Fall Camping Tips to Keep You Warm and Cozy in a Tent

Fall Camping Tips to Keep You Warm and Cozy in a Tent

Camping doesn’t only have to be a summer fun experience.

There are many benefits to fall camping when the air cools down and the leaves begin to change to red, orange, and yellow.

It truly becomes a beautiful sight to see!

It also allows for some beautiful photos for memories.

However, when you choose to camp in the fall, the weather is the most important thing to consider.

Fall camping can bring some chilly nights.

Fall Camping Tips

 There can also be unexpected rainfall as the season’s change and the air pressure or cold fronts come through.

So how do you prepare for a fall camping adventure to ensure you stay cozy and have a great time?

Let’s get started with what you should bring to wear because your clothes can make or break your trip.

What to wear for Fall Camping

The first thing you want to do is check the weather to see if there is rain in the forecast. You will also want to check the temperatures in the day and night.

During the fall months, the temperature at night can drop significantly so you will want to be prepared with these items.

This is a great list of items to get you started so you stay warm and dry during the fall camping trip.


What to bring to stay warm while sleeping

The nights will almost always be colder than the days, so having these items to stay warm while you sleep is a necessity.

  • 0-degree sleeping bag
  • Thermals
  • Wool blankets
  • Hand and feet warmers

Tips for keeping your Tent warm at night

There are different ways to keep your tent warm at night.

First, you can use a portable propane heater inside your tent.

This heater has tip-over protection, and I highly recommend always placing it in an area with plenty of ventilation and on a solid structure.

You could also purchase a tent with a wood stove that has the proper ventilation.

Fall Camping

Another great tip is to pack some rugs and extra blankets to place on the floor of your tent. This will help insulate the tent from the cold ground. 

If you choose the portable heater or wood stove tent with ventilation, please use it with care and caution. 

Additional Tips Before You Head To Your Campsite

–> Check your campsite for electricity and water

Every campsite is different. If you choose to rent out a spot that could also be rented out for an RV, there could be the option to have electricity and running water. This is a camping game changer.

Find out ahead of time by asking the park attendant when you book your campsite. 

If your campsite has electricity, then bringing an electric heater and/or an electric blanket can be great options for staying warm.

Another option if you have electricity and water at your campsite is to bring an electric water kettle or coffee maker. This speeds up the ability to have a nice hot cup of joe!

–> Check the park for rules on gathering firewood

Some state parks prohibit gathering firewood and require you to bring your own.

Check with the park attendant when you book your site.

–> Check for a fire pit and see if there is a burn ban

Some areas may have fire bans depending on how dry the summer was. If there is a fire ban, check out other options to have a campfire.

You may need to ask if you can bring your own personal fire pit.

So, how cold is too cold for Fall Camping?

Speaking of staying warm in your tent, let’s discuss the temperature that’s doable for fall camping.

Sometimes winter can come early for many parts of the United States and getting caught with freezing temperatures in your tent is not what you want. That is why checking the weather ahead of time is so important.

But, how cold is too cold?

I personally think anything below 45 degrees at night is too cold. Although your sub-zero sleeping bag should keep you nice and cozy, I don’t recommend camping if it’s supposed to get below 45 degrees.

That’s my opinion though.

Only you know what gear you have and what temperatures you will be comfortable with.

If you don’t know, then I would test out your gear one cold night in your back yard to see what you can handle. This way you have the option to go inside the house for warmth.

Food and Drink Ideas for Fall Camping

Nothing is better than sitting by a campfire and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or hot cocoa. I personally also love chili and cornbread during this time of year.

So, here are some comfort food and drink ideas to keep you warm and satisfied while fall camping.  

Fall Festive Chili –  Over The Fire Cooking

Chili is a staple to fall camping. It keeps you warm and full! Pair it with some cornbread and you’ve nailed the idea of camping comfort food.

Check out this recipe here – Fall Festive Chili

Fall Camping Chili - OVerTheFireCooking

Campfire Skillet Cornbread – Fresh of the Grid

Looking for the perfect pair to your chili recipe? Look no further than Fresh of the Grids amazing campfire skillet cornbread. 

