Whether you’re an experienced camper or just starting out, camping is the best way to get outdoors and enjoy nature with friends and family. However, if you’re not prepared, forgetting some necessary camping items can turn a fun time into a disaster. Here are the 10 camping essentials you must bring on your trip to ensure a good time.
It goes without saying that you have to have a tent to go camping. Sure you can be “adventurous” without one, but the rest of the family probably won’t be too excited the next time you want to head up to the mountains. Make sure to purchase a tent large enough for your group and their personal items. To help protect your tent, be sure to use a waterproofing solution on the seams of your tent.
A common mistake for new campers to make is bringing the wrong type of sleeping bag on their trip. Purchase a sleeping bag that is rated above the night time low temperature of your camp location. If you’re camping in the mountains in spring or fall, temperatures can dip below freezing so a mummy bag will keep you nice and toasty.
You may not be aware that most tents are water resistant, but not waterproof. Protect your tent from rain, by securing the tarp above the tent in a slightly sloping manner so the water will flow away from your tent. Bring at least two tarps with you as nothing can ruin your camping trip more than a wet sleeping bag. Tarps can also be used as an impromptu shelter or to cover your outdoor cooking area.
There is almost always wood for a fire near your campsite, but how do you start it? Having a reliable firestarter is without a doubt a camping necessity. Coffee Wick Fire Starters are the best way to start your camp fires, fire pits, and charcoal grills. Coffee Wick Fire Starters are a great option and made from recycled coffee grounds and soy wax. Soy wax is all natural, burns cleaner and longer than paraffin and makes starting a fire in your fire pit quick and easy.
You can’t build a fire without them so be sure to bring strike anywhere matches which are the best. Keep your matches stored in a plastic bag to prevent them from getting wet. If you expect inclement conditions, consider bringing waterproof matches.
First Aid Kit
There should already be a small first aid kit in your car or truck, but bringing a larger first aid kit is essential for camping. Keep in mind, the further away you are from civilization, the more comprehensive your kit should be. Consider stocking specialty items, such as a rattlesnake kit, if you are camping in unique terrain or conditions.
Pots, Pans and Cooking Utensils
Cooking outdoors is a great opportunity to create special memories. Don’t forget to bring the pots, pans and cooking utensils or you’ll have a hard time cooking on an open fire. Making flapjacks on a cast iron skillet or cooking baked potatoes on a camp fire can be a delightful time if everyone in the family is involved. Don’t forget to finish off your delicious meal with some s’mores from an open campfire.
Charcoal Grill / Stove and Fuel
If you’re not using the fire pit to cook, then a charcoal grill or Coleman stove is a camping essential. Don’t forget to bring extra charcoal briquettes or fuel or you might have to make a run to the nearest town to restock. Coffee Wick Fire Starters are a great way to start your charcoal grills too.
One of the first things people pack for camping is usually a flashlight. Flashlights are considered an essential item, not because people often forget to bring one, but that they only bring one without any extra batteries. You don’t want to be hundreds of miles away from home alone in the dark do you? Bring a flashlight for each member of your family along with extra batteries just in case.
One of the most frequently forgotten items is insect repellant. When camping near water, insect repellant is a must. It is also recommended to bring citronella candles and create a small smoky fire to drive pests away from your campsite.
While these are just the camping essentials, there are plenty of other items you can bring that will make your stay more enjoyable, such as chairs around the campfire, a cooler, extra clothing, kitchen supplies and trash bags. Before you start packing for your next camping trip, check your equipment to ensure everything is in good working condition. Make sure you have all of the important items and you will be prepared for a wonderful camping experience.
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How much firewood do you burn in your fireplace or wood stove? Do you ever think about the types of wood you are burning? There are many types of wood that burn better than others in your fireplace or wood stove, so Coffee Wick came up with a list of some of the best. Before we get into the list of the best firewood to burn, here are a few random facts about firewood.
Random Firewood Facts
How much is a cord of wood? A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, stacked. I have a Ford F-150 with an 8 foot bed and it took 2 truckloads to get approximately 1 cord of firewood
Is it best to season your firewood? Completely dried out firewood works best. The best way to tell if your firewood is still wet is if it smokes a lot while burning. The wood will sometimes bubble due to excess moisture still trapped inside the wood. The wood can also make a hissing noise while burning too.
Where do you get your firewood? Firewood can be bought, picked up on the side of the road after some tree work has been completed (ask the owner of the house if you can take it) or some people even buy permits or get permission from landowners or municipalities to cut down trees and haul it out on their own.
What is heat value? Heat value is how much heat the wood generates as compared to say heating oil. The higher the heat value, the better. Oak and maple have a very high heat value.
Tips for stacking and storing firewood. I like to stack my firewood on wood pallets. This keeps the firewood off of the ground so it doesn’t get wet and begin to rot. I usually cover my firewood with plastic tarps over the winter to keep the snow off. I only cover the top and leave the sides exposed to keep the airflow going. During the spring and summer time I take the plastic tarps off and let the wood breathe and season over the warm summer months. It usually takes a good year to have the wood fully seasoned.
Best Types of Firewood
Hardwoods are the best, burn the hottest and last the longest. Hardwoods are easy to get as most are readily available. Types of hardwoods are red and white oak, maple, yellow birch, ironwood, apple and hickory to name a few. Oak and maple wood are likely to be the most readily available (well it seems that way here in the northeast). Hardwoods need to be seasoned longer than other types of wood to make sure they are not wet. Trying to burn wet wood is no fun. Also, I have to say oak is one of the heaviest types of woods to load in the pickup right after the tree has been cut. Make sure you have help with you, especially if you are taking it home to split. Un-split wood is extremely heavy, especially oak!
Softwoods are still ok to burn however they will not last as long as the hardwoods mentioned above. I like to burn the softer type woods in the fire pit as I am not looking for a lot of heat throw in the spring or summer. Types of softwoods are any type of pine, cedar, redwood , hemlock and fir. These types of woods are also readily available. They will season faster, burn quicker and still let off enough heat to enjoy your fire.
I like to split my firewood the old fashion way. I use a railroad spike and a sledgehammer. They work great, separating the wood pretty easily. The best part is that it’s a great workout, plus it gets you out of the house to enjoy some fresh air.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it helps you decide which type of firewood best suites your needs. Now if you need something to light your firewood, our Coffee Kindling Fire Starters work extremely well. They are made with recycled coffee grounds and all natural soy wax, burns for 30 minutes and leaves no residue. Pick up a box today and try us out. As always, Light. Sit Back. Enjoy.
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We recently partnered with the awesome people at Mountain House to put some winter road trip essentials to the test and we are offering one lucky winner the chance to win it all - $1,800 worth of gear!!!
A family loaded up the fam into a camper van from GoCamp and they headed out to a snowy, open road. Gear from Orion Coolers, Teton Sports, Solo Stove, Coffee Wick and of course the project coordinator Mountain House! Now you can win all of this gear through our great Winter Road Trip Giveaway!!!
Your email address is all that's required for entry, but if you follow along on Facebook and Instagram you'll have the chance at earning additional entries. Last day to enter is Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Winner will be contacted by email on January 24, 2018. Good luck and safe travels!
Winter Road Trip Giveaway Prizes:
Mountain House - 14 Day Food Supply
GoCamp - 3 Day Camper Van Rental
Orion Coolers - 55 Cooler
Solo Stove - Bonfire Stove
Coffee Wick - Case of Fire Starters
Teton Sports - Canvas Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag + 2 ComfortLite Organic Cotton Pillows
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