Getting ready for camping – Part 2

Wintertime may not be an ideal time to camp with your family, but it’s a great time to start planning your summer camping trip.

In “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,” author Richard Louv states, “Fresh air; tall timber; amazing scenery; glimpses of wildlife; vast, memorable starlit nights. Video games are simply no match for the full-scale sensory overload that nature delivers, and a great way to convince anyone age 16 or younger of this truism is to invite them along on a camping trip. Usually all it takes is one meteor bolting across the sky to persuade any young adventurer-in-the-making of a fundamental fact of life — camping is cool.”

The Michigan State University Extension article “Getting Ready for Camping” provided the initial stages of preparing for a camping experience. After you have selected you potential camping locations and gone out to visit the parks, it is time to decide what equipment and supplies are needed to have a safe and fun-filled camping experience. You must take everyone in your camping party, even the pets, into consideration when preparing for your camping adventures. Most first time campers think that they have to go out and purchase a tremendous amount of materials, equipment and supplies. Not so; most of the things needed to have a great camping trip you already have at your home. The things that you might not have are normally inexpensive and are easy to find.

One important task to focus on as you prepare for your trip is cooking! The majority of the items you’ll need to cook are in your kitchen or storage areas at your home. To provide water at your campsite you will need a water jug and a water bucket. To keep cold water for drinking and food refrigerated you will need a cooler of some sort. Make sure that it will accommodate your food and beverages for the period of time you plan on camping. You may want to bring a camp stove, although most campsites provide a fire pit which a lot of people prefer to cook over when they are in the great outdoors. If you do decide to bring a camp stove, don’t forget the fuel that is required to operate it. You will need matches or other means to light your stove and campfire.

If you are taking your BBQ grill, don’t forget to take your charcoal, charcoal lighter fluid and some newspaper. Pots, pans and cooking utensils you have in your kitchen cabinets or kitchen drawers are okay to cook with while you’re camping. Tableware such as eating utensils, bowls, plates and cups can be either plastic or paper. This is a list of things you may want consider taking on your next camping trip:

  • Folding table
  • Tablecloth
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towel and napkins
  • Trash bags
  • Dish pan dish rag and dish soap
  • Can opener
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cooking utensils: spatula, knives, spoons
  • Storage bags

Camping is a tremendous amount of fun, especially if you keep it simple!

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