It’s early August and we finally decided it would be a good idea to start camping as a family. We need to get ready, soon we will be a family of four and what better way to spend quality time together than out in the nature enjoying the simple things in life.
Since it was our first time camping experience with Emi, my first real camping experience and me being pregnant, we decided to go somewhere not too far away. The campsite is situated 3 hours away from the Bay Area via Highway 1.
The drive was a bit long due to all the curves (and me being 5 month pregnancy) along highway 1 but it was totally worth it. The campground was beautiful and there were so many pine trees everywhere that each site felt secluded from the rest.
We went all out to make sure we (or at least me) would be comfortable enough to enjoy our stay.
Since I’m passionate about food, there was no way I would settle for a simple hot dog or burger. I planned out a tasty menu and had to come up with a trick or two to pack light and efficient to make our experience pleasant and enjoyable. Here is what’s on the menu :
Arrival snack :
Cheese platter with nitrite-free Italian prosciutto, olives, strawberries, watermelon, sourdough baguette, and dried pineapple
Dry aged pasture raised rib-eye from Whole Foods with a side of potatoes that we wrapped in aluminum foil and tossed them in the hot hashes, and then topped with a little bit of organic sour cream with chives and bacon
I managed to come up with a more “sustainable” version of the traditional smores. If I have to feed my family with so much sugar and additives I better try my best to make it the least chemical possible. The Annie’s organic Honey Crackers (you can find them here) were really good, for the marshmallows, I found Dandies all-natural marshmallow, they were a little weird by themselves but once cooked in the fire and with the rest of the ingredients, they tasted perfect. They are vegan and you can find them here
My must-have items list for sustainable family camping :
Swell Bottle: I used it to store our milk in it. It’s a perfect way to keep it fresh even if you leave it outside. I use this one (I also use it on an everyday basis for water)
Compostable cups with lid: I used the compostable bowl for cereals and compostable 12oz cup to carry pancake batter (those ones). It was the perfect alternative for me since I only have heavy glass containers at home. When I’m done using them I can simply throw them away without feeling guilty.
Prepping ahead: The Pancake batter was prepared and carried in cups with a lid, I wrapped all the potatoes with bacon in aluminum foil, and the cheese platter was prepared on a chopping board so that I would only have to wash it and reuse it for dinner.
Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap: This soap truly is for everything but especially camping. It’s Natural and Biodegradable. I like the one with Eucalyptus scent, you can find it here
Core 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent: We bought it 2 days before leaving, Pepe couldn’t make a decision so I pulled the trigger. It’s a 6 person tent and the size is perfect. It’s big enough to stand up and move around freely with a queen mattress inside but not so big that it feels cold and empty. It was very easy to build and Pepe was able to do it by himself. I believe it’s a fairly new model because we couldn’t find many reviews online. I love the big wide opening and the awning. We bought it here but you can find it on the Core Website, I assume.
Everest Camping stove: We also bought it 2 days before taking off. Personally, I am a novice when it comes to camping so I didn’t understand why we needed a stove in the first place but it really saved us in the morning. We run out of wood from the day before so the stove allowed us to heat water for coffee and tea in a super fast and easy way! This stove is sooooo powerful, I actually think it is more powerful than my stove at home and almost makes we want to use it on a daily basis 😉 We got it from here It was cheaper than in REI, I highly recommend it! (Just to mention, we would have liked better to buy from REI, but they kept canceling our order because they were out of stock, too bad 😦 )
Get cozy: We brought a few rugs to place on the inside and outside of the tent and it made such a big difference. It instantly made the tent feel cozier and warmer. I normally hate the “cold plastic” feeling of tents but the extra rugs made me feel like the tent was a real bedroom. If you can fit a small rug in your car, go for it !! Also, a small wooden crate that we used to carry things on the way there, can be repurposed into a cute nightstand. We added a couple of battery operated string lights and Voilà, cozy bedroom feeling in the tent 🙂
Are you a camping expert? Share your tips with me so that I can try them next time 🙂 And even if you are not an expert, let me know what you normally when you go camping, I really liked this trip and hope we have more, but I still need to learn a few tricks about camping.