Sometimes you plan a camping trip months ahead of time. Other times the opportunity arises at the last minute. Are you prepared to go camping quick? Today we have a guest post from Lacey Bishop. This camping mom shares her tips on spur of the moment camping. She gives a step by step look at how it’s done.
Recent Spur of the Moment Camping Trip: Leaving home May 19th and returning May 20th, 2012
My husband mentioned on Friday night us going to Wall Doxey State Park in Holly Springs, MS first thing Saturaday morning and camping one night. Since this campground is only 45 minutes from home, and we had yet to camp this year, I jumped at the opportunity. I also knew that there were several new geocaches located within the state park. Since I am an expert at packing up camp, I was able to get all our gear ready within a couple of hours. My family would consist of myself, husband, 9 year old daughter and 12 year old niece.
List of My Camping Gear
large 3 section one room tent
2 queen size air mattresses
food- wet (2 coolers)
toys for kids
2 lawn chairs
As you can see, trying to pack this amount of gear takes a bit of time, but having a good check list, storage containers and trying things out, I was able to get everything loaded into the back of my husband’s pick up.
Setting up camp with our large tent takes two people about 20 minutes. The hardest part of setting up camp is driving around the campsite looking for the perfect spot.
Things to Look For When Locating The Perfect Camping Spot
Location to bathroom
Level of ground service
Neighbors (noisy, other kids, strange man alone, group, older couple, etc…)
Water areas that can be dangerous for kids
Location to playground
Size of area to place tent
These items are things that I have to take into account when scouting out the location for my family to camp. I have to take a piece of paper and write down all the site numbers that will work as options and then go to the park manager and then book the site. If I am traveling out of state I will always call ahead and talk with the park manager about these items before hand, to insure that my family has the best camping experience.
Making Use of State Park Facilities
I always make a point to check in with the nearest office and pick up a map of the area. Talk to your campground director or park manager some time during your stay. They love to hear about your experience with the park whether good or bad.
While my husband and I set up camp the girls rode their bikes around the campground loop and found the kids’ park. Quite a nice setup for the younger kids.
After setting up the site it was lunch time, so I loaded everyone up and off we went and found the perfect outdoor picnic area under a tree near the water to eat sandwiches.
This was the time that we got to meet other campers who were out enjoying the park. Remember to wave and be friendly– the other families are out enjoying nature just as you are.
Since my family love geocaching (think scavenger hunting with a GPS, in which we locate hidden boxes filled with fun stuff) after lunch we hiked two miles on the trails within the park and found 4 geocaches right off the trail.
The girls took a few minutes to stop and cool off dipping their feet into the water. This gave us another chance to check for any ticks that might have attached to our clothing.
After a a long day of hiking, in May Mississippi weather we headed back to camp to cool off, and relax for a bit.
After a bit of resting, relaxing and reading it was time to start supper for the night, then sit around the campfire.
Taking a moment to reflect on all of nature’s beauty.
Camping is a great family activity whether going to the backyard, or hundreds of miles away. Sometimes the best camping is done within a short drive from home for only one night. It is about spending time with your family and getting outside.
Lacey Bishop is 35 years old and the proud mother of a nine year old daughter Katelyn and wife to Scott. Lacey loves camping and spending time outdoors. Her family lives in Oxford, Mississippi and they love to tent camp. She is the Board Secretary for the Mississippi Geocachers Association which promotes getting families outside for healthy exercising while participating in the fun sport of geocaching.