The only few times in my life I admit that I made mistakes, this week was one of them and I would love to pass on that advice to anyone who is willing to hear. Most likely I know any sensible person would already know that but here it goes “Do not set up your tent when it’s raining.”
I am glad that we invested on a tarp. Who knew out of all the days of summer the one day we reserved for camping is going to be full of pouring rain. Speaking of which I suggest reserving your campsite in advance. You can do it online and pay it online if you are going to a state park. We got a pretty good camping site. Very close to the restroom and shower but not so close that you see everyone going in and out. We had good privacy. For tent, we picked a 4 person tent. Seriously! When buying tent make sure to think of it as you are buying for double the amount of people. We had comfortable space for two people. I cannot imagine 4 people in there. I believe it’s called ozturk instant dome 4 person tent. I am quite happy with the purchase. The tent was super easy to set up. Less than 3 minutes. For sleeping we got a twin sized air bed mattress. Even though it says on tent packaging that a queen size mattress would fit. The tent door is very tiny for that. And there wouldn’t be any moving space at all. We made the mistakes of getting an electric pumped one. We ran and bought ac inverter to pump the mattress from car. We also didn’t try to pump it at home before using it. It’s advised that you pump your mattress for few hours before using it. It was still comfortable but sleeping bag would probably have done the job. We also got a cheap camp light with fan and I am so glad that I did. Even with the raining and cool weather it definitely does get warm inside the tent and the very little airflow the fan provided was a life saver. We realized when the batteries went out around 4 am. It was our fault for not packing extra batteries. So pack extra batteries folks. Pack light. I brought 3 books and ton of food and other stuff. Get a freezer bag with travel size mouthwash, soap, powder (help you with sweat), shampoo and conditioner if you are thinking about staying for few days, lotion, hand towels and baby wipes. I kept the baby wipes in cooler so it felt like heaven in humidity. Speaking of which get a small cooler to keep water. We bought 24 pack water to wash our face and drinking. Bring extra pair of clothes and swimsuits, towels and a book. There’s nothing wrong with getting granola bars and take out food
Even though we had brought cooking stove and stuff, we couldn’t resist take out bbq.
Thankfully we had an extra towel to lay it inside the tent so we were able to wipe our feet coming in. We didn’t have to if I waited for the rain to stop to set the tent.
Have plenty of plastic bags to store dirty clothes and trash. Paper towels and flashlight is good idea. I also recommend having extra roll of toilet paper just incase. I have to say I was very pleased with how well taken care was the park. No horror in the toilet stalls. We saw park rangers all the time. For cooking I brough camping pots and pans, stove with butane.
We also had pancake mix (add water and pour kind) however we totally forgot oil. The pans were not nonsticky. So we settled for canned steak and potatoes. It was good.
If you plan on going out for stroll or paranoid about someone stealing your stuff. Invest in a very tiny locks to lock the zipper. If anybody wants to steal anything from your tent they might as well just use a knife to cut through it and you shouldn’t be taking expensive stuff to camping anyway, but it does give you peace of mind.
It was a pleasant experience over all. And I am going to do it again 🙂 hopefully all around United States someday!!