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Simple Camping Tips for a Better Outdoor Experience

Tonya Prater, Owner

Do you love to camp, but dread all the work that can be involved? Then you need to read these simple camping tips to improve your next camping trip.

Simple tips for a better camping experienceCamping is an either love it or hate it activity. It seems as though there is really no inbetween. And though glamping and RVing are buzz words in the camping world, having done both, there is a definite difference in camping outdoors in a nylon tent versus sleeping on a comfy mattress inside an RV or cabin that has a restroom and running water. Don’t hate. I’m simply stating my opinion.

Is camping in a cabin really camping or not?

Is camping in a cabin really camping?

While my husband and I have always wanted to like the idea of camping, I admit that there were many years that we camped with our small children only because it seemed “the thing to do”, allowed us to save money so we could travel more, because let’s face it, most campsites cost substantially less than a hotel room, or we wanted to create memories with our young family. And we did accomplish what we had set out for.

Tent Camping in Oregon

Nearly every camping experience was an adventure. From torrential downpours and storms with lightening, to raccoons pacing around our tent all night because someone forget to remove the trash from our campsite before running to the playground, to the time our tent almost blew away in Chincoteague, Maryland amid the wild ponies. Camping has always lead to amazing stories (some that have gotten better with the passing of time), but one thing remains; camping was always a LOT of work.

Our kids are now grown and plan their own camping trips, leaving my husband and I to plan new excursions. Thankfully, we’ve found a few simple tips for a better camping experience. This makes camping easier and more pleasant for the two of us. I’m happy to share our tips, but keep in mind that we camp for only a few days at a time. We’re not the “let’s camp for two weeks” kind of campers and that is not who this post is for.

Simple Tips for a Better Camping Experience


Pick your tent carefully.

When it comes to camping, setting up our tent was always the most time consuming and challenging. I detested setting up the tent. We solved this frustration and purchased a pop-up tent. This tent will literally set up in 3-seconds flat and is a lifesaver. Does that seem too dramatic? Last year when we arrived at 11:00 p.m. to set up our tent in pitch darkness at a crowded KOA, this tent was a breeze and probably the difference between us spending the night in our tent versus sleeping in our rental car.

You must watch this short video to see how cool this tent really is.

Always pack an air mattress.

Even before I was 40 I insisted upon sleeping in comfort and for me, that means investing in a good air mattress. When we had a larger tent, we actually traveled with an air bed which was ah-mazing. I can’t even begin to explain how awesome that bed was. We went so far as to use it as our bed in a temporary apartment, it was that comfy! The air bed doesn’t work for us anymore since we downsized our tent. We need something we can crawl off of, but the fact that our tent pretty much sets itself up is a fair enough trade. So buy a mattress that works for you and if that means spending a few more bucks, do it.

Don’t bother with the campfire, unless you really love it.

My husband cannot get a good fire started. It’s pretty painful to watch actually and though I’ve given him a few tips over the years, he either doesn’t want to take my advice, or he’s forgotten it. One or the other.

Starting a fledging fire

Trying to get a fire started, but the SMOKE! Cough! Cough!

Campfires are great when you’re camping with the family or with a group. It’s just the thing to do, right? You have to cook hot dogs and s’mores over the open fire. But my husband and I found out that it’s a lot faster to cook your food over a camp stove, and that many of the places we were didn’t allow campfires anyway because it was dry season.

Cooking on a camp stove

We selected an affordable camp stove that comes with a nice carry case and not only do we use it when we’re camping, we also use it at rest stops when we road trip so we can avoid fast food.

Grab a good cooler.

I found out the hard way that my pretty thermal tote that wasn’t supposed to leak, actually does leak. We hadn’t even returned from our cross country trip before I’d shopped on Amazon and placed an order for our cooler and a road atlas (that one is a story for another time).

I selected a smaller cooler because large ones get heavy and typically we don’t have many food products that need refrigeration.

Which leads me to the food.

Give foods that utilize Tetra Pak packaging a try.  


I recently discovered food products packaged in Tetra Pak packaging. Just look at these benefits:

  • Tetra Pak packaging is light weight and space efficient- which means I can pack a lot of food in very little space.
  • Tetra Pak products require no refrigeration. That means no more leaking thermal bags or buying a large bag of ice when traveling. Are you beginning to see the benefits? These products are perfect for road tripping and camping!
  • Tetra Pak is easy to open- no can opener required.
  • Tetra Pak cartons are recyclable and made from paper, a renewable natural resource that can be replenished so know you are making a wise choice for the environment.
  • Perhaps the best part? Tetra Pak builds layers of protection into every package, preserving the quality, taste, and nutrition of the products without added preservatives.

