Camping was always a go to vacation for my mother and I when I was growing up. Homochitto National Forest was an hour and a half drive away from where I grew up, which meant we could leave after school on Friday and get to Clearsprings Campground before dark. Camping was where I was allowed to explore the woods, get wet in a creek, and cook over a fire.
But before you have fun, you have to be prepared. And for me, a Virgo Sun, Leo Moon, Capricorn Rising, that means being prepared AT ALL TIMES for a camping trip. Over the years I’ve accumulated the following in a simple plastic box I kept in the bottom of my closets until I moved into a house with a garage area.
- Coleman camp stove – bought from craigslist for $10 in 2015, still in great shape
- Basic kitchen supplies
- Cutting board
- Knife (they are all dull)
- Grill size cooking spoon, spatula and tongs
- Small skillet
- Kettle (bought from thrift store)
- Metal bowls (also thrifted)
- Coleman plastic 2 person dining set which has
- Mardi gras cups from years past
- Aluminium foil
- Basic cooking ingredients
- Olive oil
- Tony cacheres
- Red pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Trashbags, paper towels, and a couple of plastic walmart bags
- Duct tape and string
- Toilet paper and tampons
- Extension cord
- Flashlight and headlamp
Inspired by my mother – we went camping often when I was younger. She had 2 boxes, 1 which kept the tent, air mattress and air mattress pump and the other which had similar supplies as me. The tent/bed box was empty during our trips so we could keep food in it. My food box lid fell off the box on the way back from Colorado a few years ago and I never replaced it. Now I keep food in an ice chest in the car & keep small snacks in a little plastic shoebox in the tent.
I started my own box when my mother banned me from borrowing hers (I was 19, it was my first roadtrip, and I returned it in less than organized condition). Now I realize how hard it is to keep the box organized and clean. Sometimes you’re packing up camp in a hurry to beat weather, or you’re just exhausted and have to be out of the site by 10am or you’ll be charged for another night. I keep my camping box in mind when I get the urge to clean or organize my home.
This box has been super helpful, not just when I go camping. It’s good to have on hand if there’s severe weather (hurricane season), to bring on a beach trip (covers all the essentials), or if my friend shows up at my door and says “hey do you want to go to _insert place over 18 hours drive away_, we could leave right now?”
That last one doesn’t happen as often as it did when I was 19-22. But during those 3 years it really saved my butt.
Stay tuned for my “what I pack when I go camping” post that I’m sure is coming…some day.