When I first told a friend I was going camping, she jokingly replied, “Oh, you’re staying at a hotel without room service?” Nope, girlfriend! This is the the real deal! Sleeping… In a tent… On the ground. And I’m proud to say that I
survived had a fabulous time!
My husband likes to call me a “city girl” because despite growing up in this beautiful area, I’ve never gone camping. Truth be told, I don’t even really like hiking. Yes, I said it! The outdoors just isn’t my thing. Bugs lead to bug bites, sun leads to tan lines, and dust and dirt lead to more laundry. But since I want my kids to love and appreciate nature, I’m willing to lather on the sunscreen and douse myself with mosquito spray so I can head outside with my family.
Camping Life Is The Best Life
Due to work, we only managed to go camping for one night instead of the two nights we had planned. (And I know what you’re going to say… That’s not enough time to really experience camping!) But it was a great first taste of camping with the whole family. In fact, it was quite a successful trial run. Lucky for my husband, that means I’m willing to go camping again in the future.
So to help you stay sane and enjoy your camping trip, here are 4 simple tips for fellow indoorsy mamas like me!
1. Make Your Campsite Yours
Your campsite is truly a home away from home. My favorite part of preparing for our trip was finding a way to add my own personal touch. I brought disposable tablecloths, plates and napkins, which can easily be picked up at the Dollar Store. Along with a cooler filled with food (and wine), we brought a propane camping stove for our meals. And our picnic blankets went to good use for our kids to play on without getting too dirty.
Indoorsy Mom Tip: Use outdoor pillows to create your own little oasis inside the tent and then use them overnight while you’re sleeping under the stars.
2. No Shower, No Problem
After hiking, playing at the beach or swimming in the river, the best feeling in the world would be a nice, warm, relaxing shower. But most campsites don’t have that luxury. So at a minimum, baby wipes and deodorant will help ward off the stink. With a toddler still in diapers, I always have a pack of baby wipes with me anyway. But I recently starting bringing cleansing cloths, which are larger than regular baby wipes, whenever we go on vacation to give the kids a quick “bath” and found them really useful for myself too.
Indoorsy Mom Tip: Wash your face with cleansing water and I promise, you’ll instantly feel refreshed! Just apply to a cotton pad and wipe all around your face – no need to rinse. And of course, don’t forget your dry shampoo!
3. Keep The Pests Away
Bugs are by far my least favorite part of being outdoors. It’s likely related to the fact that mosquito and spider bites tend to swell up the size of baseballs, leaving me with dark ugly scars. So you better believe I brought a couple different brands of insect repellent, and we all wore mosquito repellent bracelets. I finished the camping trip with one single mosquito bite, so I’m calling it a win. I’ve been told that mosquito nets over your tent are also helpful, so I may add that to my arsenal for longer trips. But since nothing is 100% foolproof, it’s always a good idea to throw some antihistamine ointment in your bag too.
Indoorsy Mom Tip: Light a couple citronella candles or add thyme to the campfire. Not only will they create a nice ambiance and aroma, but they will also work to repel those annoying bugs.
4. Safety First
I suffer from excessive planning, and I prefer to be over-prepared than under-prepared. My car is always equipped with first-aid essentials, like band-aids and antibiotic ointment. But when out in the wilderness, I brought a more comprehensive medical kit, which included treatment for burns, lacerations, and even tools for CPR. Additional safety items are flashlights and glowsticks, which we typically have on hand already.
Indoorsy Mom Tip: (This is really a tip for anyone) Know where the closest ER or Urgent Care is. And always make sure someone knows where you and your family are going camping.
Now that you’ve read my simple tips, do you have any additional tips for a newbie camper like me?