Tips to planning a successful camping trip

One of the best ways to enjoy the summer season is to get outside, share stories around a campfire and sleep outside under the stars. Camping trips should be fun, but they can be stressful and uncomfortable if they aren’t planned properly.  Follow these tips to plan a fun and successful camping trip.

  1. Pack for all different types of weather
    Even if the weather says it will be nothing but sun for the duration of your vacation that could quickly turn and you don’t want to be caught unprepared in the rain. Do a check to make sure you are covered no matter if the temperature dips or spikes while you are away.  Make sure you pack an extra jacket, extra socks, raincoat/boots as well as sunscreen and a hat  just in case.

    C21 camping hack:  Buy a bunch of ponchos from the dollar store. They’re cheap and will keep you dry in a pinch. Plus, they look hilarious! 

  2. Bring extra
    One of the best and worst things about camping is that anything can happen, that’s what makes it such an adventure. Pack extra food, water and batteries just in case. You never want to be stranded without food and water. It will allow you to adventure with better peace of mind. 

    C21 camping hack: Bring a bag (or an extra bag) of Doritos to use as emergency fire starters. If all your kindling is wet,  the Doritos will work wonders to get your fire going and you can snack on them while you do it!

  3. Get a good night’s sleep
    The idea of sleeping outside under the stars sounds idyllic but the reality can be far from it. If you aren’t properly prepared then you could be in for an uncomfortable and sleepless night. Investing in a good sleeping bag and sleeping mat can make all the difference. Sleeping bags are not one size fits all so make sure you get one that fits you properly. The type of sleeping mat you get will depend on the type of camping you will be doing and the space that is available to you. If the space in the car permits it and you aren’t doing backcountry camping then it might be worth investing in one or two big air mattresses if the whole family will be sleeping in the tent. This will ensure that everyone is comfy and will limit grouchy kids in the morning!

    C21 camping hack:  Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.

  4.  Menu planning and prep Hungry campers are unhappy campers! Meal planning and preparation is possibly the most important thing that you can do for your camping trip. If you have reserved a campsite then you will know what utilities are available to you and you can plan accordingly. If are planning a more backcountry trip then you need to bring a stove and have a plan to make a fire. Prep what you can before leaving for your trip– with limited daylight you don’t want to be chopping veggies in the dark. One thing that a lot of campers forget are the cooking essentials such as oil, spices/ seasonings, salt and pepper.
  5.  Entertainment Don’t forget to have fun! Bring some books, music and games to play while you’re camping. Some great travel games are bananagrams, cards and UNO.  One of the greatest aspects of camping is seeing your kids engage with nature and be inquisitive with their surroundings.  Play some games that encourage them to learn more about their environment such as a nature scavenger hunt.

    C21 camping hack: A fun game to play at night is glow stick ring toss. Pick up some glow sticks from the dollar store and use a branch as your target. 


There is nothing more satisfying than planting some seeds, watching them grow, harvesting the veggies and then eating them for dinner. Farm to table life is not only good for your health but also your wallet and the environment. This idyllic lifestyle might seem like an unrealistic dream for those that live in cities, work a 9-5, have a family or simply don’t have the time to “farm” their food. The good news is there are plenty of veggies that are easy to grow and that don’t require much space.

The great thing about tomatoes is they can be grown on a balcony or in a garden. If this is your first time growing tomatoes we recommend buying starter plants rather than growing them straight from seeds. This will give you a good idea of how much water and sun they need and then the following year you can try growing them from seeds.

Onions  grow very quickly and are easy to take care of. Plant them in a row and you will be able to harvest some green onions in a couple weeks. There is very little care required for onions, simply plant the bulbs, water and enjoy! Once harvested, onions like to be kept in a cool, dry place.

The best time to grow peas is right now, so here’s how to do it so you can start today! Peas like to be grown upright and on a climber so they can have something to wrap their vines around (a wooden ladder or metal pole would work well). They thrive in cooler weather so it’s best to grow them in the spring rather than the summer, time to get growing!

Lettuce The difference in taste between store bought lettuce and homegrown is staggering. Homegrown lettuce has a rich, fresh taste that store bought can never compete with. To grow lettuce, simply just sprinkle the seeds into your garden ( or garden box if you don’t have a backyard) and pick the lettuce once it comes up to promote new growth. 

Basil can be grown pretty much anywhere. It not only tastes amazing but it will make your whole house smell heavenly (if you are growing it inside). Basil can be either potted or grown in a garden bed depending on the space available to you. Pluck leaves and use immediately, you can also dry the herb and use it in cooking all year round.