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I need your camping advice!

Next weekend the McLane family is going camping. (A non-digital adventure!) Specifically, we’re going to Idyllwild, CA for 3 days and 2 nights.

We need this

Summer 2011 has been the lost summer. Especially for me. Leaving YS and starting up 2 businesses meant that we didn’t take a vacation over the summer and I’m pretty much fried as a result. In the last 90 days I’ve worked 12+ hours probably about 75 of those days.

Our family is in desperate need of R&R– away from projects, school, and anything digital. Why? Because after next weekend the fall gets going like crazy with conferences, cool projects, youth group retreats, yada yada yada. If we don’t do this we won’t get a break until Thanksgiving.

Here’s the deal

Kristen and I were into backpacking before we had kids so we know the nuts & bolts stuff about setting up camp. But since we’ve had kids (10+ years) we’ve never gone camping without taking 40 middle/high school kids.

What we need is help with fun things to do with our kids while camping beyond the obvious stuff like hiking and s’mores and exploring the woods. We know we need to try geocaching…. but what else?

Leave me a comment with your favorite camping tip and help our family make some memories next weekend. 

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10 Responses to I need your camping advice!

  1. John Gruber September 17, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    1.  Second your geocaching.  My four year old loves it.
    2.  Scavenger hunt while hiking or around the campsite.
    3.  if you have time to plan, print out some different pictures of native plants, insects and have your kids keep a log of the ones they find (digital or on paper)
    4.  buy them a cheap digital camera and then have the take pictures and when you get back have each child do a slide show/presentation.

    Hope you have fun.

    • Adam McLane September 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

      Thanks John. Megan is taking her camera for sure. Paul will just have to use my phone… poor kid. :) 

  2. Brian Berry September 17, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    lemme know if u need to borrow any gear. i have a dutch oven u can use- it’s fun. so is making ice cream in a coffee can. google it :). oh, we do banana boats too- banana, left in skin, stuffed with small mellows & choc chips, wrapped in foil & set in coals to get warm & delicious. I have a stove top kettle corn thing too. ha ha. all my ideas are food :)))

    • Adam McLane September 17, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      I’ll email you. We def could use some gear. I think this is a winner of a trip…. Paul asks about it 5x per day.

  3. Lars Rood September 17, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Just make sure to have a ton of firewood and a lantern. It can get dark quick and having a fire for 3 or 4 hours is a win. Also make sure to scout out some local restaurants. It’s always a good idea to have some back up plans with kids.

    • Adam McLane September 17, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Lantern… hadn’t thought of that. Yeah, you said it might be cold. Brrr… I better check on the beer situation too. 

  4. Barb September 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Have the kids write a story about anything they want.  As short or long as they want.  Buy them each a small disposable digital camera.   Have them takes pictures of whatever their little hearts desire.  Only catch, each picture needs to go with the story they wrote.  When they get home, they download the photos, and put the photos with the story.   It’s a lot of fun and a great keepsake.  Be prepared to be handing off cliffs, or doing hand stands and such for the photo shoots.  

  5. Barb September 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Don’t forget to get each kid a flashlight.  My kids loved playing flashlight tag or hide & go seek in the dark.

    • Adam McLane September 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

      Everyone got a flashlight tonight. Thanks!

  6. Barb September 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    ~Bring everyone a squirt gun (no you can’t have one any bigger than anyone else).  Have water fights, or if you have super soakers make it a challenge.  Set up plastic cups on a log or table and see has the best aim.
    ~Have them bring nets and see what you can find in the ponds.

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