A Girl in Nature

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Hello, and welcome to my new little nook on the web.

If you know me, you also know that I used to run a cake business/blog over on Blogger, and that I shut it down to spend more time with my family. Family is definitely the priority in my life, and I enjoy our time together!

If you don’t know me,  I am sarcastic, funny and just a tad OCD, so if you’re at all like me, I’d be thrilled to have you follow me!

Anyway, we have just returned from our annual family camping trip to gorgeous Algonquin Provincial Park. With our 20+ years of camping experience, a lot of friends ask me what I bring, what kinds of foods I pack… how do I make it as simple as possible? So I thought I would share my tips and tricks, and I need to be quite honest, I am forever on Pinterest to scope out new ideas! There is ALWAYS a new idea on there, so every year, I try something new.

Up until this year, we have always had to borrow a family member’s van to go camping. Recently, we bid farewell to our humble servant, our 1998 Dodge Neon, she was with us for over 14 years. She saw one trip to Algonquin, two kids, several evenings at the drive-in, trips to Ottawa, Kingston, Dunnville and Ohio. Deciding to stick with the same brand, since it did so well for us the first time, we’ve recently purchased a slightly used 2013 Dodge Journey. We absolutely love her, and love that we don’t need to inconvenience anyone when we go back to our favourite place on earth!

journey1

She has already seen many of the places I’ve mentioned above, and our boys love it too because they can plug all their gadgets in and pair their iPads with the stereo.

Anyway… back to the real topic! Camping.

After you have gone camping once or twice, you usually have a good idea of what to bring, what not to bring, what you have a good chance of forgetting and what might make the next trip just a little better! Years ago, a friend asked me for a list of things to bring, so I sat down and typed it all out for her. I still use that list today! Of course, through the years, it’s been edited and changed slightly, to coincide with technology and the lack of or gained space, and of course, our changing interests. Always start with a list! In fact, each year that we come back home, I make a small list of things to replace in our camping gear so that we can buy it ASAP and already have it in there when we need it the following year.

totes

Aside from the master camping list, your stuff needs to be stored. I have been using Rubbermaid totes for several years now, and I find that they are handy because they are both durable and stackable, have lids that actually stay closed, and fit well under our basement stairs. A good way to start out with this is to buy one or two and try them out in your vehicle. We had four of the largest totes, and they fit well in the van, but they didn’t quite cut it in the Journey, so we had to swap two out for half-sized totes, in order to fully utilize the space we have in the back. This led us to downsizing some of the stuff we brought with us this year, but it didn’t affect our activities or the amount of fun we had!

I hope this inspires you to pack smarter for your next trip to the great outdoors. If you’ve planned ahead well, your trip will truly be easier and happier! Next post: the crockpot!

I welcome your comments and any tips you’d like to share 🙂

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