Check out the full recipe here – Campfire Skillet Cornbread 

Campfire Skillet Cornbread by Fresh of the Grid

Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast – All Recipes

Don’t forget breakfast!! This mountain man breakfast is delicious with sausage, eggs, peppers and more. 

Check out the full recipe here – Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast

Mountain Man Skillet Breakfast - All Recipes

Sausage Pumpkin Pasta – The Spicy Apron

Looking for a great alternative to chili but still want that fall feel in your food? This Sausage Pumpkin recipe is one to remember for every fall camping trip. 

Check out the full recipe here – Sausage Pumpkin Pasta

Sausage Pumpkin Pasta for fall camping

Mulled wine recipe – 50 Campfires

Looking to warm up with hot drink that isn’t your typical hot chocolate or coffee? This mulled wine is perfect for the campfire nights. 

Check out the full recipe here – Mulled Wine Recipe

Mulled Wine Recipe for Fall Camping

Red Wine Hot Chocolate – 50 Campfires

Maybe you’re wanting to spice up your hot chocolate as you sit by the campfire. Mix it up with this Red Wine Hot Chocolate recipe. 

Check out the full recipe here – Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Pie Cake – Let’s camp more

While S’ More is a camping staple dessert, you can always mix it up and try a new recipe. This pumpkin pie cake is perfect for fall camping. 

Check out the full recipe here – Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake for Fall Camping

Final Thoughts

Camping in the fall can be an amazing experience when you’re prepared. Staying warm, dry, and cozy is key to having a successful trip. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and especially the food and drink ideas.

I know that Sausage Pumpkin Pasta is a recipe I will keep forever! 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, feel free to share! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out our related posts! 

 

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Fall Camping Tips
Fall Camping Tips with Fall Food ideas
25 Gift Ideas for the Adventurous and Outdoorsy Men in your Life

25 Gift Ideas for the Adventurous and Outdoorsy Men in your Life

Father’s day is right around the corner and I know there are many dads out there that enjoy the great outdoors. If you have an outdoorsy father or husband then this list of gift ideas is for you.

My dad is definitely an outdoorsy guy that loves to camp and fish during the summer. He drives 3 hours north to Broken Bow, Oklahoma to go tent camping and trout fishing. It is his downtime to breathe, relax, and do something he loves.

Maybe that’s why I love camping, fishing, hiking, and the great outdoors myself. After all, I am Daddy’s little girl!

But, what kind of gifts do you buy your father or the father of your children that you know they will love?

Well, here are some great ideas for campers, hikers, fishers, hunters, and ideas for those who enjoy grilling out to get you started. Everything can be found directly on Amazon and comes with super fast shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime Member.

 

Camping Gifts for Dads

Does your dad or husband enjoy camping? Are they always looking for the next best camping gear to enhance their camping experience?

Camping for many men is a hobby like fishing or hunting. The idea of getting to sleep in a tent, cook outside, and build a fire is honest fun while also being educational and fulfilling.

So, here are the best camping gift ideas for the outdoorsy men in your life.

Sorison Large Puffy Camping Blanket

This outdoor Blanket by SORISON is perfect for camping or any outdoor activities. It’s waterproof, durable, and easy to carry anywhere. Plus, it is machine washable! 

Light Weight Double Camping Hammock

Great to enjoy a nice nap during the day or even skip the tent and snooze outdoors.

 

Waterproof Super Bright Head Lamp

Being able to see during the darkness in the woods is vital. It’s an extra plus when you don’t have to hold a flashlight and instead have a super bright headlight to illuminate your camping site.

Waterproof Fire-Starting Lighter

 This lighter is great for the camping dads to be able to start a fire anywhere.


Solar Powered Camping Tent Light

Forget the batteries! Get your dad a solar-charged tent light to have when camping.

Campsite Storage Strap

This is amazing! Keeping things off the ground and easily being able to hang a lantern is a camping plus.

Hiking Gifts for Dads

My dad grew up hiking the Grand Canyon of all places. He lived just a couple hours away in Arizona and growing up him and his brothers would hike every weekend they could. It was some of the best adventures of his life.

If you have a Dad that loves to hike, enjoys new trails and challenges, then here are some great gift ideas for those outdoorsy men!

Folding Camping Chair | Backpack | Cooler

Everything about this is perfect for the hiking dad.

