COO for TodaysMama.com; Mom of 3, love walking, baking, beautiful paper and pretending to be organized.

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Family Camping – Outdoor Camping Gear

Do you take your family camping to “get away from it all?”  As in, getting away from email, cell phones, television and other technology?

Before you banish all technology, take a look at some sweet outdoor camping gear–both high- and low-tech–that will make your family camping trip even more awesome.

Geocaching – If your kids dream of being modern-day pirates, then Geocaching is for you.  Every little box on the map marks The Spot.  All you need is a map and a GPS device and you’ll have stories to share.

Star Gazing – Take an old-fashioned paper map, or bring along the Star Walk app and you’ll know every constellation in the sky.

Worried about taking an expensive GPS or smartphone on a camping trip?  Don’t forget to pack a Pelican. These slick containers are water resistant, dust proof and crush proof.  The new i1015 is just the right size for your device and even has a little ear bud connector so the case stays shut.

My dad has always carried his camera in a Pelican, well, at least since he dropped his “nice” camera in the Virgin River the first time we hiked The Narrows.

Water Gathering  – Speaking of water, have your kids ever filtered their own water?  I still remember the first time I drank the clear, 99.97% germ-free water pumped from a green, slimy puddle on the side of a trail. Wow.  Simple lesson – Water is precious.  Plus, pumping water is a great way to start a discussion on conservation.  I keep my 18-yr old MSR MiniWorks Water Filter in my car. You never know!

Cooking – Much of the time camping is spent cooking. Preparing a meal, cooking it, cleaning up and starting over again.  Now that I’m transitioning from a pure backpacking, “carry it with you” style to a car camping, “pack it with you” style, I’ve realized how many more cooking tools I can add to my list.

So long, WhisperLite! Bring on the Camp Chef Two-Burner Oven, the Heavy Duty Grill or a Coleman Propane Grill, all taunting me as I visited Costco last week.  How do I justify replacing the low-tech classics of hot dog sticks and tin foil (as in tin foil dinners)?  Our household stove vote is still being tallied. I am not afraid of influencing the vote by passing along your heart-felt praise or disdain on any of these stoves.

Remodeling any kitchen (outdoor or otherwise) typically includes adding something in stainless steel.  Why not add a new Igloo Cooler?

Have a 6th or 10th wedding anniversary coming up?  Great excuse to go with the traditional gifts of iron or aluminum, perhaps in the shape of a dutch oven?

I’m not sure if I love camping or shopping for camping gear more.  Technology is always changing, bringing ever cooler gadgets to the outdoors.  I have learned over the years that you don’t always need fancy gear to have fun.  But the right gear can turn a camping trip into a life-time memory.

Oh, here’s one more thing for the list – the kitchen sink!

What’s your favorite piece of camping gear?

More Posts

Family Camping – Are You Ready?

Family Camping: Meals

Outdoor Summer Fun

The kind folks at Pelican sent me a sweet pink case for review purposes. The stoves are still on my wish list, pending the vote results and your comments. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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Comments (3)

  1. Earlean Schlaffer 04/05/2013 at 1:26 pm

    If you want to combine your love of camping with your need for relaxation, try base camping. Base or car camping is a great way to enjoy some of the joys of camping without having to carry all your equipment with you. All you have to do is pack up your camping gear, find a scenic campsite, and enjoy the comforts of a home-away-from-home.-

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  2. shellyknight 06/04/2012 at 4:19 pm

    We still have the old-school dual burner Coleman stove. I’ve been considering an upgrade lately too. I love the idea of being able to bake while camping. The dutch ovens are a nice idea (we have one) but don’t use it very often because it also involves tending a campfire. We enjoy a campfire, but only at night, ideally after it gets dark.

  3. Shelly Knight 05/30/2012 at 8:44 am

    We have a kitchen sink too, and love it! So many of our friends are opting for RV’s now but I still love the tent. I love waking up next to the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces, listening to the wind in the trees. It’s so peaceful!