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.

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

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

Camping Gear Essentials | I’ve put together this list 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.  You don’t want to wake up the next day and dig around in cold water for your breakfast items only for them to be soggy or floating in the water.

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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Best Tents For Your DIY Glamping Trip

Best Tents For Your DIY Glamping Trip

Are you looking for the perfect Glamping tent to make your next camping trip comfortable and memorable?

Are you trying to figure out what the best tents out there are that are also affordable to create this memorable experience? 

If so, you’re probably looking for something that has great space and gives you the ability to stand up inside. After all, no one wants to feel cramped in a tent with barely any room to maneuver around or stand up. That to me doesn’t sound like a glamping experience.

The point of Glamping is to bring the modern comforts of home and civilization to the great outdoors.

If you have read my previous post on “how to DIY your own Glamping trip” then you know this is the first tip to create that glamping experience you desire. Having a larger tent, even if it’s only two people “glamping”, is important.

Let’s discuss our top best glamping tents that are affordable so you can begin creating your Perfect DIY Glamping Experience.

Cotton Canvas Bell Tent/Yurt by WhiteDuck

Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars (29 Reviews)

If you want to go all out and get the perfect Glamping Tent, then this is the ONE! It’s worth the money and can be used in all 4 seasons. It made out of 100% breathable cotton. You can fit 4 to 10 people comfortably in this tent.


CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars (697 Reviews)

This tent is perfect for the Glamping experience because of the space it provides. It is 14 feet by 9 feet with a standing height of 78 inches. Large enough to fit two queen air mattresses comfortably. This option has Electrical Cord access that can be fully closed when not in use. The CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin takes about 60 seconds to set up, features room dividers, and wall storage pockets.

Where to buy: Amazon

CORE 10 Person Straight Wall Cabin Tent

Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars (97 reviews)

The CORE 10 Person tent is another great option like the CORE 9 person tent. This tent is a little bigger by having space for 1 more person as well as a taller standing center height of 86″. It comes complete with room dividers, front and back door access, as well as, storage pockets and electrical cord access. The CORE 10 person tent comes available in two colors, orange, and maroon.

Where to buy: Amazon 

GigaTent 8 Person Family Tent

Reviews: 5 Stars (3 reviews)

This option is fantastic! It fits 8 people comfortably which is great because if there’s only two of you going “Glamping” there will be plenty of room to create that DIY Glamping experience. The walls are almost completely vertical with access points and 6 windows to allow a nice cool breeze through space. It is created with heavy-duty waterproof material to keep the rain out if you ever get caught camping during a storm. This company also carries a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” policy!

Where to Buy: Amazon

Coleman Tent Weathermaster 10

Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars (1,582 reviews)

The Coleman Weathermaster gives you 2 options. You can choose the 6 person tent or a 10 person tent. Either one, they are great options to give you space so you can DIY your own Glamping Trip. Coleman is a huge name in camping products, so you can’t go wrong with this brand. This ten is easily set up in 20 minutes with a standing height of 6 feet and 8 inches! The Coleman Weathermaster is equipped with Colemans WeatherTec Patented welded floors for you dry throughout your whole Glamping experience.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Tahoe Gear Bighorn XL 12 Person Teepee Cone Shape Camping Tent

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars (20 reviews)

If you’re looking for that Teepee style for your DIY Glamping experience than this tent is a great option. It is 18×18 and can fit up to 12 people comfortably. Due to the cone shape design, it can handle up to 35 mph winds, is completely waterproof and allows the water during a rainstorm to roll right off the tent and no accumulate on top of the tent. The Tahoe Gear Bighorn has 4-floor vents that can be adjusted and fully closed as well as a ventilated to help eliminate humidity inside the tent.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Winterial Teepee Tent

Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars (36 reviews)

Here is another great option that gives you the Teepee Glamping experience you desire. This tent is durable, only weights 15lbs, and can be set up in less than 5 minutes. You fit 6 to 7 people comfortably so it is great for friends and family. Of course, this tent is waterproof made with 210T polyester. The tallest point of the tent is 10 feet so it allows a lot of standing room.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Happybuy Bell Tent

If you really want the Glamping experience, you can’t go wrong with this Canvas Yurt Tent. It is great for Camping, Hunting, or any other outdoor events, plus it is 4 season tent that you can add a stove into if you happen to be camping in the winter. It is also waterproof, firm, and stable with strong steel center poles, galvanized frame tunes. and nylon rope for tie-downs. This option can fit up to 12 people comfortably.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Creating your first DIY Glamping experience should always start with the best glamping tent and open spaces. These glamping tent options are fantastic to get you started and enjoy camping. Having space to stand up, sleep, add in your gear is essential.