Genius Foldable Waterbottle

Perfect for day hikes and easy to carry and store once empty.

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

Perfect adventure gift for your avid hiker Dad.

Timberland Waterproof Ankle Boot

My dad lives in these boots. They are great for hiking or everyday activities.

Engraved Compass

Perfect gift for a dad who enjoys sentimental items that are also very useful.

 

Waterproof and Breathable Hiking Socks

The perfect socks to keep your dad’s feet from blistering during a long hiking trip.

Grilling Gifts for Dads

I feel like grilling is the man’s cooking zone. Not to say women can’t grill either but for some reason, men just love to grill over the open fire. Who doesn’t like some delicious BBQ Grilled Chicken or a Juicy T-Bone Steak?

If the Dad in your life enjoys cooking out, here are some great gift ideas!

7 Piece Smoker Kit

My dad loves to smoke brisket in his smoker! It’s a great gift for the grilling dad.

Grillfather Apron

Perfect for the father who likes to make a statement.

Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Your Dad can keep an eye on the temperature of the meat straight from his phone with this cool thermometer.

BBQ Grill Accessories Set

What’s a grill master without an amazing grill set? this is perfect for the Dad in your life. 

 

Fishing Gifts for Dads

Fishing is another great outdoor activity that a lot of men enjoy doing. My father, my brother in law, and my brother love to fishing. I even love to go fishing. Some of the best fishing I’ve ever done was in Alaska when I fished for Salmon and Halibut.

If you have a fisherman in your life, these are the best fishing gift ideas you can purchase on Amazon.

Vision Outdoor-Fishing Fanny Pack for Him

Perfect gift for the dad who likes to fish and be able to easily carry his bait, hooks, and beer.

Reelsonar Bluetooth Wireless Bobber Fish Finder

Probably that coolest fishing gear tech gadget to date! This device will help your dad find the fish underwater without wasting time.


Canvas Fishing Rod and Reel Organizer Carry Bag 

The perfect fishing gear organizer that is easy to carry to remote fishing spots.

Fishing Chest Waders for Men

Everyone fisherman will benefit from having chest-high waders. Especially when they’re fishing in rivers. This is a great gift!

Hunting Gifts for Dads

My brother is a huge hunter! When I told him about this post, he gave me a list of wishes to consider for those hunters including new thermos and gift cards.

I definitely took his considerations when creating these Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Men. I hope your hunter will enjoy these as well!

Men’s Thermal Underwear Set

Perfect to keep him warm during the freezing hunting seasons.

APEMAN Trail Camera

Every Hunter NEEDS a trail camera! This helps them know when the game is coming to certain locations.

Shooting Wild | Waterproof Range Finder

This is such a great gift idea for hunters. It helps them calculate the distance for shooting.

Trail Camera Viewer SD Card Reader

This card reader is perfect for being on the go and wanting to quickly check the camera’s video.

Amazon Gift Card

If you’re still unsure, you can’t go wrong with a gift card!

I hope these Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Men in your life are exactly what you are looking for. Make your dad or significant other feels special and blessed to be a dad.

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Backyard Camping | Tips to make it a Fun Family Adventure

Backyard Camping | Tips to make it a Fun Family Adventure

When your family needs a vacation, but you’re unable to leave your home then it’s the perfect time to do a little backyard camping.

Currently, we are living in a time where all Americans are ordered to “stay-at-home” due to a virus. This order has halted the travel industry and has prevented families from taking vacations and enjoying life as normal.

Now, more than ever boredom is beginning to set in with parents and children if it hasn’t already.

We may not be able to all go to the stores or movies, but we can still get outside.

Setting up the perfect campsite in your backyard is an easy way to get outside and still stay safe. Plus, if you forget something, you’re still at home!

So, here are some fun ways to set up and enjoy a backyard camping trip with the kids. Get started in making those fun memories, making the most out of this world pandemic situations, while not actually going anywhere.

1. Pitch that tent!

Whether you have an actual camping tent or work on making a homemade tent with some sheets and sticks set it up. This is a great opportunity to either teach your kids to set up a tent or use their imagination in finding things to make a tent. Either way, it gets the whole family involved.

2. Light it up!

If you have tiki torches or patio lights, bring them out and light them up. Even if you don’t have those, but you have some holiday lights, those are a great alternative to add some light around your backyard campsite.

