Monday, January 30, 2012

Camping Part Three

Time for another part in my Camping Series. You’ve heard the slogan for Boy Scouts “Always be prepared” this is very true! I was Cubmaster for my sons Cub Scout pack for three years. I learned a lot! Kids will be hungry all hours of the day while camping! There just isn’t anyway around it. Plus you don’t want to have something happen and there isn’t even a Bandaid in sight! You need to pack according to the length of your stay. Clothes, cooking gear, food, blankets, pillows, first aid and activities. It can be overwhelming to make sure you have everything before you leave the driveway.

I use totes to help me sort items. The large deep black tote.. this is for our cooking gear, camp site gear and anything else that might be needed. Here is my checklist for the big black tote:
Pots n pans
Big spoons
Cutting Board
Paper towels/ toilet paper
Pot holders
Paper plates
Plastic utensils
Clothes pins
Playing cards
Ziplock bag with insect spray and sunblock
Inside a plastic bag I’ll have dish soap, wash rags, a bar of soap placed inside panty hose, empty laundry soap container with the push button spout. (I’ll explain that later)
First Aid Kit
Charcoal/lighter fluid and lighter  (Pack these separately from all the above items)
Small radio

In the picture above you can see two thin totes I use pack up the dry foods. Items such as breads, snacks, chips etc.. Can be store without the worry of a whole loaf of bread being smashed. In the other thin tote items like potatoes, onions, fresh fruits are stored. Let’s face it no matter how hard you try there will be bugs and flies around your camp site eventually. These totes are a great way to keep unwanted pests away from your food! Plus before a camping trip I will have these on the kitchen table going through my check list while packing. Organization… it helps!

You know you’ve seen it.. the commercial about space bags? Well they really do work. After a camping trip everything gets washed. Sleeping bags are bulky and hard to store away but not if you have a space bag.. gee sound like a commercial huh? Haha! Seriously they are awesome! I wash and dry all 5 sleeping bags put them into a giant space bag I purchased at Wal-Mart. Then they are stored up in the rafters of our work shop. No bugs, no dust! Next trip they are clean and all you have to do is throw the bag in with everything else you take along. Space bags work great for pillows too. Squish them down and they take up less space for the trip.

Remember the bar of soap inside panty hose and the empty laundry soap container, ok here is whats up with that. Once at your campsite designate a hand washing station away from food and sleeping areas. Place the bar of soap inside one of the panty hose if you can find a low branch tie the panty hose around it letting the soap dangle below. Fill up your empty clean laundry soap container with water. When hands need to be washed you push the button spout for water and use the soap in the panty hose. It keeps the soap from getting nasty with mud, twigs or leaves. This was something we did at Cubscout Day Camp and it worked great!

How about the rope and clothes pins listed on our check list? Tie your rope around two trees to form a clothes line. When towels or clothing needs to dry you just hang them on the clothes line. You can also tie battery powered lanterns on the same rope/clothesline and suspend them between trees to help light up your campsite. If there is a need for an outdoor changing area this works great as well. Just hang old bed sheets or blankets over the rope for privacy.

I know some may think wow this is a lot to bring. Trust me after years of camping you figure out what needs your family may have. Plus you learn what you needed the most got left behind. Always be prepared.. yes we know. J

 Up next a thoroughly stocked first aid kit, activities and camp recipes! Till then….

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