatula)

Mini metal spoon for cooking (I use a buffet serving spoon)

Mini colander (we eat a lot of pasta while camping - easy to cook and filling)

Biodegradable dish soap and a dish sponge (cut in half and stored in a plastic bag)

Large water bottles

Couple of kitchen towels (double as pot holders)


Couple of flashlights with extra batteries


Basic first aid kit (band aids in a few sizes, antiseptic, aspirin, bug bite relief, gauze, medical tape, Benedryl, aloe)

Card games

Camera with extra batteries

Clothes are packed in compression sacks (one per person)

Communal toiletries kit (bare basics - bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, comb - oh, and sunscreen!)

Each person has a rain jacket, sweater and hat in addition to the regular changes of clothes

Towel for each person

Flip flops for showers and lounging around camp


Food depends on which menus I have planned, but we generally bring this mix - 


Vegetable oil (in a plastic mini wine bottle with screwcap)


Ground pepper

Ground onion

Head of garlic or ground garlic

Ground ginger


Herbs de provence or Italian seasoning - which ever "all purpose" seasoning I feel like bringing

Green Tabasco sauce (it can save any dish that turns out like a flop)

Dijon mustard


Dried thyme (my favorite herb and the most versatile)

Elbow macaroni (cooks up really quickly)

Marinara sauce (we buy a few of the tetra-pack ones, not a giant glass jar - like these, although we get a different brand that I can't remember at the moment)

Chicken in a pouch

Tuna in a pouch

Ramen noodles 

Individual tetra packs of soy milk 

Chicken stock cubes

Individual juice packs

Manischewitz dry soup mixes (usually minestrone)

A few Tasty Bites entrees (favorites are aloo palak and channa masala) 

Tasty Bites rice

Just-add-water hummus mix

Just-add-water falafel mix

Pita chips (won't mold like breads will)

Potatoes (great for fire-baked potatoes, and extra ones can be diced the next morning and fried up into amazing breakfast potatoes)

Instant oatmeal


Brown sugar

White sugar



Six pack of beer or four pack of mini wine 

Granola bars

Trail mix (I usually make my own with pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds and if it's not too hot out, chocolate chips)


I'm probably forgetting a bunch of things, but that's the basic kit we take along. And it seems like a lot, but it actually all fits into two large backpacks (except the chairs and sleeping bags). Even though we car camp mostly, we like to keep it under control with what we can more or less carry ourselves - it gives us the flexibility to choose campsites that are walk-in when we want to, without having to re-tool our kit significantly. 

post #45 of 71

Great list! Our gear list is very similar, except this year we have a kids' tent and an adult tent. The kids' tent is the larger one because we're letting the kids invite a friend along this year, so it might be 4 kids/2 adults. We are also going to try to bike more this year, but with that number of people it would require taking both cars & borrowing an extra bike rack. We will definitely bike when it's just DH & me.


As far as cooking stuff, we had been using our regular kitchen stuff, but are now putting together a tub with a camp kitchen. Just got these: http://www.coleman.com/product/12-piece-enamelware-dining-set/2000008091?contextCategory=5170#.UZ90JcqzKSo since we were lugging our own ceramic mugs, etc. We use a propane camp stove and a mini-grill sometimes. Thinking of expanding our food repertoire - usually it's meat/sausages, potatoes or zucchini and smores with seasoning basically limited to butter and sriracha! Breakfast of leftovers & eggs and lunch is sandwiches (this last time we also had bagels, cheese, chips & salsa).


I always try to bring Dr. Bronner's soap. Works for everything in a pinch, including washing dishes. The labels say you can brush your teeth with it, but that was tried and rejected!


PS Where are the places to do proper backpacking in the Midwest? I would think you would have to go pretty far into MI, WI or MN to do that. I have done it only a few times - in OR and far northern MN (not quite to the Boundary Waters).

post #46 of 71

Ooh, just looked at some sites about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Now dreaming of another trip!!

post #47 of 71
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

PS Where are the places to do proper backpacking in the Midwest? I would think you would have to go pretty far into MI, WI or MN to do that. I have done it only a few times - in OR and far northern MN (not quite to the Boundary Waters).


Not a whole lot of places in the tri-state area where you can do that really - we've mostly done that out west. But we have done some "commuter camping", which was really fun - from downtown Chicago we took the Metra out to Indiana Dunes State Park, and hiked into the campground from the Metra line. That's the closest we've gotten to backpacking close to town!

post #48 of 71

That's a good idea! We rode bikes several miles into downtown Chicago and stayed in a hotel once! LOL

post #49 of 71

Found a list of items that are good to keep in a camping box (car camping kitchen):




Maybe replace paper towels w/ kitchen towels & paper/plastic plates with reusable. The enameled ones I just got aren't that heavy.


