I know, I’m talking about food again! Snack ideas perfect for camping or hiking? Well, unless you are a serious hiker who meticulously packs their bag and occasionally overnights it, you fall into the category of “day tripper” with most of us.
Even if you are out for a relatively short hike on a trail (talking just a couple of hours) snacks are often needed to refuel you right along with that all-important bottle of water. And if you are camping with kids? Then snacks become an integral part of your trip as I swear the constantly growing munchkins are always hungry.
Let us check out the 50 snack ideas for camping and hiking:
We broke this list down into a few sections: general snacks for all that range from gorp to cereal bars, granola treats, and then Keto-friendly diet items, and gluten-free gems.
GENERAL Snack ideas perfect for camping or hiking
No Bake Chocolate Chip Walnut Energy Balls
The no bake chocolate chip walnut energy balls are loaded with walnut and chocolate chips that makes it healthy and delicious.
The largest state park in Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake State Park is about thirty-five miles northwest of Madison and is on the western edge of where the last glacier stopped, right in the heart of the River Country.
It was originally a gorge of the Wisconsin River prior to the last ice age. At what is now the southern end of the lake, the river turned from a southerly direction to an easterly direction. During the ice age, a lobe of the glacier passed to the east of the Baraboo Hills and came up the river valley.
A Complete Guide To Devil’s Lake State Park
From Effigy Mounds to hiking trails, Devil’s Lake has so much to offer the person that simply wants to connect with nature.
History of Devil’s Lake State Park
First settled by pioneers in the mid-1800s, it became a vacation hot spot for the Chicago and Madison elite who wanted to escape city life.
A few hotels and homes popped up to cater to that crowd, leading to the park being founded in 1911. At that time it was home to five resorts, two of which were perched on the west bluff.
No trace of any of these hotels remains today as, by the 1940s, the hotels were all closed, and the park was retreating to its former natural self.
Whew – right?
How did that happen?
From 1934 to 1941, approximately two hundred members of the Civilian Conservation Corps resided in a work camp. These young men built many of the trails, buildings, and benches still in use today.
Isn’t it amazing how they could build things almost 90 years ago that are still holding up and the roads we build now are in need of repair in less than 10 years? It astounds me!
In 1974, the National Park Service declared the Southern portion of the Baraboo Hills a National Natural Landmark. The Nature Conservancy also designated it as one of the Last Great Places; it is one of only 77 of these places in the world.
It has pretty much stayed the same through today – and enables us all tons of great ways to commune with nature.
Is Devil’s Lake State Park Haunted?
With a name like “Devil’s Lake,” y0u would think there are tons of stories about people meeting their maker and coming back to either warn others about it or to bring them along with them.
There are a lot of stories about unique animal sightings, from a “monster in the lake” to even seeing a large alligator…even Bigfoot gets a turn.
My favorite? The 10-ton ghosts of Baraboo, who were said to be deceased ghost elephants that roamed the area. After all, Baraboo was the home of the Ringling Bros. Circus – and there is a long history of how those poor elephants were treated in circuses. (I am not saying there are specific allegations against Ringling Brothers).
As for human ghosts, there is the old hitchhiker that walks along the old highway 12 on the south-west side of Baraboo. If you don’t offer him a ride he will show up further down the road. And again…
If you stop for him, he vanishes.
He wears jeans and an old army jacket – let me know if you ever see him!
Of course with the effigy mounds across the parking lot from the nature center, there are rumors of Native Americans being spotted too.
Devil’s Lake Effigy Mounds
There are several different ones at Devil’s Lake, both shaped and linear. To be seen are a Bird, Panther, Bear, and Lynx.
Please remember that these are sacred spaces – used for either burial or ceremonial purposes and they are not meant to be walked on.
Many mounds were in the area and sadly ruined with that hotel building before the Great Depression. The ones that survived were not in the path of those buildings, parking lots, and play areas. That is what makes them so special.
Have no fear – the ones left are protected and people can learn more about them at the Devil’s Lake State Park Nature Center.
Devil’s Lake State Park Camping
Devil’s Lake State Park is more rustic but beautiful and has three campgrounds with a total of 423 sites that each accommodate a family of up to 6 people.
There are 3 main campgrounds at Devil’s Lake located on the north shore of the park and a group camp area on the south shore.
There are no campgrounds near or on the shoreline of Devil’s Lake itself.
If you’re planning to visit the campsite then a reservation is a must, as they no longer have non-reservable sites. You can make your reservations 11 months in advance.
If you are a winter camper, the Quartzite campground is the one to look at. It is also the only one open in the winter, LOL.
The campground offers wooded electrical sites too. You can take a look at Devil’s Lake’s blog to see a summary of the campsite and pick your favorite.
Devil’s Lake State Park Activities
The campground has a little something for every adventurer from small to tall, with over 29 miles of hiking trails and 2 sandy beaches this place is sure to keep your group or family busy.
Devils Lake Water Sports
In the summer there is fun to be had scuba diving, fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, and canoeing. Keep in mind that when looking at boating – NO gas motors are allowed on the lake. It is mainly kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.
Devil’s Lake State Park Fishing
While I am not the best fisherman out there Devil’s Lake is known for being a good location. It has good depth, clear water, some rock structure, and an assortment of beautiful green weeds, and when added to the fact that each year the DNR stocks the lake with Brown trout? How can you go wrong?
Just make sure you have your fishing license and you are good to go year round.
Devil’s Lake State Park Swimming
Devil’s Lake State Park offers two large and comfortable beaches to frolic in with amenities like grills, picnic areas, and a children’s play area with slides and a climbing gym.
The north shore gets more sun than the south shore but the sun lingers late along the south shore. The south shore can be a little rocky so be a little extra cautious like wearing aqua socks can keep your feet safe from nicks and cuts.
It makes for a perfect place to cool off on a hot day – just read our section on dogs (below) before you let Fido join you!
We put together a Wisconsin State Parks Bucket List Free Printable for you – to keep track of all the state parks and nature areas you visit. Get it here:
With such a clear lake and good quality water, this is the perfect place to kayak! Especially since gas motors are NOT allowed on the Devil’s Lake.
Devil’s Lake State Park Kayak Rental
If you don’t have your own kayaks – they have you covered. Devil’s Lake State Park Concessions rents rowboats, paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, and standup boards. For more information including rates visit the concessions page.
Hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park
With over 29 hikable miles you’re sure to find adventure and endurance you might not think you had. Whether the hike is a solo trip to see how far you can go or a learning trip for the family or a group there will be wildlife to be seen along with fun to be had.
The trails vary in levels of the difficulty some have steep climbs, stairs, and descents, take a look at the trail map to see which is the right for the activity level and attendees you have in your group or family.
Keep in mind that there are rattlesnakes at Devil’s Lake State Park – should you encounter one on the trail, use your head and follow precautions.
Devil’s Lake State Park Trail Map
Devil’s Lake State Park Nature Center
The Nature Center offers a lot of different programs – for both adults and kids alike. You can sign up for a kayak tour or even help them with ecology.
Program themes include astronomy, snakes, skulls, worms, stories, beavers, rocks, spiders, Indian mounds, beetles, bird watching, bats, plants, geology, and more.
You can see a picture of Miss Sarah here – helping with their big Monarch Butterfly Count!
We love the Wisconsin Explorer Books that have nature activities, scavenger hunts, games, hikes, and crafts.
You can also check out an Explorer backpack! These gems have magnifying lenses, bug boxes, pencils, crayons, and field guides to help your kids complete the activities in the books.
What an incredible way to help the kids connect with nature!
Devil’s Lake State Park Rock Climbing
Devil’s Lake has some of the best rock climbing sites in the Midwest. The park hires some of the best instructors, climbing guides, and outfitters for the job. Guides offer private or group anchors courses, climbing trips, bouldering, and even traditional lessons from the beginner to the experienced.
Golfing in the area
No, Devil’s Lake doesn’t have a golf course of its own, but there are three that are close by Baraboo Country Club in Baraboo, Fairfield Hills Golf Course & Range in Baraboo, and Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac.
