Where the heck are we and why are we here?

One weekend in the late 90’s my siblings (grown adults then) and parents (aging) decided it would be such fun to camp for a long weekend together. My husband did not camp, and my, then, young kids would not have fit in on this trip. So I met up with everyone else, solo. Nostalgia had us chose a coastal campground in southern Maine.

I was prepared. Had my tent from the folk festival and a collection of must have items that had been growing. I knew what to expect and how to be comfortable. The rest of my family did not.

The first night started with everyone escaping the campfire early (“too smoky! too buggy! too cold!”) to the imagined warmth and comfort of their tents/sleeping bags.  A couple hours into the evening my sister woke me asking to borrow my car so she could find a hotel room. My father had crawled onto the bed of my brother’s pick-up, trying to sleep in the open air and my mother was sitting in their car pretending she could sleep sitting up.

“Mom, the seat back reclines, you don’t have to sit straight up”

       “I know how the seat works. I WANT to sit up. I have to watch out for your father.”


At 2 AM my sister rolled back in to the site and slept in my car. No hotel vacancies anywhere.  Duh, its August, in Maine!

The next morning we were the saddest, tiredest group of people wrapped in blankets, huddled around a morning fire, wondering who had forgot about bringing/making coffee. I had slept wonderfully, but it did not seem right to boast about it. I think I was the only one who enjoyed the day-long deep sea fishing trip that had been pre-planned.

So all of this leads me to ask you:

Besides a tent/rv/shelter, sleeping bag/bedding, basic food with eating/drinking utensils and a camp chair, what are your Top 5 “can’t camp without” items or luxuries?

Here’s mine:

  1. Cooler/fridge. I guess if its already part of your RV you don’t have to list it. I am still tenting and have a large, fabulous 5-day cooler that really lasts five days. I freeze water in gallon milk jugs and two will keep everything perfectly chilled for up to five days as long as I don’t leave the cooler in the sun! Using the jugs also prevents food from getting water logged. I also freeze my pint-sized bottles of drinking water and drink as they thaw.
  2. Head lamp. Yup. Really good to be able to SEE WHERE YOU ARE GOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND HAVE YOUR HANDS FREE TO DEAL WITH STUFF, if you know what I mean.
  3. Air or foam mattress, or cot. No sleep makes me cranky. Really cranky. Again, your RV may have these built in, my tent does not.
  4. Solar shower bag. Not necessarily for showering. I tie one to the roof rack of my car and use it for general hand rinsing, teeth brushing,etc. Anytime I need a spritz of water to clean/rinse something.  Have also used for showering and that works great too.
  5. Wine/book. OK, technically two items, but call it my relax pack. A decent bottle of wine (or pre-mixed margarita bottle works too!) and a good book ices my cake.
    Yup, time for obligatory fur-baby pic.

    So, what are your Top 5 must haves? Please post in a comment below!


4 thoughts on “Where the heck are we and why are we here?

  1. OMG! I’m spitting out my coffee laughing so hard about your family trip. Years and years (and years) ago a friend and I went camping in the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula in October. She had all the camping gear. I brought the camera. The camp ground was completely empty. It was located about 4 hours away from where we lived. We started to set up camp when she realized she brought one of her two tents, but the poles were from the other. We tried and tried to find a way to make those poles work but it wasn’t happening. We slept under a tablecloth strong over a clothes line. It was cold. We woke up every ten minutes to creepy sounds. We imagined bears. A skunk came and stole the top off of our hibachi. It rained. In the morning we went home. I still kid her about that.

    So…my list? Definitely my sleeping pad and a book. We sleep in a tent too, my dog and I. Husband wants nothing at all to do with anything remotely camper-ish. Also on my list are gloves and socks to sleep in in case it gets colder. Cold hands and feet make me miserable. I think I have to add the dog to the list. Wouldn’t be camping without her.

    Your solar shower bag? Genius! I should get one of those!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL too! You are braver than I! Without a solid tent around me I think I would opt for the car.

      Yes, I believe the solar bag actually helps prevent me from wasting water used that way.

      Just thinking about these things makes me want to be camping. Spring can’t come soon enough for me. Thanks for keeping in touch! 🙂


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