Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Camping with a Large Family

We're home from our week of camping in the Rockies--a strenuous, wonderful week that made us all appreciate the comforts of home today. Specifically, at home we noted the lack of dust, the nearby bathrooms, the washer and dryer, and the running water. You just don't appreciate things until you go without!

I'm feeling wise and smug after managing a large family in a fairly primitive campsite for a week, and am prepared to share my wisdom while I still remember it:

•Pack a permanent marker to label those cups. Six cups every time we're thirsty (like that's going to happen in the dry high altitude!) is a lot of cups. With names we can use them almost all day.

•Splurge on sturdy paper plates, if you're going to be using disposables. Rocky Mountain National Park has very limited water and washing facilities, so I knew I wanted to use paper as much as possible. The stiff cardboard Chinette oval platters were a cheap luxury. They didn't bend, fold, or soak through, and the larger size gave us room for our usual large green salad with dinner.

•Full-size apron with pockets. Makes that quarter-mile stroll to the bathroom with a toddler on the hip and a pan of dirty dishes on the other a lot easier. I was constantly back and forth from our campsite to the bathroom with my front pockets loaded--washcloths, dishwashing liquid, toothpaste, toothbrushes, you name it. I used my sturdy pretty Cath Kidston apron all week and washed it at every opportunity (there were two).

•And don't forget substantial rubber gloves for dealing with greasy dishes in cold water!

•Art supplies for everyone. We always make a travel book while we're gone on a trip, with clippings, drawings, written accounts, watercolors, etc. Everyone contributes if I prod them, and it's a great thing to do when you're sitting around in the shade in camp chairs after a long, virtuous hike.

Delicious pictures to follow!

3 comments:

G.L.H. said...

Great advice--thanks. Looking forward to those photos. And, we're glad you're back!
--Barbara

Kim said...

HI, I discovered your blog while you were away and I've read it all. We have so much in common. I camped with my family of 7 for 16 days in June and wrote all about it on my blog as well. This is an annual tradition for us so we've got it down to an art now.

I look forward to more of your daily life as it parallels mine so well. And Iron sharpens Iron...you are inspiring me with each post.

Mrs. Linebarger said...

Welcome home! Camping is great, but coming back home....even better ;-)

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