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Tag Archives: camping tips

Seventeen props to consider bringing when camping with kids

We always advocated that being outside is its own reward; that kids can be entertained with a minimum of ‘toys’ while in Nature’s Playground.  And while we still stand by that, it’s also true that a few simple props can greatly enhance any camping trip–especially ones that last a few days.

Here’s a list of our favorite camping gadgets.  If your kids are especially short on attentiveness, space these out over a few days for even greater enjoyment.

  • Binoculars  Whether it’s to view the night sky or the moon, magnify a spider (turn your binoculars upside down), or check out the birds in the trees above camp, binoculars are a great addition to any bag of camping goodies.  With adult supervision, any pair will work or you can buy your kids their own pair fairly inexpensively.  Look for ones with low magnification, wide field of view, not too heavy or consider a pair specific to kids.  I’ve been drooling over these made by Bresser.  They ship from Germany.  For older kids, invest in a pair that is durable and will last awhile (but still not too expensive).  I like these Pentax binoculars.  We wrote a post a few years back on teaching a kid how to use binoculars.
  • Whittling tools  Hours of fun, and with the added danger of a trip to the emergency room!  Just kidding… sort of.  Buy a thumb guard, or put a leather glove on the hand holding the carving wood to reduce the chance of injury.  If you want to splurge, get a beginner’s set of wood-carving tools.  Otherwise set them free with a pocket knife (there are many good pocket knives for young outdoorsmen, but I will forever be partial to Old Timer’s because it was my first).  A good beginner project is a marshmallow roasting stick.  Also fun are flutes.  You can also buy blocks of wood for beginners, or give your novice a bar of ivory soap and see what emerges. (more…)

Your Best Camping Tips (and the winner is…)

Lets get right to it. The winner (chosen by random.org) of the $50 REI gift certificate is LAUREN!! Congratulations!

Her best camping tip:

I have to agree with those who mentioned “the bin” system. I live by it. It makes camping life so much easier. But, a tip of my own… frisbees make great plates and obviously provide other fun functionality as well, and always have duct tape on you… whether car camping or backpacking. It’s easy to have a bit of it wrapped around your water bottle or stashed and it almost always comes in handy. I mean, what can’t you fix with duct tape? :)

Now for a roundup of YOUR BEST CAMPING TIPS:

Note: Some comments were combined and most have been shortened, for details on these ideas read through the comments on this post.

1. Create “The Bin”, The Bin (a rain proof tote) has everything you need for your camping trip with mini-bins inside separating your camp area essentials (make two: one for backpacking, car camping, etc.).

2. Go often. The more often you go, the easier it is to actually get out the door because you have to establish some sort of a routine to actually get out the door!

3. Glowsticks and headlamps for kids. Makes them easier to spot in the dark, plus makes the dark that much more fun.

4. Simplifying your meals and prepare as much as you can ahead of time.

5. When camping with kids, go with another family. Everything seems a little more manageable when there are more hands on deck.

6. We have a list that we print out before every camp trip so we don’t forget anything. We have a specific list for camping near water, in the mountains, or backpacking. (more…)

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    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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