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If you follow me on social media, you have probably seen the pictures of my family’s recent camping adventure. I am NOT a fan of camping in any capacity, but our kids are getting older and we have never taken a family vacation. We decided it was time to suck it up and make some compromises, and booked us a couple of weekends in a camping cabin.
I knew that we would have to bring our own bedding and towels to the cabin, but beyond that I had no idea what to pack. The first trip I overpacked most things, and then forgot a few other essentials. The second trip I actually knew what to bring, but still forgot a few things! If you are a seasoned camper, this post may not be for you. But if you are a newbie like me and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg buy what you forgot when you get to your destination, let me share a few tips with you.
Clorox Wipes – Now, I am normally a fan of more natural cleaning products, but when one camps in a cabin, one needs to bring Clorox wipes. The cabins we stayed in were very clean, but it’s a cabin. I wiped down the table and kitchen area, as well as giving the refrigerator a little wipe before we put food in it. These also made it easy for us to clean up after ourselves.
Dish soap and hand soap – Our cabin had dishes and some pots and pans, which saved us from having to use paper plates. However, it also meant we had lots of dishes to do! Hand soap was something I didn’t think to bring, so we had to buy it ($$$$$) at the little convenience store on site.
Fire Pit Supplies – It was much cheaper for us to bring our own firewood, charcoal, and S’more fixings. If you are traveling across state lines you’ll want to check the regulations for bringing firewood. Some states ban out of state firewood because it can bring diseases to the trees.
A Fan – Our cabin had two window air conditioners, but they hadn’t been on prior to our arrival. In 100º heat it took a LONG time to cool the cabin down. A small fan is a must to bring along for those situations, and can also provide some white noise a night.
Camping chairs – Our cabin site had a picnic table, but camping chairs were really nice to sit on the deck in. Plus you can bring them with to watch your kids play or do various activities.
Space Saver Bags – We have two compact cars for our family of 5 + two dogs, so space saver bags are a must! We had to bring bedding, pillows, and towels for everyone and they easily fit in the back of my husband’s car in the space saver bags. I brought our hand held vacuum along to re-compress the bags, but some come with a hand pump for travel.
There are still a couple months of camping weather coming, so if you’ve been putting off a family getaway because of cost I encourage you to look into cabin camping. My kids absolutely loved it, and I wasn’t sleeping on the ground. That’s a win-win in my book!
This list is just a few tips I learned from our trips, but if you have any camping tips I’d love to hear them in the comments below!