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This post is brought to you through our partnership with Toyota and Texas Park and Wildlife.

Have you ever been camping with your family. I have only been camping once and it was not a great memory for me. But I really have been wanting my kids to have the full camping experience at least once. I didn’t want my bad experience to keep them from enjoying the excitement that comes with camping and being outdoors. So when I heard about the  Texas Outdoor Family from Texas Parks and Wildlife and Toyota, I knew that was our time to give this a try!  In December they were holding the event at Brazos Bend State Park which is just a short drive from Houston.My first thought was – we do not have any of the gear that we need! And I didn’t even know where to start to make sure I had all that we needed. But that is what is so cool about Texas Outdoor Family Workshop! They provide the gear! They provide what you need for a fun camping experience in a Texas State Park.  Each family or group of up to six people gets a campsite with nearby restrooms and the use of equipment including: tent, cots for two adults, foam sleeping pads for children, lantern, camp stove, cooking pots/pans and utensils, and a coffee press. You will bring: bedding, personal items and food.  Sweet right?

My next concern was that we have no idea how to do any of the things. You know – setting up a tent, starting a campfire, cook dinner over a fire. They have that covered too! We had Park Rangers there with us. We had set times with them where they would go over important things like: Setting up a tent, preparing for bedtime, leaving no trace of your stay, how to start a fire, how to cook on a camp grill, how to use a portable stove, and MORE!

So what do you do while you are outdoors with no tablets, wifi, facebook, cell reception? They have that covered too! Each workshop offers different activities. Your family could geocache (high-tech treasure hunt), kayak, fish, swim, rock climb, cook in a Dutch oven, go to a nature program, mountain bike, stargaze and more. Choose a workshop and make your own adventure!

There is actually so much to do! We explored Brazos Bend State Park for hours!

We spent several hours fishing the beautiful waters.

I brought some games for us to have family game time around the picnic table. So much fun!

Enjoy nature! It is so beautiful! Soak it all in! Let the kids explore and appreciate nature!

Watch the sunset. So PRETTY!

Make s’mores of course!

I also wanted to share a few things that we learned on our adventure!

Things to bring:

• Good walking shoes or boots
• Water shoes (for kayaking, showers
• Towel & wash cloth – extra towels may be a good idea!
• tolietries like toothbrush, paste, deoderant, soap, shampoo
• Sunglasses
• Water bottles for everyone (our camp had lots of filter water access points)
• Folding camp chairs
• Bicycles and helmets
• Books or board games
• Flashlights/headlamps/lanterns (extra batteries) – YES our flashlight died and we needed light! It gets very dark!
• Daypack/fanny pack
•Pocket knife (adults only)
• Binoculars
•First aid kit
• Sharp knife
• Resealable plastic bags
• Plates, bowls and cups
• Silverware
• Paper towels
•Charcoal/starter fluid / chimney starter
• Cooler and ice
• Dish soap (preferably biodegradable)
• Can opener
• Aluminum foil
• Marshmallow skewers – and all the things for S’MORES!
• Food items for family
• Camera
• Extra batteries
• Insect repellant
• Sunscreen
• Trash bags
• Matches or lighter
• Kindling or fire starter
• Sleeping bag or blanket
• An extra blanket, just in case
•Twin Sheets for the cot
• Pillow

I know! I know! It sounds like so much! BUT it really is not! A quick stop at Walmart and through your house to collect some of the items you will need will only take a few minutes. And it will make your camping trips so much more enjoyable!

Lastly, make sure you have a dependable vehicle to get you to and from the campsite with all your goodies! We were so excited to take the Toyota Tacoma on this trip. It is rugged and very sporty! I just had to share some of the awesome features with you so be watching for my next post about why we loved the Toyota Tacoma!



Check out more of our amazing camping trip! Thank you Toyota and Texas Park and Wildlife Parks for a wonderful experience!


Learn to camp at a Texas Outdoor Family workshop.

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected].

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