My family and I have camped for several years. We never did the tent thing, as my husband said, “My wife will not go, if we don’t have air conditioning.” He was right that was my first requirement, living in Texas it gets really hot and sleeping in the great outdoors when the temperature at its coolest is 85 degrees is not my idea of a good time.
We looked at all types of recreational vehicles, pop-up campers, travel trailers and fifth-wheels. With our budget we decided it had to be a pop-up camper with air conditioning and room to sleep four. Once we had purchased our camper, we then began trying to figure out what else we would need. Neither my husband or I had camped when we were younger so this was all new to us. We were lucky enough to have some close friends that had been camping for years and they helped us out by telling us some things that would make our experience better.
If you do intend to camp in a pop-up camper here are a few suggestions of things that you will probably want to have, because I promise there will come a time when you wish you had them.
1. Flashlights are a must they are great for walking to the restrooms at night in the camp ground. Also, we have been caught out in storms and the power went out in our camper so they really are a great help then.
2. Lanterns are great for using in the camping area, when you sit outside at night and visit with your family or friends, it is a great source of light and fairly cheap to use. We always used the Coleman Lantern’s that use the small propane bottles. Each bottle of propane will last you quite a while. We always purchased about 4 at a time that way we always had a backup if one of the bottles didn’t work.
3. Lawn Chairs are great for sitting around the campfire at night or taking to the lake to sit on while you enjoy your favorite swimming hole. The plastic ones are great for taking out into the shallow water, so that you can be in the water while watching your children swim.
4. Bug Spray and Citronella Candles are also a must have for camping. The Citronella was great for putting on the picnic table to help deter bugs while you are eating. I am sure you all know why the Bug Spray.
5. A Camping First Aid Kit, these have all the things you could possibly think of needing if someone in your camp got hurt, stung by wasp, bees and even have emergency flares in their if you needed to draw attention to your camp for some reason. We purchased our Camping First Aid Kit at Walmart for about $12.99.
6. A Clothes Line and Clothes Pins are also something I always carried with me. You can buy some nylon rope that works great you can tie it around 2 trees and you have a ready made clothes line for your wet towels, swimsuits, etc.
7. A cheap table cloth is also great for putting over those picnic tables at the campground. You really never know what kind of shape the tables are in and a nice cover always makes you feel as if it is a little bit cleaner.
8. Extra fuses for your camper lights and air conditioner. We have been caught without these and have had them burn up and had to search all over the next day to find one to fit our camper.
9. Sunscreen for your family for those who will be out in the sun. This is a must have on a camping trip. We also always carried some kind of sunburn treatment with us, just in case we forgot to use the sunscreen as we should.
10. A radio is great to have along, so that you can keep up with the weather. In Texas we never knew when a storm would pop up, but with our radio we always had a way to listen to weather warnings.
11. Batteries for your flashlight, radio and anything else that may be battery operated. That way you are always prepared if you need some extras.
12. You also will always need towels, washcloths, soap, dishes, cooking utensils and plenty of trash bags.
These are just a few of the things you really need to start out your camping experience on a good note. We always found something else we needed and kept a list, so that the next time we would be sure and know what we needed and didn’t have. It is also great for adding thing that you have run out of on your camping trip, so that you can restock for the next trip.
My family spent many wonderful hours in our pop-up camper at some of the most beautiful State Parks that Texas has to offer. It is a great way to have a great time and enjoy nature with your family.
Decide what kind of camper or tent you want, pack up your things and go out and enjoy your state or our beautiful country.
Be Safe and Have Fun!