We spend a lot of time camping, or “Glamping”, whichever you would like to call it. Depending on where we are going, sometimes we camp by tent, or under the stars in the back of the truck, but mostly we camp in our RV. We have an RV because we enjoy some if the simple comforts it affords like a hot shower, a comfortable bed, a working refrigerator and the ability to control our indoor climate. Also, it keeps our two lazy Cane Corsos, Daisy & Achilles in the comfortable lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
Weather you enjoy camping in an RV, a car, truck or van, or in a tent these 15 things will help make your camping experience just a little more comfortable and overall more enjoyable, so you can relax, and enjoy the great outdoors.
1. Shade – In Arizona shade is a necessity. Even in the northern parts of the state the sun beating down on you can be brutal. That is why it is important to have a good awning or pop-up canopy. Also, don’t forget a hat, sunglasses and sunblock.
2. A camp stove – A good propane camp stove is a staple at a campsite. You can use it for cooking meals, making coffee and hot cocoa, and heating water to wash with. We use ours even when we camp in our RV, because often times in Arizona we can’t have a campfire because of high risk for forest fires, and we don’t like heating up the inside of the RV in the summer time. We have had our Coleman Camp Stove for years, and it has held up well to all the abuse we have given it.
3. A portable propane grill or griddle – We travel with both because we have an over abundance of storage space in our RV and each has its own uses. We have a Weber Q for grilling things like hamburgers, steaks, and bratwurst. And we also have a Blackstone griddle, that I got Ryan for Father’s Day last year. If I had to pick one right now, I would probably lean toward the Blackstone griddle as it is just more versatile. It is great for everything from pancakes to pizza. It makes delicious bacon, crispy hash browns, juicy burgers, and fabulous fajitas right down to the warmed tortillas. We can also grill our blueberry muffins so they are crispy and warm.
4. A portable propane fire bowl – As I mentioned earlier there are often times in Arizona and other states when you can’t have a campfire because of the high risk of forest fires. Evenings outdoors can often cool of considerably and it is nice to have a fire for warmth and ambiance. We have also found it to be nice as we are on road trips together. Sometimes it easier than lighting a campfire when it is just the two of us, and when we are ready to call it a night and just turn the knob and the fire is out.
5. A Dutch Oven – if you are able to have a campfire, there is no better way to cook while camping than with a dutch oven. Cast iron cookware can go right on the hot coals from the fire and make a delicious meal.
6. Hot dog & Marshmallow sticks – Other campfire favorites include hot dogs, toasted marshmallows and smores, cooked on the end of a long stick right over the campfire. This is a fun treat for kids (with parental supervision, of course).
7. Good camping chairs – A good camping chair really make a difference in your level of comfort when you are relaxing at your campsite or sitting around the campfire with family and friends. We have two types of chairs we really like. One is a folding rocking chair we use on the patio of our RV and the other is a recliner with a footrest so we can kick our feet up and relax. All of our chairs fold up for easy storage.
8. A good cooler – A well insulated cooler like a Yeti or RTIC is a must if you are going to be camping for a few days. It can keep your food and drinks cold and fresh and make sure you have plenty of ice for those warm summer days. We have a refrigerator and freezer in our RV, but we still often bring along a cooler as many RV refrigerators are small and don’t offer a lot of space for ice and drinks. Nobody likes a warm beer when they are camping.
9. Foldable Outdoor rugs – A lot of people associate these outdoor camping rugs with RV living, but they are beneficial to tent and car campers as well. They give you a barrier between the dirt outside and whatever your indoor space is to help prevent tracking dirt and mud inside. They can also give you a nice spot to setup seating, a play are for little ones, or a plays for your dogs to lay down.
10. An outdoor shower – If you are tent camping, an outdoor shower may be your only option to clean up after a day of playing in the woods, desert, lake, beach or wherever you may be camping. Solar showers are a great option as you fill it with water, hang it from a tree and let the sun warm it for you. Many people with RVs have showers inside, but may be limited by the capacity of their grey water tanks. That’s where showering outside can be a benefit. If you do shower outdoors you will probably want a few things.
• Campsuds or other biodegradable environmentally friendly soap.
• A tarp or pop up shower enclosure for privacy
• and some time of pad or platform so you are not standing in mud.
11. A comfortable place to sleep – After a long day of playing outdoors, you will probably want a comfortable place to lay your head. If you are in a car or tent this might be an inflatable mattress pad and sleeping bag, or a hammock. If you are in an RV you will want a good RV mattress. It’s important to measure the bed and take note of the shape before making your purchase as RV mattress sizes vary from household mattress sizes.
12. A trash can – We use handy pop-up trash cans. They can hold your trash bags and zip closed to keep odors in and animals out at night. They also fold flat for easy storage. Its not bear safe though. Always make sure to keep your trash out of the reach of animals and use appropriate receptacles for your camping location. Also please camp responsibly and pack out what you pack in. Leaving trash behind at your campsite is disrespectful to the environment and other campers.
13. A good book – There is not anything in the world much more relaxing than reading a book while camping. Ryan likes to hold a book in his hands and loves to read about the history of the areas we explore. He just recently finished one he picked up at the Museum of the Mountain Man entitled “Tales of the Mountain Men” by Lamar Underwood. I prefer to use my Amazon Kindle app on my tablet or my phone as it allows me a broader reading selection.
14. Bug spray, citronella – I am like candy to mosquitos, so you can bet anywhere we go I will have some form of mosquito repellent with me. When we are sitting around the campsite I use things like citronella candles or a Thermacell battery operated repellant to help keep the bugs away. If we are going out on hikes I usually have to break down and use some spray or put on some Bugables bands. If I have to use spray I prefer the Deet-free Plant Bases Lemon Eucalyptus spray by Repel.
15. Solar Power – if you like to camp in an RV a couple solar panels and an inverter can give you all the power you need to operate most of your electric powered devices including lights, fans, radios, television’s and device chargers. This is nice because you end up using your generator less and enjoying the peaceful nature of being outdoors more. For tent and car campers there are a lot of solar powered accessories that can help make your camping trip more comfortable like solar device chargers and solar lanterns.
These are just a few ideas here as I don’t want this post to get too long. We could go all day about camping gear and camping hacks, but we would love to hear your ideas for a more comfortable camping trip. Please share your ideas, tips and tricks in the comments below.