What to Pack for a Tent Camping Trip

Tent CampingTent Camping is one of the summer activities my family has been involved in for many years.

Camping is something we all enjoy by combining fishing, hiking, and swimming with the regular campsite life of cutting wood, starting a fire, food preparation, cooking, eating, games, and just relaxing. We’ve made a lot of good memories from our camping trips. We’ve always gone up in the mountains and found great camping hiking spots either at designated campgrounds that offer water for washing, some type of restroom (outhouse or rest-stop type), and garbage cans or places, where there was no creature or comforts at all. We always camped by streams, lakes, or rivers during the summer months.

Planning is critical to a successful camping experience. As a retired military man, who has had to live out of a ruck (backpack) for many days, having the right camping gear when you’re camping will make the experience that much more enjoyable.

The best camping tents for families are tents that have separate rooms. Since we have two children our tent has three rooms — my wife and I slept in a room, the kids slept in a room, and the entrance room was the dressing and storage area. We use a combination of foam and inflatable mattresses. We used rectangular sleeping bags that you can zip together for the wife and me, and the kids had their bags. Bring extra blankets for chilly nights. We also used poncho liners for the kids to use inside their sleeping bags. We’ve had our tent for over 15 years and average 2-3 camping trips each summer.

We take a couple of tarps. We use one tarp on the ground under the tent and make it long enough to have about 8 feet in front of the tent door. We take our shoes/boots off outside to keep the inside of the tent as clean as possible. We bring a small folding stool to place outside the tent door to help with putting shoes on. The second tarp is used to cover our kitchen/cooking gear if it rains. Waterproof Camping Tarp, Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp

We use a couple of camping stoves – one uses propane (which we mainly use for heating water for hot drinks and washing) and the other is a 2-burner stove and uses fuel, which does not burn as hot. We use this one for cooking bacon, pancakes, eggs, etc. Bring a couple of frying pans, and camping pots/pans – remember to bring a spatula if you’re going to cook pancakes or eggs.

We always start a fire in the morning – for warmth and in the evening, for cooking. Bring a collapsible grate to put over the fire if you plan on laying anything on it to cook or heat up. We make pointed sticks by cutting small branches from nearby trees for the polish dogs or bratwurst – so bring a couple of knives. We cut our wood from the dead branches and logs you find near the campground. We bring an ax and a small saw with a folding blade.

Here are the basics of camping gear to bring:

Tent with a rain fly, tarp, tent stakes, and hammer

Sleeping gear to include mattresses – inflatable or foam, blankets (poncho liners), and pillows

Cooking/kitchen equipment – camping stoves, folding camping table, frying pans, pots to heat water and cook in, paper plates, bowls, and utensils, napkins, paper towels, wash rags, towels, cutlery, large spoons, tongs, can opener, lighters, tin foil, plastic wash basin, scouring pads, disposable wipes, detergent, plastic storage bags, and trash bags. We pack this in see-through plastic tubs with folding lids. We pack most of our non-cooler food in these types of containers, too.

Fire pit necessities – if you plan on scrounging your wood from the forest floor – an ax, folding saw, gloves, a newspaper for fire-starting, a lighter, a folding grate (campfire tripod), and a folding shovel.

Personal hygiene – soap, washcloths, towels (dark in color), shampoo and shower shoes (if your campground has a shower), toothpaste, and toilet paper.

Safety equipment – flashlights, lanterns, spare batteries, cell phone with car charger, map of the area, first aid kit, compass or GPS, and plenty of drinking water, sunscreen.

These are some of the items you’ll need to have an enjoyable camping trip.

After your first trip, you’ll be able to fine-tune your list.

BIoLite Campstove 2

Tent camping is a lot of work, but it is so worth it for the memories you’ll always have.

Better you

Cooking for the Campsite: Meal Planning for a Fun…

Plan Meals for Camping


Planning out a week’s worth of meals at home is hard enough; it seems nearly impossible if you plan out all of the meals for a week-long camping trip. After all, you won’t have those easy fallback options of going out to eat or making a grilled cheese sandwich. The only food you will have is the food that you bring with you, so it’s important that you plan out your meals carefully and ensure that you have everything you need.

This article will give you a few tips on planning a menu for your camping trip so that you don’t end up scavenging for berries at the end of your trip.  family_camping

Plan around the Cooking

You want to take as few cooking tools with you as possible when you go camping, so you should try to plan meals that all use the same outdoor cooking equipment in Alpharetta. So, if you have a recipe for Dutch oven biscuits, try not to also have barbecued chicken on the menu.

This would require you to have both the Dutch oven and access to a grill on your trip. Unless you know the campsite already has barbecues available for your use, this can make packing extremely troublesome.

If you really want to make things easy, plan as many meals as possible that require no cooking equipment. This can include things like tinfoil dinners, hot dogs, and other foods that can be cooked directly over the fire. Depending on how long your trip is, you may be able to plan a menu that doesn’t require you to pack any cooking equipment at all. However, if you’re going to be camping more than a few days, you’ll probably want some variety and will want to bring some equipment along so you can cook different meals.

Non-Perishable Foods

As easy as it is to serve everyone cereal and milk in the morning, keeping milk cold during a week of camping is quite difficult. Instead, you’ll have to plan meals that use non-perishable foods, like canned goods, rice, and pasta.

If you do have a few meals that use perishable food items, plan your menu out so that you will eat those items within the first few days. This will allow you to have those meals before the ingredients are in danger of going bad.

Advanced Preparation

Wherever possible, do as much cooking preparation in advance as you can. This can include things like chopping up the chicken and potatoes for your tinfoil dinners, or rolling up some breakfast burritos so they just need to be heated up over the fire. Whatever preparation you can do at home will save you a lot of time and hassle while you’re camping. After all, it’s much easier to chop up chicken on your clean countertop than to try to do it on a cutting board sitting on a log.

people camping

Divide and Conquer

If you’re going on a camping trip with multiple people, make sure that you divide up the duties for food. Put each person or group in charge of one meal or one day’s worth of meals and make them responsible for providing and preparing the food for that meal or on that day. This will lessen the load for you.




Plan meals for campingJust make sure that you communicate with one another when you’re planning out the meals, you’re responsible for. Otherwise, you might end up having hot dogs every day.


BIoLite Campstove 2

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