Camping Tip of the Day: Try the Local Coffee

They say that a dog is¬† man’s best friend and as a dog owner I could not agree more. However, on a cool spring (or fall) morning, camping in the woods, coffee is my best friend. It’s the only way to start the day. Amy and I are avid coffee drinkers and start every camping morning off with a strong brew. Today’s Camping Tip consists of two parts. First, we look at the practical side of things.

If you tent camp (packing your stuff in the trunk) or you have a popup camper like we do (limited storage) this one is for you. We stow our coffee maker in a soft-sided, insulated cooler. This was a large lunch-type bag that was given to us as a gift and we never used it. So, why not use it as our storage container for our coffee maker? It fits snug in the cooler and the insulated inside provides padding for the bumpy ride. The cooler fits underneath the dining room table of the popup.


When Amy and I visit different places, we try to buy a bag of the local coffee and use it at our campsite. We have come across some pretty good brews. One of the best brews we had actually came from a campground near our home. Go figure. ¬†Winton Woods is a park/campground run by Hamilton County (Cincinnati, Ohio). Their campstore had a bag of coffee (pecan flavor) so we decided to try it. It was excellent. As we have traveled to places like Door County, Wisconsin, Traverse City, Michigan or Chattanooga, Tennessee, we make an effort to try their local coffee. It’s one way to broaden your camping/traveling experience and contribute to the local tourist economy.

Tomorrow, our Camping Tip of the Day¬†will discuss other local things we try when traveling….( another use for that soft-side cooler!)¬†¬†¬† ¬†ūüėČ


Camping Tip of the Day: Use a Checklist

One thing that has helped Amy and me prepare our camping trip is a checklist. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at your campsite only to realize that you left your pillow or flashlight or worse yet; your beer (just kidding). Type out a checklist and save the document on your computer. As your camping needs change, you can always go back and revise the checklist. We often have different things to pack depending on the season/weather. A day before the trip, we print out the checklist and begin packing the camper. Having a pop-up, as opposed to a travel trailer, requires more thought on how we pack it. Our checklist is broken down into categories. Each category has a specific list of supplies.

1. Clothing/Cosmetics

2. Food and Cooking Supplies

3. Dog Stuff (we have two dogs that require all their toys and of course treats LOL)

4. Personal

5. Miscellaneous

The night before the trip, we begin packing the camper and SUV. As we put items in we check them off the list. Some items stay in the camper year round (i.e. campfire chairs, Dutch Oven, etc). However, we still double-check those items are actually in the camper and then we check them off. Over the course of the last two years, we have updated the checklist several times, the benefit of having it on the computer. If you really want to get tech-savvy, create the checklist on Excel and save the document on an Internet-based storage system, like Dropbox. Use your Smart Phone to access the document thereby never printing the document but always having the checklist in your pocket.

Not only do we use a checklist, we also have specific places where things go in the camper and the SUV. For example, our chairs, dutch oven, pie iron, and hot dog sticks go underneath the left-hand side storage compartment in the dining area of our pop-up. Our cooler is last to be packed in the back of our SUV.

Packing for a camping trip can be stressful, especially when you pack for 10+ day trips.  Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Once you use the checklist and get into the routine of packing, this process will become less and less overwhelming.