The Camp Store

Necessary (and nice) items for First Time Campers

A few things for the trip...
camp store

Unless you're camping in your back yard or living room, both of which we've done, by the way, you are not going to have access to your 'stuff'. Your campground may have a camp store with a few necessaries, but it won't have most of the items you see here, so you need to hunt, gather and/or shop first. Your campsite can be as simple as letting the seat back in your car or as well provisioned as an army. Campers, faced with necessity, and necessity being the mother of invention, have created a whole world of camping equipment to make their experience whatever they want it to be. The problem becomes picking and choosing what to take along. Early on, we found Wal-Mart offers a wide and imaginative assortment of camping, outdoor and sporting goods for the lowest prices possible. The random items below are from their catalog and can be found in their stores, ordered for store pick-up or home delivery.

This little coupon book will keep money in your pocket on the way and while you're there!

25-piece dishes and flatware set
2-in-1 quickbed wrap-n-roll
Coleman 12'x10' dome tent
Coleman led tent light fan
7-Piece Kids Explorer Camp Kit
8-ft Hose & Propane Coupling
8-ft Mini-Pontoon Fishing Boat
AeroBed Air Light Pump
Ameristep Director's Chair
backpackable pontoon boat
Black Canyon Small Backpack
C-Tech Digital Compass

Let's camp in the mountains...
mountain pond

First time Mountain Camping can mean colder temperatures (especially at night), wind, hard ground, steep trails and other 'features' you should consider when packing for the trip. If you can drive to the campsite, you have far more options than when you're packing or floating in to camp. Many shelter, sleeping, cooking and toilet articles come in lightweight (portable) versions. Mountaineering has caused the creation of ultra-light materials and product designs to allow you to carry the most in the least amount of space and a minimum of weight. We have always driven to the campsites and generally just have to eliminate what will won't be needed in the mountains.

6-Quart Classic Dutch Oven
cooking iron rectangle
reversible griddle-n-grill
expandable camp jug
Coghlan Sierra saw
Coghlan telescoping fork
tripod grill lantern hanger
Coghlan 2"x3" signal mirror
Coleman 12'x10' dome tent
Coleman 14'x10' max cabin tent
Coleman 29x13 Dry Gear Bag
Coleman Amp'd towable
Coleman compact camp table
Coleman compact table with cover

Camping at the beach...
el capitan beach campground

Beach Camping can mean harsh sun, rough surf, hot days, and possibly cold nights, too hard or too soft ground, wind, sand, cold water and noise from the ocean, traffic, seagulls, etc. Normally, conditions are milder and missing items are not as serious. It's usually closer to civilization and easier to pick up needed items, but the selection is limited and the prices are high, and you don't want to spend time shopping, so it's best to pick out what you need in advance and be done with it. Now, imagine yourself at the beach campsite. What's the weather like? What's the campsite like? Is there water, toilet, shower, fire pit or grill (and firewood)??? Is there a camp host, a camp store? RV campers always need to know where the nearest gray/black water dump station is.

Coleman led tent light fan
portable grill stove with griddle
Coleman Max spiral tent stake
Coleman portable flush toilet
Coleman queen sized air bed
Coleman xtreme wheeled cooler
Corntoss bean bag toss game
Cstar childs first telescope
Cyclops zoom hat clip light
Energizer swivel flashlight
15° long mummy sleeping bag
Eureka Getaway 2500 daypack
30° kid's mummy sleeping bag
First-Up 10'x10' gazebo

Camping in the desert...
indian cove campground

Desert Camping may be the most demanding of special equipment. Temperatures are either too hot or too cold and the air is either dead calm or blowing your tent away. The ground is hard and driving stakes requires a jackhammer and there is no water, electricity, phone service or stores. It's not for everybody but it's real camping! We go mainly to the high desert, which means the searing heat is mixed with high winds. There's no lakes or rivers and the main activities are hiking, rock climbing and boulder 'scrambling' (and sitting in the shade trying to stay cool). We started when our son was 8 and he was quickly addicted to climbing the boulders and this became his favorite destination. Adults are slower to find things to entertain themselves but tracking the kids, hiking, horseshoes, photography and relaxing soon filled the time. Injuries were surprisingly few but the first-aid kit was definitely needed. Again, this is the place you'll appreciate the fans, misters, heaters, shades and other comfort items more than anywhere else.

First-Up 10'x10' screen curtain
First-Up 10'x10' wind curtain
fishing seat pack in grey
Flyer 48 snow sled
Garmin colorado 400i GPS
Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS
Gerber folding spade with sheath
hands-free Voice Blaster megaphone
combo color fish finder / GPS
Kershaw camp axe
Kershaw camp tool kit
1.5 lb mummy sleeping bag
Coleman family 8D packaway lantern
Coleman first aid survival kit

Camping at the lake...
lake tenaya near yosemite

Lake Camping tends to be what we think of as 'camping'. Moderate temperatures and terrain, trees, cold (or at least cool) water, swimming, boating, fishing, water toys. Better facilities (toilets, showers, electricity, phones, shopping, etc.) are all 'up at the lake'. It has it's discomforts (insects, crowds, noise, heat, cold) so there's plenty of opportunity to overcome these with 'accessories'. Missing items are more the things that would be fun and less the necessities.

