It’s camping weather in our neck of the woods–warm days, cool evenings, chilly mornings. We head out to the state park, set up the tent, stock firewood, tell scary stories, toast marshmallows, cook hot dogs over the fire, and rent a canoe.
After several camping trips with our kids, my husband and I learned to pare down our supplies to the essentials. The less stuff we have to haul and unpack, the easier it is to set up camp. As tent campers, everything must fit in our car, and the tent itself and sleeping bags take up a good bit of space. We like to stow everything in plastic storage bins with snap-on lids. These keep things dry if it rains, are fairly critter-proof, easy to pack ahead and store, and do double duty as a kitchen sink, a laundry basket, a baby bathtub, a foot-washing station, a footstool, or a bedside table.
As for destinations, with young kids, it’s good to start off with places fairly close to home. We like to camp at state parks, because in addition to being affordable, the ones we have been to have restrooms with showers, hiking trails, canoe rentals, paddle boats, swimming areas, wildlife education, and a family-friendly environment. There are lots of opportunities for nature study, and there is lots of time for just hanging out and reconnecting with our surroundings and each other.
Everyone comes home a little dirty and sleep-deprived, but all agree that it makes for a perfect weekend vacation.
For more camping ideas and inspiration, check out our Camping board