Devil’s Lake State Park Hunting
Yes, you can hunt at Devil’s Lake. You need to follow general safety precautions like wear the trusty blaze orange gear and know where you can and can not point that rifle.
Devil’s Lake State Park has over 6,400 acres of land that are available for hunting.
A visit in the winter is a little different than the summer but all the more adventurous. Activities range from snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding, and hiking tours.
When out snowshoeing you can travel anywhere you’d like just not on the ski trails, there are a lot of other trails for you to see instead of trekking close to or on the ski trails though.
If you’re a beginner you can take a hike around the trails before heading out on your snowshoes to get the feel of the trail. If you have forgotten to bring your own snowshoes you can get a pair free at the north shore nature center!
Maybe snowshoeing isn’t your thing but skiing is, Devil’s Lake State Park offers 5 miles of cross-country ski trails. Make sure to check the conditions before heading out to ensure the safest route as conditions vary due to terrain, shade, sun, and steepness making some trails only one way.
The park takes the time to pack the snow but does not mark the trails, you’ll be able to pick up a map or print it from the website.
Devils Lake State Park and Dogs
Let’s start with the obvious: dogs shouldn’t be left unattended and you should pick up the poop. Waste should be disposed of in dumpsters or trash receptacles.
Dogs are allowed in most campgrounds, trails, roads, and outlying areas of the parks. They must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet at all times, if they are not under control at all times, they can be seized and subject to local laws pertaining to stray animals.
ID tags are a good idea if your dog isn’t micro-chipped. If you do lose your pet you can contact the Sauk County Humane Society at (608) 356-2520.
Rabies could be a thing as there are wild animals like raccoons your pooch could come in contact with so make sure your pooch has all current vaccinations.
Other animals like deer, red fox, coyote, squirrels, and beavers. Black bears, cougars, groundhogs, and wolves have all been spotted at Devil’s Lake.
Pets are not allowed in the following places:
Picnic areas and picnic shelters
Marked Nature Trails (Applies to Parfrey’s Glen)
No Pets are allowed on the ski trails when they are snow-covered.
The Devil’s Lake South Shore Picnic area, except on paved roads and walkways en route to areas where pets are allowed.
Devil’s Lake State Park has 3 official pet swim areas. 2 on a leash and one off-leash. The off-leash pet swim area is at the South Shore boat landing. There is one “Pet Friendly” picnic area located on the north shore, east of the railroad tracks. Use the map below to find these locations.
Get Your Wisconsin State Park Sticker Now
Day pass or annual pass, it gets you in any Wisconsin State Park. YES, there are discounts for Wisconsin residents.
Camping fees are always additional – but less than if you didn’t have the sticker.
I know not everyone camps or likes to make an entire day out of hiking or swimming at the park. Packing a picnic? Forget it! That is why so many people search out for restaurants in the area – to help make a day out of it on their own terms.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Log Cabin Family Restaurant
The prices are great and the portions are generous. Known for their soups and pies, you really can’t go wrong here. Yes, it is an oversized log cabin and they serve breakfast all day. 1215 8th St, Baraboo, WI 53913
Baraboo Burger Company
This is more of a sports bar & grill but has tasty burgers & pub grub. In the summer you can enjoy their patio. 116 4th Ave, Baraboo, WI 53913
Gem City Saloon and Eatery
Like Pizza? This great hole-in-the-wall offers that and wings With a full bar available, it is the kind neighborhood hangout you will feel comfortable in. 124 Ash St, Baraboo, WI 53913
Why do you need to Read a Topographic Map? Unlike a simple trail map, topographic maps ideally reveal the terrain that you can expect to encounter on your trail. Topographic tools are essential tools for hikers as they can plan an entire trip with the help of a topographic map.
The map dramatically decreases your chances of any unpleasant surprises. The map includes steep mountain ascents, gently sloping valleys, and some of the fascinating points you pass by an area. The plan will give you a rough idea about the distance to reach a specific location.
How to Read a Topographic Map While Hiking
When you consult a topographic map before hiking, you can gauge the difficulty level of the hike and be prepared for potential adventures. A topographic map is one of the best tools you can have if you lose your bearings on a trail. You will need some basic understanding to utilize the vital information on the topographic maps fully.
Different forms of charts show three-dimensional landscapes that include elevations, contours, bodies of water and vegetation, and topographic features.
Why do you need a topographic map?
Simplified trail maps that include the JPEG images don’t include all that you might need on a trail. The plans don’t include any elevation data or magnetic declination and also have limited symbols.
Even if you get lost, the simplified maps won’t help you in finding your way out. A topographic map offers plenty of information not only on distance and elevation but also on vegetation and human-made structures.
Parts of a topographic map:
The contour lines ideally show elevation. They are known as bread and butter when it comes to an understanding of a topographic map. It shows the layout of the terrain and also gives clarity of maximum features. The contour lines will show the changes in elevation and lay of the land.
It will also give you an estimate of what you will be walking through and how difficult the trail will be. The contour lines connect all continuous points that share the same elevation. The elevation is changing at shorter distances when you see contour lines close together, indicating a steep slope or a cliff.
The grade is gradual when contour lines are apart. You might notice that every fifth line is thicker than the others. Contour lines help you visualize the features and shape of the terrain. After understanding the contour lines, you can point to valleys, plateaus, mountains, and depressions.
Scale is known as the relative distance of the real-life map. The scale is found in the legend. It shows the ratio of real ground inches to map inches. You can understand the details of the plan by looking at the scale. If a topographic map has a scale of 1:12000, it shows a much smaller area than a scale of 1:24000.
When you are planning a route, it is essential to know how detailed your map is. The representative plate is also included in the charts that help you visualize the distances in kilometers that are more useful than measuring your hike in inches.
The legend is essential to understand how to read a Topographic Map. It contains some vital information, including:
➢ Source data- It includes when and where the map was made. Ensure you check the map before buying, as it is essential to get some recent version possible.
➢ Scale- It means the relative distance on the map.
➢ Contour level- It means the change in elevation between the contour line.
➢ Magnetic declination- It means the difference between fascinating truth north and north in the given area. It is essential to set up a compass before leaving for your trail as the magnetic declination varies from place to place.
➢ Color key- The color key indicates the various colors used across the map to mark vegetation. The darker shades indicate denser vegetation, while the lighter colors indicate thin vegetation.
➢ Symbol key- It indicates certain features, including rivers, pipelines, boundaries, roads, etc.
Where to get the topographic maps?
You can get topographic maps from various sources. You can get topographic maps from local government companies or specialty companies.
How to Read a Topographic Map: Orient your map
You have to use your compass and map’s north arrow to orient your map. It would be best if you placed your compass flat on the map with it pointing to the top. Then you need to rotate yourself until you see the compass’s needle pointing north.
Look for your location on the map
You have to look around to identify nearby locations or features including mountain, river, road, or spur if you have to locate those features to find your position on the map.
Read the contour lines
You have to understand the contour lines that traverse the terrain that you might be covering on your trail. Always remember closer the lines, the steeper the landscape. You can sense gradual elevation where contour lines are farther apart. The concentric circles indicate the saddles between the peaks and peaks. If you see some concentric circles with tick-marked color, it suggests the depression in the landscape color.
Identify the landscape features on the topographic map
Landscape features include saddles, spurs, summits, and reentrants determined by contour line patterns on the topographical maps.
➢ Spurs- It is a landscape feature under which the land slopes on three sides and slopes downwards, only one side. You can easily identify catalysts by looking at the contour lines on the map.
➢ Reentrants- This indicates an indentation on the mountainside. You can identify reentrants by looking at the contour lines that point against the natural mountain slope on the map.
➢ Summit- The topmost region of a mountain is known as the summit. You can identify the conference on the map by locating the contour that is an innermost line from the set of concentric contour line ranges.
➢ Practice deciphering contour lines by reading map features in a similar location- You have to visualize each similar picture and then see how the map’s contour lines represent each feature.
