It’s almost fall!!! 23 days away to be exact. I have a countdown on my phone, that’s how much I geek out about the fall season. We like camping year round, but autumn is by far our favorite. I know there are plenty of families that camp more than we do and probably have better setups, but we have come a long way my friends. So I decided to piece together some  hacks/tips/equipment that have worked well for us.

We even did a cheesy little video to show how we roll when we go camping. This was a precovid trip with my oldest son manning the camera.

And here are some of our must-haves

  1. Tent

So a tent is an obvious must have unless you are in a camper or want to sleep under the stars. This tent is amazing, and I am not an affiliate (for any item on this list by the way). It is the Coleman Weathermaster and it technically sleeps 10, but I wouldn’t count on that unless you are lined up in a row with nothing but sleeping bags.

2. Fully Stocked Camping Bins

If you have some storage room, or even if you don’t but you pile stuff up Jenga style in your garage like we do then I recommend having camping totes full of everything you need. Rather than take your dish soap, spatulas, or anything else from your kitchen just have a stash of everything you need and keep it in the bin. It takes time to get the collection complete. We are still working on ours. A great place to look for those extra kitchen items though is yard sales and thrift stores. We got all of our knifes, pots, kettle, mugs etc used. You are going to be roughing it anyway so no need to purchase anything fru-fru.


3. Air mattress


We are partially glampers. I’ll admit it. You do whatever works best for your family, but if you are looking for a sturdy self inflating (while plugged in) mattress, this is the one we use. J and I got a good laugh about the photoshopped girls. Insert eye roll here.

4. french press, kettle, and bean grinder

I already addressed the glamping stigma so now it’s safe to admit that we have fresh roasted coffee over the campfire every morning. Ahhh. It will take up space so you have to be a hard core coffee drinker to make this a priority, but we have an extra french press that stays in the camping bin, a hand crank bean grinder, and kettle with no plastic parts. If it’s cold don’t forget the little ones who may want some hot chocolate while you’re at it.


5. Roof Rack and Cargo carrier

We get comments on our cargo rack all the time. It helps me identify our van in a parking lot. Quick side story: one time I pulled into a parking next to van just like ours with a roof rack just like ours!

This bad boy works for toting coolers with a bungie cord or a giant luggage bag to keep all your suitcases inside or often a combination of both.

6. Lots of light!

Every camper needs light, and don’t forget batteries too. Here are just a few of the ones we own.

7. Camp Fire Grill

We’ve done a variety of setups for cooking over the fire, but this grill we got from Walmart has been pretty handy.

8. Sheets

It never hurts to have an extra sheet in your camp stash. You may end up needing it for bedding, or a faux wall if someone needs to change or go potty in the woods. It can also be used for a beach blanket or table cloth. I can think of more uses, but I’ll leave it at that.

9. Fire Mitts

We used a cheap oven mitt before realizing we needed something more substantial when cooking over a fire. These were a worthwhile investment.

10. Cat Iron Skillets

Nothing beats bacon and eggs in a cast iron skillet over an open flame. Definitely a camping must!


So there ya go, an inside look at how we do fall camping. If you are more a beach camper check out this post