Camping! Dos and Don’ts

I have to admit, I was not totally looking  forward to this camping trip last week. I booked it and was SUPER excited until the week before. Then I made a packing list and was like, oh sh*t.

Because this is what I came up with:

Sleeping Eating Clothing Sitting Other Maggie
Tents/ Mallet Snacks 3 outfits 4 chairs First aid kit Bowls
Sleeping bags Meals (see food list) Rain jackets Old blankets Wipes Toys
Lamp Plates Diapers Sunscreen Crate
Tarps Cups/ water bottles Watershoes/sneakers/ keens Bug spray Towels
Pillows Silverware Suits TP Food
Flashlights Small table Beach towels toiletries Bones
Animals Baggies  Life jackets  toys  tether
Book Trash bags  Fire starter
Paper towels  Lighter

Packed into:

  • Little boy nighttime backpacks
  • Clothing Bag
  • Cooler
  • Food Bag
  • Supply Bag
  • Maggie Bag


And boy, was Saturday morning interesting getting all this stuff into the car.

But I’ll tell you what–once we pulled out of the driveway, we had an AMAZING weekend. We are in love with the NC mountains are are already planning our next trip.

So, what did we learn from this trip?


Find a campground well in advance. I booked 6 weeks in advance and it was totally booked almost everywhere. We ended up at Ash Grove and it was lovely, but wish I had started sooner.

Make a packing list. Only way to avoid forgetting things–because you have to take ALL THE THINGS. And do as much pre-work as possible (chopping, dividing, organizing). It was tough up front, but easy when we got there.

Plan SIMPLE meals. We ate hot dogs, fruit salad, and chips for dinner and cereal for breakfast. And of course, S’mores. This made things so easy.

Do lots of leisurely nature walks. The boys were simply enthralled by the woods. It was a joy to experience with them.

Make a camping bin. We will do this next time–a plastic bin that has all the camping supplies in it that we can just grab and go.


Schedule too tightly. I over scheduled us on the first day and I hate being late–so I ended up stressed. It takes longer to drive places in the mountains, enjoy the moment and the scenery.

Be too strict about bedtime. I’m normally a bedtime stickler, but the boys had a blast playing in the tent together and eventually fell asleep around 10pm. And with us in the tents and not getting dark until 9pm, the normal schedule just isn’t going to happen.

(don’t) Think about being murdered. I got spooked in the middle of the night and was ready to kill someone with a maglite. Don’t be me.

Forget toiletries. See number 2 in the “Dos.” Whoops.

I am still surprised how much I loved it. And Maggie did great–we are looking forward to the day when she doesn’t have to be crated–that will make a lot of space in the car!

Any camping tips for us for next time?



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