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Things We Did Before Our First Camping Trip of the Season

We’re going camping in a week and I am so ready! This has been the longest year of my teaching career up to this point. I’m not sure why that is, but I need to get away to the forest and decompress. 

Just because I am ready, doesn’t mean the camper is, however. 

We have a small popup camper, so we don’t have to worry about a lot of holding tanks and water lines. So if you’re looking for a post about those things, I can’t help you there. 

I did have some very specific things that I wanted to do in my popup before next weekend. I just had to wait until it stopped raining so that I could crank it up and get in there to work.

  1. Fresh Coat

The first thing we did was give the outside a bath and put a fresh coat of paint on. I loved the vintage look that the faded paint gave the camper, and didn’t really want to paint it, but the husband had other plans. I’m ok with how it turned out. Eventually I would like to paint the whole thing, but that will be later on.

Before
After
  1. A Good Cleaning

When I was finally able to get the camper popped up, I took everything out and cleaned. The camper was folded up tightly all winter, and things just needed some freshening. It smells lemony-fresh in there now.

  1. New Gear

All winter I have been collecting things to add to the camper. Not a lot, because it is a small popup, but I added some things and took out a few things.

I took out the carpet squares that had been thrown down on the floor. They collect dirt and dust from our feet, but I didn’t like them. They are harder to clean than just simply sweeping the linoleum. Eventually I would like to put some vinyl floor planks down and get rid of the linoleum. 

I found a couple of welcome mats at the Dollar Tree that we will use this year. One on the outside at the step and one right inside the door. Other than that, we are going bare floor this year.

I covered the bench cushions. I’d been seeing a hack of how to cover the cushions without sewing. Since I don’t sew, this spoke to my soul. 

I bought bedding to be used specifically in the camper. Pretty much the only thing we don’t like about the popup is that you still have to load up A LOT of stuff to take with you every time you go camping. Hauling around bulky bedding was the worst last year, so this year we have bedding that can be loaded into the camper before the departure day, saving us some room in the backseat of the pickup for other things.

I added an electric skillet to my camp kitchen. The camper has a propane stove that can be used inside or outside and it works great, but when we stay where there is electric, I can save fuel and use the electric skillet instead. 

I also added a coffee maker. What’s camping without a cup of coffee in the peaceful morning air? Last year we used a stainless steel percolator on the propane cook stove. It makes good coffee, but it takes a long time. The coffee maker will be much simpler and I can make more coffee. You can never have too much!

Something else I’ve added to the camper this year is a small popup privacy tent. Most of the places we go have bathroom facilities, and that’s great. We won’t need the privacy tent that often, but we’ve scouted out some primitive camping sites that won’t afford us the luxury of flushing toilets, electricity, or running water. Those are the kind of spots I like to go camping…remote and peaceful. The privacy tent can be popped up and the port-a-potty set inside for a place to go to the bathroom. 

The last thing we added were rope lights. This was my husband’s contribution. He loves rope lights! I’m not sure why, but he does, so I let him. They do look really cool and light up the outside of the camper so you can see when returning from the bathroom or a night of fishing down at the lake.

  1. Lights!

Another thing to check before heading to the campsite is the lights on the camper. When you plug the camper into the vehicle you are towing it with, make sure that all the lights and signals work properly. 

Now we just have to throw our clothes and hygiene items in a bag and put the groceries in the cooler and we are ready to go! It’s too bad I have to work four days before we can leave. 

Happy Camping!

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