Most people go camping because it is one of the most frugal vacations you can take. It is true, it can be. But there are still some luxuries that are nice to have on a trip. If you go out and purchase everything at once it can be a bit pricey. But just starting and then upgrading thru the years makes it a little easier on the pocketbook.
TENTAs the years have gone by we have invested a little each year on our camping supplies. We started with a small family tent and struggled with lining up all the poles and setting it up. A couple years ago we were camping and saw our neighbors pop up their tent within 5 minutes. We were stunned and decided to try and find one. Best purchase ever. We found the Ozark Trail Instant tent at Walmart for 99.99. Something I can even set up and take down all by myself.
Never let the size of a tent fool you. Six person means wall to wall sleeping right next to each other with no wiggle room. This tent was perfect for just the 2 of us and maybe even a 3rd might fit in. I would not do more than that. We had two cots in this tent. One to each side and gave us just enough room in center for dressing etc. I would also note that I prefer a tent that says Cabin Tent rather than Dome tent. It allows a little extra room.
FYI, never forget the tarp. Always good idea to have a tarp under the tent to help protect it from sharp rocks. Best place/best low price I have found tarps is at Big Lots.
I do not like cooking over campfire, I don't like the bending and the trouble with getting the proper heat. Then there is also the worrisome issue of whether or not fire restrictions are in place. We started off with a small standard stove. Nothing fancy. Personally I would like to go back to one of these stoves. Much easier to transport and it easily sits on a table,
Granted if you do have a lot to cook you have to do some shuffling around but if you get creative it can be done. These stoves take the small green propane bottles which in the long run cost a little more than having a large propane tank but if you do not camp often it works fine.
And this was our upgrade and the one we are still using.
I think ours is a Camp Chef and cost about 99.00 when we bought it years ago. We liked that we could take a big propane tank with us, Same type of propane that would hook up to a gas grill at home. Less chance of running out halfway thru coking a meal. I hate that it is so heavy. Hard to lug up into truck bed and if you need to move it around at camp to block the wind it is awkward.
Sometimes a campground has tables, sometimes not. I always come prepared for the not. We have a couple tables where the top comes away from the base/legs and all the parts roll up into cases similar to camp chair bags. Similar to these but ours are wooden and on their last legs, ha ha, is that a pun?
We have had some of the worst luck with chairs. Usually we would purchase Walmart chairs but they seem to wear out very fast for us. The last batch the seams at the front of the arm rests were torn within one usage. Our upgrade was to the Kijaro chair from Cabellas. At the time they were 70.00 each OUCH! but we had points racked up so they actually cost us very little.
Big difference in the quality.
Taking a break, more to come.