11 Cool Car/Boat Camping Accessories That Your Family Will Love
Here at Musings From The Last Frontier we love to go camping. While wilderness treks require us to only carry necessary items and keep the load as light as possible, there is another type of camping that we also enjoy. Car and boat camping is something that many Alaskans enjoy. For the uninitiated, this type of camping is very easy and a great way to spend a weekend or a few days in nature without the need to go trekking a few miles into the wilderness with a heavy backpack and whining children. All you need is a car or a boat and a destination where you can set up a camp. In Alaska it’s pretty much anywhere that isn’t on private land. In the rest of the USA there are plenty of State and National Parks and Forests where you can either stay at a designated campground (for free or a small fee), or pitch a campsite in an out-of-the-way area.
Some of you may have thought about taking your family camping but the thought of “roughing it” is not motivating you, your spouse, or perhaps your children. You can still go camping and not have to rough it in every way. Sure, I can’t help with the bathroom situation or the lack of showers, but I can show you some ways to make the adventure a little more comfortable. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best car/boat camping accessories that we love and find the most useful. We hope that you get inspired to go camping and enjoy the tranquility that nature can bring you!
Ideas For A Camp Kitchen
The Sea to Summit 2.8 Liter X-Pot– Sea to Summit sells a 1.5L, 2.8L, and 4 Liter versions of this pot. The 2.8L can feed 2-3 adults. The Backpacker Editors’ Choice award was bestowed upon the X-Pot™ in 2015 for its innovative, space-saving, collapsible, and functional features. It has the ability to collapse and nest neatly with other X-Series pieces to form a small disc that can easily slide into a backpack, car or camping box. Lightweight and durable hard-anodized aluminum base allows a fast boil time and the tall silicone walls make stirring easy. The lid is translucent so you can see what you are cooking. It’s great for traditional backpacking trips or for boat camping when you are trying to cut down on weight and amount of gear. In 2018 the 2.8L pot was selling for about $59.99 on Amazon.
Kamp Rite Kwik Set Table– This is one of our favorite pieces of camping gear. It fits inside of our Clam Shelter and has plenty of room for our 2 burner Coleman stove and space to stage pots and food for cooking. When the cooking is done we just turn the stove around and use the table to eat. It fits 2 adult comfortably. If you don’t have anything on top of it you can fit 4 adults (one on each end). Very sturdy and collapses into a nicely compact package. Sells on Amazon for about $60.
Coleman Dual Fuel Stove– We’ve had this workhouse for years! It has 2 burners which is perfect for us. We can boil water on one burner while having a frying pan on the either. On car camping trips we’ve use it to fry up some delicious steaks as well as make quesadillas. All you need are the right size pans (you can fit a 12 inch and a 10 inch pan at one time). This version burns Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded gasoline. Coleman also sells a Propane version of this stove. It’s also super lightweight.
The New Camp Cookbook– Everyone can benefit from some ideas for cooking. The recipes in this book are all adapted for camping and has sections on how to set up your camp kitchen. The meals are healthy and varied. If you are looking for hot dog and hamburger recipes, look elsewhere. These recipes are designed for campers who want to eat well and aren’t afraid to try new and perhaps exotic things. You are sure to be the hero of the campsite (unless your crew has a limited palette and won’t eat anything except bland burgers and potatoes, that is). The book is available for Kindle (Kindle reading app available for any mobile device) as well as hard copy.
Ideas for Shelter and Sleeping
Clam Corporation 9879 Quick-Set Escape Shelter– Our camp camping experience completely changed after we bought this shelter. We used to use a big blue tarp prior to this and it was a huge headache. Always looking for a spot that had trees to hang the tarp, constantly getting wet and of course it provided no protection from the dreaded mosquitoes! The Clam Shelter is big enough that we can fit the above table, 4 large camp chairs, 2 coolers, and even a portable propane heater. If we really wanted to we could fit 2 camp cots as well. But since all of Alaska is bear country we don’t sleep where we eat. This shelter also has panels that can be attached after set up (sold separately). We use the panels when it’s cold or raining, or just want privacy. Each panel has a window so you can still look out. The mesh screen keeps mosquitoes out and still provides ventilation on warm days.
The setup is pretty easy and it folds up like a big umbrella. Also has the ability to tie it down with stakes for those windy days. I definitely recommend getting this if you want some comfort to your camping. We used this shelter during our trip To McCarthy-The Edge of Alaska.
Coleman ComfortSmart Camping Cot– Okay, so you got the family to agree to go camping. But they absolutely want noting to do with sleeping on a pad. Worry not, you can always get them a cot. I admit that we don’t use them. But believe me, the thought has occurred to us.
MPowerd Inflatable Solar Light– These little lights are absurdly bright and quickly recharge. We hang about 3 or 4 of them in the Clam and they provide enough light to cook with and just to sit around and chill. Like candlelight but without the fear of burning down the tent. They also work well in our Ford Expedition. We drop the back seats down and set out our pads and sleeping bag when it’s time to sleep. 2 of these lights are enough to light up the inside. They fold down flat and inflate with a few breaths. Super tough plastic that we haven’t yet managed to break. Powered by 10 LED lights.
Other Cool Camping Accessories
Glow in the dark 550 Cord– OK stop laughing. I thought this was pretty cool idea. If you’ve ever tripped on the guidelines from your tent in the middle night you will understand where I’m coming from. Amazon also sells tent pegs with glow in the dark stoppers. It’s obviously not a necessity but what kid wouldn’t think this was cool?
Tent Stake with LED Light– Well duh! Of course I was going to add the tent stakes 🙂 They also have a strobe function which can be used in an emergency. The aluminum camping stakes with built-in LEDs have over 10 hours of life.
YETI Tundra 35 Cooler– Yeah, absurdly expensive but it holds 35 cans of beer and is bear proof. So you won’t have to worry about a bear drinking your beer. That’s all that matters right? They do sell smaller and less expensive ones.
Coleman Extreme Series Portable Cooler-A 70 quart cooler for the rest of us. Holds 100 cans or case of soda plus food. Big enough to hold your supplies for a long weekend of car camping and still leave you with money left over to buy the food 🙂 But you will have to risk sharing with the bears. The lid is strong enough to support 250 lbs so you can use it as a seat as well.
Please leave a comment and tell us about your favorite piece of camping accessory. Tell us what you think about the glow in the dark rope and tent stake set. Do you own a YETI cooler? Any bear stories?