Continued stories about campingClick on links in the blog for related products!I have been tent camping many different ways. These trips range from simple to elaborate. Themost simplewas when I carried a small one person pop up tent that I could set up in about 32seconds, a sleeping bag, an air mattress, and my fly pole on the back of my Harley. wasn’tall that tough because I had friends to meet that were bringing the other necessities. That trip wasonly for the weekend. It was not difficult but was one of the best camping trips because it wasvery simple.

I have been tent camping at least once every year for the last 30 years. The last 15 years have been trips of a week or two and every time we go camping we think of other things that we wish we had brought along. One of the first things to consider is where you’re going to go camping. Over the years, it has become much more difficult to make reservations in a campground you want and even the campsite you want. Some campgrounds have campsites that cannot be reserved and you’re able to drive in and pick a spot you want that is open. It is necessary to start in January to make reservations for that perfect spot. If you wait until June to make reservations for the summer you will need to be flexible on what days you would like to go.

The second thing to consider is the food that you will need. After an enjoyable time of setting up camp our first night of camping became a tradition to grill some good steaks on the campfire and put some foil wrapped bakers in the coals. We learned to bring fire starters instead of making sure we had plenty of paper and cardboard to light a fire, which was a much better idea and a lot easier.  Be sure to check local laws about campfires because now late in the summer most places will have a ban on campfires.

On many camping trips we figured that we would catch and eat trout a few times by walking around the lake and fishing from shore during the trip but that doesn’t always work out so we would eat ramen noodles a few times as a backup. Our solution was to start bringing a boat to find the good spots and then figure out what the fish were biting on and once we did that we ate so much fish that we didn’t eat fish for the rest of the year and took home a lot of the food that we had brought. It is a good idea to bring an extra jar of mayonnaise and pickle relish so you can make up your own tartar sauce.

Many years ago we only brought a couple of ice chests but as we extended the length of our camping trip to a week or two it turned out to be about seven ice chests. A good investment for lengthy trips is an ice chest that will hold ice longer than most less expensive ice chests.

Many campgrounds will have a small store where you can get snacks, bait, and ice but you might still want to know how far away the closest town is to resupply some of the necessities.  We would make the 50 mi round trip to town to get ice and cold beverages once or twice during a two-week trip.

The next thing to consider is that not many campgrounds have enough shade trees. We found it necessary to bring a portable awning. After a couple of shadeless trips we started bringing two of them to make sure we had plenty of shade.  They are also good to put over the tent in a rainstorm. For that same reason we always brought along three or four tarps, but most of the time we used them around the awnings to help block the wind when we were trying to cook on the camp stove. It is a very good idea to bring along a big spool of paracord or thin rope for tying down the awnings or stringing up the tarps.

We also had to figure out how many small bottles of propane we needed for the stove and lanterns. We would take about eight bottles of propane just in case. One very important necessity is potable water. If the campground doesn’t have water available then calculating how much water you need for cooking, cleaning, and drinking is not an easy task. We have been lucky enough to find campsites in a campground that does have water but we always take several water jugs just in case.

Over the years we started taking so much stuff that it took a completely full small utility trailer, the back of the pickup completely full, another pickup to pull the boat and more stuff in the boat. We built the campsite up so much that we started calling it “Shangri-La”.

One of the nice things to consider is what you will do with your evenings. Sitting by the fire staring into the flames is a relaxing and comfortable way to spend your evening.

Many nights my friend and I would sit by the lantern and play cribbage. A few times loud noises would come from our campsite in the middle of the night when the other guy got 16 points in his hand and 10 more in the crib .

One of the worst things about going camping is the last day. I don’t ever want to leave on the last day and we still have to pack up all the stuff that we brought and get it in the truck. We found that waiting until the day you have to leave is a lot of work to get done by the time you have to check out. We got smarter and started loading everything we didn’t need the night before we had to check out. But it has always been a fun, relaxing, and memorable experience.