Camping is one of my family’s favorite activities! From the moment we get on the highway until we pull back into the driveway two days later, we can’t seem to get enough of the uninterrupted family fun. So we have figured out a few things when it comes to stress-free camping I’d love to share with you.
Most people who know me – I’m the busy mom of two tweens and vice president of an integrated marketing company — are surprised that I would be the “type” who would enjoy going camping for a family vacation.
But I don’t go camping the way most families go camping. I camp the stress-free way.
One of the biggest reasons most traveling moms don’t want to go camping is because they think is far too much work for just two days. I think they have watched way too many reality TV shows like “Man vs. Wild” and “Survivor.” Some moms actually think you have to live off the land, cook over a fire, search for water, and fight off bugs and wild animals to call it camping.
I would never do any of that.
We camp roughly 15 times a year in EVERY season – rain or shine, snow or heat – and I can truly say I enjoy it all and every minute I share with my kids and husband.
Stress-Free Camping Campfire
The key to stress-free camping is having the right tools.
For example, every campsite needs a campfire. It’s necessary for sitting around at the end of the day, sharing stories, singing songs and roasting marshmallows. And you don’t have to rub two sticks together to get a roaring blaze.
When I say the word “campfire,” my kids start putting marshmallows on their skewers. They’re not going to wait for me to use matches and flint and twigs and all that other paraphernalia campfire purists say you need.
So here’s my proven method for starting campfire the quick, easy and stress-free way:
- Purchase dry firewood purchased from the campground. (Don’t move firewood from home or anywhere else to your campsite. Stop the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer)
- Bring old newspaper as a quick starter.
- Bring a cylinder of Mapp Gas (like the Bernzomatic 6Z010 Cylinder, MAPP Gas) as a quick igniter.
- Most importantly, ONLY START A FIRE IN YOUR CAMPGROUND’S DESIGNATED FIRE RING!
You want to tightly crumple your newspaper into a ball. Place a few newspaper balls in a circle inside your fire ring. Next, take the dry firewood and stack it in a teepee manner to allow good airflow. Finally, use your Mapp Gas cylinder to quickly ignite the newspaper ball; fairly soon the dry firewood will start to flame.
Presto – you have a campfire started in less than five minutes and your children will be roasting marshmallows in no time! And you’ll be sitting around the campfire enjoying yourself and your favorite beverage. Be sure to place another log on the fire every five to ten minutes to keep your fire burning bright.