Camping anyone?


Anyone else here enjoy camping?
We are off camping this long weekend on Lake Huron. We love camping but because of busy schedules, we can only do this one trip this year. We started camping after we were married and have taken DS since he was a year old, always in a tent.
Even though it means a lot of planning and packing up the whole house for the couple of days, we love it. This particular camp site, we have been to before and the sunsets are just awesome.
After booking a camp site, my next step is to find the closest church and call them about Sunday / Saturday mass times.
Looking forward to our trip.

Please share your experiences, tips, …


We love to camp also!! We have always used a tent also. My
oldest DS, 20 years old, has been going for as long as he can remember and says some of his favorite memories are from camping, plans to carry the tradition on with his family some day. I also have a 3 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. My DS, the 4 1/2 year old, went for the first time when he was 10 months old, (happened to be when the 3 year old was concieved ) and my DD, the 3 year old, for the first time when she was 9 months old. We try to go twice a year, a fall campout and a summer campout at the river. This year we werent able to go because of my pregnancy, but we might try to go this fall, depending on the temperment of this new little one coming next week.
I grew up camping with my family and think it is a great family vacation, and it isnt too expensive for those of us living on a one income budget. :slight_smile:


I got kind of burned out on camping as a kid. Went about twice to 3xs a year back then. Now I won’t stay anywhere without a shower and a bed. :thumbsup:


My camping experiences on the Movimento Juvenil Salesiano (Portuguese for Salesian Youth Movement) still bring me a smile when I remind them. We had great adventures there.

My first Salesian camping was in Vilar de Mouros, a small town in Northern Portugal. It had a river nearby, which wasn’t polluted, and we were always there, swimming. We were terrible at that time (12yo) and we were always getting in trouble. :smiley:

The second camping, in Figueira da Foz only lasted one day, because the camping site was flooded in the following morning. Many tents flyed during the night. We had to move to a nearby Salesian School were the girls had the right to occupy the bedrooms (with hot showers and televisons et all), while the boys had to sleep in the floor of the gym. We only had cold water in the shower. It was awful, but fun in some sense. :smiley:

The third camping, in Sesimbra, a small fishing village in southern Portugal, was great. A lot of fun, a lot of walks, a lot of beach.

I remember when our group (about 300 people, fully equiped with all the musical instruments you may think of) decided to go to a public beach. We decided to organize like in a military parade and we suddenly marched at the beach, singing and playing. We made a lot of noise. We really did. I will never forget the surprized faces of the people at the beach while seeing such a large organized group arriving.


I grew up camping! I remember a trip with my parents when my younger sister was < 1 month old. We typically stayed in a little pop-up camper, but sometimes just in tents.

For finding Mass times-check with the local parish or the diocese. Around here there are a couple of state parks where they have outdoor Mass on Sat. evenings, at a small amphitheater in the park. I’ve only been to one, but it was really beautiful.

Have fun!
I’m looking at doing another trip to northern Minnesota in the fall. It is so nice to get away for a day or two and disconnect from technology!


I too love camping. Although my family camping trips have become less frequent as I have gotten older, some of my greatest memories are times spent in the wilderness. A friend and I are planning a canoe-camping trip in the Adirondacks in a couple weeks as a way to really get away - 4 days with nothign but what we can carry on our backs - and I am quite excited! It will be a great way to end the summer before going back to college.


We will be going to Pismo Beach to go camping in a couple of weeks. We did that last year, and it is a lot of fun, just not the typical camping experience. That’s because it’s more about off road vehicles and riding on the dunes than camping. We did have tents, a campfire, and cooking outdoors. I don’t know, to me camping almost needs to have woods in order to be real camping.

We did a lot of camping when I was a kid. We did the beach and Yosemite, but favorite times were always camping in the redwood forests in Northern California. There is just nothing like them. It feels like going back in time and it is so peaceful there. The trees are so tall and the forest so dense, it just like blocks out the whole rest of the world. It is almost magically quiet, and I have always loved the way that the sunlight comes filtered in through the trees in the forest. Aaaahhh, I want to go back there!


