Camping Isn’t That Bad!

Hi OC Family Readers,

Let me first introduce myself, I’m Jill and I am the new campfire momma! I am very excited to share with you the tips and tricks I have learned throughout my years of camping, and the many camping adventures of my family.

To start off, I would have never used to call myself campfire momma.  It wasn’t until I became a mom to all boys, THREE of them, that I would consider myself the camping type! In fact, I never really enjoyed camping. I don’t like dirt, sleeping in a tent, having to wash dishes outside, and did I say dirt? Most of all, I do NOT like cleaning up after a camping trips.  It’s like packing up the entire house to get to go sleep outside in the dirt and then bringing the dirt back home with you!

After having my first son, my husband convinced me that we should take a family camping trip. And although I didn’t want to go, I said yes.  We planned a two night trip, staying close to home, at  San Clemente State Beach. I let my husband plan everything, the food, the packing, the camping gear, and activities. I practically just showed up. I figured he was the Boy Scout, he had it covered. To make a long story short, the trip didn’t end up being a two night trip.

After the first day of eating hot dogs, watching my son getting dirty, not sleeping all night because the ground was hard and my baby was crawling all over the tent, I realized camping was not for me. I looked down at my son with his face smeared in dirt, not having any easy way to clean him up with or any extra clothes, I knew I was DONE. I swiftly took down the tent, packed up all the gear and drove home at 7:00 am.  Our first trip lasted less than 24 hours. Fail.

But not going camping ever again was not an option. My kids and my husband love it, they are happier when they are outdoors in nature. I felt bad not participating with them.  So I convinced my husband to buy me this.

OKAY….this is semi-cheating, not really roughing it. But having a bathroom, shower and beds made camping semi-enjoyable to me. And pretty soon, and baby steps later, I learned to love camping.  I know my kids will always have memories of these trips, and they don’t need to remember a grumpy momma!

Nowdays, we don’t always take the trailer when we go on trips because I now know ways to make camp life easier, like how to pack, what to bring, what not to bring, and have embraced outdoor cooking.  The way I camp is somewhere between glamping and camping….and that’s the way I like it.


5 Quick Tips to Make Camping More Enjoyable

• Choose a campsite that has electrical/water hookups and restrooms – this makes life a whole lot easier.

• Invest in a cot or an air mattress – Nothing is worse than getting a night sleep with a rock in your back or the hard uneven ground.

• Bring pre-made/pre-seasoned food – The less you have to pack the better. And less prep makes more time to relax.

• Keep dish washing to a minimum – Normally, I am not a fan of paper plates and cups, but when I’m camping, I don’t like washing a ton of dishes. This will cut down on clean up time. Please try to use biodegradable paper goods.

• Embrace Dirt – Everyone is going to get dirty on a camping trip. Your kids will be walking around with dirty clothes, hands and faces. Let them be kids and have fun! And remember….baby wipes are your best friend.

These are just a few ways I have learned to make camping fun for me. I look forward to sharing more tips and adventures in camping with OC Family readers!





Keep up with the rest of Jill’s adventures at Sandy Toes and Popsicles on facebook or twitter!


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