A look into my camping trip!
One of my goals for the summer was to really enjoy Bend, Oregon. There is so much to do there and camping is definitely up at the top of the list. The weekend after my 26th birthday was 95˚F in Bend, so Nick and I took to the mountains! After scouring two campgrounds for empty sites, we finally found the perfect spot at Crane Prairie.
Here is a list of the key things we brought for an overnight car camping trip!
- Tent Since Nick and I plan on doing most of our camping in the summertime, we invested in a supper lightweight tent from TarpTent. We got the MoTent, which weights just 34 ounces and sleeps two with plenty of room. It is very minimal and uses your trekking poles as a support system!
- Sleeping Pads We loved the lightweight and ease of “assembly” (you give it about 6 big breaths) of the REI AirRail Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads. Also, don’t forget a pillow!
- Sleeping Bags I opted for the Marmot Angle Fire sleeping bag and would recommend it! Those down feathers are light and toasty (but not a fan of the potential animal cruelty!)
- Hammock My brother got me an ENO DoubleNest hammock that has LED lights built into it. Perfect for swinging in and look up at the stars, and for providing a little light. We also got a mosquito net to go with it.
These LuminAID lights are the best. They are solar charged, collapsible, come with five brightness settings, and can charge any USB-connected device. Nick thought they were so worth the $50, we got two. Plus, the company does a one-for-one donation model to kids in need. Note: They do attract bugs, so keep them at a distance from yourself.
- Cooler Nothing like a cool beer while cooking over an open fire. Our Bison is made in the USA, lightweight, and doubles nicely as a table! Just be sure to keep it in your car at night.
- Cast Iron Comal As a comal is lighter than a cast iron skillet, it is perfect for car camping. We cooked eggs and yak burgers on ours, but this would also be great for pancakes (just pre-make the batter and store in a mason jar). I found this one for free on Facebook Marketplace.
- Jet Boil
Ah, this thing is amazing and well worth the money for camping/backpacking of any kind. We used it to cook steel-cut oatmeal and make some delicious coffee from Alpine.
- Car Canopy and Paddle Board Nothing like staying cool in the shade or hitting the water for a lazy paddle. The canopy is from CVT here in Bend, and the paddle board is VESL. The canopy is a little more glamping than camping, but it was still nice.
- Soap and Brush If you are trying to keep your plates clean, bring along some Dr. Bronner’s. Perfect for washing your face, hands, and dishes. Also, try to find a spot near a water spigot if your campsite has one, but know the convenient location does bring along higher foot traffic.
- Other odds and ends We also brought along toilet paper, chairs, flashlights, first aid kits, coconut oil (to grease the comal with and use as moisturizer if needed) jumper cables, a blanket, books, a speaker, snacks, and plenty of water.
- Trail Mix Oatmeal –
I love my trail mix oatmeal in the mornings, and camping is no exception to that. Jazz up your oatmeals by mixing oats with cinnamon, ginger powder, turmeric, and black pepper and place into a ziplock baggie before heading out to camp. Bring along some trail mix and a peanut butter packet for a great morning treat.
- Lavender We read that lavender is a natural mosquito repellant. We had been to a lavender festival the weekend prior in Boise, ID, so we brought our bunch along. We also brought along some lavender essential oil we had at home. It wasn’t perfect, but it did help keep the mosquitoes at bay and it added an amazing scent to our site!
It was a great trip and Nick and I had a blast cooking around the campfire. If it is summer where you are, I recommend you find yourself your own plot of nature and enjoy it, if only for the day!
What are your car camping essentials? Let us know below.