My family loves to camp at Lake Casitas in Carpinteria, California, for Memorial Day weekend. We’ll have the tents pitched by noon Friday, I’ll feed my two hungry campers and their two friends, cover every nose in SPF 50, and everyone’ll be rarin’ to go.
First 3 Things
1. Everybody gets a bandana. NOT a handkerchief–although as a nosewipe, a bandana’s better than a sleeve. Scouting showed them how to make it a triangle sling for arm injuries. It can also be a headband if we’re sweating under a hot sun; a dust mask if an ATV appears ahead; or I can soak it to cool a brow, or my whole head under my hat.
2. I put a hat on everyone. Shade is good.
3. Also, a long-sleeved hooded T-shirt. Okay, if it’s too hot, they tie it around their waist or hang it from their back pocket.
Next 5 Things for the Pack
Two of mine are old enough to head into the wilds until sundown, and two will be back to camp by our next meal. You never know when someone might get hurt or forget about the buddy system and get lost. Every kid’s pack should have these five essentials.
- first aid
Here’s what’s in my kids’ daypacks for a half-day hike, in case somebody has to make it through the night:
4. First Aid
They’ve got their bandana; I add BAND-AIDs ®, Neosporin ®, aspirin, Kleenex ®, SPF ChapStick ®, repellant, needle & thread, safety pins, and a Swiss army knife. Tiny stuff.
Water bottle and purification tablets. Simple.
They’ve got a long-sleeved hoodie for warmth, and I include a space blanket. My kids have learned how to tie it up like a tarp for shelter with two bungee cords.
Bandanas can be tied on a stick for a flag. I also put in an LED flashlight, extra batteries and a whistle. My kids’ cells have GPS apps, but a compass & area map work, and coins for a phone call. Do teach them how to use a phone booth!
Breakfast bars, bouillon cubes, a lighter, wax paper firestarter and a metal cup. I’ve shown them how to make a fire to heat up a cup of water for soup.
Of course, I’ll probably only get them out hiking the first day: the Casitas Water Adventure opens Saturday, May 25th.
We’re prepared for our Memorial Day camping weekend, and we’ve been lucky–we’ve only had to use a few BAND-AIDs ® and make headbands from our bandanas!