3. Build a Fire Pit

If you already an outdoor fire pit, this is perfect to roast those hot dogs and marshmallows.

However, if you don’t have some flagstones to build one and can’t get some, that’s ok! You can still have the outdoor backyard camping experience without the fire. You can make S’mores and hot dogs inside and eat them outside.

4. Bring out the sleeping bags

Once you have your tent and lights set up, go ahead and make the inside for sleeping cozy and comfortable. You can choose to use sleeping bags if you have them, or (since you’re at home) grab some blankets you don’t mind being outside and bring them into your tent.

5. Air up the Air Mattress

If you plan on sleeping outside go ahead and get out the air mattress so everyone can sleep comfortably.

6. Make some Yummy Treats

These treats of course involve S’MORES!!! The ultimate camping trip sweet treat that almost every kid loves to enjoy. Since you are home, mix it up and try some other S’more recipes like these 7 unique and delicious twists to the classic S’more.

7. Pop some popcorn over the fire

Popping popcorn over a fire can be a great and fun experience. You do have to have a special kind of popcorn maker order to do it.

8. Grill some burgers and hot dogs

Make your backyard camping adventure also a dinner experience. Kids love to roast hot dogs on the fire, and the adults can grill up some burgers.

9. Have a cocktail (Alcohol for Adults only)

Chilling outside is great time to relax and have a mixed drink. Of course, this would be for the responsible adults. However, you can bring out some juice boxes or Hot Chocolate for the kids depending on the weather outside.


10. Have story time

Kids love story time, especially when camping and sitting around a fire or in a tent. Use this time to engage and tell stories of when you were a kid or grab a good book.

11. Set up an outdoor movie

Having movie time outside is a great thing to do with kids that will bring wonderful memories they will cherish forever. If you don’t have a projector, now is the time to invest in one. You will also need a screen or a large white sheet.

12. Sing along songs around the fire

If you’ve got some musical talent in your family, grab a guitar or even a karaoke machine and have some fun. Sing along songs around a fire is great way to bring everyone together.

13. Play a board or card game

Bring out the monopoly, candy land, or cards and play some gold-fish. You can set it up in the tent and all sit around and snuggled in your sleeping bags and play.

14. Have a scavenger hunt

This is one of my favorite activities that kids love to play to get them searching and learning to use new skills by thinking critically. A scavenger can be a simple, “Find something blue”, or “Find something round”.

15. Make a craft

Kids love getting crafty and exploring their creative side. Think of a fun camping craft idea like making camp bracelets or paintings. Whatever you think your kids will enjoy doing.

16. Make Shadow Puppets

This is a fun activity for kids to show off some story telling and hand skills. What kind of animals can they make with their hands? You can also start with a craft and cutting out paper animals, gluing them on sticks, and use them to tell a story once it gets dark.

17. Explore your surroundings

Before you set up camp in your backyard, locate a local hiking trail to extend your outdoor adventure. Hiking is a great way to bring some exercise and nature together for everyone. Also, let your kids dig up some worms or explore the bugs that are safe like rolly polly’s or fireflies.

18. Star Gaze

When the sun goes down, turn off the lights and just look up to the sky. Try and find the different constellations. If you have a Telescope, now is the perfect time to put it to use.

Additional Tips for Backyard Camping

Don’t forget the bug spray. Whether you make your own or purchase some from a store or online, keeping the bugs away even in the backyard is essential. If you’re looking for some good Deet Free Bug repellant check out our post on “The Best DEET-Free Bug Repellant”.

Also, before planning your back yard adventures, you want to consider the ages of your children. What activities and adventures will keep them having fun and enjoying the adventure?

Final Thoughts

I hope you use this time to create an adventure even if you are stuck at home. Memories can be made no matter where you are at.

Please share this with other families so they can create their own home camping adventures.

Pin for later! 🙂

7 Unique and Delicious Campfire S’mores You’ll Want to Try This Summer

7 Unique and Delicious Campfire S’mores You’ll Want to Try This Summer

Campfire S’mores are my absolute favorite treat to take on every camping trip.

It is also a kid’s favorite because it gets them involved and they get to create something Yummy!!

