I really, really want the snow, rain, and fog to let up so we can go camping.
The weather is understandable, since it’s February, but I’m still impatient.
For me, the “I can’t wait to go camping” attitude is a far cry from 3 years ago, when our daughter was under a year old, and we were tent camping – not in a cushy camping trailer like we are now. And let me tell you, the experience is VERY different.
While I’m so thankful for the way we camp now, in the time that we roughed it in a tent, I learned a few tricks about how to make it easier, cooler, and a happier experience for everyone.
Here are 7 Life-Changing Tent Camping Hacks you need to know:
Outside The Tent
One of the best things we did was invest in camping mats, both for underneath the tent and for right outside the door. I like these because they’re affordable, and they cover a large area. This keeps dirt away from the entrance of the tent and gives us a place to take off our shoes before entering. Plus, we travel with a large dorm-sized fridge, and this gives us a relatively clean place to put it – outside the tent – and makes meals so much easier.
Two things we never leave behind when camping are glow sticks and water – and those two things are just what you need to make really cool outside lighting. Simply drop a glow stick or two into each gallon water jug for a just-bright-enough glow. We have more outdoor lighting ideas too.
Need more light than the slow stick hack above provides? Solar lights are super cheap now, so stake a few outside your tent for a glow that only uses the power of the sun.
Inside The Tent
We’ve all been there – camping on pine cones, rocks, and sticks. It seems like no matter how well you clear the ground before pitching your tent, something always ends up under it. I actually bruise really easily and even those little bumps turn into big bruises. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: Use kids’ foam floor tiles on the bottom of your tent. Not only will they even out the floor and absorb some of the unevenness, they’ll help to protect your air mattress.
We have a toddler, who is afraid of the dark inside of the tent and now inside of the camper. Since outlets are in short supply, and a flashlight isn’t a good solution, we’ve discovered that Christmas lights make the perfect addition to the tent – and keep away to boogeyman just right. A few lights go a long way, so you won’t need a super long strand, either.
Traditionally, we all travel with a packed suitcase, but in a tent a suitcase just doesn’t work very well. Use a hanging sorter to pack each person’s outfits in, with an extra bag for dirty laundry. It will take up less space, be easier to organize, and if it starts to smell like smoke from the campfire, you can easily throw it in the wash. Plus, make your trip easier by picking the right tent for the kind of camping you’ll be doing.
Sleeping on an air mattress is, well…..not a great experience. Even with the nicest, cushiest air mattress, more than a couple of nights sleeping on it will leave you sore and tired. Add a fold up air mattress frame to elevate your sleeping game and the whole camping trip will be that much more fun.
You’ll get bonus points if you bring pillows and nice linens from home. It seems counter intuitive to pack nice bedding to go camping but you’ll need to trust me: when you sleep better, everything goes better.
One of the best things about camping is just how much you can personalize it to you and your family.
For us, it’s less about nature and more about a comfortable time with family and friends – and that means making the experience as easy as possible!
Til Next Time,
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