This is a post I intended to make even before we left for our camping and hiking trip but life threw us a lot of curve balls before the trip and I never got around to doing it. Even now this isn't the kind of post I intended and I'm just slapping it together quickly by literally looking up my purchase history and linking to the page of items I bought.
A lot of thought and research went into the items I bought and I had reasons I decided on each of them. For some items, like the hiking shoes and boots, I looked for months (yes, literally months) and I also had bought previous items that I didn't like and bought something else instead (like the hiking boots I owned previously and didn't want to use on this trip - which is mentioned in various posts on Coffee Talking.)
This list are things you will see in various photos of our trip (if you've been following the posts). I feel a little guilty about the fact that a good portion of our camping gear came from Amazon; because I do like to support other stores that sell gear - no matter how big or small; I like to see all retail thrive! But to be honest, when I do my research, if Amazon has the exact item I need, at the best price - that's where I'm going to get it. I can't afford to spend $70 on something when I can buy the exact same item (literally) for $56. When you are purchasing multiple items you save a huge chunk of change. So many of our items come from Amazon although I also bought from Lowe's, Walmart, Sierra Trading Post, Tractor Supply Company, Sam's Club and a few others. However, because it's a pain in the rear to link to all these items, I decided to just put the Amazon links here for two reason; the first, because I'm an affiliate of course, but second - as everyone knows, Amazon keeps a record of all your orders so it was nice to simply go back to through my orders, skimming for the items I bought for camping and then link to them. Much easier than searching for hours to find the exact item I bought!
This collapsible sink was awesome! Only about 1 1/2" thick when collapsed, it made washing dishes so easy, yet took up almost no space.
We used these in our collapsible portable toilet - because the double doodie bags that are sold to use with it are so expensive. These waste bags are for pets but worked great in our portable toilet! Large enough, and thick enough we could use them for 2-3 'visits' before removing it - and no leaks or rips.
This is the kind I originally bought about 3 years ago as an 'add on' item at Amazon for $2.12. I loved them and went to order more later and they were about $6. Supply and demand I guess. But I still bought more.
I chose this one when I needed one more set of eating utensils and liked the big, round spoon that comes with this one because it works great as a stirring spoon and serving spoon while camping and hiking.
My favorite mess kit! I liked it so much I've bought two for 'camping gear' gifts for others in addition to the ones we bought for our own family.
You'll see these in the photos of us in the cave but my daughter is wearing them almost the whole time - even more than she did her hiking boots.
This pack was an afterthought - and wow! LOVED IT. My daughter loved it so much you will see it on her back in all the photos of us hiking or touring 'out and about'. Folds up into it's own little pouch when not in use. Not one bad thing to say about it; no matter how much we put in it, it was comfortable.
These boots! I blogged about a different pair (same brand) I bought 2 years ago and HATED but I decided to give these a go. I love them so much. My daughter ended up getting same ones as I did.
This solar shower isn't in any of the photos. Long story, but in the end, we didn't use it.
This! Something I never would have purchased in years prior but did this year and what an awesome, awesome thing to have! Having our own private little bathroom was something we came to appreciate more than I ever thought I would.
This is a combination solar shower OR wet/dry bag. LOVE THIS but we only used it as a bag on this trip; not as a solar shower. For kayaking, boating, etc. this bag rocks for keeping things dry or carrying water.
We used these a couple times with the portable toilet but we mostly used the biodegradable pet bags I linked to above. These are great but they are expensive.
We had a variety of freeze dried foods - a lot of Mountain House but also supplemented with other freeze dried foods I bought in a can and then vacuum sealed into smaller portions.
This camp stove has been SUCH a great investment. Another item I refused to buy for years - because camping is about cooking over a fire, right? I was an idiot. I love this and it makes brewing coffee fast and easy as well as cooking meals of course. Best yet? Works with propane OR butane!
I ended up buying 3 of these because I really liked them. I didn't think I'd care about the rounded head part - but it ends up - when you are sleeping in an area with tons of spiders, putting your hair in a braid or pony and then tightening this around your head a bit, really does help you sleep more secure knowing spiders won't be crawling into your long hair and getting tangled during the night. Oh! But note it is NOT good for keeping you warm if it's under about 50 degrees out. Line it with a fleece bag or blankets.
I like to order the best seller kits; but whoa - watch prices! The same exact kit can sell from $30 to $60 depending on supply and demand and Amazon's tracking cookies on your computer. We made sure to order TWO cases of the biscuits and gravy because love them that much and also a whole case of chicken breast and mashed potatoes.
These trekking poles were something I bought not knowing if I'd use them or not. I did end up using them quite a bit hiking in Arkansas on the way home from Arizona. They collapse to a good pack size but are sturdy when pulled out to size.
This is the Stanley cup set I have mentioned on Twitter a few times! It's NOT fun to use for cooking thick meals in because it's a pain to clean out as it's so deep. But it's GREAT for liquids, soups and coffee. And the 2 cups it comes with inside are my go-to coffee cups for every camping/hiking trip. If I didn't have room for my other mess kit (above) and could only bring one kit - THIS would be it for everything. Foods and drinks.
These are not available from the seller I bought them from but you can see what I bought and they are available from a LOT of other sellers. They work great and are still going strong after many trips... the batteries haven't even needed to be changed yet.
Love this mat. Although supposedly 'self inflating' you'll be happier if you help it out a little and blow. Once it's inflated it's super comfortable and wider than many on the market so you don't slide off.
This is the toilet I've mentioned probably too-many times but we were so thankful for this thing! We camped in the national forest and desert quite a bit on this trip and it was so great to have this with our portable little pop up tent, disposable bags and the 'poo powder' you'll see below.
Although it's called 'poo powder' it doesn't do too much for poo right away but it might if it was left long enough. What it DOES do is cut down on the smells and it instantly gels up liquids! We would get our portable toilet ready with a new disposable bag and a scoop of this powder in the bottom. When you go to the bathroom it would gel up the liquids and counteract any smells. This made tying off the bag for carrying and disposing so easy. For "number two" it does help with smells but we never left a bag in place more than 1 day so I don't know what 'break down' effect on poo it would have or not have. For urine though (and liquid vomit I imagine) this is GREAT. A good investment!
Our power inverter came from Lowe's. The deep cycle marine battery I used with it was from Sam's Club.
Our tent came from Tractor Supply Store but is available through Amazon as well. (https://amzn.to/2lx5u6K)
The folding cots were from Sierra Trading Post. The cots were
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