Last week, we rushed out of town on Friday morning, excited for our first camping trip of the year; and by rushing out of town on Friday morning, I mean we left Sherwood Park four hours later than we originally planned.
We had to stop for warm sweaters for the kids, as they had just-that-week outgrown all of their warm sweaters, for a couple of last minute groceries for the trip, and to pick up a life jacket for Olivia. Hers had disappeared since last season, and we had plans to go kayaking.
Four hours later, we pulled into the campsite, excited about our first RV experience. After an impressive amount of teamwork that included backing up into a campsite for the first time with an RV, we were ready to get set up and make dinner. Steak and asparagus were on the menu – but we didn’t pack seasoning, or salt and pepper. Scratch that – it turned into burger night.
Tip: Make notes of what you’ve forgotten. I did this on my phone, but you could bring a piece of paper and pen to jot down the things to stash in the trailer or camping supplies the next time you go out. (This was the best tip I received when I asked friends!)
8 Things We Forgot on Our First Trip of the Year
Matches | I know what you’re thinking – how could you forget one of the most important parts of campfire making. Don’t worry, we found some friends who gave us a lighter that came in handy all weekend long.
Salt + Pepper | Salt and pepper, seasoning, garlic – these forgotten things meant steak was off of the menu and we had burgers instead. These were three of the things I put in the RV when we arrived home. We weren’t going to make that mistake again!
Newspaper | Another essential in starting the fire, we made do with paper towel and a flyer that we picked up on a visit to the hot springs.
Griddle | How did we forget the one essential item for those pancakes that are a staple for cold, early mornings when you’re camping? Easily used for over the campfire, or the camping stove, a griddle is one of the most essential parts to our campfire cooking!
Eggs | Left in the fridge, and I even made a note on our camping meal plan and shopping list to grab them before we left, eggs were off of the breakfast menu. This time around, we’re going to make sure that we pack early enough to not forget a camping staple. Obviously out of camping practice, we had even forgotten butter!
Hot Drinks | On those cold mornings, or the nights sitting around the fire, something hot to drink is essential. Tea, hot chocolate, other warm things to drink – we not only forgot the tea and hot chocolate, but the kettle. The kettle is less of a big deal, as you can always multi-purpose a pot – but the tea, that was surely missed through the weekend.
Toys More than 2 Kids Can Use | I grabbed a couple of toys to stash in the RV while I was doing the initial packing, but I learned my lesson quickly that I should have let the kids choose their own board games (I chose the wrong ones!) and to choose a game that more than two children can play. Next time around, we’ll bring the portable soccer nets, a couple of balls for the kids to play with at the campground. Kids inevitably make friends at the campground, and bringing toys multiple kids can play with.
Socks (and Swimsuits) | I am admittedly, a horrible packer. Without a list, it’s likely that I’m going to forget at least a few items that we need for a weekend of camping. I forgot socks for the kids, and was thankful that we were close to Jasper, where we made a quick stop on the second day and grabbed a few pairs for the kids – because you couldn’t rent them like you could the swimsuits at the hot springs.
Do you want to avoid forgetting things on your first camping trip of the year? Make a list before you go – but also while you’re there, taking note of the things that you’ve forgotten. That was one of the cool benefits of an RV – being able to stash everything in there, making it easy (and organized) to pack for next time. In fact, it was so quick to pack up for the next weekend out, we just had to put in food and clean laundry for the kids and ourselves – that’s a big difference compared to the prep that comes with tent camping!
This feature is a part of a series that we’re working on to encourage families to get outside. We’ve teamed up with Go RV to explore four campgrounds in Alberta. To make it easier for your family to get out there and discover a new Alberta campground, Go RV is giving one reader the chance to win a week long RV rental to see what the RV Experience is all about – enter for your chance to win!