➢ Get out on the trail with your topographical map- One of the best methods to learn map reading is by taking the topographical map along with you on a short hiking trail. So you can practice identifying landscape features and then find them on your plan as you start hiking. You should pay close attention to the arrangement of the contour lines for each element.
Thus a topographic map is a vital tool that helps you plan a route and be prepared and know what’s ahead of you. I am sure you will be able to do it easily with time if you practice map reading regularly.
Are you looking for camping hacks that will make the camping experience so much easier for you?
We all love tips and tricks that make our lives easier – and this list of 15 gems is really a lot longer than that! Some of these babies have 10 tips inside them!
If you want to know more about how to stay warm, cool, dry, bug free, and out of the dark, then read on.
15 Awesome Camping Hacks That Work
The following camping hacks will make you a campsite professional this season. So make plans and read on….
Easy Fire Starters Camping
Camping is fun, but one needs to find an easy hack to get the fire started quickly and easily. The DIY fire starters that we talk about are not only simple but very effective. We touch on a few other campfire tips and tricks here too!
There are multiple ways to make camp coffee while you are backpacking or camping. We have talked about this before when covering what we thought were the best coffee pots. A lot of people think that a good cup of coffee cannot be brewed over a campfire; there are many methods to do so!
Camping is always fun irrespective of the temperature. But it would help if you kept certain tips in mind to keep yourself safe in the trying weather. Here are some great ways to deal with that hot weather we often find ourselves out there in.
Yup, it rains, and then we are often sitting there figuring out what we can do and how we can stay dry. A camping trip in the wet weather is quite enjoyable and not as challenging as many perceive it to be if you know how to deal with it. These are camping hacks you are going to need!
We love the littles and getting them out in nature is a great learning opportunity. Camping with toddlers can be fun, rewarding, and can become a bit chaotic if you do not keep certain tips and tricks in mind.
Bears may look good in the wild, but they aren’t really cute and fuzzy up close. Bears are always looking for things to eat so your task would be to find ways to get rid of the food smells from your campsite unless you want Ursine visitors.
You can keep all the bugs at bay in the campsite with this homemade Bug Spray. It is stronger than the commercially available mosquito repellent but free from the harsh chemicals that we want to keep off of our skin.
Amazing Board Games to Instill a Love of Nature in your Children
Board games are great for families, and the kids love them when they are camping. These are great for those rainy days or just when you want to bring everyone together around the table. They will enjoy playing them as they soak in the beauty of the nature around them.
Best Chairs for Camping? There is nothing like sitting in front of a roaring campfire and toasting a marshmallow to perfection. It only sucks if you are in a camp chair where you can feel the leg supports poking your in the fanny.
What is your primary concern when you are choosing a camping chair? Many would prefer to settle for a basic, fabric chair that is easy to carry around and simple to set up. However, there is more to an outdoor camping chair than just the bare necessities.
5 Best Chairs for Camping
The majority of the camping chairs are light in weight, and they do not take up much space. But do keep the following in mind while you are choosing a new camp chair.
Camping Chair Things to Consider
First, take a look at the fabric of the camping chair. Most of the models available today have aluminum legs and a sturdy body frame. Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, so it is the right choice for the material as it prevents rust.
Portability plays a significant role in determining which camping chair is right for you. One should look for light yet sturdy chairs that are easier to transport from one point to another.
It is essential to check the camping chair’s weight carrying capacity as not all chairs can hold the same amount of weight. The chair should be able to hold your weight without showing any sign of strain. Camping chairs usually hold a maximum of 500lb, but you can always go for heavy-duty camping chairs.
What are the best chairs for camping?
If you are thinking of buying those USD 10 camping chairs, then it is time to junk that idea. You should pick up a good camping chair that can be folded up for easy transportation and should withstand the vagaries of weather. So here are our top selections for the camping chairs.
Lightweight Folding Camping Chair
The Helinox Chair Zero at $120 is a compact and ultra-light chair that is incredibly lightweight and easy to pack. It weighs just 1lb but is very sturdy, mainly due to its durable aluminum structure. The chair has a shock-cord design that can be packed down to a compact size and easily fits into the inside of a backpack. When you consider factors like low weight and portability, this is the best lightweight folding camping chair.
Best Heavy Duty Camping Chair
If you are looking for a heavy-duty camping chair, you cannot go wrong with the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair. Known as the King Kong chair, you will feel like a king when you sit on it. The chair has a reinforced frame, made from durable material, and is built to last for a long time.
The Moon Lence Outdoor Ultra-light Chair is an affordable and comfortable backpacking chair that weighs only 2lb and is priced at $35. It is a crossover chair, and the design will remind you of any luxury camping chair available right now. It takes only takes a few minutes to set up this chair and is an excellent option for short trips.
Best RV Camping Chair
No camping is complete without getting an RV camping chair for yourself so that you can lounge outside your RV whenever you like. These folding chairs were engineered to maximize the limited space of an RV. The Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair is the best option for an RV Camping chair as it comes with a cooler that can hold as many as four cans of your favorite beer. The in-built cooler helps to keep the beers cool for a more extended period.
Can Camping Chairs get wet?
Those first few raindrops start to hit and we look around and frantically grab what we can and tuck it undercover to prevent it from getting wet.
We hate the idea of our chairs getting drenched as we will have a soggy seat to deal with if they aren’t designed to survive the elements. If our chair is struggling to dry out the rest of your camping trip, it is a useless item to have to carry around.
So will your camping chairs get hurt if they get wet in the rains? Thankfully, most branded camping chairs are water-resistant, and these chairs will have no problem in battling the raindrops. One can leave the camping chairs outside in the rain and not worry about those getting ruined.
Do weight limits matter on camping chairs?
It is no secret that we are a little larger, on average, than we were thirty years ago. If you don’t consider this when looking at getting a camping chair, then you might be in for a surprise.
I had a chair collapse under me once – it was an older folding chair that my in-laws had and the fabric straps that were the main source of support were beyond repair. I was the lucky one to give them their last test and honestly, it was no fun trying to get back up out of the wreckage.
Most of the camping chairs can hold a minimum of 250lbs, and the sturdier ones can withstand a weight up to 600lbs or even more. It is interesting to note that the amount of weight these chairs can hold drastically changes when they sit on them. The maximum recommended weight for most of the chairs is 350lbs.
Instead of worrying too much about the weight capacity, you should opt for a foldable chair, easy to transport and has high ratings.
Best blankets for camping? Long gone are the days where you could just take your saddle off your horse to use for a pillow, and lay on your bedroll before a campfire to pass the night. Granted, it may still be that easy for a few in the warmer climates who love to rough it, but most of us? We like a little more comfort than that.
There are several items which you should remember to pack before you go out camping. If you think of the basics, you are usually covered. Shelter, food, and a way to stay warm are usually the basics…but most of us pack quite a bit more.
A tent and a flashlight or lantern are seen as a must, along with chairs and some pillows. How will you cook your food? What will you do to keep warm?
5 Best Blankets for Camping
The list could be endless, but right at the top should be your camping blanket. The camping blanket acts as your best friend as they carry out all kinds of functions when you are in the wilderness. You can use it as a quilt to keep you warm, or you can roll it up to make a temporary pillow. It can be cut into strips for first aid or to help build an emergency shelter.
Should you use camping blankets instead of sleeping bags?
Sleeping bags are perfect for keeping you warm in cold temperatures, but they are not the best option for temperate areas. Sleeping bags are very restrictive and can be pretty limited in use. A camping blanket can be an excellent alternative to traditional sleeping bags.
A blanket with sheets can be a great choice when you are camping with your family and sleeping on an air mattress or in that pop-up camper. Many first-time campers and a few experienced campers love camping with blankets instead of the traditional sleeping bags.
The trick is choosing the correct blanket if you have decided against using the sleeping bag. When you choose a camping blanket, look for the insulation, the material, the weight, and, most importantly, the temperature ratings of the blanket. If you have plans to camp in areas that experience low temperatures, you should check the blanket’s temperature rating so that it able to keep you suitably warm.
