Top Camping Must Haves

December 19, 2010

What do KOA campers love about their outdoor adventures? Getting away from the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives, having a chance to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine and doing things a little out of the ordinary, like hanging out at the pool, jumping on huge pillows or just laughing with other campers.

But we’ve got to tell you that even with all of the terrific activities and amenities at their favorite campgrounds, our campers say that there are just some things they’re not going to leave at home. And it’s not just the basics, like your favorite people and pets, TP, a good book and a clean place to shower. Oh no, it goes a lot further than that.

1) Coffee:

  • According to our Facebook fans, the number one “can’t live without” is best summed up by Alyce Wonder: “Coffee baby, coffee!”
  • For some, it’s just the pot and their favorite grind; for others, like Karen McNamara, who carries her Keurig maker with her wherever she camps. “[I] don’t care what it weighs. I carry it back and forth every time.” And Jeanne Rock Qualkinbush understands that devotion. She carries her Bialetti espresso pot and an electric frother stick so she can, “…always have a latte, even at camp.”

2) Air Mattress:

  • Another gotta have? Our campers say it’s a great place to rest easy. “I cannot sleep comfortably on the ground, so an air mattress is a MUST,” says Robert Barry. Steve Roach, who has a two-foot-tall air mattress, couldn’t agree more, noting, “Bad backs need some comfort when it comes to tent camping!”

3) Gadgets:

  • Our most die-hard campers might shake their heads when we reveal what other folks said that they won’t leave at home. In a word: gadgets. Betty Wilcox says that camping has to come complete with a DVD player and video games for her son. “Sorry to the purists out there,” she says. “I need to buy an RV!” Eric Early agrees, saying that he has to have access to a TV, even if it might seem to be the opposite of camping. “At some point you’re going to want to sit down and be entertained,” he said.
  • Other electricity-needing gizmos include laptops, radios, hair dryers, curling irons and cooking equipment. “[I] gotta have my fan, electric skillet and George Foreman grill!” said Tammy Bish.

4) Camper on Wheels

  • And then there is the last group—the folks for whom “necessity” takes on a whole new meaning. Conceding that reduced gas mileage is a trade-off, Deb Roberts loves having a solid roof over her head—with all the amenities of home. “We upgraded to a truck camper several years ago, “ she says. “The added plus is that now we don’t have to pack anything but our clothes and food before heading out. We already have the kitchen sink!”
  • Camper Rebecca Lamey is also proud to travel in comfort, which includes air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, a shower and more. “I don’t camp,” she says, “I just drive around in a house on wheels.” Michelle Lewis, who recently purchased a travel trailer, agrees. “Spoiled, I guess–I like all the conveniences of home.”

Do you have more creature comforts you can’t live without? Of course we want to hear about them! Share your stories and comments with us below.