Monday, May 7, 2012

Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!

I mentioned before we can be ready to head to the woods in a couple of hours.  How in the world can that be done?  With kids?  Well, --I don't really ever unpack...

I have 2 plastic tubs- the big 5 gallon plastic things.  They are both the same color blue.  All of our camping necessities stay in those tubs.

Tub one contains all the cooking necessities:  spatula, can opener, fire/oven mitts, marshmallow roasters,  scissors paper bowls, paper plates, trash sacks, plastic cups, , plastic ware, plastic tablecloths,  a couple of dish towels, tongs, spoon, foil, napkins, mugs, cooking oil, skillet, and a small pot.  A note on top reminds me to toss in the lighter, salt and pepper, dish soap, and baby wipes/antibacterial wipes.  (Yes, I have a problem with keeping the table clean...)

Tub two contains other camping gear: bungees, , bird book, binoculars, rope, cards, clothes pins, plastic bags, plastic containers, a short water hose, and a sprinkler-I'll explain later.  The note on the top of it reminds me to toss in batteries, bug spray, sunscreen, flashlights, fire starter, and cast iron dutch oven.

Our sleeping bags are all together in a closet.  After airing them out I repack them with an extra sheet inside.  The camp chairs are in the garage near the truck.

The tent, canopy, and coffee pot (I must have my elixir of life-brewed not instant), cots, and small propane oven are all together in the attic.

Our first aid kit is always packed.  I use it instead of a cabinet in the bathroom.

So if we decide to head our for a quick trip, we grab both tubs.  I add the last minute items to it while my husband pulls out the gear from the attic and the sleeping bags.  He'll pack up his clothes and then start loading the car while I get the kids to pack clothes, a couple of toys, and grab a pillow.  The kids go out to help dad while I pack my bag.

We have a standard short trip menu/shopping list ready.  After we get to the site and unload, the kids and I set up camp and dad does the grocery shopping at a nearby store.

After we get home, I get all the gear cleaned up and repack the tubs.  If I  need to re-stock, I do so before putting the tubs back in the attic to await the next adventure.

Oh, the sprinkler...
One hot, humid weekend trip to Palmetto State Park we needed a way to cool down.  My husband ran to a store in town and brought back the sprinkler and hose.  We hooked it up to the spigot at camp and let the kids (and parents) play.  It wasn't long before all the kids in our little area were over playing.  We made some great friends that trip.  We were the "coolest" site around.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Something to do--geocaching

Treasures inside a geocache to trade
We got hooked onto geocaching through a school project.  I needed to learn all the in's and out's in order to teach it to my students.  My in-laws gave me a geoMate and off we went--I thought.

It wasn't as easy as turning on the gadget and going on our happy treasure hunting way.  Our first trip out was a disaster.  We got lots of exercise, but found absolutely nothing.  Well, nothing except construction sites and a dead coyote.  The kids thought that was cool.

After getting home I went into the geocaching website, and did some research.  I found out that if I made an account, I could see the nearby caches and read the log books to see if the caches were still there.  The one we had looked for had been reported gone a year ago.  We found a couple using the geoMate and the website for research before we went.  Nothing spontaneous.

The next big leap in our geocaching expertise came when I upgraded to (as my daughter calls it) a real phone with 4g LTE and droid apps.  And I thought phones were for calling people!  Silly me!

I could now look up a cache on the phone and read the log at the same time-from anywhere!  Our next camping trip was to Lake Texana.  We hit the app button and off we went.  The kids thought it was great because we got to go off of the marked trails to find treasures.  And did we find treasures!  We carried our bag of trade items- McD's toys, pencils, cool erasers, mini puzzle books, etc.  We traded for Hot Wheels cars, a whistle (which I washed thoroughly in hot water), and wooden toys.  The kids were in heaven.  And my hubby and I got to hike and bird watch while they followed the compass directions-quietly too, but I don't know why...

So, My current best tips for geocaching with you kids on a camping trip:
1.  Carry water,snack, small first aid kit,  and bug spray. (duh!)
2.  Carry a waterproof bag with a pen and some small things to trade.  If you are traveling a distance, something about your home area would be a great trade.
3.  Make sure you have a watch.  You will lose track of time.
4.  Battery back up for the geocaching device you are using.  Sometimes the program seems to eat up battery power.

Speaking of that-I just got a solar cell charger for my phone for camping trips.  I'm using it almost all the time now.  Great investment.

Labels: , , , , , ,