Pretty good recipes, too:



post #50 of 71

50 Things to Grill in Foil!




I definitely want to try the jerk wings, garlic (have done that one), popcorn! and grilled peaches.

post #51 of 71

Joining up! Planning on some camping this summer with my tribe. 

post #52 of 71



We have a busy summer in terms of car camping.  The girls have girl-scout day camp beginning of July, and we are tent camping nearby instead of driving back and forth every day.  Then Mt. Rainier (Ohanapecosh) where we usually reserve a campsite with a little creek behind and a perfect troll-bridge to play under (we stop by the mountain on the way to play at the campground orngtongue.gif)  August we head to our annual camping trip to the Olympic National Park on the WA coast.  Our favorite campsite was impossible to reserve this year, so I got a different one nearby that I think we will like (change comes hard!)


Starting girl scouting puts the camping idea on overdrive.  I'm taking a workshop that lets our troop go on outdoor overnights, though we won't do that this year.  What we are doing is a day of camping skills.  Most of the girls are pretty savvy, but we can get them in charge of the whole process to work together and teach what they know to the few (if any girls) that don't, or at least they can show their skills off.  Anyway, lots of fun!

post #53 of 71


PS Love that part of Washington! We will be traveling to SF and driving up to Portland this summer, so trying to work out whether we can bring the bare essential camping gear and camp. Also would like to visit the redwoods if we can.

post #54 of 71

Redwoods are wonderful.  Before Kids, dh and I drove east out of the park and camped (not exactly where we should have) in a secluded area on the eastern edge of the park where the redwoods give way to oak scrub.  Such a beautiful transition--and so sudden!  It was gorgeous to watch the sun set and the fog roll in below us. 

post #55 of 71

Well, our trip is booked & looks like we're going to camp along the way. Any tips on bringing camping gear on the airplane? We got smaller sleeping bags, which we've been wanting for a while, and those should fit in our army duffel with the tent and - hopefully - sleeping mats (the kind that blow up by themselves, so they're pretty compact). It's $25 for the first bag and $40 for the second, so we're hoping to get away with the minimum & buy a small camp stove out there. We can each bring a carryon and since it will be summer, our clothes will be more compact. We will just wash them a couple of times. Still looking into all the details, but already excited to see the ocean and the redwoods!!

post #56 of 71

My only suggestion would be to rent what you can when you get to your destination, if it makes sense (stores like REI and others rent equipment).  That way you can rent tent, stove, sleeping bags, pads if yours are bulky, or whatever you need.  Will it be cheaper?  That I can't say, and the store might not be in the right direction from the airport, but it might be worth checking into as an option.  If you are already thinking of buying a campstove, you'll probably end up there anyway.

post #57 of 71

OOH!  I'm in!


Before kids we hiked a lot and did some hiking trips as long as 3 weeks through out the US and Mexico.  Now with 4 kids aged 5-12 we car camp as a way to explore different areas on the cheap. 


We typically camp 6-8 weeks every summer.  This year, we have 7 weeks on the island of O'ahu.  We will move to different campground every 2-5 days.  Not one has hot showers!  yikes!


As for flying we use rubber maid bins and big duffels.  The Rubbermaid bins double as a bath tub later.  (Fill with water in the am and put in the sun.  By bedtime it is warmer and can be used for big kids to wash up and little kids to sit right in for a bath.)  We bring most everything we need (even some food this year since food is so expensive in Hawaii).  But we will buy boogie boards and a surfboard this summer, and then leave them behind. 


We've camped the entire northern coast of California, Lake Tahoe area, Lassen, Yosemite, Grand Canyon/Havasu, all of New England from cape cod to Acadia and Khatadin, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the entire east coast down to Florida.


People think we are crazy for doing such trips, but otherwise we couldn't afford to travel and it is a big world out there and we want to explore as much as we can!

post #58 of 71
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
We typically camp 6-8 weeks every summer.  This year, we have 7 weeks on the island of O'ahu.  We will move to different campground every 2-5 days.  Not one has hot showers!  yikes!


Wow, that sounds fantastic!

post #59 of 71

Made a few purchases for the camp kitchen today - a mini cutting board and a paring knife with a sheath (so no one gets cut digging through a pack for it). Both at Dollar Tree for a buck apiece! I love a good deal. I saw a similar knife at our local grocery store for $10 last week, so I'm really glad I didn't buy that one. 


And in case anyone in interested, there's some camping gear in Target's One Spot right now - ranges from $1 - $3 - cutlery, caribiners, mini lanterns (two different kinds), mini bungee cords, travel toiletries sets, one of those five-in-one emergency whistle things (whistle, compass, flint, etc.) and the like. 


And for those road tripping to camping destinations, Dollar Tree has a few other items of note - I picked up a small plastic tote with a locking lid to use as a "toy box" for the car. It's big enough to fit 10-12 small things. They also have some travel games right now - the generic version of Connect Four, and a few others. 

post #60 of 71

This is a fun article:




Some of it really is cool, others seem more for going-camping-with-a-giant-vehicle or multi-fmily camping.  Emergency potty with milk crate and a 5-gallon bucket?  5-gallon wash plunger?  5 gallon buckets are really useful, but the rest seems too much.


However this is otherwise near genius.  Foam tiles for a camp floor?  Now I'm wishing I ever had a set of those!  I would need a larger vehicle, though.

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