There are a few things you need for camping trips that you are not likely to forget: Tent, sleeping bag, and cooler with food and drinks, are at the top of my list. But then there are other things you may not think of that could help make your experience more enjoyable. My friends Jenny and Rocio are expert campers, so when we went to the Avenue of the Giants they remembered to pack several things I hadn’t even thought to bring.
Here are some of the handy things I probably would have forgotten were it not for my very organized friends:
1. Dishwashing tub
I knew we would have dishes to wash, I just never thought about exactly how we would wash them when hunched over the outdoor spigot. Jenny came to the rescue with an especially innovative solution: Two stackable plastic tubs, one with several holes drilled in the bottom. We would wash the dishes in the stacked tubs, and then remove the perforated one to quickly drain and then rinse the wet dishes. Genius! Buy on Amazon.
2. A clothes line and clothes pins
Things get wet when you’re in the great outdoors. Having a clothesline that we could tie from tree to tree allowed us to hang up wet clothes and towels to dry quickly. And having the clothes pins kept them from blowing away. You could also look for a travel/camp clothesline that includes built-in clothespins. Buy on Amazon!
3. Plastic tablecloth
This is probably the most unexpectedly handy thing that Jenny packed. This cute checkered tablecloth covered up the old, dirty campground picnic table giving us a clean surface to prepare food on. It also covered up the warped spaces, giving us a smoother surface, and kept food from falling down into the mouths of the hungry hounds that stood in wait. If disposable, bring duct tape to attach it firmly to the underside of the table or (if reusable) bring one that includes clamps to attach it to the table. Buy on Amazon!
4. Cutting board
I remembered to bring a chef’s knife but somehow forgot to bring a cutting board. Thankfully the ladies were on top of that, too. Buy on Amazon!
5. French press coffee maker
I’m not a regular coffee drinker so I didn’t think about this, but it’s a handy way to brew coffee without electricity or disposable filters. A French press is great for brewing coffee when camping, but most of them are glass and could easily break. This model is perfect for camping) because it is stainless steel and shatter-proof.
6. Paper towels: Extra credit if you bring a contraption like this one(^^^)
Paper towels can be used for napkins and all sorts of cleanup tasks. Rolls always seem to blow away, fall on the ground and unravel. Jenny brought this handy contraption (a milk crate with a steel rod through it) to keep the paper towels clean and always within reach.
7. Bug spray and sunscreen
It seems like everyone always forgets to pack one or both of these. We have had several family members affected by skin cancer so I never forget a good sunscreen, but I ALWAYS forget bug spray! Luckily Rocio remembered this time. Buy on Amazon!
8. Several spare containers of propane
Both Rocio and Jenny packed spare propane containers, and surprisingly, we used them all! We went through the tanks faster than I expected, but we were cooking three full meals a day. If you aren’t doing as much cooking over the camp stove you won’t need as much, but bring at least one canister more than you think you will need. Buy on Amazon!
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What things do you always pack for camping trips?
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