Monday, August 20, 2012


Camping with a small car

I love camping and I have a lot of 'STUFF' I take camping, but since we downsized from a suburban to a small car, it's really difficult to find room for my likes and necessities. Plus some equipment can cost a lot of money, so I have some ideas of how to deal with both.

I loved watching 'The Home' show in the late 80's with Diane Thomas, and when I found these two books at a thrift store, I grabbed them.

You may be able to find these on the net at Amazon or Ebay or even look at thrift stores too.

She also has these others available:

She is amazing and has a lot of wonderful ideas. 

When I was in the young women's organization, we had a camp crafter's manual that also had some wonderful ideas.


For several years, we had a really nice 2-room tent. It was not only used for our family, but girls camps and youth campouts.

Well a couple of summers ago, after and family camp, we set it up in the back yard to air dry. During the night a strong wind storm came up and bent poles and ripped the tent. NO MORE TENT.

We were done camping for the year so we thought, maybe next year we'll get a new one.

Well, a ward campout came up and we didn't have the funds for a new tent, and we really wanted to do.  Charly was little and could sleep on the back seat. I could sleep on the front seat, reclined back, but our tall, teenaged son could not do that.

So we took a tarp and stuck on side into the car doors, stretching it out and secured the other side with stakes. Ta-Da--Instant Tent!

Here are some other ways to use a tarp as a tent.


Fire: If you are able to have a camp fire, this will make your trip a "real camping experience,"

Many times you can get your wood where you will be camping, saving valuable space for other needed items, otherwise you may need to bring your own.


Follow safety rules of where to put your fire.

A great fire starter that doesn't take a lot of space and is easy to make it the egg carton fire starter:
Fill each cup of a cardboard egg carton with dry red pine needles, pieces of paper or dryer lint. Pour melted paraffin over the material, then place a looped string in the wax to be used as a wick.

Just tear off a cup, light, and you have a lit fire.

Once you have your fire, there are lots of way to cook over the fire.
-stick cooking
-spit cooking
-in the can (opened)
-grill supported by rocks
-pan supported by rocks
-foil packets
-dutch oven (using coals)
-foil reflector oven
-paper cups
-paper bags

For more information on how to use these methods, please refer to the books. 

Camp stove:

We have camped places where fires were prohibited, but propane stoves were ok.

These don't have to take a lot of space either.

They can keep you warm, easy to roast marshmallows over, and of course cooking.

We even have a grill box we set over one of the burners.

There are many options out there for buying them and making your own.


Food doesn't have to take a ton of space either.

Use ziplock bags as mixing containers for biscuits, muffins, pancakes, cakes, meatloaf, etc. You can even scramble eggs in a bag.

Have food prepped  at home, store in bags, adding liquids when needed. Then just throw the bag away.

-eggs (can be hard boiled in paper cup or cooked with bacon in paper bags)
-muffins (can be cooked inside of hollowed out orange cut in half
-bacon or sausage
-fruit salad (stored and eaten out of bag)
-or SUPER simple no cook cereal (store and eat out of bag)

-veggies (store and eat out of bags)
-cold cut sandwiches (made ahead of time, adding condiments when ready to eat to keep from going soggy)
-stews or soups
-pizza (can be cooked on a stick or on foil or grill)
-pig in a blanket (on a stick or in foil)

-Meatloaf (cooked on a stick inside of foil)
-foil dinners
-fry bread tacos
-Dutch oven anything
-chicken on a spit or dutch oven
-Pizza (grilled, upside down dutch oven, etc.)

-baked apples

Clean up and Sanitation:

Most camp grounds have bathrooms, at least the ones I go to so that is NOT something I will discuss here.

But keeping clean is important when camping.

Hand washing: 
Keep hand sanitizer around too.

Use a kettle on the stove or in a fire to heat up water.

Washing Dishes:

You don't need to even take a dish pan for this. You can dig a hole in the ground, put a plastic garbage bag down as a liner and fill with water and soap. Remove bag when done and refill with dirt. Leave not trace.

You can even do this for bathing if needed. 

Personal Grooming:

Take a bath towel for each person. Fold up the lower edge about 5 inches and sew pockets for toiletry items such as toothpaste, soap, cup, comb, mirror, and washcloth.

The excess material at the top can become a flap to keep the items in the pocket from falling out and can also serve as a towel for drying your hands an face. 

Sew straps on it so you can tie it around your waist to keep it handy.

Camping doesn't require a trailer or RV (though that would be nice). Nor does it require a lot of money. Camping does build a lot of wonderful memories. 

No need to put it off.  Just 'rough it easy'.

Share some of your ideas.

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