As a little getaway after tax season, Zach and I are heading out camping at a nearby state park, while the kids spend time with their grandparents. It’s our first time camping! Neither of us has been since childhood, and we have high hopes of creating a family tradition of camping several times a year. After checking the weather, it looks like we will get a break in the rain and be able to go this weekend as planned.
Since it is our first time pitching a tent and sleeping in the great outdoors, we thought it wise to go without the kids first, to get our feet wet, without the added stress of parenting. Camping seems to fit in perfectly with our penchant for simplicity. We hope it will give us (and eventually our kids) a chance to unplug, get outdoors and reconnect with each other. After the initial cost of purchasing gear, it is an excellent, low-cost type of adventure.
Luckily, for this first trip we have been able to borrow almost everything from family. Gradually we hope to build a stockpile of our own camping gear. While visiting my parents last month, I jotted down their sage advice and did some research to compile a list for the trip. My mom remembered when we went camping as a young family, she would just stow her gear list with the tent so all the essentials would get packed for every trip.
We’ll be car camping, which is much more luxurious than backpacking, even if you do end up in the middle of a campsite that has a layout similar to a subdivision. We’ll see if it is the quiet and peaceful getaway we’re hoping for!
Camping List for Newbies: What to Pack
(Since we’ve borrowed almost everything, I’m linking to similar items so you can get an idea of what will be in our car.)
A tarp to layer underneath and prevent your tent from ripping.
Tent, note: a 4-person fits 2 comfortably.
A mallet to drive in tent stakes.
An air mattress with battery-powered pump.
Sleeping bags and pillows
Stocking hats for cold nights.
A french press and kettle (or aeropress that’s on our wishlist) for coffee.
A cooler and ice to transport food and drinks.
A Coleman stove, cast iron skillet, metal spatula, and potholders for breakfast.
Hot dog sticks, camp chairs, and cozy blankets for meals by the fire.
A lighter, matches, newspapers, hatchet, plus wood purchased at the park.
A tablecloth, trash bags, heavy duty aluminum foil, dish pan, sponge, and dish soap for clean up.
Cutting board and knife
Flashlights and batteries
Minus food, this is our list. Am I forgetting anything? Have you camped before… love it? …hate it? I’ll let you know how our adventure pans out. Happy end of tax season, everyone!