Investing in the right camping gear can make all the difference in the great outdoor experience.
I gave my thoughts on camping last year, and we are now in the middle of another beautiful camping season here in Texas.
I’ve heard some friends say its the investment in gear that keeps them from camping. I recently gave a friend the idea to gift her hubby for his birthday some of the camping essentials, and I thought I’d share the list here.
I’ve created a list of a few of my favorite things when camping. AND hubby also made a guest appearance listing his favorite camping gear. Keep in mind, Kevin really enjoys the camping experience (from the organizing to the cooking) and I enjoy sitting back and letting my senses take it all in! Our list should be a good balance of the comforts and passions of camping.
My camping favorites:
This backpack is made from something called Vinylon, making it dirt-resistant, water-resistant, and wipes clean. This is now the backpack we take with on all our adventures!
A hammock is how we teach the art of relaxing to our children when in the great outdoors.
This is the tent I’d recommend for a family of 4-6 people. It’s simple enough for our 7-year-old to set up, and has been through several storms, and never let us down.
Those little ties at the top of your tent, it’s meant to hang this. IMO, it’s one of the the best simple inventions when it comes to camping.
For me, this sleeping pad is a must! It would probably be the first thing I’d suggest you purchase - definitely before the purchase of a sleeping bag, and maybe even before the tent ;)
As for warmth in the tent and next to the fire, I take this cozy wool blanket along.
When in nature the kids naturally keep themselves busy, but when looking for a structured activity as a family we always gravitate to this game, where any age can get involved!
And when you do have to attempt that middle of the night trip to the bathroom, DO NOT do it without a headlamp. Your welcome.
Kevin’s camping favorites (written by Kevin)
*These items are for car camping, not hiking:
Sitting around the campfire making s’mores with the kids is a must do - might as well do it in comfort. This rocking chair is awesome. They make several different versions - we chose this one because it collapses into a sleeve, making it easier to carry to soccer games.
You’ve got to keep food cold, especially the meat. This RTIC cooler does the job for a fraction of the cost of a YETI. One note, if you’re using your cooler to keep the beer cold and plan on opening and closing the cooler a lot, go for a cheaper cooler… even high-end coolers can’t fight an open lid.
Nothing is a more versatile cooking tool than a dutch oven. Lodge makes THE go to camp dutch ovens. Be sure to get a camp version, which have three legs allowing for charcoal to be placed underneath. Don’t forget the lid lifter and tongs. Don’t be intimidated… there are a ton of videos online that teach you how to cook using a dutch oven. Already know how?, this is my go to spot for recipes.
If you’re using a dutch oven, you’re going to need coals. This starter chimney is amazing. Its large size ensures you’ll have plenty of coals and the whole “science” behind heat rising makes lighting coals without the use of lighter fluid a breeze.
And, if we’re really going to get serious about dutch oven cooking, this cooking table is awesome. It collapses for easy transport, has a wind screen that helps keep coals hot, is sturdy enough to stack up to four ovens at one time and serves as a place to tell this kids “stay away from this table, it’s hot!”
Disposable plates, cups, and cutlery take up room in the car, generate garbage that you need to pack out and are just not great for the environment. A mess kit per person solves for all of this. This mess kit is one of my favorite, as it doesn’t use an all in one “spork,” allowing you to eat like an adult, is made of stainless steel instead of plastic and has a bag to store everything together.
I keep everything stored in this camp kitchen. It allows me to just grab it from the garage and go when packing the car, keeps everything organized at camp and provides a place for my camp stove.
Speaking of camp stoves, this stove does the trick. Starts without needing a lighter or match, is big enough for two skillets, is fairly easy to clean and has decent temperature control compared to other camp stoves.
If you’ve got some room in the car, this turkey frying kit is a luxury worth packing. Not for cooking turkeys, but rather, a source of hot water for cleaning dishes, washing hands or washing your face at the end of the day.
and Kevin :)