Our very first camping trip

We went on our very first camping trip. I chose Ottawa Lake Campground in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. It turned out to be an excellent place with tall the amenities we like (flush toilets, hot showers, electricity). Here are some visuals…

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And now I would like to document some successes and some, uh, “learning moments.” Seeing as this was the first camping trip we’ve taken as a family and my first since I was a young teen, we were bound to learn a lot this go round.

Things we did right:

-Set up immediately upon arrival. The sky opened up into a thunder/hail storm just moments after returning to our site after we had set up and taken a little walk around.

-Packed loads of aluminum foil and baby wipes. I think we could have accomplished anything with those two items well stocked.

-Packed fresh foods for snacks, just like if we were to be at home.

Things we could do better next time:

-Invest in some vacuum seal bags. The car was PACKED on the way up. We were able to condense a bit for the way home, but the pillows, bags, and blankets would take up loads less space if vacuum sealed.

-Don’t pack anything in paper Whole Foods bags. They will rip.

-Invest in an electric (or battery? or both?) heater and fan. We didn’t need the latter, but borrowed the former from my aunt and were very happy to have in when it got down to the high 30s/low 40s at night.

-BUY DISPOSABLE EVERYTHING FOR EATING. Yeah, we safe the earth all day long at home. We don’t even use paper towels in the kitchen. But for camping? Washing dishes sucks. I would much rather invest in some bulk Costco buys and have more time to enjoy that have to think about washing everything all the time.

-Put aluminum foil around anything you want to put near the fire and don’t want soot on (think tea pot, cast iron skillet).

-Buy more wood than you think. Maybe we’re sucky fire-builders, but more wood is good.

-Triple check the food list. I forgot the fresh veggies for snacking and ended up only packing the fruit. We survived, but I sure did miss it.

-Use suntan lotion like woah, even when it’s cold. Art got the worst of it, followed by Lily, and even my nose is a little red. Because, duh, we were outside during every waking hour for three days.

I’m so excited that the trip was such a success though and that we get to do it whenever we want now. I’m going to research some local campgrounds so maybe we could do little two day trips too since set up and take down wasn’t a big deal.

Yaaay, camping!

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