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Things to be prepared with when going camping…

Yuba Lake - Boat in Campsite

This last weekend, we went camping.  We fancy ourselves as “campers” but realized it has been 3 years since our last camping trip with all four of us.  Scott has taken Jade to the church’s Father-Kid Camp Out (yes, I know it is typically a Father-Son Camp Out, but I’m grateful they allowed daughters to join in the fun).  The next year he took both girls.  So we know they like camping.

Scott is extremely organized.  Once we decided to go camping, he pulled out his “camping packing list” – because he is THAT organized.  He updated it a bit to include some of the different stuff we would need for our first adventure of “boat in campsites”.  (I confess, in the past we have been “car campers” which basically means, we’d pull up to a campsite and set up our tent, blow up mattress etc.  I like being a “car camper”).

I thought I should share with you some of the items that we find very useful and are on our “required” list.  Some of these items have been added to our list since our last trip.

  1. Baby wipes – Last time we went camping, they were a given because Ivy was 1.  This time, we didn’t throw them in and really wished we had.  Think about roasting marshmallows, sticky hands and faces are easily cleaned with baby wipes.
  2. Hand Sanitizer – a given if you don’t have near by running water.  Plus it is much easier before snacks and meals to not make the trek to the bathroom or the water to wash up.
  3. Broom – In my ideal world we’d have a little hand vacuum that we could use.  But, my memories as a child included my mom and grandma sweeping out the tents.  So a broom is a must.  (ESPECIALLY when camping where there is sand).
  4. Plenty of water – Loading up a cooler full of water bottles and filling the empty space with a bag of ice (from Costco, cause the bag is bigger and cheaper) will make it easy for you or the kids to stay hydrated.
  5. First Aid Kit – That may sound like a no brainer, but there are several items you want to include in that first aid kit.  For example: tweezers to get out those burrs that break off in the kids’ skin, burn cream because the fire is HOT, anti-itch cream for after the mosquitoes reminded you to put bug spray on everyone.
  6. Toilet paper – because you never know if someone is going to get a nose bleed or have allergies attack.  Bringing your own is easier than hiking to the bathroom every time someone needs a tissue.
  7. An ax or a shovel – or something to kill the rattle snake that is hanging out in your campsite.  We didn’t kill ours, we just moved our campsite down to the beach where there wasn’t enough weed cover to hide the 6 foot long diamond back with a 2 1/2 inch rattle.

We got to spend some time with our really good friends.  Heather and I sat and visited while the kids played in the water, hiked to the top of the mountain with Scott and Jason, and built sand castles or “fires” in the sand.  We made sure they lived in their life jackets (Jade has a rash on her chin as proof she wore it faithfully).  The kids got creeped out by really big beetles and stayed away from where we found the snake.  There was one scary moment on the boat, but Scott jumped in quickly and made everything okay.  (Can I add here how lucky I feel to have someone who always has his head on his shoulders?  He is always the first to respond while everyone else is frozen in fear.  Plus he is always the one to think everything through rationally and QUICKLY).

Despite all of the wonderful things about the trip, it was a less than ideal camp out.  The winds were horrific.  I’m hoping that it was just the day and that Yuba Lake is not ALWAYS a wind tunnel.  There were huge gusts of wind.  One of them actually picked up our friend’s tent and sent if flying.  I’m also not in love with “boat in” camping.  It isn’t fun having to load the boat with all of your camping stuff, take it to the camp site, leave it on the beach and return to parking lot and ramp to pick up the family and the rest of the supplies.  Plus you have to worry about anchoring the boat (if you weren’t fast enough to reserve a site with a dock).  Even the dock required everyone to walk through water up to at least the middle of their thigh just to get to the beach.

But all in all, the kids are way excited to go camping again.  And they’ll have their chance in just a few short weeks.  Same lake, different camp site.  Praying for no wind.

If you are interested in learning more about Levan and Yuba Lake, be sure to check out Travel Gem.

***What are some important things for you to take when/if you go camping?

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