Are fleece blankets good for camping?
In a word, yes.
The fleece blanket is handy as it keeps you warm and easy it is to store. Their most significant appeal is that they are soft and feel velvety when you touch them. Fleece is also more affordable than the other blankets, and since these blankets do not absorb more than 1% water, it does come in handy if it suddenly starts raining.
That soft and fuzzy feeling is fantastic to snuggle up with on a cooler night and kids often love the feel, down to the possible yarn trimmed edges. It is totally a texture thing – and it works.
Add in the fact that fleece blankets are fire-resistant? You can wrap yourself around in a fleece blanket and join the bonfire party without worrying about any untoward incident.
Given all these, fleece blankets are recommended for both individuals and camping families.
Are wool blankets good for camping?
Yes and no.
Wool blankets are great for camping as the wool helps keep you warm even when you are wet. Another important reason to use wool is that it is a natural product and not made from synthetic materials that can harm the environment. Don’t we love all things eco-friendly?
There are different types of wool blankets available today, such as sheep wool, lamb’s wool, and wool made from Merino Sheep and Cashmere Goat.
A few things to consider:
The fact that it is harder to keep clean – you can’t just pop it into the washer after a family camping trip.
If you are hot and sweaty, it is itchy. I still look back at the wool socks I was given when I first joined the Army Reserves and remember how my feet were miserable.
Bugs. You have to store wool blankets carefully in the off season as they are a delectable treat for moths, etc. Nothing sucks more than taking your blankets out in the spring, only to see a few new holes in them.
The Best Blankets for Camping
Now we will have a look at the five best blankets that will help you stay cozy in the camps. Horizon Hound Down Camping Blanket is down-filled, which makes it light, and easily packable. The Hound uses 20D ripstop nylon for its outer material, and the water-resistant finish on the blanket is the best part. This camping blanket is packable and weighs only 1lb. It is available for less than $70, which is a total steal.
The Oceas XL outdoor camping blanket is a 100% waterproof blanket. The blanket is made with premium quality materials that give you a lightweight and durable product. The highest quality material has been used to manufacture this blanket that ensures no leakage of water. There is a double coating on the exterior material that is perfect for any climate. It is suitable for as many as three adults.
The Snugpak Jungle Survival Blanket is an excellent alternative to a traditional blanket due to its windproof and water repellent properties. The blanket is exceptionally lightweight, too, as it weighs only 1.6lbs, making it perfect for carrying it around. The blanket’s size is more than adequate for a single person, and the material is excellent at providing warmth.
The Lightspeed Sundown Camping Blanket is a great blanket that comes in an attractive color. The material has a silk feel to it with 100% polyester on both sides. The blanket will keep you warm in the chilly weather, and it is light enough to carry it around in a backpack. The best part is that the blanket is easy to wash, and you can toss it right into the washing machine for a thorough wash.
The Woolly Mammoth Wool Camping Blanket is a real gem as it can withstand wind speeds up to 15 mph, and one can sleep decently with it. It is a little bit bigger when you compare it with others in the same price bracket. It is not at all itchy, and a pleasant smell comes out of it. Made from premium virgin Merino wool, the blanket is soft and warm.
Is there a blanket that you love that we overlooked? Let us know!
A Dollar Tree Camping Supplies list? With the aid of the global COVID-19 pandemic, camping is up over 800%. That means a lot of people are out there, trying to have fun with their families, and probably doing it on a shoestring budget.
Not everyone can drop $40,000 on an RV and take that fully loaded baby from site to site – some are in the world of pop-up campers or even tents! Camping supplies from big-name businesses can be expensive, and it makes it hard to get into camping.
Best Camping Supplies You Can Buy At The Dollar Store
Thankfully, you don’t always need to rely on expensive supplies to get what you need. Your local dollar store has tons of excellent camping supplies to make your next outdoor trip one you’ll never forget.
We put together a handy (and extensive) list of gems you can find at your local dollar store that takes the financial bite out of the cost of that family trip to commune with nature. I have found ALL items at my local Dollar Tree store – obviously, some vary with the season, but make a few trips to DIFFERENT stores as they all tend to get different inventory.
Keep in mind that the Dollar Tree takes coupons too! That will drop the price of some of these items dramatically if they are name-brand. See their coupon policy HERE.
Aluminum Foil and/or Aluminum Pans
One of the best parts of camping is cooking over that open fire! Sadly, most campground fire pits, if they HAVE a grate, it isn’t easy for roasting those hot dogs and who knows when it was cleaned last? My hubby says “it all burns off before you pop on the food” but eww — no!
This is where that aluminum foil is your hero: just put some of it over that grate an you are ready to mock-grill. My favorite use for foil? Foil camping meals! Yum!
The pans are perfect if you don’t have that dutch oven or cast-iron skillet yet – and great for everything from food on a stick to batches of campfire beans! Breakfast casseroles, over the fire egg bakes, even as a mock dutch oven – they are worth their weight in dollar store gold.
Community picnic table? Not sure who touched that electric panel last? Not sure about that door handle on the pit toilets? These wipes come in handy for any surface that you want to disinfect before you start handling it. Very COVID-19 smart!
Sometimes you find yourself unable to get a regular camp shower. Baby wipes to the rescue for that “fresher” feeling. If they are safe enough for a baby’s privates, they should be dainty enough to the most sensitive skin, yet able to handle a tough job.
While these character mitts are beyond adorable, they come in handy for that communal camp shower- easier than a washcloth as they are designed to drip-dry. Perfect to keep in your bathroom kit!
You really can’t go wrong with batteries for a buck. I keep a small box with AA, AAA, C, and D batteries on hand. That covers pretty much everything from that handheld electronic game to the telescoping flashlight/lantern. These should be at the top of your list of Dollar Tree camping supplies.
Battery-Operated Tea Lites
No fire hazard here- but you have the fire-like glow at night. These usually come in a 2-pack and are something we make sure all little people have handy. It gives them a sense of comfort to have a little light by their head – or readily available for the dark. The illusion of control is VERY important for them.
S’mores and any other food on a stick! Weenies, veggies, you name it – the set of skewers can be reused and do not catch fire as the wooden skewers do. People always seem to forget that they are supposed to soak the wooden ones for at least an hour in the water…
These are a must if you have kids! We use a mesh bag (see below under M) to keep them in as it is easier to shake the sand out of them before they go back into your gear.
For a buck, you can usually get a 5-7 piece set that has a bucket, shovel, fork, sifter, and few shapes – a pretty incredible deal that will keep littles entertained for hours.
Even if you don’t have a birthday to celebrate – these little gems are powerful camping tools! Rubbing it on a zipper will “lubricate” it and turn it into a little person friendly operation. They are flammable and help get that campfire started!
I have found the most amazing books at my Dollar Tree – for a buck! I would rather drop that in the lake than my Kindle. I try to take one book for every 4 days we are camping – for those mornings that I beat everyone awake and have a sunrise coffee moment.
As for the littles? I always had a busy box of sorts, filled with activities that were do-able for rainy days or when we had to wait for some strange thing – like to get our boat in the water. My Etsy store has a lot of printable worksheet sets for kids but your local dollar store also has coloring books and activity books! Don’t forget the colored pencils or markers (sorry but their crayons suck – get extras of those at back to school time for about a quarter).
There was that one trip that something happened and our water wasn’t potable through our camper. Bottled water saved the day for everything from drinking to whipping up that pancake mix! ALWAYS have some on hand.
Bubbles and Butterfly Nets
These are fun things for the littles – bubbles are great to blow for them to try and catch or let them blow to their heart’s content. We usually follow the “no trace left behind” concept when camping and the nets are counter to that – although I don’t recall our kid EVER catching a butterfly – even when we were helping the DNR on a monarch hunt.
Honestly? These and the cupcake carriers suck for baked goods when looking at Dollar Tree camping supplies. They are too flimsy to support them but they ARE good for your paper items like plates, napkins, etc – and can keep your disposables dry as well as help keep them from blowing away.
