Organizing Your Summer Camping Trip
Planning on taking a camping trip soon in this wonderful spring weather? In my Everything Organized blog post this month, I will share with you useful ideas for organizing your trip from what to pack, locations to camp, and of course having fun around the campfire.
You may wonder at the logic of a campfire in the heat of spring and summer in Texas, but a camping trip is not complete without at least an evening fire to make s’mores. There is something so relaxing and awe inspiring about gathering around a campfire with family or friends enjoying this delicious treat.
Since most of us cannot burn a fire in our backyard, heading out to a state park or private land is the best alternative. I’ve visited a lot of Texas State Parks through the years and have listed my favorites below. With over 100 state parks and historic sites throughout the state, you are sure to find one that fits your schedule and camping needs. Most parks have websites that include information on location, weather, and facilities.
One of the most beautiful parks is Tyler State Park which includes a nature walk through a forest of hardwood pine trees. This park is located in east Texas but makes you feel like, “we’re not in Texas anymore, Toto”.
If you don’t mind traveling further and you can take a long weekend, visit Bastrop State Park. They have a very nice swimming pool run by the Parks Department inside the park.. just like a public pool. Bastrop has very cute cottages that you can rent if you prefer to not stay in a tent. If you decide to visit Bastrop this spring or summer, contact the reservations center to check on the progress of construction slated to continue through December 2011.
One final park I will mention is Eisenhower State Park, located about an hour north of Dallas on Interstate 75. The park has great fishing, boating, and sits around a large lake, Lake Texoma, that has cliffs and beautiful rocks. Most if not all of the state parks allow fishing within the park with no fishing license once you have paid your entrance fee. Plus many have nature experts who hold classes inside the park to educate campers on what birds and animals live within their park grounds.
Once you’ve found a place to camp, it’s time to start packing. I suggest making a Master List for camping on your computer. Divide up your list into three categories: Camping Supplies, Food, and Personal Items. Be sure to add to and update this list as needed. When you’re ready to go camping, print your list and use it as a checklist… no need to recreate it each time.
Here are a few sometime forgotten items to include on your list:
Mallet for hammering the tent stakes
Tablecloth clips for windy days
Clothesline to dry clothing and towels
Clothespins (endless uses)
Tongs for cooking
Plenty of trash bags
Dishpan for washing dishes
Ziploc bags (endless uses)
Broom and dustpan for sweeping out your tent or shelter
Now that you know where you are going and you are packed and ready, the only thing left is to plan some fun when you are camping. Watch my video blog to learn this great campsite game. Everyone gathers around the fire or an open area sitting on the ground or in camp chairs. Only a few players know the rules of the game. The object of the game is to get the other players to say the correct phrase and that can only happen if they clue in on the hands of each person. It starts with going around the circle and each person saying one of these three phrases, “One up, one down”, “Two up” or “Two down”. There are no other answers.
The answers depend on where their hands are (see video). For the people that have no idea how to play the game, they are uncertain how to get the correct answer. At first they guess, but as time progresses they look for patterns, of which there are none. After some time, everyone begins to get the clues that determine the correct phrase.
Taking a camping trip is one of the best ways to explore a simpler life. Afternoons yield themselves to a nap in the hammock, hiking trails, and families playing games at the picnic table. There is just something about getting away for a few days and allowing everyone to unplug from the cell phones, laptops, and iPods. Now make some time to go and get “Everything Organized”.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of “Get Organized!” “Get Organized!” is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. “Get Organized!” specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.