We recently returned from a 3 week family camping trip on the West coast. Our mode of transportation is a Subaru Outback wagon and we stay in state park yurts, National Forest cabins, and our four person REI Base Camp 4 tent. We learn many new things each year that will improve our next trip and I want to pass that information on to anyone who loves to camp. The knowledge and information works for many types of camping.
How To Keep Your Camp Lit At Night With LED Lanterns
This year we replaced our bell-weather Coleman white gas stove with a Coleman LED lantern. I was quite skeptical to say the least about using battery LED lights. After using it daily for 3 weeks, my skepticism has departed as I never had to change batteries. It has two power modes (high & low) and runs on the huge “D” size batteries that will set you back about $25 to fill the lantern. It will run over 60 hours on low power and 32 hours on high power.
But who is arguing when you don’t have to light the thing every evening and get burned in the process. I never had a mantle disintegrate either when I bumped the lantern. The Coleman LED lantern is approximately the same size as the white gas lantern. The downside to this thing is that it’s made of plastic. I don’t think it would even set off any Homeland Security check points at an airport. It’s probably going to last about 5 years before it breaks. Even with that being said, I will stick with it for the convenience.
4 Family Camping Cooking Items That Will Make Cooking Meals A Breeze
- Round Caste Iron Griddle
My wife found this amazing cast-iron griddle that we used for making outrageous dinner omelets and pan grilled T-bone steaks. This griddle is flat with a small lip that keeps the food from falling off the edges. We used it just about every day for grilling onions, vegetables, making pancakes, and re-heating our food. We could store it just about anywhere in our vehicle because of its low profile.
- 10 Quart Pressure Cooker
Many people do not know that when you cook at higher elevations, water boils at a lower temperature. Because of this phenomenon, food must be cooked longer unless you use a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is our secret weapon for making tasty soups and bean dishes superfast. When not in use, we store our loose plates, bowls, flatware, and travel coffee mugs.
- 2 Burner Coleman Dual Fuel Stove
I have been using Coleman products all my life and they have never failed me. While I’m very fond of the retro-green white-gas model, I prefer using the dual fuel model because I can safely use readily available unleaded gasoline. I have never owned a propane camp stove because I do not like lugging around disposable propane canisters that are not environmentally friendly. However, I must say that I’m often jealous of how quick a propane stove is up and running. With that said, we used our two burner Coleman stove for three straight weeks and burned less than 2 gallons of unleaded fuel. I would never trade it for a propane stove because I like the efficiency and availability of unleaded fuel.
- Stack-able Round Wash Basins
Because our family enjoys cooking and eating so much while traveling, we had to come up with a system for washing dishes fast and efficiently. We found that using three separate wash basins for cleaning our dirty camping dishes works amazingly well. We use one basin for rinsing the dishes, the second basin for washing with soapy water, and the third basin for the final rinse. They also come in very handy for washing fruits and transporting items into our car. We have also used them for sponge baths and washing our clothing.
We never stop learning how to improve our camping experience to make it more enjoyable for the next trip. While we like new and improved gadgets, we do not like to over pack with things that we do not need.