This summer saw us starting our camping journey as a family.
However having been an avid camper for many years before the boys were born and before I married Ollie I am thrilled that they have now discovered why I love adventures under canvas.
Earlier in the summer I shared with you a full essentials list to start off your camping journey, however with experience I have another 5 items I am going to share with you today that we have invested in above and beyond the basic kit needed and some of the items might just surprise you!
Coleman 50QT Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
It would be super easy to go with purchasing an electric fridge or cooler but instead we invested in this cooler from Coleman. It’s large enough to hold the basics for 4 for a long weekend and even held 2ltr bottles of water and pop!
Its wheeled and is super sturdy. It says it keeps cold for 5 days and I have no doubt it can as our long weekend was more than managed. If you do invest in something like this my advice would be to make sure you use ice blocks instead of normal ice as bags of ice will leak into your food.
So why go for a non electric option? Well, for us we were planning several more trips early next year but not having to have electric hook up gives us more flexibly on sites and locations.
Lidded Storage Box
OK maybe it’s the organiser in me but I have found standard lidded storage boxes a godsend. We have 2 of these. One contains all the kitchen essentials and the other stores the lights, blow up beds and other general camping kit bits.
So why do I like them? For starters they make storing the essentials a doddle when we get home, but also in the tent it gives me more flat space to lift stuff off the ground and a sealed space for storing fresh foods too! .. oh and did I mention transporting also falls in the easy category as we literally just load the 2 in and pack the tent and bedding on top and we know it’s all.
Collapsible Camping Essentials
Why not make your essentials collapsible? Well, first time round I never went down this route but I am kicking myself that I didn’t. This time we have a collapsible kitchen essentials like washing up bowl, colander and even water carrier and they are super for space-saving when packing up!
I love the range of collapsible kitchen items so much I am planning on buying more for next season.
For years we muddled through with a black bin liner tied to a guy rope outside that we took to the bin every night before turning in and then piling any bits of rubbish on the sides until starting a new bin liner each morning.
If I am honest however battling with a bin liner blowing in the breeze is not an easy way of going about things so investing in a camping bin has been a game changer!
Again collapsible and easy to stow but worth its weight
Hiplock Z Lok Reusable Cable Ties
My final choice might seem a little odd and that’s the point of this post. Finding things that work well for a multitude of situations is what camping essentials are all about. Z Lok reusable cable ties are something that ticked that box.
These beauties are ultra-convenient to stow in the camping box when not in use and great for all round the camp site. From securing kit on the roof rack or the bikes onto the bike rack we even used them at nights on the outside door zips. Obviously if someone wants in they are coming in, however knowing that the boys can’t just escape while we slept is a great peace of mind!
These come in double packs in several colours and are built with a metal core that would make cutting through difficult and with the added key it makes releasing quick and painless.
Do you have any unusual camping essentials that you can’t live without on site?
Disclaimer: We were sent the Z LOK for the purposes of this post all thoughts and uses mentioned for this product have been tested by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse. All thoughts and opinions were independently formed.