Getting ready for camping

You already know that we’re a camping-type of family, right? Three summers ago, the six of us tripped to Alaska for 10 weeks seeing the sights and sleeping in our fifth-wheel camper.

That vehicle was like the Taj Mahal. Everyone had their own bed. We had a bathroom, including a shower. I had a well-equipped kitchen to cook in. You could say I got a little spoiled. But, as the adage goes, all good things must end, and so went the Eagle by Jayco.

By Rita Meyer

When we returned home and no longer needed such a fancy rig for our current weekend-only camping, we sold it.

Now what do we camp in? An enclosed trailer. Yes, that’s right, a Featherlight enclosed trailer that my husband, Marv, has taken great measures to convert to a “camper.” He’s added bunks that fold up on the wall when not in use. He welded a stainless steel table to the opposite wall that serves as my kitchen prep and storage area. He added a sliding screen door to the back exit for ventilation and sunlight.

There are many other additions or niceties Marv has constructed to make it more of a camper while having the hauling capacity of a trailer. His efforts have proven very useful based on the amount of stuff we somehow manage to bring on the average outing. The bikes generally go in the back end of the pickup, but we’ve taken both a canoe and kayaks on other occasions.

This weekend we’re headed up to Bemidji to see our eldest, Emma. She’s in her second year of elementary education at Bemidji State University. Lake Bemidji State Park is our destination Friday night after Justine gets done with swim practice. I’m looking forward to the outing very much.

Know what else I’m looking forward to? Marv said he wants to do the cooking! Don’t get me wrong, he can cook — and does if I’m not around — but as a general rule, that’s usually my department. He’s all hip on getting a cast iron Dutch oven. We currently have a metal one that he’s used to cook potatoes, carrots and onions over the fire. Once. But they were way good.

And, he went to a cooking demonstration on how to use cast iron cookware, so now he is gung ho on replicating the creations he saw prepared. Or coming up with his own. He sent me a link for “15 recipes to make over a campfire using a cast iron skillet” and asked which one in particular looks especially appealing. True to form, he’s doing his research. This should prove interesting to see what he comes up. I’m packing the cold cereal and milk, just in case.

Rita Meyer is married and the mother of four children. She and her family are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Meire Grove. Email her at

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The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

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