My Definitive Family Camping List, YMMV

camping listWe finally went camping two weekends ago! I only spent forever making a camping list, researching, trying to decide what we had to have and what we could skip, where we could go and what we would do once we got there. As my end-goal was Orlando this time, we stayed at the Kissimmee KOA. Even though it wasn’t “private” camping, it was pretty nice. The three tent-only grounds were pretty much on top of each other, but frankly, all the grounds were zero-lot lines. We wound up right near the bathrooms/showers/general store, and right across from the pool. Perfect if you ask me!

So we weren’t roughing it out in the woods, but hey, this is Florida. There are no woods. (Update: We found the woods at Johnathan Dickinson State Park. We also found out we are dedicated KOA campers, where we can Glamp, but with a tent.)

In addition to the amenities we were near right on top of, we also had a picnic table, electric, water, wifi, and a fire bowl. All that was missing was room service!

2015-07-05 13.28.01 tent, picnic table, firebowl, camp grounds, We got the tent set up pretty quickly and easily, especially considering the instructions were some 300 miles away and in my front room. The air mattresses were pretty easy too. I was originally going to go with making pallets on the ground with lots of comforters, but apparently comforters, even at Goodwill, are 15 – 30$ a piece. Air mattresses it was! Once all that was set up, we spent some time playing velcro ball  before we left for the water park. We left all our junk crap stuff in the tent and closed it up and just left. Which was super weird. I mean, it’s not like you can lock your tent. 

Since you don’t want to hear about my running around at the water park, and since this is supposed to be more focused on my “what we actually needed” list, I’ll skip all the details about the water slides and drinks. However, before I even really get into my list, let me say, I overpacked, especially for an overnight. I was actually packing for three vacations (one hotel night, one campsite night, three days of water park, and one fancy-ass dinner), so I understand how I wound up with so much stuff. But overpacked equals überprepared. I’m perfectly fine with that. Even being overpacked, I forgot some items. This is not a backpacking list! This is an “everything but the kitchen sink” tent camping list, and if we had the inflatable version of that, I’d have brought it! This is a “we really need a trailer, and a roof bag, and a pocket universe for extra space to store all our shit” list.

2015-07-06 12.54.45 RV window shoppingI have this dream of selling all our stuff, packing a couple of changes of clothes, my laptop, my pocketbook (and all the stuff that’s usually in there, which includes my laptop), getting a tiny trailer and traveling the country. I don’t want a lot of stuff. But therein lies the rub, because having a trailer would mean most of what I had to pack would have a permanent home (like a mini fridge instead of a cooler, a bed instead of air  mattresses, no need for a tent, you see where I’m going with this) and we’d have such limited space, no room for junk! Most days I don’t use 99% of the junk in my home, so is it anything I need to live with anyway? I doubt it! 



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