5 things you need to take camping

With cooler nights, less bugs and an amazing night sky, August is a great time to take the family camping. It’ll also help you forget about the anxiety that summer is almost over and the stress that’s around the corner in September (there’s already back to school sales appearing so it’s happening).

Whether you’ve already been camping multiple times this season or are just heading out for the first time, here are some things I highly recommend to bring along this year to help make your camping experience more enjoyable (even if you’re camping in a trailer or RV these will come in handy).

Battery-operated water dispenser

I find plastic water bottles to be a big waste and prefer to bring one big 18L water cooler jug when I go camping. One of these can fill all our reusable bottles multiple times during a trip and also be used for cleaning dishes and washing hands.

The problem with the 18L jugs though is that they’re so big we usually end up spilling and wasting a lot of water. I went on a mission to solve this problem and found the perfect solution – a battery-operated water dispenser pump!

This battery-operated water dispenser is charged via a USB cable and holds a charge for a very long time (we used it for days without any noticeable battery drain). There’s a long tube that goes into the jug and then the dispenser is attached to the opening on top. Press a button and it pumps out a stream of water faster than an actual water cooler at home.

Eco-friendly utensils and dishes

While on the topic of ditching plastic, plastic utensils and cups are a total nightmare for the environment. Obviously bringing along reusable dishes is ideal, but sometimes it’s more struggle than it’s worth to wash them if you’re camping totally off-grid.

Thankfully there are wooden, compostable utensils available as an alternative, like this box of 150 I found on Amazon that gives you 50 knives, 50 forks and 50 spoons.

Ball makes aluminum cups, which hold up much better than the standard plastic red cup. They are fully recyclable and they also keep drinks colder longer. While you can get these on Amazon, they are much cheaper at Party City or in Metro stores in Canada.

Portable battery-operated fan

Trying to comfortably sleep in a tent is difficult enough without it being hot and humid inside. A portable battery-operated fan is the perfect solution.

With four different speed settings, this portable battery-operated fan helps keep air circulating for many hours. It has a hook so you can conveniently hang it inside your tent or trailer in order to direct the airflow. It also has a light and can be used to charge your phone as well.

Thermacell mosquito repeller

I’ve been a Thermacell user for years and truly believe their products are the best at keeping mosquitoes and other annoying bugs away.

Although I’ve discovered a way to refill the Thermacell butane cartridges that their most popular units use, this year I upgraded to the backpacker mosquito repeller, which uses larger cans of propane. The benefit is that one large can will last about 300 hours (or 12 days if you’re running it around the clock).

You’ll still need to buy the repellant pads for it but there are ways to reuse them as well.

Portable battery

A portable battery, like the Bluetti EB70S, allows you to keep your devices charged, run lights on your campsite, and yes, even run small appliances like a waffle maker. It’s also great to have in case of emergencies. Pair it with one of their solar panels or expansion batteries to get the full off-grid experience.

Bluetti EB70S and 200W solar panel.
The Bluetti EB70S and 200W solar panel.

Share the things you take camping that make your life easier in the comments below.