It is a lot easier to open canned goods as not all have the pull tabs on top. Make sure you get the one that can open beer bottles too. Just sayin’…
Some of the Dollar Tree canned foods are cheaper than what you get at the grocery store! Around Thanksgiving? Canned yams and pumpkin pie filling – for a buck! $1.79+ at the grocery stores.
You need to know your prices here – but even some of their canned veggies are 2 for a dollar. I know you might not think of canned goods are Dollar Tree camping supplies, but many do.
If you hike or are a backpacker – these babies come in SUPER handy for so many things. Multipacks are in the hardware section and can be used to hold all of your mesh bags in a tree, keep your garbage out of critter reach, anchor your dog to your campsite, etc. You get the idea!
If you put anything on a clothesline, these help KEEP them there – from towels to swimsuits.
Entertaining the kiddos? They can decorate your campsite, you can make a hopscotch set, you can take one with you hiking to mark your trail if you are in an area without marked trails.
Soooo much more than just ketchup and mustard! We love these for making pancakes – you can easily control the batter going onto the griddle.
Dawn Dish Soap
So eco-friendly that it is used on wildlife when cleaning up after an oil spill. Even if you use paper plates and plastic utensils, chances are you will need to re-use pots and pans if you are doing a lot of cooking.
Dawn is an excellent de-greaser, should you get something on your clothes and need to pre-treat until you get home!
If you don’t want to bring an entire bottle of dish soap with you, the dollar store has these handy dish brush wands that let you fill their handles up with dish soap. It can’t get much easier to wash a dish than that!
These come in white and black – it is always a surprise as to what you will actually find. You need THREE for our dish washing station set up suggestion.
Extra-long and nice and thick. These are great to have on hand, just in case there is a “leash law” at your campsite.
Dog Poo Bags
4 bundles for a buck – that is the best price I have seen anywhere and let’s face it: poo pick up is just polite. Do it.
I HATE it when sand and dirt is tracked into our camper. Wipe off those feet before you come in or leave the shoes outside!
Dry Erase Board
Some campsites are so busy that everyone does their own thing. Who is at the pool? Who grabbed the Kayak? Who went to the camp store for donuts? Who took the pooch for a walk? For a buck, you can have a camp message center to make sure all people are accounted for and easily locatable in the event of an emergency.
Fix rips and tears, fix that air mattress, fix the pool floaties, fix the kite, even use it in your first aid kit for blisters!
Dustpan and Broom
We have a pop-up and it seems that there is ALWAYS sand or dirt finding their way inside. Occasionally we have potato chips fall under the table, etc. These two tools help keep things tidy – get a dust broom if that works better than a full-sized broom!
Always have backup headphones unless you want to hear your teen’s favorite music over and over and over and over…
4 pairs AND a container to hold them. Worth it. My husband snores … but you might have those campsite neighbors that stay up until 3 AM.
These flimsy organizers are perfect for holding all the important papers that go with your camper, like specs and insurance. They are slim enough to fit between your seat and center console so you always know where it is.
First Aid Supplies
First aid supplies are absolutely essential to have an abundance of on hand for any camping trip. Fortunately, putting together a first-aid kit can be incredibly cheap, especially at the dollar store. Hands down, it is one of the Best Dollar Tree camping supplies to stock up on!
Purchase a durable plastic container, and then begin filling it up with all of the supplies you may need. Bandages, disinfectant wipes, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointments are all great additions to your emergency medical kit.
You can also get smaller portions of many medications such as Ibuprofen, sinus, and allergy relief medications, and stomach relief medications such as Pepto-Bismol. These are perfect because they don’t take up a lot of space in your kit.
They even have a handy travel pack that includes cotton pads, cotton swabs, and cotton balls which are always a good idea to have in any first aid kit.
As a helpful tip for your medical kit, make sure you open it up and ensure that you have everything you need before you go on a trip. Additionally, make sure that the contents of your first-aid kit aren’t expired before your next trip.
OK, these suck for comfort but work well for shower shoes. You NEVER want to be barefoot in a communal shower – that was drilled into my head when I went through basic training 400 years ago.
It does get dark and if you have to visit the camp potty in the middle of the night? These come in handy!
These are easy to help keep your teeth tidy and avoid the string-like garbage. Your dentist will praise you and that minty taste will be refreshing.
I don’t really think these work well but it can give the kids something to do, lol.
Glow sticks are incredibly useful supplies to have while camping and are incredibly cheap at the dollar store. Glow sticks have all sorts of useful purposes, aside from being handy when you need a mobile light source.
You can also use glow sticks as jewelry, which in addition to being fun, also has practical safety benefits. If your kids are running around at night, use glow sticks to keep track of them in the dark.
Glow sticks are also great for camping activities such as games as they can distinguish teams during objective-based games. You can also turn them into rings for games such as frisbee or even horseshoe style games.
If you have anyone with longer hair – you should have extras of these handy. A multi-pack for a buck means when that ONE that was packed is lost or broken then you can easily manage those long locks.
Hand Soap and/or Hand Sanitizer
Depending on where you camp the bathrooms might not be stocked or well-stocked. Having your own on hand can keep ya’ll happy and healthy! Hand sanitizer is great for those hikers, backpackers, etc who might not have a lot of spare water.
I am talking about the mesh pop-up style here and these are great for any dirty clothes! They help keep the stink down as well as the humidity. Folding flat for storage between trips, these are priceless. This is one of those Dollar Tree camping supplies that can be hard to find.
Maybe you need these to keep food in the cooler to stay frosty and maybe you want these on hand for first aid – for any sprains or strains. Bottom line? They are reusable, and only a buck.
Inflatable Arm Bands for swimming
They don’t really help keep you afloat as a viable flotation device but give a sense of security to the littles. Get a few extra packs as they are a spring seasonal and vanish quickly.
Jar openers- grippers
If you bring any food items from a jar – this might come in handy. I can food and we often bring some of my homemade treats along. Once in a while, a band is a little rusty and sticks. These make it a breeze to open.
Again, a seasonal spring item, this can be a fun item to have for camping. They take up very little space until you assemble them.
This would be my husband’s all-time favorite of the Dollar Tree camping supplies. When you have a pop-up camper this comes in handy when setting the stabilizers and the crank. Especially if you are setting up on gravel – it really saves your knees!
It’s much easier and safer to start a bonfire with a long-stem lighter than a match. Lighters are also your friend for any camp stove and a great find for Dollar Tree camping supplies.
These are a great backup to that lighter – which can run out of fuel. Make sure they stay nice and dry in either a zippy bag or airtight container.
Mesh Laundry Bag
SOOOO many uses for this baby. We already mention beach toys. How about as a “dunk bag” for your dishes to let them air dry? Don’t have a pop up hamper? These work for clothes too. Maybe you need something to haul all of your stuff to the communal laundry? These are fantastic!
Munchies – potato chips, cookies, etc
Pringles $1.79 at the grocery store or a buck at Dollar Tree? Everything from scooter pies to nacho chips- they have you covered for at least half the price of the grocery store. Some are name brand and some aren’t – test things before you invest in a large inventory.
OK – these are good for keeping tech vertical if it is charging, holding napkins, or even keeping things like BBQ skewers organized in a drawer or tote.
Organizing Supplies – wire racks, baskets, bins, and more
Dollar Tree camping supplies? Seriously, they have 2 different aisles of stuff to help you corral any loose item you could possibly have. From bins to covered boxes – they have your solution.
Paper or Plastic Cups, Plates, and Bowls
It can be a hassle to wash dishes at some locations. Dollar Tree sells all colors of paper and plastic products in their party section or you can hit their paper goods section and buy in larger quantities.
They also have fun plastic cups! Do you want to drink out of a unicorn or have that whimsical plastic wine glass? There are even disposable champagne glasses – it depends on how much you want to party!
One campsite we go to has themed weeks and one time we might pick up grass skirts with coconut cups… or sombreros with plastic margarita glasses.
