is about how to make your own little oasis at the campground. Making family trips stylish and comfortable. I encourage you to camp in gourmet comfort even if you have kids. I invite you tell your stories and ask your questions. I will also keep you informed on Northern California events.
Keeping a camping blog during summer is like trying to read on the tread mill. I'm sure it can be done but were so darn busy with camping, gardening, swimming, packing, unpacking that well it's like being on a tread mill.
The car is packed and the cooler ready to load. It's 6 am and I'm up to take care of the last details to make our trip wonderful.
House straightened Clean hamster cage Perishable food in fridge is out Plants watered Showered and dressed
This will be our longest camp trip yet, it's for five nights. Included in our trip other than the standard camping agenda is site seeing, dinning in local restaurants, shopping, wine tasting and even going to an outdoor concert for my birthday.
Just because were camping or "glamping light" doesn't mean we have to rough it all the way. Sure hiking, biking and roasting marshmallows will be done but the beauty of a five day trip is enjoying more than just dirt and burgers.
Chow for now, with so much more to share when we come home,
Tent size matters and comfort makes you sleep better.
This is really the MOST IMPORTANT matter when it comes to "Camping In Style!" Your only as good as your sleep right? A tiered camper has wimpy hikes, a dull eye for nature and an overall crummy feeling that takes the whoo hooo out of camping. You'll become a real camping grump without good sleep...... “What was I thinking? Camping is saposto be fun? Ugh!”
There are a few things to consider here when getting a good night sleep and "Camping In Style". Let’s first talk tents then what to sleep on and finally bedding.
WHY TENT SIZE MATTERS Let me ask you a few questions first
How many will be sharing your tent Will your dog or dogs be in the tent with you How handy and patient are you and your co-campers How many days will you be camping
Now take the amount of campers x's patients + days camping and you have the formula for the size tent you will want with how much work it takes to put it up. Yeah like that made since........... Last year I finally broke down and bought a two room tent. My reasoning was that with a tall husband who doesn't like to tent camp, a young kid and a big dog with separation anxiety we needed more space. So I decided to do more three plus days camping to make the most of the effort it takes to put up the bigger tent. (Less than 30 min. to assemble)
That being said. You have to decide what you need, what you’re willing to tote and how much work you want to do putting up your tent. I would make sure whatever size you buy, rent or borrow that the tent has good reviews and says easy to assemble. EBay, Craigslist, REI and Colman are good places to start. You get what you pay for here. Usually the more expensive tents are better quality and easier to assemble. Personally if you’re going for a bigger tent I really like the two rooms. One side for sleeping and the other for your cloths, pets, dirty shoes, and things you want out of site when you leave the campground. I find this makes camping so much more enjoyable because I'm not crawling around a mess of cloths with no place to put anything. Again if you don't have kids or pets a smaller tent is perfect.
When the label says a five person tent they measure five bodies side by side. So about two to three persons minimal per one camper makes for a comfortable size tent.
WHAT SHOULD WE SLEEP ON
Sometimes when I'm packing my car I say to myself "Geeze I'm bringing every thing but the kitchen sink" I feel like a pack rat and my husband inevitably says "Gosh Ruth how much more are you going to bring?" I hate hearing that because if I didn't bring it all he would complain about how uncomfortable car camping is. Not to mention I spent many years taking pride in camping light so my ego takes a hit. There are several ways you can go with the bed.
Air Mattress (best bang for the buck) Camping Pad (costly, great for one person, saves space, one of my favorites) Foam (awkward, heavy, bulky) not worth talking about
I have one thing to say about air mattresses. INTEX. That’s it. I stop there. No other air mattress will last. They all leak, break, leave you sleeping on the ground by the end of the night. The others SUC_ ! So if you’re going with an air mattress get a quality brand that is for outdoor sleeping. Make sure to read about blanket and how to keep an air bed warm or you WILL be cold and sweaty at the same time.