I love these options because they are affordable, durable, and waterproof! You can’t go wrong with any one of them!

I hope you enjoy your DIY Glamping trip and get the most out of the outdoors without sacrificing some comforts of modern life. If you haven’t already head over to our previous post “How to DIY your own Glamping Trip” for more ideas.

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Best DEET-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures

Best DEET-Free Bug Repellent for Outdoor Adventures

Looking for a Bug Repellent that is also DEET-Free? You’ve come to the right place!

Have you ever been so excited to spend a nice day outside with your family or wanted to enjoy sitting by the campfire roasting s’ mores, but ended up getting bit by bugs every second? It’s not fun!

Outdoor adventures should be fun and enjoyable, however, they can be instantly ruined by bugs. It’s only right to want the best bug repellent on the market to protect your family and friends.

Whether those bugs are buzzing mosquitos and flies or the pesky fleas and ticks. These little things are a nuisance to everybody, and some can carry nasty diseases.

So, If you’re going on a great outdoor camping adventure, backpacking, enjoying a backyard party, or going to the ball game, having bug protection is going to help make sure you have a great time.

Over the years, there have been many different studies and products on the market that say they repel bugs. But, are they safe? Are they effective?

First, let’s discuss this main ingredient that has been used to deter bugs for decades called DEET! This chemical is a popular one, however, although it is proven to deter bugs, it also has some health concerns.

DEET is a pesticide that is a member of the toluene chemical family. This solvent can be absorbed into the skin, passed through the bloodstream and organs. Studies by Medical Sciences Bulletin and Duke University have shown that DEET can even have a negative effect on the Central nervous system. They say the best way to use DEET is to spray on your clothes, not your skin.

Now that you have a small overview of DEET and the reason why so many have developed products that are DEET-Free, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 DEET-Free products that deter those pesky bugs. Many of these are natural options utilize ingredients like Lemon oil and Eucalyptus oil. Below you will also find a recipe to make your very own Natural Bug Repellent.

Let’s get started! I placed them In order by ranking according to their star reviews. 

7. Coleman Botanicals Insect Repellent

Naturally based, DEET- Free option that uses plant extracts that deter bugs. Stated to last up to 6 hours with 30% Oil of Lemon and Eucalyptus. This product can be used on your gear of any kind as well as your clothes and skin. It has a refreshing scent of lemon/eucalyptus and is non-greasy. Proven to deter mosquitoes that contain deadly viruses such as Zika and West Nile. The Coleman Botanical Insect Repellent comes in a spray or an aerosol option and is great for the whole family.

Where to buy: Amazon

Review: 4 out of 5 Stars

6. California Baby Bug Repellent Spray

The California Baby spray is the best bug repellant for children. It is a great alternative to the toxicity of DEET. It is formulated with Citronella, lemongrass and Cedar pure essential oils. These oils have been proven to deter mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other biting flies. Beside deterring those pesky bugs, the ingredients are great for soothing already existing bites. California’s Baby Bug Repellent is allergy tested, gluten-free, soy-free, oat-free, and dairy-free. You can use this product day or night and can be used generously for the scent to repel the bugs.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars

5. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent (Deet-Free)

If you can’t tell by the name itself, this repellent uses Lemon Eucalyptus oil as the main ingredient to deter bugs. Repel has formulated this repellent to last up to 6 hours and is safe for the whole family to use. It has a great refreshing scent and is none greasy to sticky.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars out of 5,183 reviews

4. Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent

Murphy’s Natural Repellent is made with simple ingredients including 30% Lemon Eucalyptus oil and 70% Ethanol and Deionized water. This product is effective for up to 6 hours and smells great which is why it has made our best bug repellent list. It won’t leave any type of oily resident and won’t harm your gear or clothing. A great option for outdoor adventures.

