I am completely new to camping.
This is my first summer trying it out, during which my boyfriend and I car camped three times.
We needed to purchase everything from scratch, from tents and sleeping bags (check out my blog on how I chose mine here) to crockery and a coffee maker.
Here are some finds that I’m so glad I found (none of the links are affiliated):
- Roasting sticks – $16
Perfect for hot dogs, perfect for marshmallows, good quality, a set of 10 means we have spares for all the friends who want to come along.
- Kettle – $40
It was a pain to find a kettle that can be used on an open fire! Most camping kettles have a plastic handle, which means they are only good for a camping stove. We have yet to purchase one, and for now, we just make food on fire (more fun that way). I wanted a kettle that I could just pop on the grill on top of the fire pit, and that was the one!
It doesn’t have a whistle, which is a bummer, but the pickings were slim, and otherwise, it’s a great kettle! Keeps up to 1.5 l of water. Obviously an oven glove is needed to pick it up when hot.
- Coffee maker – $40
I actually use Aeropress at home as my primary coffee-making device, but it’s also great for camping! The coffee is great, it’s easy to clean, it’s plastic so it won’t break, what else do you need?
I am tempted to try these coffee bags though, I’ll keep you updated!
Other food-related items
- Cooler – $36
I cannot express how happy I am with this thing! I put one or two ice packs in it and it easily holds for a long weekend. When we unpack leftover food at home, it is still cold!
The cooler is the perfect size for me. Last time it had holds two packs of hot dogs, two packs of sliced cheese, a pack of grilling cheese, a pack of cream cheese (we like cheese), some cut fruit, and a couple of cans of beer.
- Tablecloth – $14 and tablecloth clips – $12
This is my little piece of luxury. Eating on a clean table makes such a difference, and it’s so cute! It’s easy to clean with a wet wipe, and the flannel backing means it doesn’t move on the table. I normally use the clips, but one time the table was too big for them, and the cloth stayed put.
I love this little kit! A perfect upgrade from disposable plates and forks. We eat all our meals from those, and also I use them to pack sandwiches on day hikes (they don’t get squished that way).
- Mugs – $20 for 2
They are collapsible so they don’t take any space. They are also very lightweight. The heat insulation cap sleeve means they are not hot to hold. Reviews say that the lids leak but I personally don’t use the lids.
A day pack is a small lightweight backpack that you take to day hikes to hold your water/snacks/little essentials you need.
I’m not sure why I can’t find this backpack in any of the US stores, but I’m sure similar ones exist. It’s a 15 l running pack. I originally used it to commute to work (love the chest straps, no back pain when carrying a heavy laptop), but it’s my hiking backpack now.
- Cap – $13
This one has lasted me for 2 years already! The material is quick dry and breathable, it wicks away forehead sweat, mesh inserts are helpful against overheating, it folds and weights almost nothing. Comes in 8 colors. A great hat, my boyfriend got the same and loves his too.
- Sunscreen – $7
Gets the job done. I like that it comes in tiny tubes, easy to carry with me and reapply.
- Anti chaffing balm – $13
Your girl has thick thighs. Without this stuff, wearing shorts is impossible. With this stuff, wearing shorts is a breeze. I have those tucked away in gym bags, backpacks, camping bags etc.
- Bug spray – $8.50
Hands down the strongest stuff I’ve tried. Application is messy, and the oily formula dissolved my nail polish (!). Still, the best stuff out there.
- Citronella candles – $4
I don’t know if citronella candles actually repel mosquitoes, but if anything, they are cheap and cozy. I got the pine scented ones and I like them.
- Towels – $15
I got this set. I use the bigger one for showering and take the smaller one on hiking trips (I never know when a desire to jump into a waterfall strikes me).
- Lights – $13
A set of 4 battery-operated plastic lightbulbs. I do need to get a headlamp but those work great as a flashlight. I also attach them to the roof of the tent, which turns it into an even cosier place.
- Jigsaw puzzle – I bought for $9
I’ve discovered that an easy jigsaw puzzle is great for those afternoons when we’re back from a hike, too tired to explore more, want to spend time together, too early for dinner.
300 piece puzzles work great, they are easy enough to finish in one go because obviously you can’t save them.
When we camp with friends, we also like to take a boardgame or two.
Do you have any camping finds that you’d like to share? Please comment!
Leave a Reply