Tricks for Nailing It This Camping Season

Camping season is upon us, and whether your family rustic camps or glamps, I’ve got a few hacks for you to use this summer. These hacks range from helping you be more organized to making sure your campsite isn’t a complete disaster.

camping with kids

If you’re still looking for that perfect camping spot, this big list of favorite Michigan campgrounds will help get the job done!

SpartanNash offers Fast Lane Online Grocery Shopping at 65 locations across multiple states.

Add grocery items to your shopping cart, place your order for curbside pickup or delivery* and one of our personal shoppers will do the grocery shopping for you!

Enter promo code GRKIDS at checkout to receive $5 off when you buy $50 in groceries, Shop here.

*Separate delivery fee will apply if delivery is selected. Delivery not available in all areas. #sponsor

8 Camping Tips for Parents

Exploring Pure Michigan outdoors with kids is a relatively cheap vacation and loaded with beaches, sunsets, trails and s’mores. And the more you plan and use our camping tips, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your trip. (Don’t miss these kid camping activities, either!).

One thing I don’t have a hack for but really must stress is proper tick prevention. Ticks are on the rise in Michigan – help protect your family with these Lyme Disease prevention tips.

And now for 8 ways to nail your next camping trip!

1 – Freeze Water in Plastic Jugs

We are pretty good at recycling in our house, but when we know we have a camping trip coming up, we set aside different sized plastic jugs . Juice and milk jugs are our favorites to add to coolers when packing for camping. The milk jugs go in the big coolers, and the juice jugs are perfect for smaller fridges.

Even if you have a trailer, these ice jugs are perfect to put in your fridge if you have to drive more than two hours.

Wash the jug out before using, let dry, then fill up with filtered water, leaving room at the top for water to expand.

And once the water is melted we drink the water out of the jugs! The super ice-cold water is perfect for those hot camping days.

2 – Attach Foam Noodles to Campers and Tent Strings to Prevent Injuries

Toddlers and kids run as fast as they can without looking, so trailer awning braces and tent strings are just camping accidents waiting to happen. Bright colored foam noodles are the perfect way to try to prevent an accident while camping.

Cut a line from one end of the noodle to the other and wrap it around either a tent cable string, or the trailer awning brace. If the whole noodle bends too much, so I usually cut into smaller one-foot chunks and just put a couple where needed.

3 – Make DIY Fire Starters at Home

Here’s a little activity to keep your kids busy while you are packing for your camping trip. Save toilet paper rolls and lint from the dryer and have the kids stuff lint into the paper toilet rolls. These are great to add to your firepit before starting the fire.

Warning: kids will want to put the roll they made in the fire pit, so please make sure to help them.

Jump to find…
Camping Hacks
Summer Vacation Hacks
Beach Hacks
Hacks for Life After Vacation
Back to School Hacks
Lunch Packing Hacks
Meal Planning Hacks
Holiday Hacks
Road Trip Hacks
School Birthday Treat Hacks
Hacks for Helping a Sick Kid
Hacks for Surviving Michigan Winter

4 – Create a Hand Washing Station with Entry Detergent Dispenser

Let’s face it, kids are constantly dirty when camping. So, an easy way to at least get their hands clean , especially before a meal, is to set up and hand washing station.

Take an empty laundry detergent dispenser with a lift-spout and fill it with water. Set it up at a table with soap and paper towels (or just a hand towel if you’d like to be more environmentally friendly), and a 5-gallon bucket below the dispenser.

Voila – clean hands for everyone! Heck, even after dinner they can use it. Is it just me or are camping meals also always really messy?!

5 – Use Wetbags to Protect Clothes

camping tips

Being a semi-crunchy mom, I have entered the world of reusable items. Wetbags are mainly used when cloth diapering, but I have found so many other uses for them!

When camping I put toiletries or wet swimsuits in them. They come in all different sizes and prints, so you are sure to find one that will work for your family. I like Smart Bottoms (a Grand Rapids company) or Planet Wise .

6 – Meal Prep Like a Boss

Camping is supposed to be a vacation, and you can easily lose track of time. You shouldn’t stress about what your family is going to eat. My husband and prep most snacks and meals before we leave .

Snacks are huge when camping! We have a table that sits out, and it’s usually full of snacks. Cut up veggies, homemade chex-mix, chips, and puppy chow, are a few of our favorites.

Breakfast: Breakfast burritos are always on the prepping list, they are so easy to quick heat up and eat!

Lunch: we stick with sandwiches or sliders, both which can be made ahead of time, and wrapped up in tinfoil. If you’re busy you can just grab and go, but if you have time we highly suggest heating them up on the grill!

Dinner: Crockpot meals let you be busy all day without worrying about dinner. Prep a chuck roast with taco seasoning and lime juice before you leave, and then when camping put it in the crockpot on low and let the meat cook all day for shredded tacos for dinner, (Another favorite is home-made pizzas in a cast-iron skillet.)

7 – Store Condiments in Plastic Squirt Bottles

These are amazing for camping. We fill them with basics like ketchup and mustard, and also hot sauce and sour creams for our tacos I talked about above. These squirt bottles fit perfectly in a six-pack bottle holder , so it’s easy just to throw the six pack on the picnic table when dinner is ready!

8 – Put Together a S’Mores Box

I’ve saved the best for last! Or at least I’d like to think everyone’s favorite part of camping is cooking s’mores at the end of the day.

Prep the s’mores box at home. Besides the normal s’more ingredients, marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey bars, I like to pack a little extra for those willing to explore their taste buds. Try adding Rollo’s or Peanut Butter Cups to your s’more box the next time you camp.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed these hacks and are able to use some in the future. If you have an awesome camping hack that others need to know about, please share below in the comments!

Michigan camping tips

850 76th St SW
Byron Center, MI 49315

WEBSITE | (616) 878-2000

Build Friendships With One of These Parenting or Community Groups Around Grand Rapids

Where to Find Your Village in the Grand Rapids Area After I had my first baby, I spent three months working up the courage to attend a mom's group in my area. I'm so thankful that I did because I quickly learned that we are not meant to parent alone. We need the support and camaraderie of other people who understand us. Whether it's parenting or fitness or finding a general support group, being part of a community is great for your well being. In addition to mom's groups, we've found [...]

Load More Posts

Click on our sponsors!

Save Save