We're trying this camping thing again. Last year's trip was a failure, but we're optimistic that this go-around we (I) will be better prepared.
True to form, I've been in a list making frenzy the last 2 weeks even though we still have an additional 2 weeks before the big trip. I've raided our local Dollar Tree a dozen times and I am convinced that my shopping trips over the last 14 days have targeted me as a total lunatic. I tried to explain to the check-out girl that last year's trip was a disastrous battle and all of this preparation is, in fact, combat related but I don't think she bought it. She just doesn't understand what it is to plan a vacation with this particular thunderous three year old. There is an entire army inside her cute little toddler sized body. An army which is prepared to fight, to defend, and who has been trained to go straight for the jugular. She is a defiant whining machine. When she's good, she's sooo good. But when she's chooses the Dark Side.... I break into sweat when I even think about it.
I'm simply in combat training.
I've been hardened and strengthened.
This camping trip is going to be fun, damn it.
Anyway, The Family Dollar is currently stocked up on Summer supplies. Paying a measly dollar for anything that will be fun, keep her busy, and could possibly get broken or left behind is not so bad. I'd much rather go the cheap route than to buy the exact same thing at Target or Walmart for more money.
1. Glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow wands, glow necklaces, glow hats, glow EVERYTHING. $1
2. Binoculars $1
3. Hand held tent broom $1
4. Magnifying glass with built in tweezers and holding cell for any buggies you may find. $1
5. Antibacterial wet wipes $1
6. Flashlights AND batteries $1
7. Disposable plastic table cloths so if you spill something you can toss it instead of attracting a thousand flies and bees. $1
8. Fly Swatters $1
9. Water guns / squirters $1
10. Beach ball, blow up floaties (assuming you have a lake near by) $1
11. Travel bottles! Transfer your bathroom things like shampoo / conditioner / lotions AND your food condiments like mayo, mustard, ketchup into smaller bottles so they take up way less room in the cooler or bag. $1
12. Freeze packets for cooler. $1
13. All grilling supplies you may need including grill scrubs, metal spatulas, napkins, hot pads/gloves, dish towels $1
14. Playdough that can be thrown away after being rolled around in sand, leaves or dirt. $1
15. Face paint (because it's fun) $1
16. Crayons, blank paper and clip boards to make rubbings of leaves or bark. $1
17. Tap lights to put by Kalynn's bed at night in case she wakes up scared. $1
18. Plastic hair caps to put over food bowls and keep flies out while you eat. $1
19. 3 for $1 mesh laundry bags to keep your filthy clothes seperate from your clean clothes
20. Butterfly (or Daddy's head) catching nets $1
21. Sand toys $1
22. Sidewalk chalk for drawing on trees or rocks or whatever else $1
23. Paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, and plastic silverware $1
I'm telling you, my husband as well as many of you, may think I'm out of control, but I assure you, this place is amazing.
I've also packed phone books instead of newspaper for fire kindling just because they are compact and it's easy for us to rip out pages as we need them. We bought sturdy Coleman inflatable mattresses with battery operated pump so we don't even have to bother with the roll-up sleeping pads this time around. (What a pain in the ass those were.) I've also discovered that the pump which inflates/deflates our mattresses is perfectly compatible with our Space Bags so bringing pillows, sheets and blankets only take up a quarter of the space in our car.
Here's our offical 2013 camping list:
Laugh if you may, but I've thought of absolutely everything. I've even placed a hold on every children's camping book they have a our local library (which I'll pick up tomorrow) so that I can psych her up for the next two weeks and make sure she's super excited.
I chalked last year up to a great learning experience and one that I did not take lightly. Having an over abundance of things to do and being realistic and smart about the things we need to pack is going to help out tremendously. I don't have the luxury of a constantly well behaved angel of a kid. Don't get me wrong. I love her so much I want to squeeze her tiny little precious head off sometimes but I mean, come on. She's a crazy, energy filled, 3-year-old only child. I need a plan of attack. And a back up plan of attack. And a back up for my back up.
Over reacting, you say? How can a face so cute be so out of control, you say?
Over and out.
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