Also, by allowing kids to help out and roasting their own Marshmallows teaches them the importance of fire safety and builds their confidence. So roasting and eating these yummy treats is a win, win!

We all know the typical S’more recipes which is always delicious, so I wanted to offer some other unique recipes I found on the web. These bloggers and recipe sites have taken the traditional S’more and added some unique  and yummy twists.

Caramel Apple S’more

This first delicious treat is one that reminds me of another yummy treat and that is a Caramel Candy Apple. These remind me of going into a candy treats shop in Saint Augustine, Florida that had these caramel covered apples coated with marshmallows and chocolate bits.

It was absolutely delicious and I have no doubt that this S’ more recipe is just as yummy.

The Caramel Apply S’more is 4 simple ingredients that you can easily take along with you on your camping trip.

You can check out the Recipe here @Delish.com 

Dark Chocolate Campfire S’more with Fresh Berries

Summertime is the best time to get those Fresh and Delicious berries like Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries.

If you love DARK chocolate and Fresh Summer Berries, then this next S’ more is just for you! It’s an absolute perfect fresh twist for a summer camping trip S’ more combination.

Laura with Joy Food Sunshine has the perfect recipe here at @JoyFoodSunshine.com  

The Peanutty Campfire S’more

The perfect twist to a S’more or those who love peanut butter cups. I love Reeses Peanut Butter cups and adding in a roasted marshmallow and graham crackers sound AMA-zing!!

Super easy ingredients that you can take on any camping trip with the family or enjoy in your backyard at home.

You can find the recipe here @Allrecipes.com


Campfire Sugar Cookie S’more

I love this recipe because it’s a yummy and unique twist to the normal graham crackers and plain Marshmallows.

Kim from her blog ThisOleMom created a delicious S’ more recipe with sugar cookies, chocolate, and strawberry marshmallows.

Check out the recipe on her blog here @thisolemom.com

Cookies and Cream S’more

Hershey’s Cookies and Cream chocolate is one of my favorite candy bars. It has the perfect crunch of a cookie with white chocolate.

It’s is a perfect substitute for the regular Milk Chocolate Hershey’s bar that is normally used for S’mores.

Heidi from The Frugal Girls has a great recipe here on her blog @thefrugalgirls.com

Nutella Campfire S’more

Another fantastic S’more by The Frugal Girls.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE NUTELLA!! The thought of adding it to a perfectly roasted marshmallow and cinnamon graham cracker makes me excited for summer.

You can check out the Recipe here @thefrugalgirls.com

Campfire S’mores in a Bag

This option is a wonderful alternative to the traditional Campfire S’more Sandwich that you take on a camping trip.

I love the idea of being able to add the ingredients into a bag of Graham Cracker Teddy Bears or Chocolate Cookies. It is a great option for smaller kids.

You can check out the recipe here @hip2save.com

I hope you have found some inspiration for yummy campfire treats. Tell me below which Campfire S’more do you plan on trying this summer?

Pin for later! 🙂

Family Camping | Tips for Planning the Perfect Trip

Family Camping | Tips for Planning the Perfect Trip

Family Camping Trips are the BEST!!

When the weather starts warming up its time to start planning that vacation time. One of the most popular spring, summer, and even fall activities for families is camping.

Camping is popular and budget-friendly!

We can all agree that getting outside boosts your mood and increases your Vitamin D level. Plus, you’ll find that the kids will enjoy their time outside and getting back to nature. No more Tablets! 🙂

However, there is a lot that goes into planning a fun family camping trip. You will want to make sure you understand what type of equipment is needed – including a tent, cooking items, and things that will keep you safe.

Plus, having a plan for fun activities to do won’t hurt. After all, trying to do things without a plan can be a disaster, especially if you have children.

Therefore, I recommend carefully taking the time to create a plan so you make sure the whole family enjoys their time outdoors. This is also a great time to build your relationships and create amazing memories.

Our family camping trips as a kid are some of my favorite memories looking back. So, here are some tips to get you started in planning your family camping trip.

Take Your Time to Plan

There are many steps in planning your family camping trip that you will need to consider. Take the time to research and plan the entire trip. Just as much time as you plan a cruise or a beach getaway, your should take the same amount and plan the camping trip.

