• we’ve gone from over 250 item list of things to take camping to just what we absolutely have to have to get by.  We tent camp and have found the following strategies have made it more enjoyable for us.
  • We realized recently we don’t need a tarp (our tent weathered 17 hours of rain and everything stayed dry).
  • We realized we don’t need a first up or canopy.  We set it up and never used it.  It’s the only thing that did not survive the 17 hours of rain.
  • Our goal is to set up and take down the site in about 30 minutes.
  • Spend the extra money on the best tent possible for rain and weather.  Factory sealed seams is a must.
  • Look for a tent that can be set up and taken down in as short a time as possible (the easier the better–without sacrificing factory sealed seams.)
  • Invest in fold out cots.  Mattresses are nice but take time to inflate, deflate and fold.  A cot folds out then folds up.
  • Get sleeping bags that are appropriate to the weather  you camp in.  It’s always a little cooler at nice.  Use cheap sleeping bags to stuff inside your nice one for extra warmed if needed.
  • A good flash light can substitute for a lantern by hanging it from the top of the tent.
  • Only take drinks and snacks for the campsite (don’t plan to cook meals there).
  • It’s just as economical (or even more so) to go out for meals.
  • If you really want to cook at your site then take what you need or plan to buy what you need once you get there.  The last trip we took items to prepare every meal (mostly dependent on grilling) we had rain and more or less wasted our food.  We had to go out for meals anyway.
  • Freeze empty milk jugs with salty water for your cooler.  It lasts longer and you don’t have to worry about the melted water.
  • Plan ahead because the good sites book up quickly.  Book 11 months in advance for state sites and 6 months in advance for federal sites (if USA).
  • Take less not more and you will have more fun.