We’re campers here too! :wave:

DH and I both camped alot as kids and this is something we really love to do with our kids. Depending on the year (if we have a newborn that summer or not) we try to go at least a few times. This year, we’ve only gone once because we have a 4 month old, but next summer we hope to go more!

We only have a tent, but we have been known to borrow our parents’ campers! Especially with little ones, it’s nice to have the extra space and convenience of a sink, etc.

For us, camping is the perfect vacation. It’s a lot of work to pack and get everyone ready, but once you’re there, it’s so nice to be away from the TV, the phone, laundry… :smiley: Our kids love to be outside so we all just really enjoy it. Plus, like someone said, it’s ALOT cheaper than staying in a hotel!!!

As far as tips go, I’ve found that if I keep a separate backpack of toys, books, etc. so that the kids can get involved with that while DH and I set up, it makes things go alot smoother. My parents also used to have my brother and I wear our suits to the campground (once we were older) so that we could go swim while they set up. Oh, and accessible snacks/drinks are a must! :slight_smile:

Let’s get some more tips on how to make camping easier with kiddos!!!


I LOVE camping! I’m hard core when it comes to this. My dad got us interested on this. We go to a forest highup in the mountains. We park our cars on the camping site, and we grab our backpacks, hike down for over and hour and a half until we reach this beautiful spot next to a lake where you can only have two tents. It’s your own private lake, no one else can set their tents… the horrible part is going back up the hill when we’re ready to go home. It takes twice as long and it’s twice as hard to get back to the cars. With all the camping equipment and the steep hill, it makes it an adventure of its own getting back up. :smiley:


My dh and I have camped at state parks in cabins and tried a pop-up, but we decided to buy a 13’ Scamp trailer which meets all our needs quite handily. We’ve christened it “The Egg,” for obvious reasons.

We’re going to be taking it camping for the first time this September (less bugs and lower temps). We can hardly wait! Although my dh has to practice backing it up first. Also, as we do our weekly shopping we buy little things for the camper so we’ll be ready and not have to spend a big wad all at once.

There are 3 sizes of Scamp trailers which are lightweight, and easy to pull. And best of all they’re made right here in good old Minnesota–one of the most beautiful states to camp in in the world!


our first family camping trips as kids were at Harrisville State Park, good memories, camped all around Michigan, Wilderness, Luddington, Muskegon, Sleeping BEar (DH Day SP), on Huron side Tawas, Albert Sleeper (lots of mosquitoes). rest of family did UP, but I was out of the house by then. favorite trip was GEorgian Bay and around lake Huron on the Canadian side. fantastic. tried one camping trip when my kids were small, total disaster, never tried again, as it is NOT DH’s idea of a vacation.

as kids we would camp for several weeks in the summer at parks closer to Detroit, with several other families, while auto plants were shut down. we had fantastic summers


I live in camping paradise - 20+ state parks, numerous hiking trails, Appalachian Trail, National Forests, and a hour and a half away from the Smokey Mountains National Park.

Sometimes its easy to take it all for granted.


We talk about it alot, but haven’t gone yet as a family. I liked the look of the little scamp camper, that may be the way to go for us!


Yes! I need some tips on taking the real littlies - say under three. Our kids have always been “runners”. They are not content to play happily around a day trip picnic site but want to take off into the bush, dive into ponds and lakes and run head-long into the surf - they are crazy and have no fear! I’d feel worried about their safety on a camping trip - how do you keep them “contained”?

Our three year old has now learnt some sense, thank goodness, though he still needs lots of supervision; but our 22 month old would be very difficult to keep safe. Our eldest son, who is six, is in a wheelchair so that adds another tricky dimension. So Daddy has taken the three year old camping, while the rest of us stayed home - boring!!! But we are determined to find a suitable camp site for us all…where there’s a will there’s a way! :slight_smile:

And what about crawling babies…who can’t stand to be strapped into any kind of contraption and insist on crawling around in all the dirt and mud and stuff? Boys!!! :rolleyes: This has been holding us back from what (I hope) would be wonderful family holidays. Anyone got any helpful tips?