There are many components that go along with camping, so taking the time to plan it out will help keep thing organized and make sure everyone has fun.

Pick your Camping Spot wisely

The very first thing to do when planning your family camping trip is to pick where you are going to set up camp. Where you choose to go will determine the kind of supplies and fun activities you can bring along.

Without knowing the destination, you can’t plan anything else. So, pick your destination first.

The best way to begin your search to find great camping spots is to simply google “Camping Spots Near Me.” Many times the google map will show all the nearby camping spots. By googling the locations you can also see if there are any nearby lakes or rivers.

Research the Area

Once you know where you want to camp, research the area more. This will give you an idea of the type of camping you will be allowed to do.

For example, Are you allowed to pitch a tent or is it RV only? Will you have access to bathrooms with showers? Will you have to pay for the Camping Spot?

Some National Parks require a daily fee or per tent charge to camp. If you find a camping area, go ahead and call the local wildlife or park attendant to find out the rules and regulations.

This information will help you know what to bring with you on your trip.

Consider Everyone’s Age

When you are planning your family camping trip, it’s imperative that you consider everyone’s ages. An activity for a child age 5 to 7 could be different for a teenager. There can be some activities that may not be age-appropriate for everyone.

Anther great tip regarding ages is to plan activities around young children’s nap times and bedtimes. Even though you’re on vacation, children do thrive with normal schedules and it’ll make it easier on the family.

Plan Your Family Camping Activities

Once you know what’s available and you’ve considered your children’s ages and everyone’s likes, start planning what you’ll do there. You don’t want to plan every single moment of the trip because you want to allow for time to hang out and read or just enjoy nature. But having at least one planned activity each day will help everyone enjoy their trip.

One example of planned activities could be fishing if you’re near a river or lake. I loved going fishing when we would camp. Many times the fish we caught was our dinner that night. What a great activity to teach kids to catch their own food.

Check the weather and Create Backup Plans

Let’s face it, the weather is not always a beautiful 75 to 85 degrees with a slight breeze. You never know when a storm could roll in. So, you will want to consider having the right kind of protection like tarps, raincoats, and boots if it does rain.

I would also scope out some local shelter points like a movie theater or shopping mall just in case the storms get unbearable in a tent.

You may also want to bring plenty of reading material and maybe a card game in case that happens. Because you can still have a relaxing time reading books and connecting as a family.


Plan meals and snack preparation

Preparing and cooking meals while you’re camping is a little different than how you would in a house kitchen.

Over the years of camping, we’ve learned to prep as much as we could before we leave to go camping. If you want to have steak, potatoes, or onions (for example) included in a meal, then seasoning or chopping before can save you time and dishes.

Another great trick is to premix any pancake mix or crack all the eggs and have them already mixed in plastic containers.

Don’t forget the Snacks!! Snacks are great to plan ahead too! You can pack individual snack packs with trail mixes, chips, or whatever your children enjoy eating ahead of time. This allows for easy and quick access when everyone is tired from a long hike or swimming all day.

create a family camping checklist

Now that you have the camping spot picked, you’ve researched the area, you’ve planned your activities and food prep for your family camping trip, it’s now time to create that checklist.

When you are camping, everything you bring with you is what you will have on hand.

So if you forget the marshmallows for the smores, this could make some unhappy children.

Therefore, creating a checklist of everything you need to bring is essential! I’ve actually created one you can download at the bottom of the post if you’d like.

Final Thoughts

Camping is an amazing adventure for everyone of all ages! Although it does require some prepping before, it truly can be a relaxing, budget-friendly, family trip. Family camping trips will provide your kids with memories of getting back to nature that will last their entire lives.

I know all the camping trips my family took when I was growing up was some of the best times of my life! I love the outdoors, the simplicity and beauty of nature that surrounds us.

I hope you will make these memories as a family unit and talk about all the stories that come along with the adventures for ages.

Pin for later 🙂

Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear Essentials – What You Really Need

Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear Essentials – What You Really Need

I’ve put together this list of Camping Gear Essentials after many trips growing up. You see, I’ve been camping since I was 3 months old!

Seriously, I have a picture of my dad holding me in the camping folding chair next to our tent when I was little.

Since then, we went camping multiple times every summer. It became a fun family tradition and a huge part of our summers as kids.

