Dos and Don’ts of Novice Camping

As told by Super-Woman after her recent foray into the woods.

Do: Turn off the water heater, bathroom, bedroom electricity via the circuit breaker before leaving home
Don’t: Turn off the fridge and freezer (after throwing out all the meat in the freezer I realized my energy saving efforts would NOT be saving me any money)

Do: Pack underwear, socks, and towels for kids
Don’t: Forget that dirty, messy kids may go through 3 of each daily (yes, we had to borrow clothes for the kids)

Do: Plan on having multiple campfires
Don’t: Neglect actually buying firewood and bringing a long lighter

Do: Wash dishes daily with warm water (we learned this one after camping 8 years ago in Yellowstone and trying to wash greasy pots with 33 degree water!)
Don’t: Fail to bring dish-washing buckets

Do: Bring your camera(s)
Don’t: Leave them in the car and forget to take pictures

Do: Bring new snazzy two-wheel bike for your son to ride
Don’t: Run out of room in the car and bring no appropriate riding toy for daughter
This is what happens when you refuse to get your children a dog.
Do: Bring an eye-mask to block out early morning light and a battery-operated white-noise maker to block out other campers’ snores
Don’t: Leave your insomniac husband outside reading in the cold all night because he doesn’t want to wake the family

Do: Bring sleeping bags and air mattress
Don’t: Think that the kids really don’t need either and give them a few blankets as pittance

Do: Look up the weather before leaving
Don’t: Look up the local weather and fail to see the weather where you are headed

Do: Print out a map of where you will be going
Don’t: Figure out you will be camping near the beach on departure day and therefore not pack nearly enough warm clothes (We were COLD!)

Do: Remember that the kids will remember none of the negatives and just recall the glorious time they had biking, playing, running around, and eating with their friends (old and new)
Don’t: Forget to consider a yurt next year!

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  1. You’re so right! We went camping when I was little and all I remember is FUN, FUN, FUN! Fun, and two campers next to us at Myrtle Beach, one saying to the other, “Martha, where’s my disco shirt?”
    My brother and I still laugh about that!

  2. I love his dog! One year when we went camping it rained for 3 days and we ended up having to go to a laundry mat and wash and dry everything because it all got soaked.

  3. LOL, yes, they will remember the fun, they probably don’t even know there was any negative! lol

  4. Oh how I love camping! And that pic is just too cute! 🙂

  5. We love camping, and this looks like so much fun!

    Don’t you just love how optimistic kids are. Woulnd’t it be great if we were all that optimistic, and easily forgot the negatives!

  6. This is great!!! We love camping!
    I finally started keeping a stash of “camping clothes” because some of our messy kids….would trash their clothes so badly I would end up throwing them away once we got home and couldn’t get them clean….so now those t-shirts with the permanent dirt stains from last time…those are our camping clothes!!
    btw I found you through the blog train. I enjoyed your site!!

  7. Sounds like a blast! We are going camping next weekend!

  8. Stopped Over from the train blog.

    Love your post on camping,it reminded me of the old days,when I went camping with my parents.

    Thanks for the memories!

  9. This is perfect because we leave for our camping weekend tonight after work and I definitely forgot our extendo lighter!

  10. Do: Rent a hotel room
    Don’t: Camp out

    (Sorry, I know I’m a party pooper!)

  11. Heee hee…you’ll get better as you keep practicing (if you’re not already too traumatized)

  12. haha. We have yet to go camping with E- but I am always cold. Last year Pete had to go out and buy me a sleeping bag because I almosr froze at night.

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