October Backpacking and Camping

Photo from a recent hike on the Bad Branch Falls trail.

I love the cooler weather of autumn. It’s perfect for camping. I love waking up to the chilly morning air, the heavy fog, the quiet sounds of birds chirping. I love cooking over a campfire. I love exploring in nature. I mean, camping is just so much fun!

In a couple of weeks I am setting out with my four daughters and a young college student from church for an “all girl” 4-day backpacking trip along the Ridge Trail at the Cumberland Gap National Park. We’ll also be bringing along our new dog Caroline. That’s pronounced “care-o-line” with a long I sound.

Anyway, so I’ve been planning what to pack, what to eat, and such. This is a our first real backpacking trip. Of course, the Ridge Trail is a nice “beginner’s” backpacking trail, but it’s still exciting!

A couple of weeks later we are going camping with the rest of our family – 15 of us in all for some fun car camping at Kingdom Come State Park.

Here are some resources I have utilized:

I have printed off the Cumberland Gap trail map and laminated it.

Just for fun I printed this hand shadows guide and laminated it.

I printed this darling Nature Scavenger Hunt Cards for the younger children and laminated a set of six cards.  By laminated them we can use dry erase markers and reuse them each time we go camping – two or three times a year.

I printed this Nature Scavenger Hunt Cards for the older kids and adults who want to join in. I printed the scavenger hunt cards in half page sizes. I resized the images in Microsoft Word so that two fit per sheet of paper. I trimmed them and cut them in half after laminating.

I put all the laminated Nature Scavenger Hunt Cards on a book ring.

At Minimus.biz you can buy individual packets of all sorts of food, household items, etc and order however many you need – mix and match.

For the backpacking trip, I plan to have my 9 year old carry about 9 – 10 pounds. The twelve year old will carry 10 – 15 pounds. The teens and I will carry 20% – 25% of our body weight, hopefully not more than 20 pounds. Caroline, the dog, has her own backpack that I ordered from Amazon.com and she’ll be carrying her own food and water. I ordered the green color.

I am figuring 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of food per day per person. So we will need roughly 30 – 40 pounds of food. That’s a lot of food! I’ll be making individual meals and packing them. Everyone will be bringing their own Mess Kit and cooking their own food.  I’ll have to share the recipes and menu plans with you later. I’ll also try to remember to take photos of our packs and what we carry with us. This is something I’ve wanted to do forever. Yea!

If you are planning a camping trip for your family, I have lots of fun ideas on my Outdoors and Camping page on Pinterest.

What’s your favorite thing about camping?

About Melissa

Melissa Ringstaff is a pastor's wife, serving with her husband in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. She is a homeschooling mother of five plus four and Grandarlin' to 13 (so far) grandchildren. Melissa is the Founding Editor of A Virtuous Woman since 2001. She has written several titles including Spring Cleaning for the Heart and Home, The Homemaker's Journal: Keeping House, and Christian ADVENTures in Prophecy. You are invited to visit Melissa at A Virtuous Woman.
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2 Responses to October Backpacking and Camping

  1. Cindy Ware says:

    I love to camp! My extended family camps together every year and make it our yearly family reunion. My immediate family camp as often as possible. It has become a little difficult with the little ones but we are dedicated. I love love love your pinterest page on camping. Not only did I get some wonderful ideas for camping but I found I can incorporate some of the ideas into my new home planning/decorating. I have recently moved to the country; am starting from scratch out her and being a city girl is is a little difficult to say the least. It inspired me. Thanks!!!

    • Melissa says:

      Cindy, thanks! I’m glad you found some useful ideas. I love camping too! A yearly family camp out reunion sounds like so much fun. I should suggest that to my brother. :)

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