Buy These 5 Items For Less Than $100 & Improve Your Camping Experience
I’m Rob, the Founder of GuideGap, and I have lived out of my vehicle and on the road for over a year creating our network of Guides.
During this time I’ve learned a lot and was very surprised about how the five items listed below improved my life on the road.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
A Few General Tips
These items will improve your outdoor adventure if you are spending nights outside. Some general tips for those who are preparing for a road trip or a camping trip.
1) Car camping is all about speed, how quickly you can pack up the car and how quickly you can establish camp and take it down. That is why you should sleep in your vehicle if possible. Removing the tent from the equation is HUGE. Vehicles are warmer and give you that extra peace of mind of four walls around you. I slept out of the back of my Jeep Wrangler and slept like it was my normal bed. If there are gaps in your car just get some of those puzzle work out mats to level everything out from Harbor Freight.
If you plan on staying in your vehicle, if possible, pack as much stuff to allow you to keep it all in your vehicle while you sleep. This may be cramped but worth it if you end up in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Finally, before you go to bed – crack your front windows a little bit to allow airflow.
2) Tired? Need to shower? Don’t want to spend hotel money? Use state parks as a hotel. State parks require reservations but usually have openings during the weekday. If you’re driving I promise a state park is not too far away. Get there pick your site, pay, and take a shower! Enjoy the picnic table and amenities!
3) Remember you’re on an adventure! Things do not go as planned, you may not know where you’re going to sleep, flat tires, who knows. You signed up for this and these are memories and stories you’ll tell for a long time.
OK! Lets get into the items!
#1 A Sponge To Help Wash Off Your Adventure Grim
This one surprised me a lot. It earned its spot when I had not showered for over a week while meeting Boise/Salt Lake Guides and biking and climbing with them. I was driving up to Stanley Idaho when BOOM a river with a ramp! I slammed on my brakes, grabbed my sponge and hit the freezing water! The sponge helps with rivers as you do not have to submerge to get a good clean. Also, its better at cleaning you than your hands as seen in the video above. Yes a sponge, bring it.
#2 Adventure Bins
Use bins to keep your stuff in. To follow Bubba’s lead: I like my rock climbing bin, mountain bike bin, cloths bin, kitchen bin, general camp stuff bin… You get the point. Bins allow you to keep your gear ready to go. Toss it in the car and you’re on your way. Seriously, try it. Car camping is about being fast and bins are fast and organized.
Enjoy that extra sip because everything is in it’s bin.
#3 A Camp Stove… A Real One
I was the camper who brought the cast iron skillet and swore by it. Until I tried a camp stove from some friends and immediately went out and bought one. The convenience factor of these things far outweigh any benefits of cooking any other way. Again, be fast, don’t depend on a fire, just fire up your stove and cook like you’re at home.
This one was a tough one to admit because I like cooking over a fire but weigh the options attempt to impress friends or significant others by cooking over a fire, which typically does not turn out how you imaged, while tempting their hanger… Or just fire up the stove put food in the belly and go play a game.
Thank you Craig and Sarah for this revelation.
#4 Bungee Cords For Camping
I want to argue bungees are the duck tape of camping. Not great with knots? Who cares bungees will take care of it. From hanging lights, tarps, towels… sponges… to securing your gear bungees have soo many uses. They will take a new camper and make them look like a pro. Pack them.
#5 A Cheap Camp Tarp
I saved this for last because I was just admiring my blue tarp I’ve had for years and put it through sooo much. Block the wind/rain, provide privacy/shade, be a rope tarp for climbing, reflect heat on cold nights the tarp does it all ESPECIALLY when paired with bungees.
The key is to make sure it’s a cheap tarp. You do not want to have to worry about this thing just let it help you in the situation you need. Mine was free from Harbor Freight!
When you’re not using it just roll it up and store it in your general camp bin.
Close Camping Runner Ups
A cheap table and camp chairs. I landed on going cheap with these and here’s why.
If you sleep in your vehicle or want to leave camp you have to leave some spot savers behind. For me, this is my table and chairs… and what I call my shed which is an automatic pop up tent I put my bins in. Check out an early Instagram post for more on that.
I really like the normal Lifetime table which I’m actually using it as a desk to write this right now. Going back to being fast it goes up in less than a minute with minimal fidgeting. I know in my stove picture I have a fancy table but I learned my lesson and “upgraded” to the lifetime table.
When it comes to chairs Wal-Mart has $15 camp chairs that HOLD A 32OZ NALGENE.
GuideGap was created to help ANYONE get outside and create lasting memories. I hope these items make your next outing a little more comfortable and memorable. An adventure is something that is uncertain and you cannot guarantee everything will go as planned. The ability to roll with unexpected variables will determine if you have a good time or the greatest time.
Thank you very much for subscribing.
Traveling around and meeting these amazing Guides and hearing their stories has been extremely inspiring and humbling.
I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot, not just living out of my vehicle, but running this business. All we can do is take the bad and learn and be sure to enjoy and celebrate the good. Going outdoors makes all of this immediate and that is why I use it as my escape and grounding. I truly believe anyone can go outside and have an amazing time, they just need to know where to go.
We have helped hundreds of people get outside and achieve their greatest adventure yet. Will you be the next?
About The Author: Rob
Rob is the founder of GuideGap and has over 10 years of mountaineering experience. He lived out of his Jeep creating the GuideGap network and has climbed, biked, camped, hiked, snowboarded, and off roaded in just about every condition.
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