Camping Essentials

We were big campers before the trip so we were used to ‘roughing it’. The following is a list of things that make camping a little easier for everyone.

Alite Monarch Chair:  We brought these with us for days when we knew we would be at the beach and wouldn’t want to lug a heavy camp chair, but also still want something to sit in.  These are basically portable rocking chairs, and they weigh less than a pound and a half!  Alite chairs come with a lifetime guarantee so when the frame on one of our chairs broke, they were happy to send us a new frame.  It should be noted that they will not ship internationally for free so we had the frame sent to our friend in Los Angeles, and Jason picked it up when he flew home for work.

CampStove (two burner):  We just brought our old camping stove but made sure to stock up on the small Coleman propane bottles.  We typically used the outdoor stove if it was too hot to cook inside or if we were cooking something super smelly, like fish.  We would definitely recommend bringing a bunch of the small propane refills as once you leave Mexico and before you get to Costa Rica, they are pretty much impossible to find.

CampTime Roll-A-Table:  Pretty much everyone we met had this same table and there is a reason for that.  It’s lightweight, set-up and breakdown are easy, and it rolls up for easy storage.  Vinyl-covered wood slats mean you don’t have to worry about getting it wet (or leaving it out in the rain). We love when we don’t have to worry! We used this for dining, food prep, dishwashing, even for bathing Neli (she was not impressed).

ENO DoubleNest Hammocks:  ENO donated us two DoubleNest Hammocks and two sets of their Atlas Straps and we LOVE them.  Roomy enough for two people, or as is often our case, one human and a dog, we use these all the time.  Super easy to set up and take down, we’ve strung them up in the jungle, at the beach, and everywhere in between.

Headlamps:  This seems like an obvious choice but we met a lot of other travelers who had forgotten them.  We watched countless people stumble to bathrooms/their rigs/the bar in the dark, we even saw one couple attempt to do dishes with iPhones tucked on their shoulders! We brought more than one each, because we had a ton and they take up no space, so we were able to lend or give away headlamps to our less-equipped friends.

Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair:  We knew we were going to be using our camp chairs all the time so we upgraded from what we had to these.  These chairs are super comfortable and come with three reclining positions, adjustable arms, four (4!) beverage holders, and a bottle opener.  Kelley also shipped us two replacement chairs almost overnight to Guatemala when we noticed some cracking on the plastic, so not only do you get a super comfy chair but quite possibly the best customer service ever.

Refillable water bottles:  Another seemingly obvious choice but again, we met loads of other travelers who didn’t have them.  We like having cold water wherever we go so refilling these and throwing them in the fridge or cooler means we won’t be stopping to buy one-off bottles of water.  Saves money and is much better for the environment!  Vic likes this glass one while Jason prefers this one with a clip.  Whatever you choose, make sure it is BPA free!  NOTE:  Maya would prefer we buy the throw-away kind everyday as an empty plastic bottle has turned out to be her favorite toy.  Who knew?

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