Where to buy: Amazon

Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars

3. Bug Soother Spray – Natural Mosquito, Gnat, and Insect Deterrent & Repellent with Essential Oils

Bug Soother is a super effective all-natural bug repellent that repels gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas, black flies and most mosquitos. It is blended with vanilla with fresh citrus scents that the bugs hate. It is non-greasy and leaves no oily residue. This product has also been used on animals to help deter flies and other insects from biting your precious pets. 100% DEET-free and made with skin-loving ingredients including castor oil and vitamin E.

Where to purchase: Amazon

Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars

2. BUGGINS Natural Insect Repellent 0% DEET

This is a great Plant-Based option with active ingredients such as geraniol, peppermint, lemongrass, and clove. It is a great option for anyone wanting to stay natural ingredients and away from all chemical ingredients like DEET. This option lasts for about 2 hours before needing to re-apply. It is the best bug repellent to deter black flies, deer flite, stable flies, biting gnats, and mosquitos.

Where you can purchase: Amazon

Review: 4.5 stars out of 5

1. Mosquito Repellent Bracelets and Stickers

These are one of my favorite options, especially when you have children. This prevents having to coat the little ones with any kind of spray. The bracelets and stickers are the best bug repellent for all ages. Plus, they are colorful and kids love them. You can wear the coiled bracelets that are coated with natural repellent oils such as Citronella and Lemongrass on your ankles and wrists. They each have up to 320 hours of protection and are waterproof.

The Stickers are an extra added bonus to add you’re your shirts, pants, or any gear you want to keep safe from bugs.

Where to buy: Amazon

Reviews: 5 stars

Homemade Essential Oil Bug Repellent

Now that we have discussed 7 of the best bug repellents you can purchase that are DEET-free for the whole family, here is a nice homemade DEET free, all Natural, recipe that you can make at home.

If you have access to the amazing essential oils from great companies like Young Living or Doterra, then making your own bug repellent maybe your greatest option. The best oils that repel bugs naturally are Citronella, Lavender, Geranium, lemon/eucalyptus, and rosemary oil.

By mixing these oils with some white vinegar, witch hazel, and some rubbing alcohol this will create the best homemade natural bug repellent. Here is a simple recipe you can try yourself.

Also, It is best when you mix these ingredients into a glass spray bottle and then use as desired. Glass is better because it prevents the plastic from deteriorating into the oil mixture.

  • 30 drop of Citronella
  • 30 drops of Geranium
  • 20 drops of Lavender
  • 20 drops of Lemon/eucalyptus
  • 10 drops of rosemary
  • 1 TBSP of Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1/2 cup of Witch Hazel
  • 1/2 cup of Vinegar (or water)

Whichever option you choose, any one of these is great!

After all, staying safe and away from chemicals that can potentially harm you and your children is just as important as deterring the bugs that can potentially carry diseases.

Have a friend or family member who spends a lot of time outside or enjoys their outdoor adventures, please share the awesome DEET-free bug repellents with them!

Thanks for stopping by! If you’ve tried any one of these options, I would love to hear your experience! Comment below!


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The Best RV Kitchen Necessities!

The Best RV Kitchen Necessities!

As you may know, an RV kitchen is tiny compared to your average house kitchen.

RV Kitchens have less storage space, smaller ovens, smaller fridges, and a pantry that is tiny or somewhat nonexistent.

However, that shouldn’t stop anyone from utilizing your RV’s kitchen just as you do at home kitchen.

We live full-time in our RV, therefore, we cook in our kitchen on a daily basis.

There is nothing we cannot cook or bake, except baking is done on a much smaller scale.

After a full year of living in our RV, there have become essentials that we have used to make our life easier in our small kitchen. 

RV Kitchen must-haves

1. Slow Cooker / Crockpot

Slow cookers have been around forever and I feel like they are still an amazing investment. We absolutely love cooking roast, slow-cooked brisket, soups, and so much more in our slow cooker. 

Plus, the recipes are pretty much endless when it comes to what you could make in a slow cooker. Another thing I love about the slow cooker is it can make meals that last for days and it is an easy cleanup.

2. NuWave 14QT Air Frying Oven

This incredible machine will have you baking, frying, roasting, slow cooking, pressure cooking, and more in your RV.

