Our family is going to fit in one more camping trip before the end of summer and I’m taking this chance to update my camping list to include a few items for crafty fun. My tween and I had a fun time taking a test ride with some of the items- pretending our backyard was our campsite away from home.
1. Biscuits in a tube-
Cooking biscuits from a tube as a campfire treat has been a family tradition since I started going to summer camp as a tween. The ‘recipe’ for roasted campfire biscuits (a/k/a “doughboys”) is basic and fun for (almost) all ages. First, open the tube & separate the biscuits. Stretch the dough and twist & wrap around a roasting stick (e.g. your marshmallow roasting stick). Slowly roast the dough over the campfire until golden all around. You might find the inside of the biscuit a little raw. I like to peel off the cooked crust and continue roasting the rest until done.
This year, my tween and I tested different jazzed-up campfire biscuit variations using our backyard grill- which was a fun way to spend time together away from our computers and homework. For the savory options, we tested chopped pancetta and turkey lunch meat versions (be sure the meat is pre-cooked or cured). For the sweet options, we tested a cinnamon sugar version and another with blueberries wrapped inside. All varieties we tested were incredibly yummy. My tween’s favorite was the biscuit wrapped with blueberries. It was so delicious- the grill fire caramelized the berries while toasting the biscuit.
2. Duct Tape – Yes, this is already part of our standard camping list as duct tape can fix almost any problem. You might have noticed that the popularity of duct tape has risen beyond MacGyver-like magic into a craft kit staple- especially for tween and teen crafts. I was amazed to see the variety of patterns and colors now available at Target in the home improvement section. The options for decorative Duck tapes to fill your crafty camping kit are endless.
With duct tape in your camping kit- you can sit by the campfire or pass the time during the long car drive making duct tape roses or rings. We also use duct tape for treasure hunts during hiking. By creating inside out bracelets using the tape (sticky side facing out), each family member finds 15+ unique tiny items to stick to the tape bracelet. At the end of the hike – we share our discoveries. This is an activity that our tween as well as our almost 3-year old twins can enjoy (and a good counting exercise for the twins).
3. Yarn - Our tweens have been going crazy over finger knitting and finger weaving. With yarn in our camping kit- the finger knitting can continue- but I’ll also reintroduce a blast from my camping past by starting a God’s Eye weaving. My tween still loves to hear stories about how I grew up- so this will be a good prompt for me to share my camping stories from my youth. For a great tutorial- check out this guest post on Make and Takes via Steph from Modern Parent Messy Kids.
4. Googly Eyes - Yes, you read that correctly. This may be an unexpected addition to your camping list- but think of the possibilities! I was inspired by a Pinterest picture for campfire monsters using googly eyes. My crafty maven sister Pauline also goes crazy for googly eyes. Extra credit points to you if you try her yarn pom pom chicks with googly eyes. Our hiking treasure hunt will be sure to include a search for pine cones to make our own campfire characters. My tween made her own campfire friend (‘Alfred’) from our backyard test run. (A few pom poms, pipe cleaners and glue added to our practice crafty camping kit gave us more options.)
5. Small Garbage Bags - As a NOLS and Outward Bound alumna- I always like to pass along an appreciation for the spaces in nature where we travel. Both organizations support Leave No Trace principles which teach us how to use the outdoors responsibly. One principle is to dispose of waste properly. By arming each family member with their own garbage bag- each can be prepared to pick up small pieces of garbage during our hikes and at the campsite. I realize that some of the recommended suggestions above violate the principle of leaving what you find in their natural state (which would have us leave the pine cones as is without creating campfire friends). Understanding these principles are a good teachable moment. Before we leave our campsite, we’ll capture any stray googly eyes and return the pine cones to their homes. We’ll use the trash bags to pick up even small pieces of garbage- leaving the space better than when we arrived.
Do you have any unique items on your camping list that create crafty fun? What are your camping traditions?Please share below!
Additional Helpful Links:
- My Pinterest Board for Outdoor Crafts & Food Fun
- My Pinterest Board for S’mores Sensations
- 7 Principles of Leave No Trace
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