This post was sponsored by Mean Green. All opinions are my own.
I had the opportunity to take five junior high Girl Scouts camping last weekend.
I love camping with the girls. And yes, I mean camping camping. Not staying in a cabin. Not using an RV. Putting up a tent in the rain and standing around freezing in the morning while your water boils on a campstove kind of camping. (We DID have good coffee, though. We’re not complete barbarians)
We had a blast. We hiked to a beautiful lake
The girls tie-dyed T-shirts. They made Rice Krispy treats (and we might have had to improvise a little when I realized we forgot a pan to put them in).
They built shelters.
All in all, a wonderful time, and everyone came home in desperate need of a nap and a shower. And since I drove my white van up there, THAT definitely needed a bath as well! Although I ran it through the car wash, it still needed some more TLC after a weekend of ferrying the girls around on dirt roads. So it only seemed fitting that I put one of the girls to work cleaning it thoroughly.
She tackled it with Mean Green Auto & Garage Cleaner and Degreaser and it looks so much better!
We used the Auto & Garage Cleaner and Degreaser on the dashboards, on the bumper, on the wheels – you can even use it on the engine although I didn’t make her go quite that far this time. It got all the grease and grime from the weekend off for us. You can also use it on cement floors in the garage, or on your grill or outdoor furniture. I may actually pack this to take with us next time – it would be lovely to have something to clean the campstove, the grill at the site, or the campfire grate with.
Along with bringing this cleaner, here are a few tips for making your next camping trip go smoothly:
- branch out from the usual hotdogs or camp stew! There are tons of easy, delicious camp recipes online. We had this Campstove Pad Thai for dinner on Saturday and it was a huge hit. And as I mentioned, we made Rice Krispy treats over our stove and they were delicious
- pre-package the condiments and food you’re going to bring. If you won’t be needing an entire package of something, pour a smaller amount into a sealable plastic bag or container to take up less room
- make sure anything you put in your cooler is waterproof! Put your butter, milk, and other perishables in plastic containers. Also – there is some food that NEEDS to be refrigerated and some food that just tastes better cold. Put the necessities at the bottom of your cooler where it’s coldest, and things you just prefer to be cold nearer the top
- try to pack your food in the order you’ll be using it. I had a bag for each meal so I could just pull out the one bag without having to dig for all our ingredients
- if you’re camping somewhere that gets rain, pack all your socks and underwear in small plastic bags. If you want, pack your larger clothes in leftover plastic grocery bags. There’s nothing worse than wet clothes when you’re camping!
- if you can, talk to the campground host or ranger ahead of time to see if you need to be aware of any dangers or warnings. We had a campfire ban, so I knew not to plan any meals that needed to be cooked over a fire. We also had bear activity in the area and the campground host gave us tips on how to avoid bears and what to do if we encountered one
I hope this is the start of a great many trips with these girls! Things like camping trips just bond you in ways you don’t get with many other activities. It’s one of my favorite things to do with them.