Paper Lunch Bags
We have talked about cooking breakfast in a bag before – but these come in handy for those beach shells, souvenirs, or even sack lunches for beach day or hiking. Toss them in the fire pit to help as kindling fodder when you are done with them.
You can use these in your first aid kits if you have larger bottles of meds at home and want to make a mini kit -or if you want to make a “spice bar” for cooking! Get the 7-day pack and you have 7 openings to fill for a nice variety.
Everything seems neater and tidier when grouped together in a basket. Color-code them by personand everyone knows where THEIR dtuff is.
We have these color-coded for the bathroom items. It is easy to take to the camp shower with you if you have your soap, shampoo, bath mitt, flip-flops all together and ready to go. Everything has its place and is portable.
The dollar store has great heavy-duty plastic cutlery that can be used more than once. This is handy to have on hand when you can’t wash dishes, don’t want to wash dishes, or plan to wash dishes and reuse them.
Plastic Food Containers
Keeping your food safe and away from bugs and animals can be a real pain while camping. However, your local dollar store just might have everything you need in terms of food storage for your next campout.
We have talked about meal prep before and even packing your cooler – these gems can help if you choose to pre-cut, pre-slice, and pre-dice things before you go.
There are containers in pretty much any size – so you are literally covered in any event.
Plastic Storage Bags
We kayak and like to keep things dry, like our phones. They are great for keeping sand out of things too! When our peanut was smaller, I used these to pack entire outfits for each day – taking the guesswork out of how to dress for the day.
Need a clothesline to dry wet swimsuits and towels? Need to tie down the kayak because support is shifting on your roof rack? Need to anchor a tarp or tent with high winds or a lot of rain? Need to bear-proof your food?
This rope is worth having on hand for so many uses – it is like duct tape! Granted it isn’t paracord, but it works in a pinch.
Polyester Pot & Pan Protectors, 3-ct. Packs
Somethings that you might keep in your camping kit shift during transport. If you take real pots and pans, they can kill each other fast if they are nested inside each other without these.
Versatile little suckers here for Dollar Tree camping supplies- first of all, cut into smaller sections and then slit down one side. You now have a knife protector. Stick your knife blade inside the pool noodle and it won’t hack other things up while in transport.
You can use them on the edge of a bucket to make a camp potty.
Slice them along one side and use them to cover tent lines to make them visible. It helps prevent tripping!
Ever grabbed a hot pan off of the campfire? You need one of these! Don’t bring your good ones from home – grab a pair for a buck and keep it in your camping kit.
Best. Price. Ever. And great to have on hand if you can’t store fresh milk. Add some of that bottled water and you are ready for everything from coffee to making mac n cheese.
You never realize how many times you need to clean a little something, fix something small, or add a little medication until you don’t pack these.
These take up a lot less space than full-sized raincoats and come in handy in the event of foul weather.
Rainy Day Games and Toys
Stuck in the camper or tent? That is where the “busy box” I mentioned comes in. Make these something different than what the kids normally have access to so it seems like a fresh task. Don’t forget to add our trash panda craft kit!
The average person farts over 25 times a day – multiply that by how many people are camping with you. Enough said.
Seasonings and Spices
My favorite Dollar Tree camping supplies bargains! Everything from cinnamon to the dehydrated minced onion. For a buck. Fill those mini pill containers and keep your camp kitchen well stocked.
These work for your camp shower or RV – but aren’t that handy to haul to the communal showers. Keep all those washing essentials together.
Want to cover a plate of food to keep the bugs out? Want something to wrap those muddy shoes in to keep dirt from tracking all over your camper? Shower caps to the rescue!
If you hike, these are great protein grabs and lightweight – great for that backpack!
Solar Stake Lights
Great to have around your tent stake lines or to light up the way to the potty. Make night time easier when you really aren’t all that awake.
If you looked at our how to wash dishes article – these make for great low water wash systems.
Two words – tick checks! Roll them on your clothes, or even Fido to see if any creepy crawly stick to it! As far as Dollar Tree Camping Supplies – this one might be at the top of the list if you are leery about Lyme’s disease.
If you can’t find pool noodles for marking your tent/tarp/yurt stakes then this may be your next best option. A roll goes a long way!
You don’t think about skin cancer until you get it. And who wants to spend most of their vacation dealing with a sunburn?
Did you know that this was invented to close battlefield wounds on soldiers? Keep it in your first aid kit for quick liquid sutures.
Chlorine in a campground pool can irritate the eyes and the stuff that may be in the lake? eesh – . Protect the peepers!
Tablecloth and Clamps
While most developed campgrounds have a picnic table on each site, they usually aren’t the cleanest or smoothest tables you’ve ever eaten from
Tablecloth clamps will keep your tablecloth from flapping around or being blown away altogether in the wind.
Most people think of extra rain protection, covering firewood, or using on the beach as a mat. We found 15 ways to use a tarp when camping – see it HERE.
Tissues, Paper Towels, and Toilet Paper
As I mentioned, campground bathrooms aren’t always stocked, so it’s always a good idea to bring some back up toilet paper just in case.
Dollar Tree TP is one-ply, making it great for camp pottys.
Paper towels are handier than napkins and can help as a firestarter for that fire pit.
If you leave a dollar hammer behind, you aren’t as upset as if it was your Craftsman hammer. Pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdriver – the Dollar Tree has them all.
First of all, they have pretty colors and even scented bags for your garbage. You want to keep it in a bag and be able to lift it into a tree to keep critters out of it.
If you are in a state park, you may have to haul out what you bring in – so keep it bagged up until you are ready to dump it.
Didn’t get those rain ponchos? These will work in a pinch. They also help keep you a little warmer when the temperature dips – keeping your body heat in closer.
If you have a severe wet streak – use them to bag up everything for the trip home – to keep your car cleaner.
Travel Toiletry Bottles
These are super convenient for packing shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, etc., but they can also be used for kitchen items like olive oil, ketchup, and other condiments.
They fit well into that plastic shower caddy and let you repackage your bigger items at home for a thrifty take on little consumables. It is almost two bucks for each individual mini item at Target!
Rain happens. Occasionally strong winds do too – and the umbrellas can blow out. A buck umbrella is easier to lose than a thirty dollar stadium-sized one.
Utensils for cooking
Would you prefer a mini size or full-sized? There are small sets or you can get quality ones for a buck each. I LOVE my handy dandy hamburger chopper! Pampered Chef sells it for $15 !!
Whisks, bamboo spoons, slotted spoons, tongs, and so much more to choose from!
Sometimes there are tasks you don’t really want to do but they have to get done – like dumping septic or greywater. Heck, I even wear these when washing dishes!
On a hot summer day, a water gun fight can be awesome. May I suggest getting a few super soakers and ganging up on Dad – but not letting him have anything bigger than a pea-shooter?
It is good to have a custom colored water bottle for everyone to reuse. It is more eco-friendly than 16 ounce water bottles and a great reminder to hydrate!
Do you need to call kids back to camp for a meal or maybe pack one for emergencies when your voice is going out? Cheaper by far than over a camping supply store! Test it out to make sure it works!
X – I got Nothing.
Y – I got Nothing.
Ziploc Style Bags
So many uses – from marinating meat for your skewer meal to hauling that homemade trail mix on your hike. Need to keep that phone or camera dry in the kayak? Bam! Covered! Use smaller ones to keep matches dry, hold items in your first aid kit, or even corral markers and colored pencils for the busy box.
Camping does not have to be nearly as expensive as it is made out to be. There is a lot of supplies you can get at the dollar store, and plenty of items that can be used for camping. With these tips under your belt, your entire family can have the ultimate thrifty camping adventure for pennies on the dollar.
To talk about the best camping coffee pots, we really need to figure out what kind of coffee you plan to drink on your camping trip. It’s not like there is a Keruig camping coffee maker – even if they do have smaller models available now. The whole electricity component of it makes for a poor choice to pack with you, not to mention the added weight,
We have come a long way from the Cowboy Coffee days – those hearty men of the plains drank a simple mixture of hot water poured over grounds and then boiled on the campfire. They weren’t too picky as long as it was hot and strong.
