We’re back from a week of camping! I must say I’m glad to be back in my cozy bed, although, if the kids had it their way we’d never leave the tent. They had a blast!

This year we celebrated The Feast of Tabernacles at a campground about 45 min. from home. I felt a little spoiled as our site had a faucet with running water and an electric hookup (which we totally took advantage of!).

There were six or seven other families who we joined, most of whom we’d never met. It was nice meeting new people. We quickly hit it off with another young family there who is very like-minded. There were a few big families there, so the kids has plenty of new playmates to run around with!

Here’s our tent after we finished unloading all of our gear. It’s still very disorganized here, but you get the idea of what it looked like. We were so blessed last year by our friends giving us this humongous tent. And we borrowed the canopy for an extended shelter to eat under.

Jerry brought the toaster oven and a small coffee maker- which was totally cheating the “roughing it experience” but they were welcomed luxuries. He also packed a small (child safe) space heater which we used in the tent a couple of cold nights.

I was wishing we’d had some carts with plastic drawers to put our kitchen stuff and food in. It was hard to find anything in the storage tubs we brought to hold all of our stuff in.

Oh! And we totally broke the cardinal rule of camping the very first day, and we let the kids eat snacks in the tent.

BIG NO-NO.

The next morning, there were ANTS. EVERYWHERE. We had to take everything out of the tent, shake them out, sweep the tent, and spray a lavender cleaner around the floor to get it free from crumbs and ants again. From then on, NOBODY ate in the tent.

We had to come home one night so I could finish up some work. We planned on going back to the campsite when I was done, but a huge thunderstorm rolled in, so we decided to stay home through the rain. It’s a good thing we did, too!

The next morning, when we got to the campsite, we found that our tent had leaked and everything on the floor, including our beds, was wet. Fortunately for us, the sun came out right away and we were able to hang our stuff out to dry. (Always bring a clothesline and clothes pins with you when you camp!)

We brought a trailer-load of cut wood with us, and Jerry (and Ty) manned the fire every day. I used that cooler in the background to wash our dishes in, and let them dry on a towel spread out on the table.

We brought the kids’ bikes for them to ride around on, which was a hit with all of the kids. Titus even learned to ride without training wheels while we were there. I got Jada a couple of books from the library before we’d left, so she spent some of her time reading (and finishing!) My Side of the Mountain, and the sequel, On The Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Both of which she absolutely devoured.

Jada and I took a nature walk one day, looking for wild edibles. She discovered several clumps of wild onions, which she dug, washed, and cooked with our chili that afternoon. It was so great to see how excited she was to find and use a wild plant for food. We also discovered a few wild persimmons trees with fruit ripe enough to enjoy.

Xia was happy to sit and play in the gravel the whole time. She also wanted to throw rocks in the creek that surrounded our campsite. It was a good sized, semi-fast flowing creek down a steep bank from the grounds, and I was constantly having to make sure she wasn’t heading toward it to throw more rocks in.

And Elias had the best time EVER. He ran. And ran. And RAN around that campsite!! I think I lost ten pounds just chasing after him all day every day for a week! He’s never been outside so much in his life. From sun up to sundown that boy was on the move. We brought a playpen which we used quite a bit, but he wasn’t happy unless he was free to be exploring his world. He absolutely loved it. Mommy, however, was exhausted!

We brought some crafts for the kids to do to help keep them entertained. A definite hit.

Every morning after breakfast the adults gathered to study Scripture. I ended up keeping the children entertained for that hour and a half while the others congregated underneath a huge tent to read and discuss.

Not everyone there believed the same thing, but it was interesting to listen to the discussions.

Every night dinner was provided for us, which was awesome. We all gathered underneath the big main tent where a bunch of tables were set out and we ate our meals together.

Besides a few crash-and-burn bike accidents and tumbling toddlers, all in all we had a great time. It’s fun to practice living (somewhat) off grid, and enjoying nature and good fellowship for a week.

If you’re looking for camping meal ideas, I’ll share a few things we made…

camping meal ideas

ForΒ  breakfast we had eggs, and egg burritos cooked over the fire. But I also made these meals in a jar: Canned Pumpkin Bread, Instant Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal, and Easy Granola. Oh, and bagels and cream cheese. I planned on making pancake mix ahead of time, but didn’t get it made before we had to go.

On a side-note, I re-used old lids and rings when “canning” the pumpkin bread so I wouldn’t waste good ones on something we’d be opening soon, and it sealed up just fine. It wouldn’t have mattered if it hadn’t sealed since we’d be eating the bread within a week, but it was nice to not have to hurry to eat it since it did seal.

For lunches we had:

  • Italian Chicken (in foil packets), avocado and carrot slices, and apples
  • Dutch Oven Roast and Veggies
  • Chili (planned skillet cornbread but forgot about it)
  • Chicken Stew
  • Hamburgers, and corn on the cob (foil packets)
  • Turkey in pita pockets

I felt like I didn’t get to prepare as well as I would have liked to for the trip, but we weren’t lacking anything and Jerry made up for what I forgot to get, so it all worked out nicely.

I’d love to know what your favorite camping meals are, or if you celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles this year!