Summer and the few weeks after its end are the perfect time of year to take in the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking, boating, or being a beach bum, there is nothing better than being out in the sun. One of my favorite ways to be one with nature is by taking quick one or two night camping trips. This summer so far I’ve camped at the Twin Mountain/Mount Washington KOA (Kampground of America) in New Hampshire and at Burlingame State Park in Rhode Island. Both are great campgrounds for whatever type of camping you want to do. If you’re more of an RV person, these campgrounds have you covered. If you want to set up your pop-up or tent, it’s all good and you might even get to be a little secluded. I was even luck enough at the KOA to get a site that had electricity– can you say glamping? Kind of. When it comes to short weekend camping trips, it can be really easy to go overboard with what to bring– trust me. So here’s what I think you need for a quick camping get away.
Obviously shelter is the most important thing you need. Personally, the boyfriend and I have been setting up a three person tent for the two of us. It’s just roomy enough for us and whatever items we decide to keep in there with us. Now I’m the kind of camper where I pretty much refuse to sleep directly on the ground. Knowing that, we’ve learned that our tent can fit a queen sized air mattress or two to three pool floats wrapped in a fitted sheet with some room to spare. Trust me, those things make the trip soooo much better. Obviously you’ll have to figure out what works for you. If you don’t mind sleeping on the ground and there are only two of you in your camping party, you can have some more choice in tent. Although why you would want to be right on top of someone is beyond me. If you have more than two people with you, I’d consider getting a six to eight person tent. I’m a big believer in the rule of halves when it comes to tents. If it says it sleeps four, it really sleeps two comfortably. You don’t want to be squished when you’re sleeping in the great outdoors. Especially in the summer. No one wants to wake up all sweaty in such close quarters.
Once you have a shelter, you need to have something for some comfort. If you’re camping for just a night or two at a camp ground, you can have a little more leeway in what you bring for comfort. On our quick camp trips, we have a few pillows and some blankets or a sleeping bag to share. Especially towards the end of the summer and as the weather starts cooling down, you’ll want at least some kind of blanket to curl up under. Along with your blankets and pillows, you may also want to pack a fitted sheet for you sleeping pad/air mattress. For an extra bonus of comfort and for some ambiance, grab some battery powered LED string lights to hang inside the tent.
Now that you have your shelter, it’s time to think about what you’re going to eat while you’re camping. Much like with your shelter, you can go simple or you can be more complicated with your camping dining experience. Now if you want to be simple, pick your favorite grilling items that you can cook over the camp fire. Think hot dogs and the like. Items that are technically already pre-cooked so that you are just heating them up. If you go the simple route, think about bringing snack foods and pre-cut fruits and veggies to pick at on your trip. If you want to get a little more complicated in your camping cooking, you’ll need to pack a bit more than just skewers to cook hot dogs on. Consider a skillet and camping stove that can give you more precision in your camping cooking session. We did this on our last trip in order to cook our “Hobo Veggie Packets” and veggie burgers. Although we learned quickly that the camping stove can be a bit difficult to use.
So what do you like to bring camping with you? Let me know in the comments
Quick Camping Packing List
- Blanket and/or sleeping bag
- Sleeping Pad/Air Mattress/Pool Floats that you turned into a mattress
- LED String Lights (and batteries)
- Camping Stove
- Paper plates
Remember, keep it simple but think about the kind of trip that you want to have! And in the end, it is all about fun!