The NuWave oven has made it to our RV Kitchen Must-have list because it is that AMAZING!!


3. French Press Coffee Maker

Making coffee in an RV seems to be a big question on a lot of people’s minds.

The French Press is one of my favorites because you can measure exactly how much coffee you want and make your coffee as strong or weak as you’d like.

Using a French press doesn’t require any electricity which is a huge plus if you’re Dry Camping.

Curious about other ways to make coffee while camping, check out “The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Camping” post!

4. Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker

If you’re not interested in the French Press way of making your coffee, then maybe a Keurig is what you need.

To save counter space, I recommend the Single-Serve Keurig K-Cup Mini to save space but will give you that delicious cup of joe.


5. Hot Water Kettle

Speaking of Hot Water Kettle, this is my third favorite item we have in the RV kitchen.

I love making coffee and hot tea to wake me up in the morning or calm me down at night. Having the ability to boil hot water in a kettle is super convenient.

6. Cast Iron Skillet or two

Cast Iron skillets are the best! Seriously, the variety of meals you can make in a cast-iron skillet is endless.

You can even make some delicious desserts!

I love having our cast iron skillet because of the versatility it has when cooking.

RV kitchens are tiny, therefore anything that you are able to use in multiple ways is a huge plus.

7. Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Just like the Skillet, having the Cast Iron Dutch oven opens up a variety of dishes you can cook in your RV Kitchen.

The wonderful thing about cast iron products is you can use them over a campfire too and not just on your stove or in your oven.

8. Personal Smoothie Maker

The majority of blenders use too many electrical watts, therefore, the smaller personal blender is perfect for the RV life.

We personally love making protein shakes and fruit smoothies. However, the use of the Personal Smoothie Maker is endless.

If you want to whip up a coffee frappuccino or a delicious margarita, then you definitely need to get one for your RV Kitchen.

9. Mounted Paper Towel holder

Surprisingly this is a common question that many RVer’s have, is “where do you put the paper towels?”

We had the same question and with very little counter space I was determined to find a solution.

Therefore, we purchased a mounted Paper towel holder. This thing saves space and gives us easy access to towels when they are needed to clean up spills or wipe your hands.

10. Dish Drying Rack 

This is a must because the majority of RV’s do not have a dishwasher.

I love the ones that are over the sink because they save so much counter space. Plus, when you’re dish drying rack is in one portion of the sink, this prevents dirty dishes from piling up.

It also forces you to clean the dishes and set them to dry almost immediately. I don’t know what I would do without this in my RV Kitchen. 

11. Ice Making Trays

We live in Texas and the summer heat can be brutal! Having an ice-cold glass of water or tea is highly desired.

Now there are many people who love the portable ice makers, however, when you’re limited on counter-space, going for the old fashioned ice-making trays can be more convenient.

You just have to make sure you re-fill them. 

12. Utensil Holder

Just like counter-space, drawer space is also limited in an RV. We opted to use up a tiny portion of the counter space to hold our larger cooking utensils like the spatula and ladle. I love having them in their designated holder because it has relieved the utensil drawer for other items like forks, can opener, and more. 

13. Magnetic Knife Holder 

This is one of the first things we purchased when we moved into our RV back in April of 2018.

I saw how much space they saved because you were able to utilize the vertical wall space in your kitchen.

Plus, it provided easy access when cooking. I do recommend that if you plan on traveling, that the knives be removed and placed in a drawer before moving. 

14. Pizza Stone for Oven 

If you love to bake, then you definitely want to get a pizza stone to place at the bottom of your little oven.

This helps regulate the heat of the oven so whatever you are baking, bakes evenly.

I have heard many stories of RV ovens burning the sides of dishes and leaving the middle raw.

The pizza stone will help you make those perfectly baked cookies, cakes, pizza, and more! 

Final Thoughts 

These are just the top 14 items that we definitely love using in our RV Kitchen. They have made our journey of living Full-time easier.

Living or traveling in an RV is a different lifestyle than living in a home, so some things have to be adjusted.

By having kitchen items that are versatile is our top priority. If we cannot use an item in the kitchen multiple ways, then it’s out!

I hope this list helps you decide on what to bring along on your RVing journey. Maybe one day we will invest in the famous Insta-pot that most RVer’s swear by.

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RV Kitchen must-haves

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