I kicked off this decade by going off the grid with my boys. Meyer and I (along with Bailey the Cockapoo, our little bundle of energy!) swam, snuggled, snacked, and camped our hearts out on trip after trip.
Connecting with nature inspired is one of the best ways to relax, rejuvenate, and remind me of what’s most important.
Wherever you live, I’d highly recommend packing your bags, turning off your phone, and simply breathing in some fresh air. However, while it sounds idyllic and laidback, there is definitely some preparation to be done before any camping trip. When you set off on your adventure, it’s crucial to have all of the basics.
Ready to disconnect and get back to nature? Here is what you need to make “roughing” it comfortable and cozy for even the most luxe-loving traveler.
Here is the ultimate campsite packing gear guide!
Kitchen + Cooking
While you are probably used to always having a backstock of food, it’s essential to ensure you don’t bring too little or too much when you are camping
Our Stovetop (1-2 people):
Our stuff is geared toward cooking for one to two people. Here’s what we use:
Stovetop Option 2 (3+ people):
If you tend to travel in a larger group, go for something a bit bigger:
Coal Cooking (For Any Amount of People):
- Cobb: We love this for a good old fashioned BBQ!
- Cobb Coal: Opt for the eco-friendly option that fits into a cobb
- Pizza Stone for Cobb: While Italian wood-fired pizza is good, this is my new fave.
- Cobb Cutting Board: Bamboo keeps things hygienic and you can use it as a serving board too.
More Cooking Items:
Every true coffee lover knows that most of us have a coffee prep method very near and dear to our hearts. You’ll have a few good quality options while you’re camping. And, luckily, the Jetboil will boil water super quickly so you don’t need a big pot, even if you’re brewing for a few people. Here are a few good options for brewing coffee:
Utensils and Dishware:
It’s all about durable and easy to transport supplies. The last thing you need is a trunk full of shattered plates! Here’s how to keep it simple:
Things can get messy quickly when you don’t have the right supplies. Here are a few camping-friendly essentials:
Here are a few basics you can use while camping, and really at any picnic:
The longer you are camping, the more you’ll want to bring. While roughing is already for one night, it’s essential to have some basics if you really want to settle in. If you plan to camp regularly, which I’d definitely recommend, it’s worth investing in good quality gear that’ll last a lifetime.
You’ll want at least one chair per person so plan accordingly. We always bring two front runner chairs because they’re small and easy to pack. We also have a big saucer chair that is incredibly cozy and perfect if you’re cuddling up with a dog or kids.
Recliner (Most Comfy):
- Zero Gravity (x2): SO comfortable!
- Saucer Chair: A must if you have dogs or kids cuddling on your laps.
Elevate the whole experience—literally! Having a few surfaces around the campsite makes it so much nicer. I like to keep a small multipurpose table by the chair and then a stainless steel table for cooking and eating.
Kitchen Shelf System
If you camp a lot, having a little kitchen on-the-go is incredibly useful. It’s far easier to find things when you can get them out of boxes, and you can create another surface for cooking.
While I love being outdoors, it’s annoying to feel like you’ve always got a layer of dust on you. Using an outdoor mat lets me walk around barefoot and stay relatively clean while keeping the whole space less dusty.
- RV Mat: This large mat is ideal for creating a more comfortable outdoor living space.
- Outdoor Rug: Take things to the next level with a gorgeous outdoor rug. Best of all, you can use this in the patio or yard year-round rather than store for camping only.
Storage and Organization
Storage is crucial for keeping things organized. If you camp regularly you can save yourself a lot of lost time by creating a place for everything.
Bath + Toiletry Essentials
Of course, roughing it doesn’t have to mean doing without the bathroom basics. Here’s how I keep things hygienic.
- Biodegradable Wipes: Wipes are worth their weight in gold when you camp. To reduce waste, eco-friendly is a must.
- Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Many campsites don’t supply their own tp so it’s best to pack some.
- Bath Towels: Having a little hanger hook on your camping towel makes drying a breeze. I especially love this one because they throw in a smaller towel you can use for your face or hands.
- Biodegradable Body Wash: Go eco-friendly to ensure you leave no trace in the campground. This stuff is especially good because it’s concentrated so you don’t need to bring much with you.
- LUSH Godiva Shampoo Bar: I LOVE Lush solids for travel of any kind. Not having to deal with the mess and weight of liquids is awesome, plus it’s another way to reduce plastic.
- LUSH Big Conditioner
Camp Lighting, Tent + Gadgets
Another essential piece of camping gear, you’ll want to have a few different lighting options to make it easy to get around.
- Hanging Fan: Traveling in literal hotspots, I’ve been out camping in 100+ degree weather and things can get seriously uncomfortable. To keep my cool, I hang this inside the tent at night then charge it daily with a solar panel.
Games + Entertainment
One of my fave things about camping is disconnecting. Ditch the screens and go for some old school fun with these.
Packing List and Meal Planning
After working up an appetite with fun and games, you’ll want a meal fit for an UNO queen. And there’s nothing better than making classic campfire comfort food then lingering over a long meal.
For me, it’s all about simple and healthy fixes. Here’s what I always bring with me along with a sample two-night menu.
These are the basics that I keep stored in my cub packs.
- Organic Hot Cocoa Powder
- Popcorn Kernels: Forget movie theatre popcorn! It’s all about the campfire popcorn.
- Condiments: Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Nutritional Yeast (for popcorn), Honey, Sugar, Maple Syrup, Chili Flakes, Hot Sauce
- Olive Oil for Cooking (only if you’ll have temp control)
- Vegetable Oil for Popcorn
- Truffle Oil for Popcorn and Eggs
- Ground Coffee (keep in an airtight container)
- Tea Bags
- 5.3-gallon Drinking Water: We always re-use the containers and refill locally. Generally, this is enough for two people drinking and cooking. BUT if you don’t have a water source at your campsite, consider bringing more for washing dishes.
- Rusks: These dry biscuits/ twice-baked breads are a popular type of South African biscotti. People are crazy for rusks in South Africa and I’ve definitely taken to them. While they’re technically perishable, they last almost forever.
- Almond Milk (for coffee + cooking)
- Butter—We go vegan with this
- Condiments: Mustard, Mayo (again vegan, which is handy because you can leave it out longer), Ketchup
- Hamburgers: Beyond Meat Burger Patties, Cheese (cheddar for me is the ultimate burger topper!), Pickles, Lettuce, Onion, Tomato, Buns Potato Chips
- Hot Dogs: Beyond Sausage—love their original brats, Onion for Grilling, Hot Dog Buns, Corn on the Cob for Grilling
- Pancakes: Vegan Pancake Mix, Blueberries, Fresh Fruit
- Pizzas: We buy pre-made refrigerated pizzas from our local store but you can bring all the ingredients and even bake from fresh dough with the COBB pizza stone, Salad for a Side Dish
- Egg Croissant Sandwich: Croissants, Eggs—Love scrambled with a little almond milk and salt & pepper, Mushrooms, Goat’s Milk Gouda, Spinach
- S’mores Stuff: Graham crackers, Organic Dark Chocolate—take your s’mores to the next level, Marshmallows
- Snacks: Trail Mix, Chips
- Sweets—Non-melting is best, of course
- Drinks: Soft drinks, Beer and Cider, Wine
And there you have it! That is my ultimate campsite packing gear guide.
What are you must-haves when it comes to camping? Or camping meals you love to make? Let me know in the comments below!