We have really enjoyed camping with the kids this year, here are the items that make such trips enjoyable for us.
Tubs – The hardest part of going camping, is often not the trip itself, but the packing and unpacking. To make this less of a burden, we purchased several of these tubs. This way everything is sorted, and the tubs are always packed; now all you have to do is just toss them in the car and you know you have everything you need! Homz Tough Durabilt Tote Box, 27 Gallon, Stackable (if you have a Costco membership, these are a good bit cheaper there, something like $8 each)
Lights – These lanterns are great for providing enough light around the campsite or tent, without being too bright. We usually leave them on ‘red’ all night. Cascade Mountain Tech LED Lantern.
Glow Sticks – As silly as it may seem, these are perfect for having in the tent. They provide just enough light to find the kids’ socks or whatever you may need to located in the middle of the night without being too bright. Plus the kids love them, and they end up being scattered all over the tent anyway. Glow Sticks Bulk Party Favors 100pk – 8″.
Hand Wipes – Simple, yet often overlooked. Things get dirty, and this is a way to quickly clean your hands (or anything else). They are also biodegradable. If you have kids, then you probably have wet wipes of some sort, those work great too. Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes.
Shovel – A short shovel is a must. It is compact and as capable as a full size shovel for simple camping needs (there is just no need to haul a full size shovel while carrying a roll of toilet paper during the morning routine.) TABOR TOOLS Shovel D Grip 20 Inch Fiberglass Handle. The other option, if you are limited on space would be to opt for a Folding shovel, though they are a bit smaller and may not be as robust as a traditional one.
Axe – Sometimes you need to come up with some firewood (because you ran out, or simply forgot to buy a bundle beforehand). Make sure to sharpen it; I have never been more sore than the day after chopping up a tree with a dull axe. Kobalt Steel Michigan Axe with 36-in Fiberglass Handle.
Grill – This is one that we found to work OK, it is big enough for burgers, steak, and hotdogs, but still fits in a tub. Char-Broil Tabletop 11,000 BTU Gas Grill 465133010 – Black.
Single propane burner – This is the dedicated coffee and oatmeal water boiler, the grill doesn’t concentrate the flame as well so this works much faster, and does not take up much space in the tub. Coleman Gas Stove | Portable Bottletop Propane Camp Stove with Adjustable Burner.
Instant Coffee – There are times to do a nice drip coffee, and then there are times when you just need to get some coffee in your system. We love our coffee, but camping with kids has our priorities elsewhere, so we found that boiling up some water and pouring a packet of Starbucks Instant Coffee is a stress free way to get this train rolling. Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee.
An Excellent Cooler – Savannah recently gifted me a Yeti 65 cooler for Father’s Day, and it has been a game changer. Yes, it is really worth the money. With our grocery store generic cooler we were using a ton more ice (which meant less room for things like beer). It also didn’t maintain the cold temps as well, so we played it safe and kept food to things like hot dogs, which were already pre-cooked. Now after seeing that the Yeti keeps ice frozen after two full days of camping, we are comfortable expanding our camping diet to things like steak and chicken. YETI Tundra 65 Cooler.
Yeti Ice – We have several of these packs to help keep things cold. Has been working out great so far. YETI ICE Refreezable Reusable Cooler Ice Pack.
Folding table/bench – This is actually supposed to be a bench, however, it is very compact and provides an elevated flat surface while outdoors.
6 foot Portable Folding Bench.
Compact Folding Chairs – These were an excellent find, as they fold up so that we can fit four of them into one of our camping tubs (the traditional folding chars are too long when folded).
Cascade Mountain Tech Compact Low Profile Outdoor Folding Camp Chair with Carry Case – Black.