Whenever our family goes camping, there are a few essentials that we find necessary in order to enjoy the trip. While some of these could go without saying, the following may make your next camping trip more enjoyable.
Do not forget your tent. Even RV campers often find that a tent makes a great storage locker for extra gear. Often the kids will enjoy sleeping out in a tent giving mom and dad more room in the RV. Cabin style tents provide more headroom for campers that do dome style tents.
We also like to take plenty of plastic tarps. Before setting up our tent, we place a large tarp on the ground under where the tent will set. This keeps the moisture from the ground from seeping up through the tent floor and keeps our tent clean from pitch and pine needles for easy storage.
Tarps also make good quick emergency rain flies for tents that may leak during a cloudburst. We generally tie a tarp in place over our tent so that we are not taken by surprise.
During cooler weather tarps make great windbreaks for the picnic table. We use a canopy and tie the tarps to the support poles on three sides to make a very warm enclosure during early spring camping.
Often we will pay the extra two to four dollars per night in order to get a campsite with electrical hookups. This allows us to make travel much lighter. We will throw in an electric frying pan, hot plate and old electric percolator to meet all of our cooking needs without having to depend on a campfire or bring a bulky camp stove. Sometimes we will throw in a fan to run in the tent. It does wonders at keeping out the noise of the next-door neighbors when campsites seem to be built on top of each other.
The most important thing that we take on our camping trips is a good attitude. I find that if my wife and I have a good attitude that our kids always have fun. If one or the other of us start the trip off on the wrong foot, it can spoil the weekend for everyone. Whatever you do as you plan your camping trip, be sure that you pack a good attitude.