Things I Never Go Camping Without
Let me preface this post by saying I'm not a rugged camper. I didn't do a lot of camping growing up aside from summer camp in North Carolina so when I met my now husband ten years ago, I wondered if I'd be able to enjoy being in the outdoors as much as he did. I was absolutely pampered on many early camping trips to ensure my good time, but these days I really do enjoy getting outside and unplugging from all of the screens in my life for a few days. Ryan and I spend a lot of time outside in the summer but once the temps drop out of the 80s we hit the trail even more. With September coming to a close (can you believe it?), the weather is perfect for camping and hiking. Over the years I've realized I don't need a lot of stuff to enjoy a weekend in the woods, but I do bring a few things to make the experience more comfortable. I'm sure one day he'll convince me to tag along on a backpacking trip and when that happens I'll need to do some additional packing research.
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5 Camping Essentials
After dinner, I love swinging in the trees staring up at the stars. If you get one of these double hammocks, grab your honey and climb into the hammock with some blankets. So cozy you might not make it to your tent.
Of course Junebug and Lula tag along too.
We often play cards or read before heading to bed so having a small lamp we can hang from the top of our tent is really handy. I got this one last year in Portland at CORD. It's affordable, really light weight, and nearly impossible to turn it on accidentally. Here is a similar one online.
You can't hang out by the fire without tunes. We just recently got this splash proof JBL sound tube and it is amazing. It connects to a mobile device (apple or android) through Bluetooth and the battery lasts for several hours. It's nice to have when we're cooking or playing cards or if we're out paddling around we take it with and clip it to the boat. Here are a few other options too (the first one is the JBL tube that we have).
This is a no-brainer. I always have a porter or stout in the cooler as well. For the warmer months, I love goses and session IPAs. My current favorite is Creature Comforts Tritonia with cucumber and lime and you can't go wrong with Founders All Day IPA. I love Bell's Best Brown and Upland Brewing Co's Oktoberfest in the fall.
If you bring beer, you're going to need an excellent cooler. We have the BIG Yeti (Tundra 55) and we're obsessed. It can seriously keep ice and beer cold for days. It has easy to grip handles, no slip grips on the bottom, and the rotomold construction keeps it from denting/cracking. It is a big investment but we use it all the time camping or to keep beer and other drinks in when we have people over. They have a few other sizes if you don't think you need the giant one. Check out the Tundra 35 or the Hopper Two 20 which is a soft cooler and holds up to 18 beer.