Camping Quick And Easy- Tips For Spur Of The Moment Camping

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.

Tent Camping In A State Park

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

electrical cords

electric skillet


2 queen size air mattresses

air pump



food- wet (2 coolers)

food- dry

electric fans

toys for kids

geocaching equipment


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.

Packing for Spur of the Moment Camping

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.

Map of a State Park

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.

Campground Playground

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.

Picnic Area Sign

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.

Exploring the Creek.

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.

Reading and relaxing at the campground.

After a bit of resting, relaxing and reading it was time to start supper for the night, then sit around the campfire.

Reflecting on Nature's Beauty

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.

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Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

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  1. This sounds just like us. We love getting up on Saturday morning, seeing where the weather is going to be nice, pack up and go camping for the night. Just this past weekend, while we had been contemplating whether to go camping during the week, it wasn’t until Saturday morning that we made our final decision and packed up to go (including all our kayaking gear) in about an hour. Other times we do plan/pack on the Friday night but rarely do we leave on the Friday if my husband has been working. We find it more relaxing and enjoyable to relax at home on Friday and then head out bright and early in the morning on Saturday – that being said a three-year old is part of the mix and it may change as he grows up. People sometimes asks whether it’s worth all the fuss just for one night… and I have to answer with a resounding YES! Just make sure that you have your gear organized and a good gear list.

    • About an hour– wow, you guys can pack up quick! I agree with you about it being worth all the fuss for just one night. With kids you have to do things when you get the chance.

  2. Dianne Edwards says:

    If you can find a campsite easily, without booking reservations in advance, go for it! Our camping equipment is always ready to go. I have a check list, and each tub is labeled. All we have to do is get our groceries and buy ice. (Having camping equipment “ready-to-go” is also good in times of emergency.)

  3. Miranda says:

    We did the same thing this weekend! The weather looked cool so we jumped at the chance. We are doing our best to hike as much as we can with our two year old boxer. Our trick to be ready at any time is clean up as soon as we get home and keep an organized camp box.

    Keep up the great post!

  4. Just want to thank Lacey again for sharing this great post and all the wonderful pics with us!

    It sounds like there are several of you guys who are ready to camp at a moments notice. And you guys have at least one thing in common– you keep your camping gear organized and ready to go.

  5. carla sue says:

    I was excited to see this blog about Wall Doxey State Park, as we are visiting Holly Springs in November! My first time to the deep South. We will be visiting for my husbands fathers 80th Birthday. This looks like a beautiful park, and I love to take pics of places I visit of course!

    Now Im a NW girl, when it comes to camping, and I see you camp in the South alot, I will be honest , Snakes scare me… this something to be cautious about all the time in the South? We are cautious when we camp in Eastern Washington, Oregon, Idaho…etc….with the rattlesnakes. I live in Western Wa. but we go East alot to get the warmth, averages 90s in Summer, Western Wa, avg temps 70s…

    I look forward to exploring Holly Springs, I will start researching the area soon in preparation of our trip!


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