DadCAMP campingI once forgot to pack tentpoles on a camping trip with my son. We drove 4 hours north to our campsite, and as I unpacked the truck, I couldn’t find the tentpoles. We messed around a bit and drove 4hrs back home after dinner to sleep in our beds. I did an inventory when we arrived and found .. the tent poles had been in the truck all along, buried in the bottom of a bucket.

That’s why I say I’m terrible at camping. I mean, I love it, but I hate that I love it. I love getting out and exploring Alberta with my sons, but … we’re tenters. I’m not particularly wilderness savvy, and I often find myself packing too many things I don’t need and not enough things I do need.

But still, I camp. Because of my kids.

camping with kids

A recent survey conducted for Energizer found that 60% of Canadians are likely to go camping this summer, and people with kids are twice as likely to head out to the wilderness. Guilty. I camp because of my kids.

But it appears many others are not good at it either. Half the survey respondents admit they usually forget something when they hit the road, and the item they think we all need the most is a flashlight.

So don’t forget them! Here are some that I found that serve many different functions around the campsite.

Camping Flashlight Collage

1. Coleman Divide™ + Pack-Away™ 600 Lumens LED Lantern

This bright LED lantern collapses for easy storing in your camping buckets, but I love the Battery Lock™ system. Twist the bottom when you’re not using it and it reduces battery corrosion and preserves battery life when stored. There’s a full line of flashlights with this feature as well. No more dead batteries!

2. Energizer LED Headlamp

The kids love wearing headlamps around camp. It keeps their hands free to hold mine, or a walking stick, and they kinda like pretending they’re miners. Hey, real life minecrafting! There’s a variety of styles and sizes from Energizer at Walmart.

3. Glow Compact LED Flashlight

There’s a great series of floating flashlights from Life Gear that are perfect for boaters. Not only do the flashlights float, but the moment they get wet, they light up red so you (or the flashlight) can be easily found.

4. Glow Lantern Spotlight

I like the big flashlights for illuminating large areas and also for storing gear. Many of these big lanterns can be unscrewed to keep your wallet, keys, or snacks snug inside.

5. BATTERIES!

And don’t forget the batteries. Energizer Recharge are the world’s first rechargeable battery made with 4% recycled material. Stuff some of these in your camping buckets and you’ll always have juice to light your way to the potty in the middle of the night.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER IDEAS TO MAKE CAMPING EASIER:

Campsite Ideas Collage

1. I highly recommend getting a small tent for the kids. Just a pop up two person tent is a great place for them to feel independent, or play.

2. If you want to just be able to pop and go when you’re on the road, check out this truck tent. We saw one when we visited a very windy Waterton National Park last year. Our tent blew over in the strong wind, snapping the poles. The truck tent did just fine.

3. If you need to have creature comforts when you’re camping, check out this full drip coffee maker – for your camp stove!  Just place it over one of the burners on your stove, fire it up, and 15 minutes later you’ve got drip coffee!

4. If you don’t need a bigger stove, you can cut down your camping gear by just getting an easy suitcase style one burner stove to cook dinner quickly.

5. Packing tightly is a must when heading out to the woods. Either you’re trying to get everything snug in the trunk, or tight in the camper. I like to use big buckets to keep all the camping gear together so loading and unloading is easy. But their shape isn’t efficient for a tight pack in the trunk. This year I’m going to switch to a compression stuff sack to shrink down the sleeping bags

6. Once you’ve settled in to the campsite, you’ll need some things to entertain the kids. We like packing along board games like Bananagrams, Trouble, and Connect 4. It’s all about unplugging and getting together as a family. For around the campsite you could get a ladder toss, or something the boys have called MEGA JENGA!

7. And then, before bed, you’ll want to have some ‘smores. This smore trapper is a great way to solve the problem of chocolate that doesn’t melt with the marshmallows. Make the sandwich and toast all of them over the fire at once!

8. And when you wake up in the middle of the night, and toss on your LED headlamp, don’t forget to pack along some biodegradable toilet paper. These sheets are better for the environment in those rustic open pit camp sites.

Charlie camping

WHERE WILL YOU GO CAMPING THIS SUMMER?

So now that you’re all packed up and ready to go, check out the list of Alberta campgrounds I’ve visited with my sons and get out and explore Alberta!

Energizer Recharge

47% of Canadian campers agree that most camping essentials require batteries, so be sure to stock up on reliable ones.Energizer Recharge

o Energizer tells us that their long-lasting Recharge battery line will not only keep your camera, flashlights, and everything else, charged all trip long, but these are the world’s first that are made from 4% recycled batteries.

o Using Energizer Recharge will minimize our impact on landfill giving everyone an opportunity to do their part in protecting the beautiful Canadian landscapes for future generations of campers.

To keep your family powered for the entire trip, a reliable resource for lanterns, flashlights and long-lasting batteries is Energizer.ca.

Disclosure: This branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.

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1 Comment

  1. Steph May 22, 2016 at 12:46 am

    I just discovered you (& your many media options) about 43 seconds ago and I love it all. Apologies from the start for rambling, it’s the wine. Really, really appreciate the reality-humour…my kids have been “chipping away at my soul” all f*#%ing day too! Props to Jen for distilling that sentiment down to it’s true core. Looking forward to reading articles for the next little bit as I am currently planning a 2016 summer road trip Calgary to Kelowna (without the kids’ Dad, he’ll fly in to the final destination, someone has to pay for all this…) Right of passage for both children and Mom I figure, both my kids’ Grandma’s did it many times…that makes it a requirement right? Also the photo with the Wild Kratts’ sign at the Jack Singer. Ours loved it too! However, my main point is with regard to the s’more trap or whatever it’s called. The only reason to do old style s’mores with actual graham crackers & hershey bars is because you haven’t discovered a better s’more. I pass on this advice as a 35 year Girl Guide camp veteran: you must try chocolate covered cookies such as the LeClerc brand. They’re high-end but very nice for a small family size group. Fill the little well created by the chocolate edge with peanut butter, nutella, or raspberry jam. Also only use one cookie as the base, open-face style, to avoid the squish out the sides and thus get marshmallow in every bite. Follow with a sip of Bailey’s. Mmmmm…

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