Maybe this is your first camping trip and you’re unsure what to pack. That’s okay! I got you! After all, we are all beginners at something!

Now as an adult, I love camping even more. It has a new meaning for me. Camping allows me to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There have actually been many studies done on how “getting back to nature” is really good for your soul, brain, and overall emotional stability.

As you can tell, I’m a big advocate of getting back to nature, traveling, and of course, exploring! So here is what you need to get you started and enjoy your first camping trip.

Camping Gear Essentials for Sleeping

1. Tent

Unless you plan on sleeping on the ground with no cover, a Tent is a camping gear essential. A Tent will provide you with protection from the elements and critters.

2. Air Mattress and Pump

Having a Tent is essential, but if you want to get a decent night sleep then you will want to invest in an Air Mattress. From personal expereince, sleeping directly on the ground in the tent is not comfortable. You can even purchase a platform for your air mattress, so you will not only be sleeping comfortably but also off the ground.

3. Sleeping Bag and Pillow

If your wanting to get the best sleep, bringing a sleeping bag is a camping gear essential. The tempeture usually drops in the evenings, and being stuck without a warm sleeping bag is not fun. I would also bring a light blanket or sheet to cover the air matteress.

4. Extra Blankets

Unless you plan on backpacking and taking all your gear with you, I would bring some extra blankets. They are great to have on hand if you want to sit by the fire at night, but the breeze is just a bit too chilly. They are also great for laying across a log or laying on the ground to sit on.


Camping Gear Essentials: Cooking & Eating

 

1. Cooler

You will definitely want to bring a cooler! There are many types of coolers on the market but I highly recommend a Yeti. This cooler will keep your ice from melting and keep your food and drinks cold. Nothing is worse than waking up the next day and having to dig around in cold water for you breakfast items and hoping they are soggy and wet.

2. Cast Iron Skillet or Cooking Ware (Frying pan and Pot)

There are two ways to cook your meals while camping. One is over the Campfire and the other is with a camping stove. If you want to cook over the campfire, then bringing a cast iron skillet or a cast iron dutch oven is essntial. The material can withstand the heat tempeture from the fire.

If you plan on using a camping stove, then you can bring just your regular at home cooking ware like a frying pan and pot.

3. Camping Stove

There’s is nothing better than eggs, bacon, and potatoes for your morning meal while camping. Having a propane camping stove is essential if you want warm food and you don’t want to have to start a campfire every time you want to cook a meal. The great thing about camping stoves, is they last forever! They are great camping gear essentials that you won’t regret purchasing.

4. Utensils, Plates, Bowls, and Cups

When we camp, we always bring plastic ware, paper plates, plastic cups, and paper bowls. Bringing disposable items are time savers. Just be sure to throw your trash away properly. When camping it’s always good to remember to

“Leave No Trace Behind”.

You can also bring reusable items and wash them after use. Depending on where you are camping, some campgrounds provide a water spout, but some you have to bring your own water.


5. Water

Not every campsite will have a water spout to clean your dishes or wash your hands. Sometimes, you have to bring your own water gallons. We would always have the 5-gallon water tanks filled up for miscellaneous needs like brushing your teeth. You also don’t’ want to forget water bottles as well.

6. food (Smores and hot dogs)

You cant go camping without food, especially the classic campfire foods like marshmallows and hot dogs. Its also a great idea to bring easy foods like sandwich-making items and chips or crackers.

7. roasting sticks

If you choose to bring smores and hot dogs, then you will want to pick up some roasting sticks.

You can also use some old wire hangers and just bend them into roasting sticks. This was a trick we use to do as kids.

8. Folding Table

As a kid, we had this blue camping folding table that had four chairs attached to it. It was the coolest thing to take camping. Not only are folding tables needed for eating on, but also for food preparation. Not every campsite is going to have a picnic table.

9. Folding Chairs

These are a must-have when going camping. We would bring two types of folding chairs when we went camping. One type was the normal chair in a bag, and then we would also bring lounge chairs in case we wanted to lay out in the sun or take a nap. They worked great because you can adjust the level of lounging.


