Spring Break in St George: Camping & Hiking

This Utah weather was bringing me down, so my sweet husband planned a Spring Break Getaway in the south to hopefully warmer weather. Despite the cold, it’s been THE BEST camping trip I’ve had with Jer. The kids said their favorite part was hiking the Lava Tubes in Snow Canyon (separate posts for our adventures). I loved all the spectacular scenery on our hikes and the amazing food. It’s always better when Best Friends can meet up, too! Jer did everything for this trip, and I couldn’t be more proud of his hard work.


Snow Canyon

Snow Canyon

This State Park near St. George Utah had breathtaking landscapes…

Red Cliffs

Red Cliffs

Dinosaur Footprints Paleontologists identified these tracks made by bipedal meat-eating…

Originally we planned for Zion, but we weren’t prepared to camp with several feet of snow/mud. The trails we mapped out to hike were snowmobile accessible only. No dogs allowed outside the campsite, so we couldn’t bring Roxy anywhere. It was a tough decision to cancel.

Jer was so excited to find a campsite at Red Cliffs campground close to St George with more favorable conditions for the same days. When the weather still wasn’t looking warmer, he offered to cancel the camping trip for me. I thought we should try, and I’d be supportive. He put so much effort into making it the best experience for me and our family, to encourage me to go camping again. I guess I haven’t been the most Happy Camper in the past, lol! Some of my hesitation:

  • Not wanting to dig a hole or find a bush every time I needed to take my kids to potty (which was often)
  • Feeling icky dirty for days
  • Sleeping in extreme weather
  • Dealing with diapers in the wild
  • Creating lots of dishes by prepping food at camp, which we did our best to rinse/clean with water bottles, sometimes resulting in not enough drinking water
  • Cooking on a fire so that most things were burnt or undercooked
  • That sticky mix of bug spray and a layer of campfire on your skin

Hmmm, a tall list to overcome. “Challenge accepted!” —Jeremy. Here’s what he did…

5 Things that Made Me Like Camping

1. Convenient Campsite Amenities

Water spout next to tent

He chose a campsite with direct access to running water and an enclosed bathroom nearby, which solved many of my concerns above. The campsite also had our own covered pavilion with picnic benches and a table for meals. It made meal prep and cooking easier during high winds and inclement weather. We had dry spots free of rocks and dirt to sit and eat. Our gear and firewood stayed dry without us having to store it in the van.

2. Best Rest in the Right Tent

Inside the tent

Much of the challenge with camping for me is being able to sleep well. We bought a tent big enough for our entire family (including the dog) to sleep comfortably. The blackout fabric means we could sleep longer and keep the tent’s temperature more consistent. The mudroom (vestibule) feature kept wet stuff or gear separate from the sleeping area. It felt cleaner longer when we kept our sleeping area organized and neat even after a long day of hiking and activities. Even in crazy winds, ice, and hailstorms that tent kept us safe and dry the whole night!

3. Easy Camping Food & Cleanup

Jer and the camping stove

The main goal of food was EASY. Jer borrowed a propane camping stove that had a burner and a grill so we could cook without a fire. He premade meals so that all we’d need to do is warm them up on the stove with minimal prep. We did easy granola bars for hikes and on-the-go travel. For the cold weather, we did hot chocolate mornings and evenings. Hot dogs and s’mores grilled over the fire. Chili and Dutch oven potatoes(one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth). Premade sandwiches after setting up camp. A sausage/hash brown/eggs breakfast in the cast iron skillet and rolled into a burrito; the eggs were already in a Tupperware ready to scramble. Grapes and raspberries for some freshness.

I only needed to wash the plates and forks, and Jer took care of the pans. It was wonderful!!! Any dirty water or used paper napkins could be thrown into the fire pit. We used alcohol wipes we could pack out for the harder messes like sticky marshmallow faces. I put hand sanitizer at the table to encourage hand washing before and after meals.

4. Dealing with the Extreme Weather

Spring Sun and Hail and Snow and Sleet

Jer and W chopped wood and built the fire every night (and sometimes in the morning) to keep warm. He used lighter fluid on it a couple of times for convenience, and special matches he got that are water and wind resistant. It came in handy when a hailstorm came while he was trying to cook. The hot cocoa helped warm us, too! Jer ensured there was enough padding / foam between the ground and our sleeping bags so we’d stay warm and dry through the rain and random snow. Everyone went potty right before bed to minimize bathroom breaks in the middle of the frigid night.

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!”

-Norse Proverb

I packed each kiddo 2 each of moisture wicking activewear for a first layer, polyester middle layer like a sweater, and their jackets. Their hiking packs had mittens in case their hands got cold. I finally got water resistant fleece lined leggings for myself (perfect for cold weather running, hikes, and camping). Also bought the kids wool socks essential to keeping them warm, especially at night. They had a pair of wool socks for adventures, and one pair just for sleeping so it was always clean and dry at bedtime. We slept with beanies and even hoodies on the coldest night to keep insulated in 16 degrees.

5. Staying Fresh

It’s a lot simpler wearing the same outfit everyday, not having to strip in the freezing cold to change, and minimizing hygiene and appearance. HOWEVER, the price is an icky feeling that comes with being outdoors for multiple days without a shower. It’s worth it for me to sleep in something that doesn’t smell like smoke or sweat. Even though I couldn’t shower (maybe dry shampoo next time?), I kept refreshed longer by bringing facial wipes and cleaning my face every morning and night. On Day 2, I changed all the clothing in contact with my skin to feel cleaner. I styled my short hair everyday with a clip, bandana, or hat to feel put together and keep it out of my face. L’s long hair was braided before we left so it would stay somewhat tidy not need brushing.

I put effort into looking cute this camping trip to feel excited and confident for our day. Normally I don’t wear makeup, but I tried really basic makeup, focusing on skin care and sunscreen—no foundation and nothing requiring waterproof makeup remover. No jewelry, just sunglasses for hikes. Getting cleaned/dressed up made a world of difference in boosting my mood and getting me out of frumpy, which helped a lot since I also happened to get my period.


I just want to take a moment to admire how my husband packed the car and managed to fit everything! The tarp, camp stove, and tent were at the very bottom. Our sleeping bags and pillows were next to L and the dog. One of the open boxes contained hiking shoes, snow shoes in case there was more snow or rain than the kids hiking shoes could handle, and sandals in case we went swimming. He did 2 ice chests for our premade food. A cooking pot, Dutch oven with lid, squirt bottle of cooking oil, salt and pepper shakers, and a metal spatula was all he needed.

Here’s to my Camping Hero Husband. You got me hooked on the camping thing.

Love, Kat

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