Camping – or, should I say, looking at pictures of tents and campers on Pinterest – has become my daughter’s obsession lately. After her bedtime story, she begs to look at pictures of tents, camper renovations and pretty campsites on my phone. I have to admit, I’ve gotten pretty into it too … and my daughter and I are currently trying to talk my husband into getting a camper. He reminds me, of course, that we’ve never been camping. I acknowledge this truth in that but remind him that I am from Canada, and so camping is something that will come quite naturally to me. He wasn’t so sure, so I knew my daughter and I needed to prove ourselves.
Fortunately for us, the weather was insanely beautiful here in the Carolinas this past weekend. In the 70s! In January! Time to camp. Over the holidays, I’d picked up a 6-person tent from Target on clearance. I don’t see it online anymore, but it basically looks like this. At the time, I wondered if it was overkill, since there are only four of us in the family. But I was glad I did … I wouldn’t dare go any smaller, we’d be on top of each other. We already had a giant 2-person sleeping bag, so good there. I knew my 35 year old back would not tolerate sleeping on the ground, so did some quick research and picked up this air mattress (and air pump) for cheap on Amazon. So glad I did …. for $13, it exceeded my expectations of how comfortable it would be. I slept like a baby.
While we have a great campground just a mile or two from our house, I thought it wise to stick with the backyard for our first run at camping. With the benefit of having our home 15 feet away, my daughter set about hauling her favorite items from her room into the tent to make it feel like home.
Here were the glamping items that we decided were necessities (most of which we, fortunately, had on hand):
- Air mattress
- Down comforter
- Fluffy pillows
- Fairy lights (we had these left over from Christmas)
- Garland and pom poms (we got ours from Target, but here’s a similar version)
- Fresh flowers
It actually wasn’t that much work … we were set up in less than 30 minutes.
I opted to keep it pretty simple (and kid-friendly) for our first go at camping. While the house was just a short walk away, I picked foods that would work if we were out in the middle of the wilderness (for authenticity!) We do not have a fire pit, so used the charcoal grill as a stand-in for our campfire.
Taco Roll-ups (basically, pre-cooked taco-seasoned ground turkey and shredded cheese, rolled up in tortillas and then wrapped in foil and heated up over our “campfire”)
Veggies and hummus
Fruit (apples and blueberries)
Pan of cinnamon rolls (made ahead of time!)
Honestly, I didn’t really plan any major activities. Electronics were NOT allowed, so we read a couple of age-appropriate ghost stories, but mainly just talked, which was perfect. And, of course, cooking dinner and dessert took some time and attention. We were both fast asleep by 10 pm!
We will definitely be doing this again very soon … hopefully we’ll make it out of our backyard next time!