Time Out. Way Out.


Cynics or city slickers might say that camping is nature’s way of promoting the hotel industry. But since we’re SavvyMoms, we know better. In this age of multi-screening and overprogramming children, we have an even greater need to introduce our kids to things that grow in the ground or appear in the night sky and to breath air that is fresh and clean.
We like to think that getting close to nature should be part of every kid’s childhood—even if it’s just for one long weekend every summer.

Never camped? It’s definitely doable. And fun.

Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:

  • Keep your menu simple. Don’t bother roasting the peppers or wrapping prosciutto around skewers of fresh scallops. Focus on anything that is easy to prepare: hot dogs (or veggie dogs), hamburgers, pasta salad, and chopped veggies. We use the exact same menu and shopping list and print it out every year. We keep our camping supplies in a couple of bins in the basement so it’s practically grab-and-run.
  • Invest in a good inflatable air mattress. Your back will thank you.
  • A French press makes excellent coffee.
  • Shopping for a tent? Don’t go by the manufacturer’s claims for the number of people it is supposed to hold. If it says it’ll sleep four, it will sleep four skinny minnies without their gear. Supersize the sleeping quarters. The newest tents have vestibules and a separate space for the family dog (you’ll appreciate the extra space for storing shoes and duffel bags).
  • It’s a law of nature: little kids will squirm out of their sleeping bags. Getting them back in while they’re sleeping is like putting pantyhose on a snake. At bedtime, unzip the sleeping bag and lay your child on top of it. Cover up with a second unzipped sleeping bag or bring a fave blanket from home.


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