Thursday, July 24, 2014

Camping Series: Part 1- Favorites & Wishlist

This year we've taken a new approach to vacation.  Both Chris and I get 2 weeks of vacation from our jobs.  In the past we've taken 1 week-long vacation in the Spring and 1 week-long vacation in the Fall.  So, that was all well and good, but trust me it gets frustrating when you have to work all through the Summer months and watch everyone take Fridays off.  

This year we decided that we would take 1 week-long vacation and we would use the other week of vacation time 1 day at a time.  We've been taking a few Friday's off here and there to have long weekends.  Seriously, it feels like we have so much more vacation time.  

Here's the thing, we can't afford to go to a resort every weekend... so we've been vacationing around our wild and wonderful home state of West Virginia. We're really outdoorsy people and we have a boat so camping at lakes is one of our favorite things to do.  

Last year we didn't camp because I'm not a masochist and wasn't about to take an infant camping.  This year we decided to give it a try.  Khloe has been excellent.  She absolutely loves it, probably even more than Chris and I.  Even when we're home, I'll ask her, "Do you want to sleep in your bed or in a tent?" and she squeals "TENT!!"

This is the 1st of my 3 part Camping Series.  When we go camping, it seriously takes so much room because of all of the toys and accessories we take.  We're like sardines in the truck- all squished in and about ready to bust out.

One of my favorite places to get camping things is (oddly enough) Dollar Tree. Who doesn't love a store where you can go buy 20 items for $20??  Enough talking... on to the lists.  

Favorite Dollar Tree Camping Accessories:

  1. Glow sticks- Khloe literally FREAKS OUT when I pull out a pack of glow sticks.  It pretty much makes me the best mom in the world.

  2. Table cloth clips- okay, so I think these are actually heavy duty clothes pins, but they work perfectly to hold the table cloth in place.
  3. Anti-bacterial wipes- need I say more?
  4. Dirty laundry bag- these bags are huge.  This way I can keep the dirty clothes away from the clean clothes and I don't have to wash things we didn't even wear.
  5. Pool noodles- we don't camp anywhere where there isn't water to play in, so we have to have toys.
  6. Tap light- tap lights are perfect for the tent, they give off just enough light.
  7. Hand sanitizer- again, need I say more?
  8. Headbands- yeah, these things save my life when we're camping.  My hair doesn't tend to cooperate when there is no straightener involved.
  9. Sidewalk chalk- best. mom. ever.
  10. Kid's lights- Khloe loves having her own flashlights and lanterns to use when it gets dark out.

Of course there are a lot of things you can't buy at Dollar Tree (unfortunately) so here are our more expensive favorites along with links to buy your own from Amazon.

Favorite Camping Accessories:

  1. Dutch oven- this is a must for cooking over an open fire.  Seriously just search "dutch oven recipes" on Pinterest and your life will be changed. Get it here. 
  2. Cast iron skillet- ditto to above. Get it here.
  3. Campfire waffle iron- we bought this on a whim and love it.  We just take waffle mix that you add oil and water to and it makes a super simple breakfast.  The waffles are thin and crispy and kind of taste like funnel cakes.... I don't hate 'em. Get it here.

  4. Campfire pie iron- ditto to dutch oven.  Search pie iron recipes... you won't be sorry. Get it here.
  5. CANZ speaker- this little guy uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone.  We can listen to music without dragging a stereo around.  It's surprisingly loud too. Get it here.
  6. Tiki torches- keeps bugs away and provides a little mood lighting... or just lighting for that matter... Get it here.
  7. Portable charcoal grill- Get it here.
  8. Puddle jumper- this is the best life jacket we've found for Khloe.  She's actually comfortable in it and the design keeps them from face-planting in the water. Get it here.
  9. Fan- tent camping... fan needed. Get it here.
  10. Hammock- sit back and relax!  Get it here.
Last but not least, here are a few camping accessories we're swooning over at the moment.

Camping Wish List:

  1. Coleman popcorn popper- get it here.
  2. Campfire tripod- get it here.
  3. Camping Toy Set- get it here.
  4. ReVIVE Rugged Camping Charger & 5000mAh Solar Battery Pack- get it here. 

Do you have any favorite camping accessories?  I would love here so maybe I could add them to my list to pick up before our next trip!  

Stay tuned for the next post in my Camping Series- Camping with a Toddler: Tips & Activities!

- Brooke 

Linking up to
The 36th Avenue

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