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Now I know what you are telling yourself…..I would really like to camp, it looks fun but I have no idea how to camp, what to bring or what to expect. There are a few things that you really have to determine before you can figure out what you need to do to get ready for your camping trip. Answering the following basic questions will guide you to finding your footing.
1. What type of camping have you decided to do? Did you want to RV camp? Camper/Trailer camp? Tent camp? Backpack/Hike camp? Canoe/kayak camp?
Determining the type of camping you want to do can aid you in what sort of equipment and expertise is needed. For example, you would need a vastly different sort of equipment for RV camping versus hiking camping.
RV Camping (or recreational vehicle camping) is most like living at home because you bring a furnished vehicle that you basically live in with you. You can make your RV just as comfy as you like. Everything that you need from home can most likely be brought with you in your RV. All you really need to think about are what foods and personal items you would like to stock it with. This type of camping is generally for the people who do not like to “rough it” but also might like to be social since many times RV are parked fairly near each other or in similar sections. Though there are some normal maintenance items with RVs, you basically park them and live in them.
Camper or Trailer camping is just a step more rugged than RV camping. Many times campers or trailers do not have showers or toilets, unlike most RVs. Depending on the camper or trailer, a refrigerator may not be included either. Generally, camper or trailer camping is more for people who do not like to sleep on the ground or worry about severe weather but still want to get out there.
Tent camping is generally more for people who would like to “rough it.” Tent camping requires you to think about all of your basic needs ahead of time (food, hygiene, restroom requirements, shelter, seeing at night, warmth). There are actually varying levels of tent camping as well. Some people like to bring a tent and shop for all of their needs while others like to camp in more remote areas away from people. Packing for a tent camping trip can be time consuming because you have to think of everything you might need.
When our family is on a camping trip, we eat in style because we use gourmet quality camping cooking equipment.
In camping, nothing can be worse than being in the middle of nowhere and then realizing you forgot your wok, for the many stir fries you planned on cooking. Our wok works double time because we don’t only use it for stir frying, we use it for making pancakes, frying fish, soups, cowboy chili, and pancakes. The right camping equipment always makes a difference.
However, you really have to be organized when you are carrying a near complete camp kitchen. So one of the best investments you can make for camping trips is to find the right bins to store your camping cooking equipment in. It should fit in your vehicle, with easy access in and out. It should be see through clear.
We’ve used Sterilite and Rubber maid bins to house our camping cooking equipment and food. Each bin holds it own particular items. You could designate one bin for plates, bowls, cutleries, napkins, kitchen towels, plastic wraps, ladles, etc. One for all the canned goods, peanut butter, bottled stuff. One for all the snacks and carbs like bread, crackers, cookies, nuts, dried fruits. One for condiments, sauces, grains, tea, coffee, cocoa, pasta. Find your own system that will make things easier for you to find items. Label them as necessary so other family members know where to put the camping equipment and supplies back. Keeping food and camping cooking equipment contained in containers make for ease in getting things in and out.
I remember our first major camping trips when I used just paper bags and plastic grocery bags to store our camping cooking equipment. That was a pain and the bags lasted about two days and then they were goners. We ended up stuffing things here and there randomly, piling this over that, which made it inconvenient to find things. So try to find containers suitable for your camping style and vehicle cargo space.
Here is camping cooking equipment checklist for cooking and serving food:
- Small Propane or Charcoal BBQ
- Cooking Grill / griddle/ Grate (for campfire cooking)
- Camp Stove
- Propane Cylinders, Liquid Gas or Charcoal
- Pots & Pans with lids / Mess kits
- Eating Utensils – sporks, knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, cups, mugs
- Can Opener/Corkscrew/Bottle opener
- Coffee and Tea Paraphernalia
- Dish soap
- Dish scrubber, pot scourer, gloves, dish cloths
- Cutting Board
- Match sticks
- Storage containers
- Pot holder, barbecue mitts, tea towels
- Basin for washing
- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
- Hot pads
- Plastic Wrap
- Paper Plates/ paper cups/ plastic cutlery
- Tablecloth / Clips
- Ladles, Tongs, knives, Turners
- Skewers, Roasting forks
- Ziploc bags of different sizes
- Trash Bags
- Grocery bags
- Paper Towels
- Condiments for cooking ( salt, pepper, seasonings, Olive oil, butter, Balsamic )
- Water Jug
- Coffee drip cones and filters