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Summer is ideal for loading up the car and heading out on a camping adventure, surrounded by nature’s beauty and basking in the warm sunshine. However, to have a smooth and enjoyable experience, it’s important to be well-prepared and equipped with the right knowledge and equipment.
In this article, we’ll share six essential campsite tips for the ultimate summer camping trip. From investing in the right gear to packing enough food to choosing the perfect campsite, we’ll cover all the key aspects that will help make your summer camping adventures fun and successful for the whole family.
Whether you’re a seasoned camping vet or new to the outdoor scene, these tips are designed to allow you to make the most of your upcoming summer camping trips. With that in mind, keep reading to find out how to make this summer one to remember!
Table of Contents
- Campsite Tips: Give Yourself Extra Table Space
- Campsite Tips: Bring Reliable Power
- Campsite Tips: Invest in a Trailer
- Campsite Tips: Choose a Good Campground (And Know its Rules)
- Campsite Tips: Bring Extra Food and Drinks
- Campsite Tips: Pack Cozy Camping Clothes
- Campsite Tips: Embrace the Great Outdoors
- More Beginner Camping Tips
Campsite Tips: Give Yourself Extra Table Space
One of the most common mistakes new campers make is having insufficient table space to get things done. Whether you want to prepare food, pack your bags, play games, work on the computer, etc., bringing a portable, functional, and versatile table is the best way to avoid being one of those people.
The solution we recommend is the Tailgater Tire Table. It’s an innovative table that attaches directly to your vehicle’s tire and is ridiculously easy to set up and take down. Moreover, no tools are required during the installation or removal process, and once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it in seconds!
Durability is another strength of the Tailgater Tire Table. It’s built out of high-grade aluminum that is both strong and lightweight. An exterior powder coating also provides extra protection from the elements (rain, snow, dust, dirt, etc.), makes it rust-resistant, and increases the table’s lifespan.
Lastly, the table comes in two sizes, allowing you to select the best fit for your needs and budget. The standard-sized table measures 29” x 23” x 1.5” and has a load capacity of 50 lbs. On the other hand, the large table is 33.5” x 28” x 1.5” and can safely support up to 75 lbs.
Check out our Tailgater Tire Table Review to learn more about its key features, specs, and pros/cons.
Campsite Tips: Bring Reliable Power
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was at Overland West with my son (shown above), enjoying the expo and testing out some new gear. Specifically, I was doing my first field test of the Inergy FLEX 1500 Power Station.
As you can see in the image above, the FLEX 1500 Power Station sits atop the Tailgater Tire Table for easy access without taking up a ton of space. That’s one of this unit’s best features – it only weighs 29 pounds and is just 14″ x 8″ x 8.9″ – so you get loads of power options in a small package. That’s exactly what you want in a portable power station!
The front of the unit has all sorts of goodies for powering all sorts of gadgets. You get six 110-120V AC outlets, two 60W USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and two 5.5mm x 2.5mm DC outputs. There are even two 15A cigarette lighter ports with 13.8V regulated DC output. There’s even a built-in 1,500-watt pure sine wave inverter.
You can also see that on the front is an LCD display that gives you updates on the power station’s performance as well as a FLEX Battery LCD display so you can check in on how the batteries are doing.
Speaking of the batteries, I have two 1,000-watt FLEX Batteries as part of the Inergy kit I’m testing. You can run these batteries in series or parallel, and you can stack up to five batteries for more power. While you’re at it, you can connect multiple stacks of batteries (up to 96 total batteries) if you need a lot of power.
Having this option is a game-changer for overlanding enthusiasts – if you’re like me and you only need minimal power, one or two batteries is more than enough. But if you need tons of juice, Inergy has your back!
On top of that, I’m currently testing two of Inergy’s 100-watt Ascent solar panels. What I like so far about these panels is their extreme portability. They fold in half, and when folded, they’re just 25.59″ x 19.88″ x 2.36″ (and 22 pounds). Having reliable power in the field doesn’t mean you have to lug around big, heavy equipment!
These panels also deploy quickly. They have a built-in kickstand so you can set them up to optimize power collection no matter where you are. Just plug them into the FLEX 1500 Power Station, and you’re ready to take advantage of the sun’s rays to power your devices.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve only had these products for a couple of weeks, so this is just a quick overview of what they bring to the table. So far, I’m extremely impressed with this Inergy system, to say the least. Stay tuned for detailed reviews on each of these items in the coming weeks and months!
Campsite Tips: Invest in a Trailer
Having a trailer along for your camping adventures is a game changer. Not only does a trailer offer additional storage space beyond what your vehicle has, but trailers like the SportsRig TrailStomper give you a ready-made platform for your rooftop tent. Not only does this mean you can set up your camp and then leave camp in your vehicle, if you choose, but it also means you don’t have to constantly remove the tent from your vehicle and remount it every time you want to go camping.
