Years ago we took interest in camping. We love the outdoors and it seemed logical to pack a tent, a few things and go camping exploring the many beautiful parks in New York State. We thought we get a small tent that would allow us to quickly set up and start enjoying the scenery. Wrong!!! The Coleman dome shape tent we purchased was too small and barely left any room to accommodate all of the things we brought with us. After our first camping trip we upgraded to the Coleman Weathermaster tent. This tent was waterproof and it could withstand some wind. In reality there was no need to put a tarp over the tent when it rained but my partner always insisted on it. The Weathermaster was a huge 17′ x 9′, two room tent that could sleep up to 10 people and it gave us the room we needed to walk around it, and stand up if we had to stay inside. Quickly we began to add the things we brought with us: a portable bed and toilet, stove, screen house, tables, chairs, and many other things that I thought were necessary to live outdoor in the woods. I used to set up a tent which was designated as the kitchen area and even when it rained we still enjoyed a great meal under the wonderful sounds of the rain. Our camp was strategically set up to have room for the chairs and the fire near our tent to easily move between the two tents even when it rained. We had many great times camping with our Coleman Wheathermaster and in several occasions we weathered many rain storms without getting a drop inside even when we did not put a tarp over the tent.
Our kitchen tent contained all of the essentials one may have in a modest kitchen at home. Cooking outdoors has always been one of my favorite things to do and the Coleman foldable camp kitchen table for food prep station had a portable sink, stove space and place for the lantern. It even had room for hanging utensils and condiments. Everything was within hands reach and ready to cook a wonderful meal. Perhaps I brought with us more than the necessities when we were camping and like many of our friend used to say “we didn’t have a tent, we had a condo” but there are some things one needs to have when taking a camping trip. Initially we tried to purchase the inexpensive brands however, we ended up exchanging or having to purchase again because the product did not perform according to the manufacturer specifications. So here are some favorites:
- Propane lantern – we purchased a Coleman lantern with an automatic starter as it is easier to light the lantern. Take a couple additional propane tanks if you are also bringing a propane stove. Purchase extra mantels in case you need a replacement.
- Portable stove – we settled for the Coleman Portable Camping 2-Burner PerfectFlow Instastart Propane Grill/Stove. Although it has a side for grilling I always put a grilling pan over it for easy cleaning. After all we are camping to have fun not to spend much time in the kitchen cleaning.
- Grill Lighter – the lighter is handy to start the campfire.
- Flashlight – we invested in a Coleman CT-70F 700L tactical LED flashlight. The 700 lumens and its compact size make it a good flashlight not only for camping but to keep in your car. Take extra batteries.
- Campfire grill grid – the 1 X Round Campfire Grill Grid for Fire Rings 24-inch we purchased gave us the ability to cook on the campfire ring.
- Small cookware set – some cookware sets include includes 2 pots, coffee pot and fry pan, soup plates and cups for 4 people.
These are only a few items that are essentials when tenting. There are those things like a sleeping bag that are optional and based on the individual’s idea of comfort. Depending where you will be camping and the season of the year you may also need to bring some blankets as the temperature in the woods at night drops and it can get pretty cold.
We loved going camping and had many great adventures using our tent but as we got older we realized that pitching a tent was a little too much work and we needed to find an alternative solution if we wanted to continue to look for “fun around the corner.” It took years and much research before we decided to upgrade to a travel trailer. There were certain things we wanted in a camper that not all of them offered. The weight of the camper was also a factor, as we wanted to have an ultra light camper and we did not want a pop up. The truck we owned could haul 7,500 lbs. and we wanted to stay below that weight. An outdoor kitchen was a must since this will enable us to leave behind the stove, folding table and all of the accessories we carried when we were tenting. We decided to get a 256RBS Sprinter by Keystone and we loved it. Now all we had to do was hook up the trailer and all of the things we needed or wanted were already in the trailer.
The set up time was a lot less and the take down much easier. Getting the travel trailer brought camping to a different level and it had different requirements when reserving a camp site. Whether you camp on a tent or an RV, what is important is always to remember that no matter where you are there is always “fun around the corner.”
If you enjoyed reading this blog please subscribe to receive new posts and share it with someone!