We've been shopping. The tax refund was received and immediately put into use. One main plan this year, was to get supplies so that we could start camping as a family. Last year was the first vacation we had taken in a long time and we decided that we needed to do that more often, even if it's just long weekends. The only way we can afford to vacation is to start camping. Paying $20 a night verses $60-$80 makes a big difference to us. We'd like to spend time at beaches, mountains, Washington DC and, as you know, I want to head back to Jekyll Island one day.
Here are some things we've recently acquired or already had. Some we paid full-price, some have been found at Goodwill and some were given.
Tent-similar to this one. Ours sleeps 6. Bright orange. I really wanted one that would blend in but couldn't find one in our price range. We set it up this weekend and it looks great. I love the vestibule area! The boys slept in it and they had a blast. I was sick and didn't want to chance making it worse with an allergy attack so I stayed indoors this time. I'm ready to give it a go as soon as my head is clear. We do plan on sealing the seams too which is another reason it'll stay set up for a little while.
Tarp-one to go under the tent. This protects the flooring of the tent. We'd like to get another tarp to put on the inside floor of the tent so as to easily clean up anything that gets tracked in. Although the rules are "no shoes, no food, no drink". I'm really averse to being eaten by a bear. I'd also like to get a tarp or something to hang over the picnic table area. That way we can still sit out and cook when it's raining.
Sleeping bags-we purchased only two for now. They are for the adults and are rated for 20F. We have one old sleeping bag and some blankets that the kids will use for now.
Sleeping pads-these go under the sleeping bags. Evidently, the cold of the ground will still seep through the bags so you have the pads to prevent that. Ours are the self-inflating kind. We purchased the Coleman brand for now.
Lantern-this is a rechargeable one. It has a nightlite and low/high settings. It works pretty well.
Whistles-for everyone to wear. This is a safety issue. The King is a little more paranoid about it than I am but it is recommened in the camping books we've been reading. You fall down somewhere or even get lost in the campground trying to find your way back to the tent from the bathrooms in the middle of the night, you've got your whistle. LOL
Cooler-our large cooler is cracked so we'll use that for the dry goods (bread, pb, crackers, etc). The one we purchased is smaller and will be for our cold/frozen items. It's on wheels and has a pull out handle like luggage.
Drink cooler-for water.
Kitchen bag-this is a bag we found at Walmart that has a special carrying pocket for our Coleman stove. The rest of the bag can carry the propane containers and other odds and ends of the kitchen.
Duffel bag-I would love to find 4 different colored ones so that each of us can recognize our bag just by looking at it. So far I have one in red.
Coleman 2 burner propane stove and two one burner ones that I'm not sure how they work. One is an old military one that has some sort of waxy looking container that sits under it. The King can figure all that out.
Pots and pans-I have cast iron skillets and a couple of regular pots were given to us. I'm thinking about getting a griddle in the future. For the pancakes of course! ;D
Ceiling fan-This is a little gadget that you can hang in the tent when it's really hot to get some air moving.
Camp chairs-we have 3 Coleman adult size chairs and one small camp chair for Tigger. He found a cute little umbrella at Goodwill that attaches to his chair for some shade and he loves it. He's into gadgets like his dad.
Pocket knives-The King has a myriad of these all over the place. He loves these kinds of things.
Flashlights--we have a couple of the regular kind that need batteries and one that you shake for a minute to get it to light up. That one isn't the greatest, but it'll do in a fix, especially for the boys.
Fishing supplies-I know we have a couple of fishing rods and even a box of tackle that was given to us. I'm not sure how much we'll use this. Maybe once we get out into the whole camping 'arena' we'll use it more. At this point, the boys aren't interesting in eating any fish. I'm not really interesting in cutting off the heads. Ick!
I'm sure we have more odds and ends that we've gathered but that's all I can think of right now. I'm guessing it's a pretty good start. I'd like to experience a few camping trips to see what else is needed or even not needed.
Our first trip will be in another month or so. We'll be heading to Wilmington, NC. Our local homeschool group is planning a little 2 day venture there to visit the Fort Fisher Aquarium and to experience a River Boat Ride. There are only about 5 families going but I know we'll have fun. We'll all be staying at the same campground, some in tents and some in cabins. We're heading there a day early and staying a day later to take advantage of a couple of seeing a couple of other things. I'm considering going to see the Battleship that's there and I'd like to just hang out at the beach a little. I may not swim as I think it'll be too cold, but the boys might. They seem immune to the temperature of the water until they're done playing. Then they're freezing. ;D
Here are a couple of photos to wet the appetite. I'll be taking more while we're there and will definitely share.