Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Family Vacation Planning-Camping

Having a toddler makes family vacations...interesting. Unless the trip is to visit distant family (and sometimes even then) a lot of planning has to go into keeping a creature with the attention span of a gnat entertained. Before kids Hubby and I enjoyed going to new places and checking out the historical interests: museums, reenactments, walking tours, that type of thing. The type of thing that bores Munchkin to tears and a bored toddler makes sure everyone in a city block knows it (especially those people who don't really care for kids. Its a super power kids have.) Our vacations have become mostly trips to the beach (wide open space, child can run forever and scream themselves silly without bothering anyone) or to visit relatives.

This year I want to branch out, try some new things, go to new places. One of my ideas is to go camping. Its something my family did a lot since it wasn't very expensive and there was something for everyone to do. One year we even went gold-panning and found a little bit of gold dust. Its high time I drug Hubby and Munchkin outside to experience the Great Outdoors, sans electronics.
Photo by A. Wildman©2009 

There are many types of camping, from a motor home with all the amenities (Hubby's first choice) to the bare essentials, even something called glamping. While my favorite when I was younger was heading out with just the bare essentials (ie food and TP) at this age sleeping in just a jacket on rocks ain't gonna cut it.

Yes, I'm a wuss, bring on the air mattress and super-cozy sleeping bags.

Where to go is easy since I can throw a dart at a map of the Pacific Northwest and find a wilderness area, national forest, or campground nearby. My main concern is what to pack, especially with Munchkin. I want to be sure everyone is comfortable while (somehow) not bringing along the entire house. Somewhere in storage is a great big tent capable of sleeping 12 adults (at least, that's what I remember the box saying) as well as four or five sleeping bags of different weights. What else do I need? Cooking gear, storage containers, the all mighty air mattress....?

As I was making lists (its what I do) of what items are needed and what would be helpful I relied on a little ebook called "Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods-A Family Camping Handbook with Real Food Options". This nifty ebook by Katie Kimball (the awesome mama behind Kitchen Stewardship) walks the reader through the basics of camping-from where to camp to what supplies are needed to tips on how to pack everything you need in the car (and still maintain your sanity). There are chapters on dealing with weather, cooking over a campfire (complete with recipes) and my ultimate favorite:camping with kids (specially the toddler section)

I love how down-to-earth the ebook is. Though a veteran camper there were tricks I hadn't thought of, like keeping a sleeping bag rolled up during the day so it will be warmer when you climb in at night. Not to mention over 10 pages of recipes (not all of them are paleo/primal but they are all handmade, no-processed-junk items. If your a Perfect Paleo Peep avert your eyes from the grain items) that are perfect for camping.

And there are lists at the end! (I especially like the Basic Camping Supply Shopping/Borrow List for Rookies). All in all it is a great resource and reminded me of several items I need to get before we can embark on our Great Outdoor adventure. I can't wait to get the family out in the woods!

Interested in getting a copy of "Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods"? Its part of the Toadally Primal Wellness Bundle that is on sale now-33 ebooks for only $39!!

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