Happy Father’s Day!

happy father's day title

Father’s Day is this weekend!!

I hope you are ready to honor the dads in your life. Dads are great and an important part of the family unit!

We are celebrating this Father’s Day by going camping. One of my favorite things about my hubby being a dad is his excitement to share the great outdoors with our son.

He’s always talking about the camping, fishing, hunting, knot-tying, fire building, shelter making, and other manly outdoor activities he wants to teach our Little Man. It just melts my heart when he starts envisioning their adventures!

Our Little Man is still a little young for most of those activities but we can go camping as a family. It might be considered “glamping” this weekend since we have a rustic cabin with A/C. (It might hit 100 degrees this weekend so I’m not complaining.) BUT we are all excited.

It has been such a wonderful thing to watch my husband become a dad. Even though he hasn’t changed more than two diapers in the last 16 months… ahem! His care and concern for everything regarding our Little Man is valuable.

I know without a doubt that my hubby will do all he can to take the best care of our son no matter what. His love overflows in the way he plays and talks and walks with Little Man. It’s a wonderful thing!

As our toddler gets bigger and more in tune with the world, I know my hubby will be there to teach and guide him to be a man of integrity, ambition, and adventure. And I know that through being a dad, my hubby is learning things too. Patience is a virtue!

I’m excited to see my hubby and my son grow in a relationship together that will build up and strengthen them both in different ways. As a wife and mother, the greatest joy is observing a thriving love and respect between your husband and son!

What do you have planned to honor your Dad, husband, or father figure??

Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

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Camping is THE BEST summer activity.

There is nothing like getting outdoors, away from electronics, out exploring the world around you. Whether you tent camp, car camp, or stay in an RV or rustic cabin, camping is just plain fun!

One aspect makes camping fantastic is the food. Planning your camping menu is exciting and challenging at the same time. The excitement comes from the variety of foods and change in cooking method while camping. It needs to be portable, easy to cook, and nourishing (hiking can take a lot out of you!).

The challenge can be in avoiding processed filler foods and sticking to real foods that will keep your energy up. It would be easy to throw in a bag of chips for a snack, but how will that help you succeed on your epic hike? Cut up those carrot sticks and pack the hummus!

Our favorite camping dinner is what we call a Hobo Pack. It’s very easy to prep ahead of time and could be frozen if needed to last a couple days in a cooler. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Be creative!

Before we head out, I chop up a variety of vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mix it together with some raw ground beef in a foil pack. Add some spices and butter and close up the packs. (I usually put the packs in a plastic bag as well just in case they leak.)

When you are out at the campsite get your fire going before dinner and let it die down just a little bit. Place your Hobo Packs on the coals and let it cook! You’ll want to rotate the packs around every five minutes or so for it to cook through. Your cook time will vary depending on how much food you have in your packs. I’d say 15-20 minutes and check that the beef has no more pink.

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Hobo Packs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • (other veggies as desired)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter per pack
  • salt and pepper
  • favorite spices

Instructions

  1. Divide meat evenly onto 2 sheets of foil.
  2. Chop vegetables and distribute on top of the ground beef.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired spices. (I like Thyme or Savory. But any single spice or combination will work!)
  4. Add butter.
  5. Fold up foil to enclose the food. Add an extra sheet of foil around the outside if necessary.
  6. Place packs in a plastic bag for transportation or until ready to cook.
  7. When cooking over an open fire, you can use a grate if one is available or you can let the fire die down a little and place the packs on the coals.
  8. Turn the packs every five minutes until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are at desired doneness.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/04/13/real-food-camping-hobo-packs/

Super simple! You can eat straight out of the packs or divide up onto plates for the kiddos. Remember the foil is HOT so bring tongs and a hot mitt or towel to handle the packs.

Eating real food while camping CAN be done. It takes a little bit of planning and usually a little prep ahead of time. But it is well worth it. If you usually eat real food at home, you don’t want to switch it up just for convenience when camping. Everyone wants to have fun while camping so feed your body well!

What is your favorite camping food?

 

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Camping with a Baby

(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

It has been our dream to bring this baby camping since before he was born. This past week we were able to do that with a nice mini family vacation. We took three days/two nights and spent some time relaxing out doors. Now we do live in a sort of vacation spot, but we like to rough it just a bit. We didn’t use the tent since it was early summer in Tennessee and 80+ degrees. But we found these “Tent Cabins” at a local state park. It allowed us rustic shelter and A/C so the baby (and hubby) wouldn’t overheat.

Now to the important tips I learned. Mostly I was prepared for these things, but all the same I’d like to pass them along to others interested in camping with a baby.

Tip #1: Be Flexible!

Camping in general always requires some flexibility. There’s always risk of the weather, campsite availability, wildlife encounters, all sorts of things could happen. The need to be flexible doubles with an infant. Our instances of flexibility were when little man pooped at inconvenient times, his naps were sporadic and not long enough, and he wanted to be held at all times.

I just went with the flow and tried to not stress about it. I struggled a little with the nap thing, because he’s in a bad nap phase anyway, but we made it through and he got enough sleep somehow. I utilized my ErgoBaby carrier too. That helped a ton when we were cooking and eating.

Tip #2: Bring Extras!

This can apply to any time you leave the house with a baby. For camping I know I over packed, since generally I pack really light, but one does not want to run out of diapers at a campsite. I also packed plenty of extra clothes for the little man and shirts for myself. Those after feeding spit ups are kinda gross to sit in in 80 degree weather.

The only thing I wish I had brought an extra of was a blanket. Since we had the option of A/C in the rustic cabin it got rather cold in the night (husband, cough cough). Little man’s arms and ears were cold when I picked him up in the morning. Not the end of the world, but I’d rather him not get too cold.

Tip#3: Don’t forget the bug spray!

Fortunately I did not forget to bring the bug spray, but I did fail to spray it on us when we got to the campsite. Little man got a couple bites on his cheek shortly after we arrived. Again, not a big deal, but its a bug bite. Nobody likes those. Whatever it was that bit him, the bites when away after a few hours, so it wasn’t anything bad.

In this category I could add Sunscreen. I (of course) make my own that I feel safe putting on the little man. We were able to do some lake swimming, which was super fun. And I lathered up the little man to keep him from turning pink. I’m not afraid of some sunshine on the skin, but it was mid-day; I wasn’t sure how long we’d be in the direct sun and I didn’t want him to burn while we were away for a few days.

Tip #4: Bring your Oils!

I am building the habit of always packing my doTerra Essential Oils when I go places. You never know when they will come in handy! I had Terrashield to keep the bugs away. I added a bunch of drops in some water in a spray bottle to make application easy. Except for a few flies, it kept the bugs away like magic.

I also brought Lavender for me and little man to sleep. Sleeping in a new place can be difficult so I made sure to use the Lavender to help us get some rest. DigestZen was another one I packed just in case we had unusual stomach issues. That’s something you don’t want while out on a trail or in the woods. We didn’t need it, but it was there just in case.

Overall we had a great camping experience. The fire at night was especially fun for little man to watch. Hopefully we will go again soon. Getting outdoors away from the regular routine is good for the soul! I hope this tips will help in case you are thinking of camping with a little one. It’s not as scary as you might think.


 

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