It’s about time to Prepare for the camping season! I know there may be some snow still on the ground, and it gets pretty cold at night if you are in the north or midwest… but it’s already really warm and sunny in the south part of the country. Even if you are waiting for the “official” start of the camping season – Memorial Day – we still like to start the big plans as soon as possible.

It’s just the two of us now, but for us the key to good organization is still a comprehensive list – both of things to do and also things to take. The list may change from year to year, so review is important. I start with a “things to take” list and my husband takes the “things to do” part. So, what is really important to take if you are in a small trailer or camper? While you may think you need a lot, you may find that only a few things are really necessary.

Do you plan on cooking?

One large indoor skillet w/lid and one good pot w/lid are essential. A variety of sizes and styles of pots and pans just take up precious space and weight and may never be used. If you plan on cooking outdoors, perhaps a cast iron pan will be best. I like one that is deep enough to hold a one pot meal, but easy to fry in too. You need a few utensils to cook with and eat with (not a service for 8 if you are only 2 people). A couple of coffee mugs and drinking cups are needed. That means a small bottle of dish soap and dishcloth are important. While I prefer “real” plates, they are fairly heavy and will require washing too. We end up taking some nice Daisy paper plates which are sturdy and hold a regular size meal. No dishes there! Plus, they are lightweight. I’d rather be enjoying the trip, not washing dishes…

I have to have a few spices for cooking – and a compact travel spice container will usually do the trick. There are some that are pre-filled, and some that start empty so you can fill them according to your preferences. I also found it’s easier to stock the trailer with dedicated items: can opener, peeler, spatula, wooden spoon, a good kitchen knife and lightweight vinyl cutting “board”, steak knives, pot holders, paper towels, a shave/toiletries kit with personal items, 2 washcloths, 2 towels and a hand towel that doubles as a dish drying towel. We always pack trash bags, Ziploc bags, foil, a length of sturdy paracord and clothespins, a tiny travel sewing kit, first aid kit, lighters/matches and emergency tool bag (which is always in the truck anyway).

Bring on the Coffee!

My day doesn’t get going before my 1st cup of coffee, and this year we got a great stainless steel French Press and Coffee Grinder for the trailer. It’s compact, the price was right, and it won’t require electricity or become an additional appliance to try and find a place for. It’s also unbreakable (really handy during camping when the chance of breakage is higher) and it looks really cool. Fresh ground coffee smells so awesome and drinking it in the great outdoors makes it even better!

These are some ideas we had to get you started on your list to Prepare for the Camping Season. If you find other essential items you like to keep in the trailer, please share your ideas with us in the Comments section! No matter where you go or what you see and do, have a wonderful camping season with RV Travel Guidebook!