Friday, October 9, 2015

5 Items You NEED for Camping

As promised, I've got my second post up for this week. And here's the thing...since I'm on a camping kick lately, I'm going to share some of our camping secrets. I know, I know. Some of you are better campers than we are, but for those of you who don't backpack and who like to have a shower nearby, then folks--you're like me. So check this out!

Click on the photos for direct links for you to purchase each item for YOUR camping tote.

1 | Lantern
 Coleman makes a fabulous gas lantern. My dad had one while we were growing up and we couldn't wait to find our own lantern. I found one like this at a garage sale...for $5! This lantern on Amazon isn't that good of a deal, but this is a great one to have. If you're like us, you'll frequently get to your campsite after dark, so you'll need one of these bad boys.

2 | Coffee
If you've read this blog long, you'll realize how much we love our coffee. You could say it's one of our love languages. Even my post earlier this week talked about the horror of forgetting our coffee.
That being said, here's our sweet set-up for our camping coffee.

First, you need this sweet percolator. This particular one is from Amazon for only $12.00. I think we got ours from Walmart for $15.00?

But because we actually used the percolator system once and HATED it, we love our pour-over system. Thank you, Melitta, for the happiness! And for only $5.42, how can you go wrong?
But of course you can't forget the actual coffee! My favorite coffee of all time comes from The Coffee Company in Grand Forks, ND. Call Sarah on a Monday and if you buy one pound of coffee, you'll get the second pound 1/2 off! They'll even ship the beans/grounds for you.  
*No, I'm not being compensated for this plug*

3 | Cast Iron Skillet(s)

We have two that we bring with us every time. One is your standard, run-of-the-mill 12 inch cast iron skillet. Well seasoned.
Kyle has converted me to the cast iron skillet. Not only do we swear by them when we're camping, but we use them daily at home. We have the lovely 12 inch pictured above and we also have a 10 inch, more manageable one also. We always bring the 12in with us camping because it works well for everything. It easily handles 4 hamburger patties, many (8-10?) slices of bacon, a whole package of Brown-n-Serve sausage, or our favorite, a heavy duty breakfast skillet.

The second skillet we bring with us is by Le Creuset. They don't make the same skillets anymore, so we are grateful to have it. Kyle's uncle, David, selflessly loaned it to us last summer when we went camping on our summer road trip. Since we tend to be a little unprepared for our camping adventures, we left a skillet at home and Uncle David came to our rescue. He let us borrow one of his skillets and we love it. Here's a similar one by Le Creuset.

This is the current skillet/frying pan that you can buy on Le Creuset or on Williams Sonoma. What we love about this skillet/fry pan is that the handle is wooden so it's never hot to the touch. Okay...maybe never is the wrong word. It's only hot to the touch if you have the handle over the fire. It's the perfect size for one enormous pancake and since it's enameled, it's super easy to clean.
The enameled skillet we have looks like the one below.

Again. Love. Go get one for yourselves. You'll fall in love too. If not, you can come back and blame me.

4 | Coconut oil

Who doesn't love to cook with butter? If you're raising your hand, we can't be friends. Okay, I'm just kidding. But for real. We swear by butter. It's our favorite fat to cook with. Olive oil is good too. But what are the problems with butter & olive oil for camping?

Anyone? Anyone?


Okay, I'll tell you. The big problems with butter and olive oil are storage and transportation.

Butter needs to be refrigerated. And unless you're camping in the fall (like us), your butter will spoil and/or melt. Boo.

Olive oil? Have you ever tried to transport a bottle of olive oil? They're slippery little suckers. Uff-da. The seal on the oil tends to be weaker after it's opened and the bottle never stays clean. And if you're like us, your olive oil is in a bottle with a spout for cooking ease.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Well, what about coconut oil? That's like olive oil but just with coconuts." And I'd say, "You'd think so, wouldn't you?"

The thing about coconut oil is that it usually comes in a jar with a pretty decent lid and it is a solid until it reaches 76 degrees! Seriously, we always use coconut oil when camping. Sometimes the oil melts during the day, but if you have a cooler you can throw it in there. Or you can just leave it as a liquid because it tends to solidify through the night when the temps drop.

Plus, there seem to be some pretty good health benefits right now? Also, if you're like Kyle, you can put a little in your coffee too (and we all know that you'll have your coffee with).

5 | Pocket Knife

And last, but certainly not least--the handy dandy pocket knife. If you're Shawn Spencer you have a Swiss Army Knife and if you're Henry Spencer you have a larger Swiss Army Knife. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to drop what you're doing right now and go watch Psych from Season 1 Episode 1 through to the end.

But for real, we have found that pocket knives come in extremely handy when camping. They're handy for cooking, peeling branches for 'mallow roasters, cutting rope, opening packages, and really anything else you could ever need a knife for. 

Kyle has a SOG fixed blade that he loves and he bought me a Kershaw pocket knife that I love. *Links will be added as able* Seriously, check it out. 

And as much as you may doubt me, I'm serious about all of these items. They're super helpful and if you've got them, your camping trip is bound to be a success. Unless you happen to forget the tent. So, don't do that.

If you go camping and try any of these items, please let me know how it went. Did you like any of these items? Do you have anything to add to the list?

I'd love to hear from you!
You can find me here, here, and here.

And even though it was coincidental, I'm linking up with A.Liz Adventures for Five on Friday. Go say hi!

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