LED light radio cellphone charger
Life Gear survival backpack
Swedish steel scout fire starter
Minn Kota Endura trolling motor
self inflating mat 20"x72"x1"
night vision NexGen monocular
Ozark Trail elevated air bed
hammock with sun shade
Ozark Trail multi purpose room
Pelican 15-ft leisure canoe
Pelican passenger pedal boat
Pentax 6.5x21 porro binocular
Pentax 8x21 mcf III binocular
Zebco spinning rod combo

Camping in a Motorhome...
granite creek on alaska's kenai

First time Camping in a Motorhome is real different. It can be just like home, if you remember to charge the batteries, refill the water, dump the sewage, park on the level, use the right kind of fuel (diesel vs unleaded), and switch over to generator at the right time. You can go to more accessible mountains, lakes, deserts, rivers or beaches. You can't follow the 4-wheelers, though, so you shouldn't be far from civilization. Still, you can have the same entertainment opportunities, if you brought the right gear. Missing items aren't as important. The motorhome can break down, or the toilet can stick or refrigerator can stop, but cars break down, too, and your camping equipment isn't going to fix that. Just be careful and concentrate on having fun!

portable table top fryer
portable picnic table
queen sheet set for airbeds
quik chair instant chair
Ranger head light
Realtree big ol' cot
Realtree self inflating mattress
50-quart wheeled cooler
am/fm emergency crank radio
self-inflating mat 20"x72x1".5"
sit-on-top kayak, backrest, paddle
Sportcraft six player croquet set
Sportcraft Elite volleyball set
Sportcraft horseshoe set
40-Quart Cooler & Power Supply
Case Logic Camo Binocular Case
Coleman 12V Quick Air Pump
Coleman 17' x 9' Screened Tent
Coleman Convertable Cot
Coleman Max Dynamo Lantern
Coleman Ridgeline Camp Bed
Coleman Soft Lantern Case
Cool Camping GameCot
Everest Mummy 0-Degree Sleeping Bag
Garmin GPS Personal Training Unit
On Demand Portable Water Heater
Alaska Hunter Knife Combo Set
LED Crank Light & Mosquito Repeller
Flexible Magnetic Flashlight
Ozark Trail 15' x 13' Screen House
Ozark Kamp Pal Portable Organizer
Pack-Lite Camping Pad
Polar GPS Speed / Distance Sensor
Quik Chair Padded Folding Arm Chair
Beautyrest SkyRise AirBed/Pump
0-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
WearEver Backpack Chair
Tackle Spincast Tackle Tote
Trout Seeker Fishing Combo

Camping at the river...
rafting on the merced river

River Camping can be right in town or in the most isolated canyon, depending on where you camp on the river. Rivers offer the swimming, boating, fishing and other opportunities of a lake with the added dimension of moving, meaning you can ride for enjoyment and get dragged where you don't want to go. Safety equipment is more important. We (in the Indian Guides) used to make rafts and float down part of the Colorado River. It was great fun but we always had to look out to keep from running aground, or missing our destination. Rivers don't stop to let you off!

Stansport cast iron cook set
Stearns 2-person kayak
convertable paddle to oar kit
Stearns 2-Person inflatable boat
wakeboard/knee board tow rope
Stearns youth shorty wetsuit
UV monitor & stopwatch
Swissgear mummy sleeping bag
Talkabout GMRS FRS 2-way radios
Street Surfing - The Wave Board
lightweight carbon camera monopod
Visa Potty portable toilet combo
Wenzel 12'x12' screen gazebo
wheeled grill and cooler combo

Camping in Yosemite's Curry Village
curry village from glacier point

Camping in Yosemite could have been, 'camping in a resort', because so many things apply to commercial entertainment facilities set up in wilderness locations (county, state and national parks, KOA and other private resort campgrounds). Yosemite has lakes, rivers, mountains, RV hookups, tent 'cabins', regular tent camping, and several hotels. It also has crowds. We don't attempt any wilderness camping here. We rent tent cabins, rafts, bicycles, horses and ride the free buses around the valley. We take drinks and snacks, but eat at the cafeterias and forget cooking. We concentrate on taking hikes, swim and ride the river, swim the lake, take pictures and enjoy the sights (rock climbers, paragliders, animals, flowers, trees) and planned activities. We just become tourists. This might be a good strategy at other resorts, but not many places have the attractions of Yosemite.

cooking iron rectangle
reversible griddle n grill
tripod grill lantern hanger
Coleman compact camp table
Coleman compact table with cover
Coleman first aid surival kit
Coleman LED tent light fan
Coleman xtreme wheeled cooler
Cstar childs first telescope
Energizer swivel flashlight
Eureka Getaway 2500 daypack
First Up 10x10 screen curtain
Garmin Colorado 400i GPS
Kershaw camp firewood axe
Life Gear survival backpack
fire steel scout fire starter
hammock with sun shade
water heater and hot shower
dual AC outlets and air compressor

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