Camping is great, but it can be stressful so we made a top 10 list of things to make your adventure a little less stressful.
1. Try it at home first - give it a dry run. If you've never put your tent up or set your trailer up before; you need to try it before you get to your camping spot. Nothing makes tempers flair faster and will ruin a perfectly good day than arguing with your husband/wife/friend/significant other about how things should go. Trust me - try it at home first, a good dry run will save your sanity and your trip.
2. Your camp site. If you thought about it ahead of time you likely have a reservation in your favorite area or you're adventuring somewhere new for the first time. Summer in Oregon is a bit fleeting so the campgrounds fill up fast around here, so if you're head somewhere without a reservation be prepared to have to go to more than one campground to find a spot.
3. Packing list for people - you'll need one for everyone who is going so they know what to pack and unless your trailer is fully stocked you need to get down to the nitty gritty - toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, towel, scrubber, medications, etc. We always forget something and it's always a pain.
4. Menu - make a menu and shop by it before you go. There's no reason to get extra food just because you think you might make something. Make a menu and stick to it. This includes fluids, you should always pack some water. Our boys are older now so we make a big breakfast, we have snacks for mid day munchies and then a good dinner. Less cooking and cleaning and more time for fun.
5, Equipment list - yes I'm a list person, I love them, but they work and that's why I love them so much. You'll need a gear/equipment list for your camp site. This should have pots, pans, plates, silverware, napkins, towels, chairs, BBQ or camp stove, and lots of wipes. If the place you're headed to doesn't have a picnic table you should take a table with you - trust me it will make your life easier. If you have the ability to you can even bring a toaster or blender. Also bring games, something for outside and inside. There is always a chance of rain in Oregon.
6. Smores - they deserve there own category, how can you go wrong with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. You need some sort of after dinner treat. Sometimes I just make brownies and take those, but really if you have a campfire then you need smores and make sure you have roasting sticks that won't burn you or the kids.
7. Pre-trip vehicle inspection - this is really important whether you are a seasoned camper or just going for the first time. Nothing ruins a good time faster than a breakdown. It's recommended that you get your vehicle inspected at least a week prior so if there is an issue it can be resolved and it won't delay your trip.
8. Campfires - check before you go. Certain times of the summer we have a fire ban in Oregon. You'll need to check on this prior to your trip especially if you were planning on cooking over campfire.
9. Firewood - speaking of campfires you need to check and see if you can bring your own wood / if you need to purchase / if they will have wood available for you to use. In certain areas they don't allow outside wood due to the possibility of inspects.
10. Chairs - there are so many options. You can do the chairs in a bag, zero gravity chairs, chairs with tables. The only thing that matters is that they are comfortable. You're going to be using it more than you think.
Remember to have fun. You're going camping to enjoy the beauty that Oregon has to offer, to bond with your family and enjoy some down time.