Next weekend, Mike and I will be trundling down to Utica, IL with a carful of camping equipment for a night under the stars (sort of). We’re camping near Matthiessen State Park, where we will be exploring during the day. I have not been camping in a very long time, but lucky for me, I’m dating a former boy scout. With Mike’s wilderness knowledge, my camping expert sister’s advice and all of our borrowed supplies, I think we will be just fine. The plan is to hike at Matthiessen during the day, check into our campsite in the late afternoon to set up, and spend the night cooking various items over the campfire. I have to say, I am very excited for this little weekend trip enjoying the great outdoors. Especially with all of the fun camping accessories that come with it. Here are the camping essentials I wouldn’t go without (*please note: this is not a professional camping adventure, just one bougie night in a tent):
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Iron – Our dinner will be happily cooked over the fire with these handy little sandwich irons and no grilled cheese will ever taste better. My parents have hauled these with us to every camping trip, so it’s kind of a tradition.
- Wine Tote + Glasses – In order for me to fall asleep without my brain hearing the tell-tale twig snapping that horror movies are made of, we will need to have wine in cute plastic glasses. I’ve been really into rosé lately, so that is what we will be bringing with us into the woods.
- Lantern – This is needed to light our way to and from the bathrooms and brighten up the tent after we put the fire out. This particular lantern is quite bright and clips to the top of our tent for maximum efficiency.
- French Press – The French press is a must-have for a couple of caffeine addicts our in the wilderness. It’s perfect for preparing our morning fix fireside. Add a couple of mugs and we’re good to go.
- Bug Repellent Candle – We’re bringing a couple of these beauties to keep the insects at bay while we sit by the fire. We purchased them at target for a couple of bucks each and I’m sure they will be invaluable after the sun goes down.
In addition to these camping essentials, we will also be bringing a pretty large tent (leftover from Mike’s Boy Scout days), sleeping bags, pillows, rain covers, tarps, food, water, and other basic woodsy supplies like sunscreen and bug spray. I am beyond excited to try my hand at camping again, especially since it was on my 26 in 26 list. Right now, it looks like it will be a little stormy next weekend, but I fully intend to power through. Feel free to share your favorite camping tips and tricks in the comments!
What are your must-have camping essentials?