Want to Try Camping? Read This First

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Our kids were fascinated by the idea of camping and begged us to do it. We had a small four-person tent so my husband slept in the backyard one summer night with our two oldest kids. They loved it. They begged us for years for another back yard camp out.

On a date night in 2018, we ran an errand through Walmart and decided we should try real camping with the kids. We now have camped twice away from home and are sharing our tips.

Start Local

If you are unsure about tent camping, start local. Camp in your back yard, a family member’s backyard or a nearby campground. By camping your first time local, you can totally bail if the weather is horrible. Personally, my husband and I do not want to camp in the pouring rain.

Camping even one night locally can also help you make a list of the things you might need. One really important thing we learned we needed were extension cords. We camp on air mattresses and need electricity and cords.

Check the Weather

Check the weather for all times of the day. On our most recent camping trip, we packed our car in 97-degree heat. We were only camping two hours north of where we lived; therefore the temperature is relatively the same. We could not imagine needing our tub of blankets and left them at home.

However, we neglected to look at the temperature once the sun set. The first night the temperature dropped down to 60 degrees! We pulled out towels and snuggled up together to stay warm through the night. We found a local Family Dollar store the following day and now have two additional blankets in our camping stash.

Call Ahead

Call ahead and ask the campground about supplies they may sell on site. Things like firewood, ice and other supplies can often be purchased on site for a fair price and may save room. Some campsites may also offer washer and dryers which could help reduce the amount of clothing needed for the trip.

Drawer System

If you have a small tower drawer system, pack all your toiletries, bug spray and sunscreen in it. We found the small tower was helpful to prevent rummaging through various bags and keeping things organized.


Essentials on a campsite may include paper towels and other paper products, trash bags, lighters, battery operated lights, camping chairs, bug spray and more.

If staying on a site with electricity, consider taking an electric skillet for meals. If staying on a primitive site, consider taking a propane powered cooktop instead. Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer can also be helpful.

To check out a post about the meals wee cooked, read here.

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