Camping Gear Essentials: Hygiene & Safety

 

1. Wet Wipes or Baby wipes

Nothing is worse then having ditry hands and feet, and not being able to take a shower. Many camp ground don’t have access to showers or bathrooms. So having wet wipes or baby wipes are great to wipe the dirt off. If you have kids, then these are extremely essential not only for messy hands and feet, but also faces.

2. Paper towels

Paper towels are great to have on hand as camping gear essential because you never know what you may need to wipe up. It’s as simple as that!

3. toilet paper

This one is actually more important than paper towels, because everyone goes to the bathroom. There are many campgrounds that don’t have restrooms readily available, and if they do, sometimes they are out of toilet paper. So, I highly suggest you bring your own!

4. Toothbrush and Paste

Hello, Morning Breath! This is just a hygiene essential and even if you’re camping, it’s a good idea to bring it along.

5. Emergency Kit

Outdoors can sometimes lead to minor cuts or even bug bites if you’re not careful. Having a general emergency kit on hand is alwasy super smart. You never know when you might need a bandaid or an ankle wrap. Plus, when most people are camping they have fire pits and that alone is easy for someone to accidentally get burned. Therfore, the emergency kit is needed.

6. Sunscreen/Shades/Hat

This really depends on the time of year you go camping, but usually, it’s in the summer months. So having a skin and eye protections is really important. Especially, if you plan to camp near a lake and go swimming. Having sunscreen is important to help prevent sever sun burns and damage.

7. Lotion

THis one may seem a bit odd, and you’re probably wondering “why, lotion?”. Well, after you wipe your feet, legs, arms, and hands with the wet wipes, soemtimes all the sand make your skin super dry and uncomfortable. So, after many camping trips, having lotion on me became essential.

8. Bug Spray

Camping outside means there will usually be a ton of bugs. Some bugs like misquitos, fleas, ticks, ect. are a nusiance. They can also be a danger and carry diseases, so you definitely want to bring some type of bug protection. Chek out our post “Best Deet-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures”

10. Lanters and Flashlights

These are 100% an essential! You have to be able to see in the dark and the campfire in a dark wooded area just is not enough light. Having a lantern or flashlight is a MUST-HAVE!!

11. Trash Bags

There is nothing worse than going camping nd having to take care of the trash that someone else left behind. Having trash bags handy and available will further the ” Leave No Trace Behind” moto.


Camping Gear Essentials for Fire

 

1. Matches or Lighter

If you plan on having a campfire, then bringing either matches or a lighter is going to be essential to your camping trip. There are other ways you can start a fire, but who wants to rub a stick or stones together when we have modern technology with matches and lighters.

2. FireWood

Bringing your own firewood will depend on where you camp. Some campsites can prohibit you from gathering firewood from around the campsite. However, other campsites could be okay to gather wood from around the site. I would check this before choosing where to camp

But… just in case, I would bring some starter logs.

3. Lighter Fluid or Kindling

If you want to start a fire and get it going quickly, then having lighter fluid or kindling is essential to your camp fire. This is really a personal want, depending on how expereinced you are with starting and keeping a fire going.

BONus Camping Gear for a good time

 

1. Fan

This is a fantastic bonus essential because when it’s hot outside, having a battery-powered fan can be the difference of a good night’s sleep or not.

2. Mini Broom Brush and Dust Pan

This is one of my favorite bonuses because it’s something that will help you keep the dirt and leaves out of your tent. When you step inside your tent after walking around all day at the campsite, you’d be surprised as to how much dirt can accumulate on the floor of your tent. It’s also a great practice to sweep your tent out before you pack it up.

3. Outdoor Mat

This one is great and you will see this more with RVer’s, but it’s also great to have when you’re tent camping. Having an outdoor mat will lessen the amount of dirt that goes in your tent. You can also leave your shoes on the mat instead of bringing them inside. Another thing I enjoy about having a mat is it give you the ability to put your shoes on outside without stepping your bare feet on the dirt.

4. Card Games

This is great to have just in case. I always loved sitting around the table at the campground playing Phase Ten or some other card game. It’s a fun thing to do that helps social interaction during the trip.

Every camping trip you take, you’ll find something else you will want to take along with you. I hope this list of camping gear essentials help get you started.

Camping can be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy getting back to nature.

Stay safe! Have fun and let me know how you liked your first trip in the comments!

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