Planning on taking a camping trip soon in this wonderful spring weather? In my Organized Mom blog post this month, I will share with you useful ideas for organizing your trip from what to pack, locations to camp, and of course having fun around the campfire.
You may wonder at the logic of a campfire in the heat of spring and summer, but a camping trip is not complete without at least an evening fire to make s'mores. There is something so relaxing and awe inspiring about gathering around a campfire with family or friends enjoying this delicious treat.
Since most of us cannot burn a fire in our backyard, heading out to a state or national park or even private land is the best alternative. Here are the top 10 state parks in the United States.
With over 58 national parks and hundreds more state parks, you are sure to find one that fits your schedule and camping needs. The websites above will direct you to information on location, weather, and facilities. The cost of camping is minimal and when you have to watch your vacation budget, it's the best bang for your buck. For example, a family can camp in a shelter at the Glimmerglass State Park in New York for $50-$100 a weekend plus entrance fees. Save even more money by purchasing a National or State Parks Pass for a one-time fee and avoid the daily entrance fees in all the state parks in your state.
Most parks have nature experts who hold classes inside the park to educate campers on what birds and animals live within their park grounds and during some seasons larger activities are planned for younger campers. Just remember each state has vastly different amenities and activities all depending on what part of the country you reside. This creates plenty of options for families and individual campers.
Once you've found a place to camp, it's time to start packing. I suggest making a Master List for camping on your computer. Divide up your list into three categories: Camping Supplies, Food, and Personal Items. Be sure to add to and update this list as needed. When you're ready to go camping, print your list and use it as a checklist... no need to recreate it each time.
Here are a few sometime forgotten items to include on your list
Mallet for hammering the tent stakes
Tablecloth clips for windy days
Clothesline to dry clothing and towels
Clothespins (endless uses)
Tongs for cooking
Plenty of trash bags
Dishpan for washing dishes
Ziploc bags (endless uses)
Broom and dustpan for sweeping out your tent or shelter
Now that you know where you are going and you are packed and ready, the only thing left is to plan some fun when you are camping. Watch my video blog to learn this great campsite game. Everyone gathers around the fire or an open area sitting on the ground or in camp chairs. Only a few players know the rules of the game. The object of the game is to get the other players to say the correct phrase and that can only happen if they clue in on the hands of each person. It starts with going around the circle and each person saying one of these three phrases, "One up, one down", "Two up" or "Two down." There are no other answers.
The answers depend on where their hands are (see video). For the people that have no idea how to play the game, they are uncertain how to get the correct answer. At first they guess, but as time progresses they look for patterns, of which there are none. After some time, everyone begins to get the clues that determine the correct phrase.
Taking a camping trip is one of the best ways to explore a simpler life. Afternoons yield themselves to a nap in the hammock, hiking trails, and families playing games at the picnic table. As an Organized Mom there is just something about getting away for a few days and allowing everyone to unplug from the cell phones, laptops, and iPods. Take the time to schedule a camping trip for your family and enjoy great rewards.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and president and founder of "Get Organized!" "Get Organized!" is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. "Get Organized!" specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes for moms as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas' two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox , and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, Mercator.net , SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. Additionally, Lorraine has shared the stage with stars from HGTV and DYI Network at the Great Big Texas Home Show at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. To obtain more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.