We just had to cancel our upcoming camping trip due to money problems, so we’re going to put up the tent in the backyard and limit house trips to bathroom and water collection issues. My youngest just started crawling, and I’ve camped with a “rugrat” before. We just let our kids get dirty, but you do have to supervise closely and check for bugs or other hazards that might make it into the mouth. The older kids are very helpful in that regard. If I’m busy, they actually enjoy playing with the baby, building corrals for her, and passing her around (they’re all girls, obviously!).
When we camp near the river, kids with no sense of safety (such as 2 year olds) have to wear a little life vest all day long. I never see anyone else doing it, but I’d rather look a little wierd than jump into the water and search for a child.
I don’t know how to hike with this baby, though. She’s just over 20 pounds, so too heavy to take a long way in a baby back pack, and strollers are not an option on most trails. I’ve hiked with an 18 month old on a 3/4 mile hike down to a waterfall and back, though. If you pass on your enthusiasm for outdoor activities, they can be real troopers!


Mary (3blessings) will pray for you, for a safe c-sec on Aug 8.

Sadly, this is our only camping trip this year. We have normally gone camping with family so always someone to watch DS while we were busy. However this time it is just the 3 of us, of course DS is now 8, so no problem and we get him to help with setup and such. I too resorted to him wearing a life jacket (when he was younger) when we were near water as I am not a strong swimmer and DH does not swim. Also we bring a lot of toys to amuse him while we are setting up and taking down the tent (water guns, bug catchers, balls, frisbee… and even books-he loves reading)
Another thing, I have done in the past is chose a camp site close to the playground, so DS can play there (swings, slides,…)and I can keep an eye on him while doing my thing.
Can still remember DS’s 1st camp trip at 13 months he had just started walking but would only walk around the picnic table where he could hold on. Well that was the only time. Since then we set up boundaries where he can go without us. At the start it was only our campsite and he should not leave without an adult. As he has grown his boundaries have expanded. Also, depends on friend around (that he makes).

What do you do while camping?
What meals do you have?

We normally setup as we get there and then check out the area, prepare dinner and then sit around the campfire. On Sunday, we would go to the nearest church for mass and then after lunch head to the beach. We have not done much hiking, just leisurely walks around the sites. And only on 2 trips have we tried fishing. If the campground has paddle boats or boats for rent, we do that.
For meals, breakfast is normally eggs and toast or eggs in tortillas. Lunch and dinner would be a one pot meal (rice or pasta and meatballs or chicken or oysters and veggies). Occassionally we BBQ - chicken or burgers and to go with that is corn on the cob done in their husks on the campfire.
When we camp with family, we divide the meals that way we are responsible for a few meals.
One thing, I do feel bad about is the fact that we use disposable plates and such. As I was quite fed up with all the dishwashing when we used proper plates.