Instead, you can add the tent to your trailer, park the trailer in your driveway, garage, or storage unit, and have your vehicle free for day-to-day life. Nice!
Better still, trailers like the TrailStomper are so light and compact that you don’t have to buy a big ol’ truck to pull them. In fact, if you have a side-by-side, it’ll be able to pull the TrailStomper up and over difficult trails with ease. Now that’s the way to camp – far off-trail and away from civilization.
When you get to camp, you can unpack all the goodies your trailer carried for you. From food and water to fire-making gear and clothing, trailers like the TrailStomper can accommodate all the necessities. For example, the TrailStomper TS Pro has two side boxes, a tongue-mounted gear box, and a large aluminum Chuck Box with a 450-pound slide – all areas where you can keep your camping gear neatly organized and out of the way.
As noted earlier, having a trailer means you can leave it at camp while you explore the area around you. And since the TrailStomper is built for handling difficult off-road travels, you can get way off-grid to explore areas most people never see. Try that with a big bumper pull trailer – it won’t work!
The point is this – choosing a place to camp is only part of the battle. The other part is having gear that allows you to camp in far-flung areas without sacrificing the ability to bring the gear you need to be comfortable. With a solid trailer like the TrailStomper, that’s exactly what you can do!
Campsite Tips: Choose a Good Campground (And Know its Rules)
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One of the most important campsite tips is to find a campground that suits your needs and style – be that a dispersed site in the wilderness or an established campground. For example, some campgrounds are tent sites only, some are primitive sites with no amenities, and others you may have to hike in and out of. So make sure you research well before booking anything.
Speaking of booking a site, summer is by far the busiest season for camping. So, you should always make a reservation to secure a spot. National Parks are particularly popular and tend to be fully booked months in advance, so plan accordingly.
Also, every campground has different rules. There are pet-free places, quiet hours, and locations where fires are strictly prohibited. So, once again, read up on the rules of your specific campsite before leaving the house.
Campsite Tips: Bring Extra Food and Drinks
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Chances are you’ll spend your days exploring and being active, and therefore, will be hungrier and thirstier than usual. And the last thing you want at the end of a long day is to run out of food or drinks. Having said that, one of our top campsite tips is always bringing more food and drinks than you think you’ll need.
Food that won’t spoil, like nuts and dried fruit, are our go-to outdoor snacks. We also highly recommend bringing a cooler and ice for storing meat, dairy products, and beverages. As far as water is concerned, most sites will have a water source, but we always bring a water filter, too, just in case.
Campsite Tips: Pack Cozy Camping Clothes
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People like to think camping is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you are sleeping in a tent, RV, camper van, or cabin, having a cozy pair of clothes to wear around the campsite is one of the easiest ways to add comfort to your experience.
Even during the peak of summer, it can be cold in the evenings, depending on where you are camping. So, pack some warm pajamas, socks, and a beanie. Comfy campsite shoes like hiking sandals or Crocs are also game-changers.
Campsite Tips: Embrace the Great Outdoors
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In today’s busy, technology-heavy world, we know it can be difficult to completely disconnect from everyday life, but there’s no better place to do it than when camping. So, turn off your devices and connect with nature by hiking through the forest, taking a dip in a river, or simply listening to the sound of the wind.
When you take off on adventures away from camp, be sure you take the essentials – food, water, bug spray, first aid, and so forth. Carry these and other necessities in a comfortable bag like the Tough Traveler Super Padre Ergonomic Backpack shown below.
This bag has a cavernous main pocket for large items, two pockets on the front for smaller items like sunscreen and bug spray, and two mesh side pockets for your water bottles. The bag even has a zippered mesh bottom pocket for storing damp items like your swimsuit when you take a dip in the lake or river near camp.
The internal frame helps move the weight of the bag to your hips, making for a much more comfortable carrying experience, even when the bag is fully loaded. There are compression straps to keep the load from shifting, control straps to help manage the load distribution of the bag, and a sternum strap for added stabilization.
Moreover, the Super Padre bag has a padded waist belt and foam shoulder pads that soften the load as you hike. The height-adjustable back is a nice bonus that helps you customize the fit to your body.
On top of all that, Tough Traveler is a family-owned company based here in the U.S. That means you get a high-quality backpack made with the finest materials that will give you years and years of durable performance. That’s just what you want when you invest in gear!
More Beginner Camping Tips
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Now that you know how to help create the ultimate summer camping trip, it’s time to reserve a site at a campground, gather your camping gear, pack your bags, and embrace the beautiful outdoors! For more summer campsite tips and tricks, check out the list below:
- Always test new gear at home before camping.
- Bring the essentials but try to avoid overpacking.
- Clean up your campsite and never bring food into your tent.
- Find ways to stay cool (swimming, shade, fan, portable A/C, cold drinks, etc.).
- Have fun!