Prep for Camping Doesn't Need to be Stressful
So today's the big day - and just like many Canadian families like mine who have found a car rental deal, we're off to go camping at a beautiful lake in Southern British Columbia. Just la famille et moi! Am I excited? You bet, although I have to admit that the whole camping thing usually isn't my cup of tea. I've always been of the mindset that if you have to spend money on camping gear, food, a decent tent and for staying at a campsite why not spend that cash instead on a comfortable hotel room with real beds, a shower and something as luxurious as a toilet? Is that so wrong? Well, apparently not everyone in my nuclear family thinks as I do and unfortunately in our family majority rules.
But yes, I am excited simply because my kids have been virtually doing backflips for the past few days in anticipation. For them there is nothing better than loading up our cheap car rental to head out and enjoy the freedom of spending full days outside, sleeping in a tent, eating s'mores and hot dogs roasted on an open fire and most especially, getting dirty! I think they are going to hold a competition amongst themselves to see who can come home the crustiest.
Anyway, the part that I find a bit stressful is the menu planning. And of course, since I am mamma bear the task of deciding what to eat has fallen on my shoulders. So, after getting advice from friends and fellow campers, I have come up with a list of how to properly plan/pack food supplies for camping. Hopefully this will help you prep for your next adventure in the great outdoors:
- Make a menu of what you plan on eating for each meal. Make it simple! There's no need to eat gourmet - especially when you are traveling with little ones.
- Shop for/pack items that are ONLY on your meal plan. You definitely do not want to overpack. Who wants to bring home and then eat leftovers from camping? Not I.
- Prep some of the meals before you go and then pack them in a cooler. The last thing you want is to have to meal prep at the site. You've got better things to do.
- Pack healthy snacks - Sure, I know, kids need to eat junk while they are away camping, it just goes with the territory (someone wise once told me that every kid needs to eat Oreos for breakfast at least once in their life). That said, there's nothing wrong with sneaking in a few carrot sticks, apples and granola.
- When you are packing, put items that are for each particular meal together. This way you won't have to rummage through 18 different boxes in order to find the items for one meal. There's a lot to be said for being organized.
- Have fun! I have decided to just go with the flow. Remember, the point of camping is to relax and unwind. Don't let meal prep stress you out. And if all you and your kids eat are chips, mushy oatmeal, s'mores and hotdogs for a weekend it really isn't the end of the world (or at least this is what I am trying to tell myself).