Friday Wrap: Father’s Day Campout

friday hugs

First and foremost, I want to say how excited I am to be the featured blogger this week at High Five for Friday. The gracious hosts, Katie, Della and Tif, extended the invitation, and I said “yes” faster than I could sneeze. (Be sure to check out each of their blogs!)

I’m so glad it’s finally Friday. I have loved meeting so many amazing bloggers through H54F so far, and I can’t wait to meet more of you today. <3

If you’re new to The Neat Nook, welcome! I’m honored you’re here and invite you to read more about me or click through a few previous posts.

You’ll quickly see that my family is at the heart of my soul.

This weekend we’re taking our first camping trip (outside of our own backyard) to celebrate Father’s Day.

As much as we love the outdoors, it kind of floors me we haven’t done this sooner. We’re headed to a gorgeous place called Devil’s Den here in Northwest Arkansas.

devils den

I can’t wait to hike to this view. See more pictures here!

I’d love for this trip to be easy, fun and comfortable, so I’m pulling out a few camping tricks. Here are five ideas that I hope pull through for us this weekend. Crossing fingers here.

{ONE} The Hamper Hack

hamper hack

Presenting…the laundry hamper, two ways.

I love foldable laundry hampers because I can easily get them down to the size of a pancake and store them next to my washer between loads. They’re also handy for carrying beach towels to a camping trip. Don’t you think?

Once we get unpacked at the campground, I’m going to transition the hamper into a portable trashcan. Yay! No slouchy trash bags sitting next to our picnic table.

{TWO} Natural Bug Deterrents


This is a closeup of a citronella leaf. It has a nice citrusy fragrance.

Okay, y’all. I can’t resist decorating our camping space just a smidge. So I’m bringing a Mason jar of flowers from the garden (which I’ll transport in the cup holder of our car) to fancy up the picnic table. I clipped some shasta daisies, and for the greenery I added sprigs of my citronella plant to help keep mosquitoes away. How’s that for some double-duty daisies?

sage bundles

Another way I plan to keep the bugs at bay (in addition to my natural, homemade bug repellent) are these sage bundles. I wrapped several bunches of sage with yarn – so it’s all easy to burn. Then we’ll just toss them right into our campfire. Apparently mosquitoes and other flying insects don’t like the smell of smoky sage. Good thing we do.

{THREE} Instant Fire Starter 

pencil sharpener for tinder

Look at that pile of tinder. The great outdoors, here I come!

We’re bringing plenty of firewood, but sometimes it can get tricky to get the fire started. I plan to take a hand-held pencil sharpener in case I need to make some tinder with shavings from a twig. Even if I don’t need this, I’m totally using it so I can feel like Bear Grylls for a day.

{FOUR} Glow Stick Night Lights

glow bottle

What’s more fun than flashlights at dusk? Glow sticks!! I bought several colors to light up our campsite. I’ll put them inside empty water bottles to make a runway outside of our tent, and I’ll also drop a few inside of the cooler so we can see which flavor of Capri Sun we’re grabbing once the sun goes down.

{FIVE} Campfire Coffee

starbucks via

This is potentially a camp-saver.

Brandon (my sweet hubs) and I can’t imagine a morning without coffee. We panicked a bit when we realized we won’t be anywhere near a coffee shop AND we don’t have a camp stove percolator OR any contraption like it. Although this set is pretty adorable, and I should totally order it for our next trip. 😉

Once I realized Starbucks has instant coffee, life was good. Has anyone tried it?! We like fairly bold flavor, so I’m hoping we’ll be happy campers with this situation. I guess all you do is pour boiling water over the packet? I’m taking a few bottled mochas just in case all of this goes south. #firstworldproblems


His & hers backup plan.

Now that my hacks are all packed, I’m off to load the family truckster.

Let me know if you have any must-try camping tricks. I love learning new things. I also love meeting new people, so introduce yourself in the comments. It will be like a little guest book for the day.

Have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to hug those sweet daddy bears out there!


PS. Check out all of these fun blog parties if you can!


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