Camping Without Sacrificing the Little Things

I have been camping for over 35 years and am reaching that point where I like the good things in life, even while camping. Over time, I’ve found a number of resources which have become essential to my camping trips. If you love the outdoors but don’t want to rough it any more than you have to, these simple solutions might be the answer.

First, are collapsible buckets, which can be purchased at most camping our outdoor stores. Collapsed, they take up little to no space, so you can bring more than one without sacrificing precious storage space.

Expanded, the buckets are sturdy with a strong handle, hold 2-3 gallons of water and are durable enough to hold hot water as well as cold. They can be used for all kinds of things, including carrying water to the campsite, washing dishes (use one to wash and one to rinse), even holding fish.

It isn’t civilized to camp without my morning coffee, and so I rely on single serve coffee packs. These look similar to a tea bag, and one bag makes one cup of coffee. There are no messy grounds to cleanup because they stay in the filter bag. Since I like more than one cup, I boil a pot of water and put several single serve coffee packs in the water at one time. I dunk them for a while, pour into a thermos, and have great coffee all day long. Some brands taste really bad, though, so be careful when selecting your brand.

I never go camping without my stainless steel super cooler, which I store my food and dairy products in. Mine keeps ice cold up to five days, even in high temperatures, so I can eat real food instead of trail mix and canned goods. I take a smaller, more portable cooler for water and drinks, but with my super cooler for the food items I can eat well even while camping.

Plastic milk crates are great to haul food, lanterns, propane and just about anything else you can think of. They are easy to carry and strong enough to sit and stand on as well as carry heavy loads. Although home improvement stores carry similar plastic containers, I suggest you try to find crates used by dairies for milk, as they are much sturdier. Check with a dairy in the area to see if they have any to spare.

Last, have something you enjoy doing available in case of bad weather. I’d like to suggest the “Apple to Apples” card game. It is fun for any age (teenagers to old people, like me) and takes up hardly any space. I now permanently store my copy of the game with my camping gear so it is always ready for those rainy days.

With just a few simple additions to your camping gear, you can bring the comforts of home on your next camping trip. Happy Trails!

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