Our family of four recently returned from a 3 week camping trip in Northern California and Central Oregon. We have been going on an annual camping trip for the past 7 years and each year we learn something new that helps us for the following year. My wife keeps an accurate journal of our trip and makes a formal written blog article by the time that we reach home. During the trip we talk about improvements that will make our next trip even more fun.
Usually by the time that we arrive home, I have a list of items that I need upgraded or replaced for next year. I managed to puncture our air mattress again. This was the 3rd puncture in seven years. Next year, we will be going back to the bulkier but more dependable self inflating camping pads. Additionally, we had 2 electric air pumps that we will not have to bring next year. This year we also upgrade our camp kitchen with a caste iron griddle and a stainless steel water dispenser.
I fully embrace technology and have been so pleased to see battery LED lights become so inexpensive. I replaced my Coleman Dual Fuel lantern with a 170 lumen LED lantern powered by 8 rechargable "D" size batteries. We used it daily for 3 weeks without ever having to recharge the batteries. Even though it's not quite as bright as the white gas lantern, it's so convenient that I will include for our next camping trip.
4 Family Camping Cooking Essentials That Will Meals Easier And More Exciting
- Round Caste Iron Griddle. This year we brought along a small caste iron griddle pan that made amazing omelets. Our family agreed that we have never had this good of omelets in any restaurant. My wife had it seasoned before we left. Since it is not a deep frying pan, it easily stores just about anywhere because it's flat. We used it for making pancakes, grilling steaks and burgers, and sauteing onions and garlic.
- Pressure Cooker. A pressure cooker has been part of our family camping cook kit for as long as we have been camping. We use a 10 quart stainless pressure cooker that has 2 handles on the side making it a space saver. When not in use, we store bowls, flatware, and other loose kitchen items that are used frequently.
- 2 Burner Gas Camp Stove. While I am biased to the Coleman dual fuel stove, a standard propane stove or white gas stove will be just as useful for cooking up gourmet meals on the road. Why use only 1 burner when 2 burners will make your job so much easier? When we cook family meals, my wife always has 2 burners going. We often "fight" for the use of a vacant burner because I like to cook as much as she does. If it were not for cooking on the road, my lovely wife would probably stay home.
- Plastic Camp Wash Basins. If you cook as much as we do, then you will need several wash basins to make the job easier. We always take 3 large plastic basins and my wife is suggesting that we take 4. They are stack-able and do not take much room. Dishes need to be properly rinsed before washing. Most camp sites do not allow you to rinse at the faucet. Our solution is basins that can be filled and brought back to camp. Once the dishes are rinsed, we transfer them to a clean basin filled with water to be washed. After washing, they are transferred to rinse water and then to a drying basin. 3 basins just makes the job easier. We use them for rinsing fruits and vegetables, carrying items,and covering food to keep the flies away. We would never leave home without them.
Camping for our family is about having fun and growing together. Meal times are very special for us. I do a lot of the cooking, but leave most of the details to my wife because she enjoys it so much. I help the kids with washing dishes as this is a task that they don't enjoy. However, I have mentioned to them that in order to enjoy the fruits of my wife's labor, they need to help.