This is the final entry in our Camping with Kids….Made Easy series. Be sure to check out the other posts:
Part 1: Big Stuff
Part 2: Tent Bin
Part 3: Cooking Bin
This bin will focus on The Essentials that you need to have a great time camping.
One thing about this bin is that the items in it aren’t necessarily sterile. You don’t want to keep your spatulas and pans in here. They belong in the cooking bin where you can keep them clean and wash them when you are done. As you can see in the picture above, we have several things in this bin that you might not think about. They include:
Roasting Sticks: I really like the set pictured below (you can view them on amazon.com by clicking) because they are extendable and have their own carry bag. Sticks that don’t collapse won’t really fit in the bin, and the bag will protect other items from the blackness and grease that is sure to be on the sticks after roasting.
First-Aid Kit: If you are camping with 3 boys like I am, someone is going to need first-aid. The one featured below is a bit pricey, but it is specifically focused on outdoors and camping as it is by Coleman. Make sure the kit you get has stuff for burns as they are a common camping problem.
Tools: Sometimes I get cheap, repetitive tools for Father’s Day. These go right into the camping bin, where honestly, they very rarely get used– but it’s those few times they do that are important. Please include: Both Phillips and flat-head screw drivers, crescent wrench, kitchen shears, and pliers. If you’re interested in a kit that is organized and includes more than all the essentials, try this one.
Hand Mirror: It’s not that I’m that narcisstic, but I do wear contacts. Taking them out and putting them in with the car mirror is conceivable, but I don’t often park the car inside the tent, so I find this item essential. The one below is cheap and sturdy as it is made of glass that won’t break (easily).
Emergency Ponchos: Okay, admittedly I have never used these as ponchos, but I have used them for other reasons, and I’m glad they are in here. They don’t take up much room at all.
Table Cloth with optional clamps: The camping table cloth is a must unless you’re okay brushing aside the bugs and dirt on most camping tables. The clamps are really convenient and fit most camp tables. Of course, you can use dirty rocks and things, too.
Citronella Candle: I’m not sure they keep the bugs away as advertised, but I like the smell and the ambience anyway. We always have a citronella candle after dark.
Set of flashlights: We have a set like the one pictured below so all the kids can have their own. A good rule of thumb when camping with kids is the number of flashlights should be 2 more than the number of people camping!
Bags: You’ll need the following types of bags for various situations: large and small Ziploc bags, garbage bags, and grocery bags (for dirty dishes and laundry).
Other essentials to toss in: a lighter for the fire, duct tape, bug spray, dental floss, fingernail clippers, scissors, tissues, a few small games (our kids love the camping card games that only come out in the woods), a can opener, which you will forget every time if you don’t put these bins together, paper towels, and a marker to write names on cups and things. I also use a few clothes pins and a small amount of rope to hang cups up so the kids don’t lose them or throw them away after every sip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our camping posts. It is amazing to be able to pack the car in 15 minutes for camping. By adding food, firewood, and our boys, we can usually be ready to hit the great outdoors with everything we need in less than an hour, and we rarely forget anything now that we are organized into these camping bins. Best of all, it can all be cleaned up almost as fast!