Healthy Camp Essentials

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Camping with the family is like anything else in life; the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes.  Our very first camp trip was sort of a disaster.  We forgot pretty much everything we needed from food to equipment.  We didn’t know what we were doing, and we still had a blast.  Before this list overwhelms the crap out of you, I want you to know that our family had very few of the healthy camp essentials on this list.  We borrowed a lot (and still borrow) from other generous families and have slowly accumulated enough of our own camp gear.  Find out who in your friend circle has camped before and see what items they’d be willing to lend you for your first trip.  Better yet invite them along!  Tip number four in our Healthy Camping with Kids; 5 Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier post, is to camp with friends!  Don’t forget to check garage sale sights and the REI tent sales for good deals!

Great Camping Essentials List from

For the second post in our Healthy Camp Series, we decided to put together a list of items {from the camper’s kitchen to healthy camping activities and much more} that have made camping enjoyable for our family.

Great Camping Essentials List from

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Healthy Camp Living:

The very first mistake Chris and I made on our camp purchases was buying a 4-person tent for our 4 person family.  Always, always, always buy at least one size bigger than the amount of people the tent claims to hold.  Our 4-person tent fit about Chris and our dog comfortably.  The rest of us slept on top of each other that trip.  When we tent camp now, we use the Coleman Elite® WeatherMaster® 6 Screened Tent for our family of four and we LOVE it.  It’s got a room divider for the kiddos and set up is very simple.  It’s tall enough so we can stand up inside of it, and there’s plenty of room for two queen-sized air mattresses, sleeping bags, and luggage.  Our little guys each have their own camp chairs that are convenient to pack and perfect for sitting around the camp fire.  Our newest camp purchase that I’m just giddy about is my anti-gravity camp chair.  We bought it last week and brought it inside our living room to, ya know, test it out.  It’s still sitting in our living room because it’s become my favorite piece of furniture of all time.  I will caution you with this purchase… you may never want to get out of the chair again.  For the rest of your life. 

Healthy Camp Living

Healthy Camp Kitchen:

Call me crazy, but cooking at the camp site is one of my favorite things to do!  One of my very first purchases was a dutch oven.  You can do everything from desserts to main courses to sides in this bad boy and the food tastes delicious!  I highly recommend bringing parchment paper along.  Putting a layer of parchment paper underneath the food will make clean up about 1,000 times easier.  Skewers are a MUST.  We always do hot dogs and brats for dinner our first night of camping because set-up is usually more time intensive and we want to have a quick, easy dinner before the sun goes down.  A camp stove really comes in handy for meals.  It feels almost like we’ve got the comforts of home when we bring our stove.  The possibilities for dinner options are really endless if you’ve got a stove.  If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll want a coffee maker.  Camping can get a little crazy, and there’s no need to go without your morning pick-me-up if you don’t have to.  We always bring disposable cutlery and paper products when we camp because with everything else going on, I like to keep things as simple as possible.  That being said, dishes are inevitable.  You’ll need some type of dishwasher basin and dish soap.  Most sites should have easily accessible water.  Stay tuned for some great healthy camp recipes that we’re looking forward to bringing you in our Healthy Camp Series!

Camp Kitchen

Healthy Camp Activities:

Great Camping Essentials List from

Hiking is one of my favorite parts about camping.  We always do at least one hike with our little ones.  We’ve carried both of our kiddos in our Deuter Child Carrier the past 3 years and we can’t say enough good things about it.  It’s got a great shader, it takes the pressure off of your back, and our kids have loved being in their “pack pack.”  Heck, I’d love a ride in there.  Now that our oldest is about to turn 5 we’re splurging on his first set of hiking shoes.  He’s always sure to find the most dangerous looking rock to climb and regular shoes don’t provide the traction that hiking shoes do.  I’ve had the same hiking waist pack for 3 years and I love it because it sits comfortably on my hips, it’s not too bulky, and allows me to carry enough water and first aid essentials for a decent hike.  Check out our last post, Healthy Camping with Kids; 5 Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier for a full list of first aid items you’ll need.  Finally the Junior Fishing Starter Set.  Our oldest son caught his first fish last year and it may have been the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  We love camping near the water and it’s always a bonus when we can catch dinner!
Healthy Camp Activities

 Healthy Camp Extras:

You can’t go camping without a good lantern and flash light.  Living in the city, I never realized what dark really is until I went camping.  You’ll need light for those late night bathroom breaks and my little guys just go crazy over their head lamps.  I’d be lying if I said that bugs didn’t totally freak me out.   Citronella candles are great to have on hand to keep the bugs away!  Last but not least, you’ll need a collapsible trash can.  You’ll be surprised how much trash you’ll accumulate while camping and you don’t want to have to walk to the dumpster every time you’ve got something to throw away.  Just be sure to empty it to the dumpster every night.  Every single time we’ve ever forgotten to take the trash to the dumpster at the end of the day, the animals have gotten into it and made a terrible mess.
Camp Extras
Did we miss any other camp essentials?  Are you headed on your first camping trip?  Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page!

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Did you catch the Healthy Camping with Kids post in our Healthy Camp Series?

Love these camp tips from, totally agree with number 4!

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  2. Camp is the most enthusiating thing which keeps you fresh. this will make you feel better. it is a good things for moms to enjoy some time outside home.