Best Camping Coffee Pots For The Great Outdoors
Is cowboy coffee bitter?
With roughly 1/4 cup coffee grounds to every 1 quart warm water, you would be surprised at the end result. Skip any recipe that talks about adding raw egg or egg shells – just yuck! Kent Rollings says it well:
Cowboy coffee, when it is made right, is probably the smoothest coffee in the world. I have had so many folks come up to me and tell me they can’t drink coffee because it upsets their stomach or gives them acid reflux. But, when you boil coffee correctly, it takes the bitterness out and boils the acid out of the bean.
He should know – he’s been a chuck wagon cook for ranches over 20 years. But let’s face it: we don’t have that 20 years experience on our side.
So if you are like this camper that shared is thought on my Facebook group and need your daily cuppa joe? Let’s look at your options!
To me, coffee is essential for a successful camping trip and keeps the local bears and other campers safe.
this just cracked me up!
Instant Coffee or Coffee Bags For Camping
If you plan to use these for camping then you really don’t need any kind of camping coffee pot. All you need is your pan to boil some water. Take that hot water, pop it into your coffee mug, and add either the Instant coffee granules or a coffee bag.
Instant coffee granules are so freaking handy and light. Taster’s Choice won our favor for being super easy to pack and very light. After your cup of coffee has been enjoyed? You have very minimal clean up – just that single small coffee sleeve to pitch.
We also love that it is from 100% pure, responsibly sourced coffee beans. It’s fresh-tasting, consistent coffee without the hassle of roasting and grinding.
Coffee Bags are like Tea Bags, but they have coffee in them. This is ground coffee, not instant, so you will have some slightly messy garbage to dispose of after you have brewed your java. Again, lightweight and no special extra equipment needed. These by Folger’s won our favor:
How does a coffee pour-over device work? You are pouring hot water through coffee grounds in a filter. The water drains through the coffee and filter into a carafe or mug. Some people call this drip coffee or filter coffee.
Since we are talking camping and packing light is always optimal, we like this stainless steel single cup pour-over cone that has a built-in filter. You have no paper filters to remember, it is easy to wash out, and is less cumbersome of breakable than a carafe.
We also love their MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: Cafellissimo is committed to providing a superior pour-over coffee drinking experience. If you aren’t satisfied, contact us within (30) days and we’ll issue you a full refund.
How can you go wrong on that?
While you might not think of a French Press when you think of camping coffee pots, it actually comes in pretty handy if you have more than one caffeine addict in your group. You can make more than one cup’s worth of coffee at a time, and still only need to add hot water to your grounds.
Don’t grab just any French Press and pack it – many have glass and that could be a disaster. Look specifically for a CAMPING French Press and you will find something durable enough to take to the great outdoors.
This Stanley gem makes (4) 8 ounce cups of coffee in one shot and is made of stainless steel with a handle that folds flat against it for transport.
That is half the price of this baby – which also gets really high marks. It’s an insulated gem that not only allows you to make an amazing cup of Joe but you can also keep it hot for up to 4 hours to enjoy as you go It can keep cold drinks cold for up to 9 hours. But, it’s over sixty bucks. Again, it has that lifetime guarantee.
Now we get to the coffee percolator
I think this is a big enigma for a large portion of the younger audience. Campers LOVE this kind of camping coffee pots because, again, you don’t need electricity to use it. Note: percolators measure a cup of coffee in 5 oz. cup, instead of a typical 1 cup used in cooking. That makes a huge difference if you are planning on that 12 cup percolator to make 96 ounces of java and end up with only 60.
A coffee percolator consists of a pot with a small chamber at the bottom which is placed close to the heat source. A vertical tube leads from this chamber to the top of the percolator. Just below the upper end of this tube is a perforated chamber.
As the brew continually seeps through the grounds, the overall temperature of the liquid approaches boiling point, at which stage the “perking” action (the characteristic spurting sound the pot makes) stops, and the coffee is ready for drinking. In a manual percolator it is important to remove or reduce the heat at this point.
So, the design of the pot does all of the work for you. If you are thinking of the ol’ West Bend coffee percolators from church basement, think much smaller. We LOVE this enamelware version on Amazon – if nothing more than for the kitchy factor, it works fantastic.
This light weight gem by Colman is rust-resistant too!
Built from Glacier Stainless steel, this 1 Ibs 14.4 oz percolator is resistant to corrosion and will withstand ground impacts, and comes with a lifetime promise of quality. You are going to pay a little more for that steel, as you can see:
The Best Camping Coffee Pots For The Great Outdoors? I guess it all boils down to how serious are you about your coffee when you go camping? There are several different options to help keep you from caffeine withdrawal – you just have to pick your favorite. Whatever you choose to do, we know it will taste sweeter in one of our mugs:
How do you wash dishes while camping? Times have changed a lot since I was a Girl Scout and had my own set of dishes with a dunk bag! With the Leave No Trace principle that we are all working on, the last thing we really want to do is to dribble chemicals over our dishes and shake them around in a river, lake, or stream.
Not only is that harmful to the environment and local critters, but you are also risking illness yourself with potential water bacteria. Now, if you HAVE those dunk bags – hang on to them! We will show you how to still use them without hurting the environment or endangering yourself.
Easiest Way to Wash Dishes While Camping
What do you need?
First of all, a camping wash basin. Actually, three of them. Check out your local Dollar Store – I found just the perfect size – for a buck each. You will also need hot water, clean water for rinsing, biodegradable dish soap, and a Tablespoon of bleach.
Is Dawn dish soap safe to wash dishes while camping?
Yes. According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.
That being said, even biodegradable dish soaps can cause environmental problems if not disposed of properly. With camping up about 800% in 2020, there are a lot of people who could be damaging the river life. Water is precious to all life. Simple, easy-to-follow advice helps ensure that rivers, lakes, and oceans receive high levels of protection.
How to dispose of dishwater when camping
The Leave No Trace website gives you all the info on how to dump that greywater safely. Just a few simple steps and the knowledge of how far away to be from a water source will keep your campsite safe from both critters and illness.
How can I dry my dishes without a dish rack?
Unless you plan to bring EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink with you camping, this is good to know. Not everyone has the latest model RV so they are forced to pack a little bit lighter. For us? We have a pop-up so too much weight can be an issue.
You have a few options if you don’t want a collapsible dish rack. The dollar stores have dish drying mats. You need to make sure to take it in the house and wash / dry it between camping trips. Some trips find you in more humid conditions so your mat may not ever really dry during your trip.
If you suspect that mold has started to grow, pop it in a tub and add white vinegar or lemon juice to the water to act as a mold remover. as you scrub it, inspect it for mold and other remaining stains. Then just toss it into your washer with the rest of your laundry.
The other option is a lot easier, and takes less space up in your portable camp kitchen: dunk bags. After your dishes have been washed, they go in the dunk bags and are hung up to air dry!
The towels can pick up bacteria on peoples’ hands and on unclean dishes. When left wet, the towel becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and the next time you use it to dry dishes, it transfers the bacteria to your dishes.
I certainly don’t want to get sick while out in nature – do you? I mean, that is the reason most of us have been camping over the last year – to avoid getting sick by avoiding large crowds.
Can you use bleach to wash dishes?
A lot of people ask this and the answer: yes. It’s part of the 3-step process for safe cleaning of your kitchen ware. If you have ever worked in a restaurant that had a low temp dish machine or the machine was down for a bit, you have this ingrained in your head. You wash, rinse, then disinfect.
Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in micro-organisms and is therefore effective in killing bacteria, fungus and viruses. Household bleach works quickly and is widely available at a low cost – as I said, you can even find it at the local dollar store.
Your DIY camping dishwashing station
There is no need to get a fancy dishwashing station from a camping store or Amazon. Unless you really want to drop $140 or so, then feel free. I already mentioned what you need: 3 bins from the dollar store, some biodegradable dish soap, and a little bleach. If you choose to use Dawn, both that and bleach area available a the local dollar store too – for a whopping total of five bucks.
