Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ON TRAVEL ~ Don't Camp Without It...

Edition #41
Thirteen Things about THE BUMBLES -
and some of the things we've learned you shouldn't camp without...

1. Jumper Cables - When Andy used to travel a lot for work I drove up to see him one weekend up in northern Vermont to go camping. We listened to the Red Sox on the car radio all night because we forgot a radio. The battery died and we were thankful a campground employee came upon us in the morning with some jumper cables, which we had also forgotten.

2. Extra Batteries - We remembered to bring a radio with us on our recent trip but didn't buy the right amount of extra batteries. Andy was able to go find some since we weren't too far away from civilization. But you should always make sure you have the right size and amount for everything from the radio to flashlights to the camera.

3. A Deck of Cards - We've played lots of games with friends on camping trips over the years. There was a memorable game of Pictionary on one trip. But a deck of cards is small and easy to pack. It is also easy to forget. We must have 6 different decks at home and we left them all behind the last trip.

4. A Washtub for Dishes - Another thing we spaced on recently. This makes cleanup a heck of a lot easier, and a lot less wasteful of water. It is also a great container for packing things like cooking utensils, paper plates, paper towels, and trash bags.

5. An Air Mattress - Andy took me camping for the first time since I was a little girl and I wanted to prove how capable I was of having a good time roughing it. Boy was I annoyed when I realized everyone else had air mattresses and didn't think any less of their camping prowess because of them. Needless to say I bought Andy an air mattress for his birthday not long thereafter. We don't ever forget to bring it along!

6. A Shade Tent - This is a recent purchase for us, which we made to use during a BBQ to protect our guests from excessive heat or unexpected drizzles. While loading up the Jeep for vacation Andy questioned whether or not we should bring it along for camping. We decided to shove it in there and were soooo happy we did. We had a few evenings of downpours while hanging near the fire, listening to tunes and relaxing after a delicious dinner. Without the shade tent to keep us dry we would have been sitting on our air mattress in a cramped tent arguing over who forgot to pack the deck of cards.

7. Duct Tape - This is not something we could ever forget because Andy always has a roll handy. It's a good thing, because when we went to pitch our tent we realized one of the poles was busted and without that duct tape to repair the problem, we would have been sleeping under the stars.

8. Bug Spray - If we had needed to sleep under the stars, at least the bugs would have stayed away. I am a magnet for mosquitos and therefore stock Deep Woods Off the way most women treasure their perfume. We brought 3 cans of it on vacation and used it every evening. Otherwise, I truly wouldn't have been a very happy camper.

9. Toilet Paper - You never know. Sometimes you just have to pee in the woods. In such situations, having some TP makes it easier to handle. Don't ever assume the campground will have well stocked facilities, or that they will be nearby when you wake up in the middle of the night with a full bladder. TP is also good for blowing noses, cleaning smudged eyeglasses/sunglasses, and tending to minor flesh wounds.

10. Flashlights - Surprisingly, people forget about flashlights because they usually have a fire going or a lantern lit in the evening. But for those middle of the night pee breaks, you don't want to go bumbling through the woods looking for the right tree or bathroom. That's how you end up with those minor flesh wounds. So throw a flashlight next to the TP in your tent.

11. Extension Cord - Since the dead car battery fiasco, we are always on the lookout for campsites with outlets. Generally, RV's use them to plug in. But we reserved one for us and our little tent so we could have something to plug the radio into in the evenings while enjoying the fire. Then when we got there we realized the outlet was nowhere near the fire pit and we had forgotten an extension cord. We couldn't just crank up the tunes due to quiet hours. Thus the need for the above mentioned battery run.

12. Pot Holders - Open flames get wicked hot. Just propping your wet shoes against the pit is enough to melt them (Andy says from experience). So it is no fun anticipating that yummy meal and burning your hand trying to grab the pot of grub off of the cooking grill. Pot holders take up almost as little space as a deck of cards. And you can use them to cushion some of those more fragile items. I'm sure glad Chef Andy remembered to pack them!

13. Matches - We have never forgotten matches. Ever. It seems so common sense to bring a form of flame camping. But stranger things have happened. You surely could borrow some from a campsite neighbor, but you would feel really stupid begging for matches at a campsite. So just to be safe we thought we'd state the obvious here to save you the embarrassment later.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is not only encouraged, it is part of being a Thursday Thirteener! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Betty said...

Wow, great tips! You must have had a lot of memorable camping experiences! I use to go camping a lot with my father when I was younger, but while he still goes, I hardly ever go anymore. Maybe one day soon. =)

Adelle Laudan said...

Great tips! I love that Duct tape is on your list. haha
Happy T13!

chris said...

we should really try camping one day... :) its not very common here but something i would include on my list of things i want to do!

Americanising Desi said...

a shade tent and air mattress.. double check :D

Truly Trying Thursday

Sandy Nawrot said...

Not only do we bring jumper cables when we camp, we actually bought a thingy that has enough juice to actually jump your car. We drained our battery more times than I can count, in the middle of nowhere where there were no other cars! And another very important thing to bring, if you have ever had to break camp in the pouring rain...lots of garbage bags. We do love to camp though!

Brenda ND said...

Good post. I can see why all these items would be useful. Why is it even though we check our supplies--I always need the thing I've forgotten? I forgot bug spray when we went camping last. Oh well. Happy TT!

The Mocha Mom said...

Good list! Although we camp much differently, I agree with your list and my list is of 13 things I can't live without while camping. Come check it out:

Hazel said...

Great list for me :-) as I love camping although I haven't done any since 1996. Thanks for mentioning air mattress. I agree it's perfect for making camping a lot more comfortable and cozy.

Paige Tyler said...

I'm not into camping, but those sound like great tips!


My TT is at

Lin said...

Uh, you are missing LIQUOR on that list. Camping is always better with a little cocktail by the bonfire. Or in the tent after 5 days of straight rain. :) Take it from me, we've been tent campers for 45 years--and I'm 46.

kaye said...

great camping tips, only when we camp there is usually no electricity or hookups within a hundred mile radius, I don't think any extension cord is going to reach that far ;P We do take a generator. The worst thing we forgot was to fill the trailor with water. We had to make a water run and fill it up via plastic jugs and a funnel. Pretty tough. But we've only forgotten once.

About little bear and his passion for the Dolphins--he gets it from his father, and his older brother. They are die hard fans and their dream come true would be to go to a Dolphins game.

I know it's stupid for asking--but who do you cheer for? Me--I have only one team I follow, BYU Cougar football. I used to follow the Jazz but since John Stockton retired it just isn't the same.

Calico Crazy said...

Another good set of camping tips! I might just have to break down and go camping again.

Smittenly Written said...

This was should not go anywhere without Duct Tape. ;) Happy T13!!

kandyblossom said...

Great tips! My girls did a lot of camping with the girl scouts over the last few years so we have found out just how invaluable some of that stuff is.

Happy TT!

Catherine @ The Blonde Diaries said...

That is a great list. I see someone else mentioned the thing to jump your car yourself. I was going to recommend that too. Just remember to keep it charged. We have one but never remember to charge it. I need to change that habit before driving trips.