Now onto camping pads. These are the best way to go really. If only one or two of you are camping or cost is not an issue. These pad can cost about $200 each. You can cut down bulk with these and still be comfortable. I ask you this. Do you care if you have a crease in the middle between tow beds, do you care that you may need to use a sleeping bag and it may be separating you and the one you want to snuggle with? The ones that my girlfriend Kim and Mike use for rafting trips is the best I've seen yet. They are called Paco Pads and are made out of PVC and are about 3" thick, they really are comfortable and virtually indestructible.
Otherwise do go by rating and reviews. Check out REI for ratings
NOW LETS TALK Sleeping Bag vs. House Blankets
Rule number one with an air mattress is whatever the outside air temp. So will be the temp of the air in the bed you’re sleeping on. (Not as much of an issue with pads) It's like sleeping on ice that makes you sweat. It's the ickiest feeling ever. Simple solution. Place a sleeping bag or duvet between you and the mattress PLUS a wool blanket. If you like to keep it simple and cuddling up with someone isn't important then buying a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the temperature your camping in will do just fine. Still a wool blanket under you will keep an airbed warmer. The other thing I see over and over again is campers bringing as many blankets and covers as they use at home. If you’re camping in Tahoe anytime of year it gets down to the 30's or 40's at night. So bring enough blankets to keep you warm plus one or two. Here is what I bring as crazy as it sounds.
1 Intex queen airbed 1 wool blanket to sleep on top of 1 duvet to sleep on 1 set of flannel sheets 1 duvet to cover up 2 blankets from my bed at home 1 fleece camping blanket "just in case" 3 feather pillows
I sometimes feel like my camp bed is totally equal to home. So I encourage you to take your bed seriously.
A FEW OTHER ITEMS I USE TO HELP ME SLEEP Melatonin time release sleep aid Taking a bath before bed makes for a clean feeling sleep
Ware slippery leggings to keep warm without catching the sheets
Ear plugs No water or beer three hours before I go to bed Knowing for sure I packed all my food in bear box and took everything out of my car I also checked again to see that nothing is in my tent other than water so when I hear noises at night I can feel confident that it's not coming from our campsite. Use a fan for white noise
RECAP POINTERS PLUS MORE TID BITS:
Bring ear plugs to help block out noise esp. if you go to bed early or sleep in late
Find a place to pee away from you tent before you go to sleep (if that's your style)
Place a tarp under your tent and fold the edges under if you expect any rain
Ware a base layer of silky or slippery leggings and long shirt for bed
Keep your socks in your bed to keep warm for wake up
Take melatonin or sleep aid just in case
If your using an air bed insulate from the cold air in the mattress with wool and sleeping bag
Last night my daughter and I packed our cloths for our five day camping trip coming up next week. I washed everything is unscented soap and focused on packing old cloths. Adrienne who is five loves this activity. I like packing cloth several days before our trip so I have time to wash anything that needs to be washed and because I know the days leading up to such a big trip will be busy with cooking/freezing food, shopping, planning and pulling it all together.
Here are a few links to help you get started knowing what to pack for a week long trip:
Cloths: I like clean cloths so a long trip means packing more, washing a few things or I check to see if they have a laundry facility. BRING CHANGE if they do. Wash all your cloths in scent free detergent so your not attracting mosquito's.
ADULT 5 DAY TRIP CLOTHS:
3 Long Sleeve Shirts 3 Short Sleeve Shirts 3 Tank Tops (good for layering cool days/nights) 1 or 2 Sleeping Ware (can double as day cloths, up to you) 3 Long Pants Assorted Soft / Jeans (unless it's VERY hot weather then 2) 3 Shorts (unless it's very cool weather then 2) 1 Skirt or Dress Optional 1 Long Sleeve Fleece Hooded Jacket 1 Down Vest 1 Light Rain/Wind Jacket (just in case)
1 Water Sandals 1 Hiking/Walking Shoes 1 Flip Flops For Shower Etc... 1 Pair Of Fleece Boots Optional 5 Pair Of Under Ware 4 Pair Of Socks 1 Bandanna 1 Sun Hat 1 Swimsuit
FOR CHILDREN ADD EXTRA SOCKS/UNDER WARE AND A PAIR OF GLOVES FOR LITTLE ONES. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH SHOES ESP. IF YOUR NEXT TO WATER. CROCS WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOUR CHILD A WAY TO HAVE DRY FEET.