Here is the technique for properly washing dishes using three pans. The first pan contains hot, biodegradable soapy water; the second contains clean water for rinsing; and the third contains a sanitizing solution: one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
Start by scraping left-over food off the dishes into the trash. Then wash the dishes in the first pan, rinses them in the second, and places the dishes in dunk bags for the final, two-minute sterilizing rinse. The dunk bags are then hung by clothespins on the clothesline to air dry.
Another method to wash dishes without running water is dish washing wipes. The wipes work well for scrubbing and cleaning dishes but the dishes still need to be rinsed. A handy way to rinse the dishes is with a spray bottle filled with plain water.
We found dish washing wipes HERE. They also talk about using a weed sprayer on your dishes – but PLEASE make sure you use one that is ONLY for your camping needs. The last thing you want to do is to add harmful chemicals to your dishes that make your family sick. Ekk!
We also found this great video showing how to wash dishes with VERY little water:
That should have you covered with ideas for how to Wash Dishes While Camping. You don’t need expensive stations or fancy items! With a little planning and just five or six bucks at your local dollar store, you should be all set.
Camping Food Hacks? Let’s face it – food is almost as an important part of the camping experience as the location and tent. As long as you plan to enjoy nature instead of hunting out the local restaurants, we should have you covered in our camping cooking guide.
Camping Cuisine varies per person or family
The type of food that you eat while camping is totally dependent upon the type of storage you have for your food. If you have an RV, you can store and prepare meals that aren’t much different from home. But if you only have access to a cooler, a campfire, and maybe a grill, then everything is different. These Camping Food Hacks will try to help you cover all the bases.
OK, not a Camping Food Hacks, but important. Can you keep cold food cold and hot food hot? If not, then you may want to opt for safer raw food ingredients like salad and fruit, along with canned items.
One way to do it is to eat well the first night (something like steak and potatoes cooked over the fire), and then the latter days eat more canned food since food in a cooler will only last as long as you have ice. We did write about this before: How do You Keep Your Food Cold When Camping Without a Fridge?
Prep before You Go
HUGE on the lists of camping food hacks! However you decide to do it, always prep everything before you go. Get all the prep for each meal and snack out of the way because it’ll be a lot easier to pack and store this way. Plus, it’ll make fixing it a breeze. You don’t want to spend all your vacation cooking and cleaning, so make it easy for yourself.
How do you plan food for camping?
If you’ve been camping before, then you know how difficult it can be to make healthy eating choices when camping. The desire to just pull out hot dogs and nuke them in the microwave or roast them over the fire on a stick can be difficult to ignore.
However, just because you’re in the great outdoors doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice healthy eating choices for convenience. Here are a few tips on how you can still meal plan for a camping trip.
Camping Food Hacks: Breakfast Burritos
For those who love to start their day with a hot meal, then you can easily meal prep breakfast burritos before you leave for your camping trip. All you need to do is cook your ingredients like scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, and peppers.
Then you simply wrap them in a tortilla, add whatever ingredients you desire for further flavor, and then wrap the entire burrito in tin foil. These should be kept in a freezer or fridge until it’s time to cook them again. At breakfast time, simply throw them on the fire inside of their tin foil to heat it up.
You can even make pancakes while out camping! All you need to do at home is prepare the batter. You can either make it yourself from scratch or simply mix together the store version. Once the batter is prepared, you just have to store it in a plastic squeeze-bottle or even a plastic baggie. Once breakfast time arrives, you can just squeeze the batter onto a pan and cook the pancakes over the open fire.
It’s difficult to go wrong with chili. Not only is it a favorite meal for many but it also freezes quite well. That makes it the perfect choice for campers. You can easily cook the chili at home. Then store it in a container and freeze it until it’s time to cook. Again, cooking it can be easily done over the fire.
This is an easy recipe to cook in bulk. So, if your family doesn’t mind eating the same meal for a few days, then this could be all you need for your dinners. Bring along a few extra ingredients to top off your chili in order to make it fresh and exciting.
Foil Pack Meals are always easy! You can cook them over any heat source, they are self contained, and a complete meal in one easy to eat out of package.
I want to share one important tip if you are preparing for a camping trip: do not assemble the foil packs in advance. Things like potatoes don’t age well if you cut them a few days in advance, even if you freeze them.
You are better off bringing all the ingredients with you, having most veggies pre-cut, and then assembling the foil packs just before you grill. We have a great list for you to pick from here: 40 Great Hobo Packets for Camping.
Think about Where You’ll Be Cooking
Another thing to think about is where you’ll be cooking. If it’s a hike from your sleeping site due to the rules and regulations of the area, consider how you’ll tote everything there and back. This is where sandwiches and protein bars come in handy. If you are big into hiking, this would be a great video to check out:
Are you cooking on a camp stove? In your RV? Over a fire pit? Then you really can’t go wrong with Cast Iron Pans.
Why You Need a Cast Iron Skillet
If you are new to cooking or just looking to upgrade your cooking skills, the equipment you use is crucial. This includes getting some top-quality pans and definitely having at least one cast-iron skillet in your culinary arsenal. Here are some things to know about cast iron skillets and why you should start using them.
It is a Lifelong Investment
Cast iron skillets are unique in that they can last a lifetime or longer. They might cost a little more, but you are getting a pan that you should never have to replace. If you find one at a garage sale or antique sale, buy it!
If your grandmother passed a set down to you, definitely accept them. These will work just as well as when the cast iron skillet was new. In fact, there is really no reason to buy one new since you can probably find one secondhand and it will be amazing quality.
Your Food Will Taste Better
There is no doubt about it; food cooked in a cast-iron skillet just tastes better. This is a very high-quality type of pan where the more you cook on it, the more it gets seasoned.
When you do that, everything else that gets cooked in it gets those unique flavors, and it brings out the natural flavor of foods so much better. Try cooking fish or meat in your cast iron next time and see if you notice a difference in how it tastes.
They Are Naturally Non-Stick
When you “season” a cast-iron skillet properly, it becomes non-stick naturally, and therefore you don’t need to grease it or use oil spray before cooking something in it. When you are using less oil, not only do you not change the flavor of your meal, but you also keep it a little lighter. Nothing wrong with that!
It is Much More Versatile
There is a lot you can do with a cast-iron skillet, not just in what food you can cook in it, but where it can be used. They actually work great with any type of heat, even bringing it camping with you and cooking food right over a fire.
You can start cooking your meal on the stove, then transfer the cast-iron to the oven. It works great for desserts in addition to main dishes, veggies, and so much more. We actually have 25 Camping Cast Iron Skillet Recipes put together for you!
Why is this in our list of Camping Food Hacks? It IS important to know how to care for that awesome pan – here is a great video for the right way to clean it:
Probably the most important of all when looking at camping food hacks: When something can go wrong, it will. While a campsite might advertise that they have gas for gas grills, what if they’re out and there is no one to call? What if your camper fridge breaks? You don’t want to have to cancel your trip due to starvation. If you are wondering what is the best food to take camping?
Consider packing potatoes, bread, peanut butter, and canned items that are easy to cook and prepare regardless of the situation.
When looking at meals for camping, skewers can be your friend! The best part aboutCampfire Food on a Stickis that the food can be cut and bagged before the trip – even with the marinade, so all you would do at the campsite is pop them on skewers and toss them on your hot grill.
Keep It Light and Easy
No one wants to spend their vacation cooking and cleaning. If they did, they’d likely prefer to stay home to do that because it’s easier with all the conveniences.
It’s just a short time, so you don’t have to worry about perfect nutrition every day. An apple and a peanut butter sandwich taste delicious when you’re hungry from having fun. We keep it simple in this article as well as giving you an upgrade option: What Should Be In Every Camper’s Cooler.
Last, but not least, don’t forget the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. No camping trip is complete without s’mores. I love the s’more cones that Tasty has in this video:
Remember, it’s all about having fun and providing your family with an experience of togetherness that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
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