With almost 3 months under our belt so far, I wanted to put together a list of what makes our lives so much easier when we’re camping. If you aren’t a camper, check out the list for dogs and beauty essentials which include some faves that we use even when we’re home.
For the Kitchen
✅Blackstone $140: This is just a fun thing to have in general that some people use at home, and maybe one of our favorite ways to cook. It’s a flattop griddle that is powered by mini propane tanks so you don’t have to use the ones for your RV or a fire. It’s easy to light, heats evenly, and cooks fast. You can cook anything and everything on it, and I’m sure if you follow camping accounts you’ve seen one before. I had a hard time finding it when we first got our RV last July since it’s so popular, I think it’s a requisite purchase once you start camping.
✅ Instant Pot $80: A friend told me when we got our RV that she always camped with an Instant Pot. We got one and are still learning how to use it, but for quick soups, rice, pasta, quinoa, or even hard boiled eggs, it cranks out food quick and easy without having to do any work at all. After a few hours of hiking, it’s nice to come back to food that’s warm and ready to eat.
✅ French press $27: We only travel with this stainless steel French Press which is a great way to get a fresh cup of coffee easily and without using gas or power. Just heat some water and pour it over your grounds, and in minutes you have a rich cup of coffee. It also gives a really fun, rustic feel to the whole camping experience.
✅ Retractable Skewers $17: We bought these retractable skewers long ago not knowing how much use they’d actually get. They fold up nicely and come with a sturdy pouch for storage. They’re a no brainer for S’mores.
To Make Life Easier
✅ Rug/Mat $53: I didn’t realize this until I saw friends camping on Instagram who explained its use, but you need an entry mat. It gives you a place to eat, sit, and take shoes on and off that’s dirt-free and when you’re camping that’s everything. It’s basically woven plastic which I sweep off to keep it reasonable clear when we’re out, then hose off when we’re home. We got the 9×12 which we sometimes fold up if space doesn’t allow, but we typically use the whole thing unfolded and put our table on top of it.
✅ Accordion Hanger $24: I hung command strip hooks by our front door, but I’m replacing them with this accordion hanger. With limited space, you have to maximize every single inch and this will give us more room to hang coats and hats for 5 people and 3 dog leashes. You can technically screw things into the walls, but they’re so thin (3/4″ plywood) and hard to patch, so I just use command strips to hang most everything.
✅ Stair Covers $14: Not sexy but essential, stair covers ensure those slippery stairs aren’t a hazard when climbing in and out of the camper. They make steps less slippery and can be easily swept or hosed off.
✅ Hand Soap Foamer $7 for 2: We put our hand and body soap into foamers which was so much easier. You use less water when rinsing it off which is always a win. It’s easier for showers as well so you can lather up without needing water, so you only need a quick rinse to wash it all away.
For the Dogs
✅ Dog Paw Washer $15: We don’t know how we ever lived without this paw wash that we now have in our home and RV. After walks we fill halfway with warm water and a squirt of hand soap, then just move their paws through the top of the washing cup. The soft silicone bristles that line the inside act like brushes in a car wash gently removing dirt from their paws leaving behind dirty brown water. This is key to keeping the inside of the RV clean which is an uphill battle anyway with 5 people and 3 dogs.
✅ Airtight Pet Food Storage $30: When we first started reading about mice getting into campers (can you imagine!!), I knew that we needed a good solution for storing dog food. This one is air-tight, pest proof, and compact enough to store under the bed.
✅ Stackable Dog Food Bowls: When we’re going from one site to another in a day, it’s nice to keep the dogs’ food in their bowls that they didn’t eat from breakfast to re-open once we’re at our destination for dinner (our dogs are grazers). I love how these bowls lock and stack which also cut down on crumb messes and are so easy to store.
✅ Quick Cleanse Water $10: I pack this cleansing water from MyChelle to remove SPF and dirt quickly if I’m not in the mood for a whole cleanse. It also removes makeup if I’m wearing any and it’s gentle around my eyes. It’s on sale FYI so it might mean they’re phasing it out 😩
✅ Tinted SPF $24: I think this was bottle #4 for me this last time I bought MyChelle’s Sun Shield. It’s an SPF 50 with 20% zinc that goes on like a serum, leaves a tint of color just to even it out a little, and works great to keep burns away.
✅ Think baby SPF 50: This is just our fave SPF period. We’ve used every major clean brand, honestly there isn’t one out there that I haven’t tried. This one absorbs easily and stays on really well with water and sweat. We all wear this every time they’re out and never get burned.
Research and Info
✅ Atlas RV FB Group: There isn’t any question that hasn’t been answered on this friendly and fun FB group. Even if you’re just thinking of getting started camping, it’s a great place to begin.
✅ RV Parky App: This app will help you plan our your route and offer reviews of site, public land, and quick stops along the way.
✅ Campendium: This is a site and app that’s so helpful for letting you know where there are parks, public land, free camping, and dump stations.
✅ Harvest Host: If you’re looking to camp off the beaten path, a $79 Harvest Host yearly membership gives you the info on breweries, vineyards, farms, and other private hosts where you can camp in unique settings for a typically minimal cost.