TetraPak food selectionMy husband and I put these items to the test on backyard campout this past weekend. And since two of our kids decided to join us, we did opt for a campfire so we could roast hot dogs.

Here are the products we received in Tetra Pak cartons and what we thought of them.

hotdogsDr. McDougall’s Chili Bean All Natural Soup that is Gluten Free, Vegan and the carton is BPA free. We actually heated the soup up on our camp stove while cooked the hot dogs over the fire and used the soup as chili for chili dogs. We all gave the soup a thumbs up and thought it was delicious- which put my husband on board for future Tetra Pak purchases.
Pacific Organic Baked Beans- we received both the pork and vegetarian versions and enjoyed both.

We also tried Just Water, which is 100% spring water, and Rethink Water which his Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water. We tried the Greater Than Sports Drink Clean Hydration in Grape Vine and while I’m impressed that it is Non GMO verified and no sugar added, I wasn’t a fan. But then I’m not one to normally drink sports drinks of any kind. My husband wasn’t a fan because he dislikes the coconut water. After his reaction, I didn’t even ask if he wanted to try the CaliWater, cactus water with wild prickly pear.

Tetra Pak Just Water is 100% Spring WaterNooma Organic Electrolyte Drink will wait for another trip, but I like that it’s USDA Organic, Non GMO verified, Certified Gluten Free and certified Paleo Friendly.

Tetra Pak also sent a BuzzBox for us to check out. Now this was fun. The BuzzBox contains a selection of premium cocktails, which is perfect for me. I like to have an adult beverage on occasion, but not enough to warrant purchasing all the ingredients that I would need to make them. Not to mention, the BuzzBox is perfect for camping, when you want a quick drink (but not necessarily wine, beer or a wine cooler) while enjoying the sunset. The BuzzBox included a Classic Cosmo, Whiskey Lemonade, Cuban Mojito (yum), Extreme Coconut, Classic Greyhound, Perfect Margarita, Long Island and Bloody Mary. BuzzBox is brilliant! You won’t find preservatives, they are made with real juices and handcrafted ingredients and are the world’s first eco-friendly cocktail packaging. I drank my selections, but I really feel as those these should be served cold so you may want to have some ice on hand to chill your cocktails.

Sampling BuzzBox cocktails

I had to sample more than one for review purposes, right? Remember, you must be over 21 to drink alcohol legally in the US.

What I really loved and haven’t really considered buying for travel or camping is the Pacific all natural milk alternatives. How perfect are these for morning pancakes? And to make pancakes easier and more cost effective, instead of purchasing the travel size pancake mix, I purchased a large one and mix it with a Blender Ball Cup. It mixes thinner mixes perfectly!

tetra-pak-pacific-non-dairy-hempIn addition to everything I mentioned above, they also have Bossi Tea and Sneakz organic shakes for kids.

camping-with-tetrapakSince we set up camp in our backyard, we decided to allow Vincent, our dog, to join us. I packed a Real Beef Stew, Caru brand dog food. Grain, and gluten free, this natural adult dog food has added vitamins and minerals and must taste amazing because it was gone before I could even get a good photo.

Tetra Pak has offerings for the entire family and I know I’m getting excited for our next camping trip with more Tetra Pak products. You can learn more about Tetra Pak on their website, or by following them on Twitter or Facebook.

Have you noticed Tetra Pak packaging in your local stores? How can Tetra Pak make camping and traveling easier for you?

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Eloise Thorpe

Wednesday 2nd of August 2017

My solution to comfort camping without an air mattress is a pile of coats. But may be you have found the ground more to your liking.

Jose M. Valente

Monday 13th of February 2017

Hi there, Great advice. We were always a camping family growing up and I look forward to taking my little one on his first camping adventure very soon.


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Thank you, Jose! My husband and I camped with our kids when they were little. It was an inexpensive way to travel and introduced our kids to the outdoors at a young age. Enjoy!

Lisa Schofield

Wednesday 28th of December 2016

I am planning to go camping when the new year come with my kids. Thank you for these useful tips, especially on packing stuffs. I always feel frustrated because there are so many things need to be put in a small backpack.

Please keep up the good work.


Thursday 27th of October 2016

Hi Tonya,

Thanks for sharing your camping tips. Have you ever found the need (or desire) for a portable generator when camping either at home or away?


Thursday 17th of November 2016

I haven't found a need for one with the type of camping we currently do. If we were doing backcountry camping for a week or more and maybe that would change.

Rosie Gaudet

Wednesday 12th of October 2016

Packing an air mattress is such a great idea! Camping does not mean you have to be uncomfortable. If you want to be happy and rested for the next day's activities, then an air mattress is going to be a good idea. That way you will be rested enough to enjoy each day out camping. Protection Status
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