Thank you Tampico Beverages for sponsoring this conversation. All opinions are my own.
After another successful camping trip with four young kids, I stand by my 8 reasons you should take your kids camping. It was a wonderful experience for all of us even with sunburns and a teething nine month old baby (who cut a tooth the second day into camping and had a fever most of the trip). Over the next few weeks I will be sharing even more great camping tips and tricks so that you can have a successful camping adventure with your family!
One of those posts will be a nice camping checklist so that you don’t forget to pack things. I didn’t pack any shorts or pants for my husband, only packed two shirts for myself, and only packed PJ tops for my son. I also forgot the aloe vera which wasn’t so great as we all got a little too much sun (myself getting burned the worst of course). We also unfortunately forgot to grab our lantern from our storage unit.
Thankfully we had packed two jugs of Tampico and some headlights (like the flashlights that you wear on your head, not the lights you put in your car) so we could make a DIY camping lantern! I saw this camping hack on a few different posts before we left and I wanted to try it out on our latest trip!
Flashlights are great, but if you want to stay up past dark (which the adults and older kids do) and play games (my husband and I played Bunco for the first time on this campout), you need more light than just a few flashlights (which you can’t exactly hang easily in the middle of the air). Even if you brought a lantern, you may run out of batteries or fuel or the bulb or filament may go out during your trip, which would make knowing this little trick all the more handy.
It’s super easy to make a camping lantern this way. Just strap the wearable head light around the empty bottle of Tampico with the light facing inward, adjust the straps so it’s nice and tight, and then you are good to go!
The only problems I had was figuring out how to prevent it from blowing in the wind! I tried strapping the light to the Tampico bottle that still had juice in it, but it didn’t work out as well, and the light was rather orange. I ended up putting an object or two behind the bottle that prevented it from blowing away, but I know if I put enough rocks in the bottom, or if I used the water spigot at the campsite to fill it with some water, that would prevent it from blowing around too.
An additional camping tip: if you are packing the food for your camping trip and are taking some big jugs of water or Tampico or juice, if you freeze them before you go, it can help cut down on how much ice you need in your cooler, and provide you with a cold drink right away!
What have you forgotten on your camping trips? Do you have any cool DIY camping hacks?
You’re a brave woman to go camping with four children. Last year we had a campervan – so it wasn’t even proper camping – and I lasted all of 3 nights before I said, Nope, we’re getting a hotel. I need walls. I’ve stayed in some complete dumps – mould on the ceiling, a toilet that flushed backwards, the military knocking on the door at 2 AM demanding to be let in, I mean, some of the places I’ve stayed in, even the cockroaches were checking out, they were that bad. But I need walls.
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
This is awesome! I had no idea you could do this!
I tried this with a bottle of water.
Apparently this does only work with bottles of Tampico,
even if refilled with water.
This works with no other bottle of empty nor filled with water from any other brand of anything,
the light gets sucked away by some dark god of darkness,
perhaps even Satan himmself.
Mary Ann Peddicord says
So proud of you, you are doing a GREAT thing and making memories you and your children will remember forever! I camped a lot with my family when I was young and my husband was a Boy Scout and he had also camped a LOT when he was young so with both had great memories and the love before we even met. When we married I already had a 3 year old and we had no money. The first time we went camping our daughter was 4 and we borrowed my brother’s tent to see how she “took” to it. We went to a State Park. She LOVED it and so did we. So we started making a list of what we would need. Tent, sleeping bags, cooler, tools, Camping stove, lantern, etc., etc. Then we talked about how would we get all of that stuff in our small, rice-burner car, it would never fit. So we started looking for a used pop-up and we found a very old one, that was cheap. It was owned my an older couple that had stored in their garage and they had taken VERY good care of. They were impressed that we had a young daughter and wanted to teach her about the woods, animals, how to fish and to have quality family time with our precious child, he knocked something more off of the price!!! That Christmas my brother gave each one of us a canvas, overnight bag just to take camping. When we would get home from a weekend I would do the laundry and those “camping clothes’ would go right back in “that” bag! So we were always packed! Bu having a “Camper” we were always packed also. The only things we needed were fresh foods, meat, bread, milk, juice, etc. But, paper plates, paper towels, salt & pepper, games, flashlights, shampoo, dish soap, etc. got packed on the camper every spring and stayed until we winterized in the late fall. A BIG PIECE OF ADVICE, our #1 rule, when we arrive at our campsite and there is work to be done “everybody works so that the works gets done and then everyone gets to have fun”. Even when our daughter when very young she still had jobs to do when setting up our campsite, she was the perfect height to set the elastic under the beds, she learned to ‘chock the wheels’ , etc. We have such great memories, her Dad teaching her how to ‘walk in the woods without making any noise’ and learning the different bird sounds. I applaud what you are doing and wish you many years of great camping!
Nancy M. says
I have camped my whole life — until recently, since I can no longer get up off the ground! But at six months old, I was camping with my family (there were eight of us). Because it ALL takes place outside, it is a great way to get the whole family active and enjoying the great outdoors! Hiking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, of course, are the most typical activities, but those vary depending on where you are able to go. But doesn’t really matter. Just make sure you take appropriate rain gear for those times you have to stay closer to camp. Ponchos are great to allow continued activities — you just have to be smart about whether or not there is heightened danger in the area you are in. Fixing meals in downpours is never fun — but a good tarp or other rain shelter makes a huge difference. Card games or board games can be played in tents if the downpour lasts for long periods of time. Just be sure NOT to touch the side of the tent — that’s when leaks start!
Anyway, if you start your kids out camping when they are young, they will probably enjoy it their whole lives — if their eventual spouses will tolerate it! LOL!
Katelyn Fagan says
Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing your experience Nancy!
Joie Gahum says
Ive also tried using roadeavour lantern. Its great!