Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Few Camping Tips

Hubs and I managed to get away for a few days last week (hence, the lack of posts) to go camping.

It was our first camping trip since my transplant and as empty nesters. 

Over the years, I've streamlined our camping process and learned a few tricks that I thought I'd share.

First, I make up a menu for the whole trip, including what we'll eat on the trip to and from the camp site.  I plan for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks as well as beverages.  After making the list and shopping,  I store the prepped items in zippered bags or Pyrex containers.  I keep everything together so I can quickly pack the chilled items into the coolers right before we leave.  All of the non-refrigerated items are packed in a bin with a lid.

I always bring my coconut oil.  I use it for cooking and for first aide.  (We'd only been at the camp site for an hour when Hubs was stung by a wasp.  We immediately washed the sting and applied coconut oil.  The swelling and redness was greatly reduced in a few hours.)
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Although these post holders have seen better days, they have great sentimental appeal.  The woven potholders were made by my daughters when they were little, and the little red one belonged to my grandma.  I keep them handy on small screws attached to my camp table (which my neighbors were throwing away).  They are just the right size and weight for camping.  We use fire-proof gloves for handling cast iron pans over the camp fire.

Here is my camping kitchen.  My stove, my dishes and utensils (in the covered bin), my fridge (the blue cooler), and my counter (the end of the picnic table).

We always cover our cooking area with a tarp.  We've been using this pop-up awning as a base, and covering it with a waterproof tarp.  Everything is secured down just in case it gets windy.  It was raining when I took the above photo. The large tarp came in handy to keep all of our supplies dry.  We also use lidded kitty litter buckets to hold all of the tools and other supplies (other than cooking) that we'll need.  The gray bin on the left side holds our dry food.  Every evening we load the gray food bin and the blue cooler into the truck and lock the doors to keep animals out of our food. 

Our tent has a rain fly which we seal regularly with  seam sealer.  Even with that, though, I awoke at 3 AM with water dripping on my face!  That's just part of the adventure.  We also use an old door mat in front of the tent opening to keep dirt and debris from getting tracked in. 

This is my favorite camping item.  It is a collapsible bucket from L.L. Bean.  We use it to wash our dishes in.  We've had it for many years and it still looks like new.  It collapses flat to store in our gear bins.

I also love to use these mesh, zippered bags.  I can see what's in them and moisture doesn't get trapped in them.  I use them for my kitchen linens, extra paper products, and silverware.

I also like to use mesh food covers.  I got these at Party City.  They also fold flat for storage.  Since we camp during the Summer, we always have a problem with flying bugs.  These food covers keep all of the bugs away (except for ants).

If you're a camper, I'd love for you to leave any tips you have in the comment section. 

Happy Camping!


  1. I haven't been camping in YEARS, I should take the boys sometime soon!

    I love that collapsible bucket!!!

  2. great tips! I'm adding them to my list! thanks!

  3. Thank you thank you, I am camping for more than one night for the first time and I have been all over pinterest trying to find ideas that are tried and true like yours

  4. I love all your tips and ideas! I havent been camping for years and you gave me the memories and realize all that ive been missing out on. Cant wait to go again! Thanks.

  5. Awesome tips! Another good one- hang a cheap over-the-door show organizer with clear pockets and stash utensils in one pocket, napkins in another, salt and pepper in a third, and so on...everything visible and at your fingertips!


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