Thanks for the prayers!
Usually when we get to the site we get the kiddos busy with toys or an activity and then we set everything up. My 4 1/4 year old is able to help set up and I am sure my 3 year old will start on the next trip, though her duty maybe keeping the baby busy. When we took our kids when they were real little, we always took a playpen. That way they could lay or sit, depending on the age, and still see us moving around them setting things up. AS they got older we set boundries. We would walk them around the camp site and let then know they couldnt go past those boundries. As for the poster who said that her kids tend to run off, I would just explain ahead of time that if they cant follow the rules of camping and safety then they cant go camping. I know it is hard, but for everyone to have a safe and fun time, it is important that your kids can follow rules of some sort. As always, parents have to supervise their kids, there are too many things outdoors that can harm them. Around water areas, our kids always wear life jackets also.
One thing I would add that we have found beneficial is not to try to keep your kiddos on a strict schedule or the same schedule as if they were at home, at least for the sleeping part. When your kids are outdoors all day long, they will tire out. We didnt ever push the naps because we knew that they would fall asleep much earlier and going to bed wouldnt be an issue. I have seen alot of kids that have a hard time going to bed when camping because it is a stange enviroment to them and they fight it, especially if they have napped earlier or are just too excited. We dont usually even have to say it is bedtime, they usually will want to go lay down, so we dont keep a specified bedtime when camping. Everything is very leisure and laidback, that is the idea of vacation :slight_smile:
AS for meals, we usually always have eggs and bacon or sausage,at least once, nothing like the smell of breakfast on a campfire in the morning. We also take cereal and milk. Lunch is usually sandwiches or some other no cook meal. Dinner is usually some thing on the grill, hamburgers, chicken and always at least one night of roasting hotdogs over the fire. We try to cook most stuff over the fire as to not have pots and pans to clean up, except breakfast of course. Some times we will make meals ahead of time and freeze them in foil so all we have to do is put them right on the fire to warm them up.
We also use disposable plates and cups, but we try to use paper instead of styrofoam, so that isnt quite as bad.
I guess the main thing is to not get uptight, stay flexible, stay safe and have a blast!

Oh yea, depending on where we go and the season, we swim, fish, canoe, paddleboat, hike, though that isnt always as easy as it was before kids, and we just generally explore and learn and teach about nature. It is amazing how the kids come up with their own games to play and invent with the most basic rocks and pinecones.:slight_smile:


I know this isn’t a cooking thread, but my favorite camping meal is easy and really delicious. In aluminum foil, wrap a piece of chicken, a bit of onion, diced potatoes, and diced carrots. Season them with whatever you like. Make as many of these little packets as you need and put them on the grill or in the ashes of the fire. Sometimes the carrots don’t get cooked completely, but they still taste good. It’s like having a hearty stew in a package. It’s also real easy and you can prepare it all at home before your trip.
My kids like to collect bugs, rocks, acorns, dirt, and other things which I really don’t want to know about. They’ll play with their finds all day.


My husband and I just took our four children this past weekend, I was very scared it was the first time we ever went i have a 9,7,2,1 year old and my seven year old has CP. My dad and sisters went with us. It was the best trip we ever took a lot of work to get there but we have so much fun, the kids had a blast I think my husband and I had more fun with the kids then they did lol

But camping you can make some many memories.


Just got back from a week with my son & 24 other boys (12 - 17) at ManyPoint BSA Camp

The previous week+ the senior Scouts were at Philmont in NM.
Did 75 miles of hiking in 10 days… 4 of them did a “turn & burn” and attended ManyPoint with us!

(Oh yeah, “foil pack” dinners! Toss 'em in the coals for 7 - 10 minutes and dinner’s ready! No dishes either!)

Personally I’d be hesitant to take anyone under 8yo. on what I’d call “camping”. Even at 8yo. I’d hold it to 3 nights/2 days in an established campground with “amenities”.

“What do you call camping?”… you ask?

Three types:
3 - Trailer/pop-up/motorcoaching
2 - “car camping” (driving in, a hike, and “tenting” it)
1 - carrying it in on your own two feet

In my book #3 isn’t camping - it’s moving your house to different scenery.
#2 qualifies as “camping”. You can haul/pack-in some luxuries (such as ice, coolers, big stoves, cots (!), etc.), you’re outdoors, but probably in an established area/campground.
#1 is truly camping/roughing it. If it ain’t on your back, you don’t have it. Every extra ounce equals 1000 less yards of your hiking goal per day. Your feet, your skills, your wits, and your pack are the only things between serious problems and a great time in true wilderness.

Most of my experience is in the #2 range. I’ve done a few #1 trips, and loved it, but I’ll take the perks of a #2 trip anyday (especially with youngsters or my wife along).

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