July 1, 2015

Camping With The Dews

One of the things Jimmy has wanted to do for, I don't know, ever (?) has been to camping.  I always have an excuse- I'm pregnant and we have a baby were the two solid excuses I could use to weasel my way out of it.  I knew this year I wasn't going to have that option and, call me crazy, but I thought it actually might be fun!  So I added 'camping' to my 32 while 32 list and my goal was to at least go once.
I am happy to report that we have gone twice this summer so far and have at least one more camping trip in the books next weekend.  To say I enjoy camping would be an understatement.  I love it!  It's like we get to go on a mini vacation every couple of weeks or so.  And my kids, oh they love it even more. Kendall has her own little bunk on the opposite side of the camper and she tells everyone she meets about how she sleeps on the top bunk and doesn't even fall off {even though she did once}.  She loves running around and catching fireflies, making s'mores and taking Casey on walks.  She is literally a dream child.  James is in his element, camping.  He is 100% boy to the core.  He loves to get dirty and camping can get a little dirty.
Since we've only been at this a couple of weeks we've got a lot to learn but we've also learned a little more each time we've gone.  As you can see, we're not exactly "roughing it" with the camper.  We have a full kitchen and bathroom, TV with DVD player, heck there's even a Keurig on there so we're basically glamping.  It's really the only way to go, if you can.  This past weekend it rained a ton while we were camping and I was so thankful to have all the extra amenities to keep us sane since we couldn't exactly be outside in thunder and lightening.
One tip we were given when we first started out on this adventure was to stock our camper.  Loading it with our essential items {toothpaste, toothbrush, coffee, first aid kit, deodorant, nail clippers, dishes, griddle, sunscreen, etc} so we weren't packing and loading that every time was the best advice we ever got.  It's nice having everything on there, ready to go, and also leaves less of a headache when packing.  I'm still learning how to pack for camping and my husband will be the first to tell you I've forgotten plenty.
My best advice for camping is to keep it simple.  Don't over-pack because chances are you are not going to wear even half of the stuff you bring.  I don't even pack my make-up except for some tinted, SPF moisturizer.  For food we always do hamburgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese, potato salad, fruit, bacon & eggs, and, of course, s'mores fixings. I always take easy snacks- trail mix, nuts, chips, Luna bars, dried fruit, yogurt.  I don't bring a ton of toys either.  We bring a bunch of books, some trucks for James, a soccer ball, plastic baseball bat and ball, Frisbee, bubbles and sidewalk chalk.  And we try to keep things as "normal" as possible for the kids.  For James I take his sound machine and lavender essential oil for bed time.  Kendall has her blankie and that's really all she needs. See what I mean?  She's a dream child.  And we are definitely more easy going when it comes to scheduling and so far it hasn't come back to bite us in the butt {yet}, fingers crossed.
So far we've stayed pretty close to home.  Last weekend we went to Lake  Cumberland in KY which was about 6ish hours away and that was tough for James.  He doesn't care about  TV so turning on a DVD in the car didn't really help him.  He is just full of energy so he wants "uppy" the whole time.  I know this will get better as he gets older and maybe then we can take the camping trips to some real destination spots.  Any suggestions?
I think one of the things I love most about camping is that it forces us to relax. It's such a simple, low key type of thing and you can make it whatever you want it to be.  If you want to be adventurous and go on nature walks and explore you can but if you just want to chill out and relax you can do that too.  Simple, simple living is what it's all about.  We love it.


  1. We have been camping for over 2 years with Andrew now and he LOVES it. You are right, it is a great way to relax because you can make it as busy (or not busy) as you want!

    We are very fortunate that we live in the south and the weather is camping friendly nearly year round-- we usually don't camp too much in the summer because it is SO HOT, but this year, we actually have been lots- once to the beach (that's a destination for you!!!) and once to a water park/RV resort down here that is really fun so the heat wasn't a big deal since there were pools to stay cool. :)

    RE: stocking the camper- you are correct about that-- we have ours stocked with all of our toiletries, etc. and all of that good stuff. Some items that are helpful but not necessary is that for a garbage can, we bought one of those collapsible ones from camping world, buy you could also use a collapsible laundry hamper from walmart or target. Also, we like to keep board games in our camper along with DVD's in case the weather gets dicey.

    I'm not sure what you have stocked in your camper, but if you can get your hands on an electric griddle, those are really great for breakfasts and such because they are way low maintenance, as well as a crock pot! We like to do ribs in the crockpot or sometimes chili in the fall if it is cold. Also, don't shy away from other meals like Jambalaya, etc. we use a camping stove for that .... although it looks like you have an outdoor kitchen, which is perfect for yummy stuff like that. Another fun idea is a shrimp boil, etc.

    Girl, I could talk camping ALL DAY to you... I love it. haha. :)

    We have OODLES of RV resorts, private campgrounds, and then beautiful state parks as well. Email me and we can chat on where to find some more places to go! :)

  2. Growing up we camped every summer as our family vacations! It was so fun and I have so many awesome memories! I grew up in NW Indiana and one place I remember vividly is camping on Lake Erie. There is actually a camp ground right on the lake. It was so fun and I remember we could walk out in the Lake forever before it got anymore than ankle deep.

    We also went to the Straits of Michigan often, Dunes State Park, Brown County (both in Indiana). So fun!

  3. We love camping too. All of the tips you have been given are dead on. I love that all I have to pack are clothes food and drinks. It makes life easier when you get to camp because there aren't 30 million things you actually have to do before relaxing. This year I am pregnant, with toddler and pre-teen and it's still the most relaxed I am ever. Maybe some day we could meet in the middle and have a blogger camp out. I think James and Oliver would be bff's. Oli is totally in his element when camping to the point that every night when we come home he spots the camper and says... "I go bamping". Heck, if you ever make it to Southern Illinois, where there are a lot of camping places, let us know and we will join you Camping Dews.

  4. Hi Shannon! I love camping and ironically- it's my husband that resists going. Camping so reminds me of my childhood and summers on the boat and sleeping in a tent. You and your family look like you're enjoying camping so much!

  5. Im not sure where you live, but my favorite place in the whole world is Land Between the Lakes in KY...that might be the biggest thing I miss about living in KY - we live in MD now...it's so great with a lake for the kiddos and we did the real deal camping (tent..) but I know there were hook ups. Sounds like fun - we are big campers here... :)

  6. I love seeing your guys' camping adventures! I bet you guys are all creating memories that you will never, ever forget. :)