Clay and I hadn’t been camping in over 20 years but we decided to take the kids on a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend. My sister-in-law loves camping and she suggested that we head to Land Between The Lakes to a campground she’d visited often as a child. It was quite a drive to get there and we were going to be tent camping but we were up for it! You don’t want to take a ton of items when tent camping but there are a few must have’s that are in my tent camping arsenal. I prefer to glamp and, even with limited supplies, I do my best to make it comfy and easy.
This only includes a couple items that keep us comfy and safe during the night. I’ll do another post with our camp kitchen list.
Disclosure: We received an AcuRite Traveler’s Kit to test out on our camping trip. All opinions are strictly our own.
Our AcuRite Way To Tent Camping
As we got closer to the weekend we saw that the weather was calling for thunderstorms. I wasn’t too keen on sleeping in a tent during a thunderstorm but we had already paid for the campsite so we were kind of stuck. I took our AcuRite Flashlight with NOAA Weather Radio to help keep us safe if they were calling for bad weather. Tent camping and possible thunderstorms had me in a bit of a panic.
I actually have several different AcuRite products that I use from time to time like the projection alarm clock and grilling and tailgating items. For this particular trip, I took 2 of 3 that came in the Traveler’s Kit. I took the flashlight that I mentioned as well as the battery operated alarm clock. The third item, a digital window thermometer, would come in really handy if traveling in an RV/camper or staying in a motel or cabin to know the high/low temps for the day. It would work for tent camping too but we decided to leave it for this trip.
We planned for several weeks for this camping trip. We bought a new tent and air mattress for the kids. Clay and I already had one. It’s been a long time since I slept on the ground. Even though we have an air mattress I was worried that we’d end up on the ground after a neighbor kid was caught bouncing on it when we set everything up to test out before we left. We did. It lost half its air in the night and Clay and I woke up on a hard ground bed. I’m glad I put a tarp under our tent. It added a little extra protection from the gravel pad our campsite was on! I was so mad!
Aside from waking up from the lack of comfort, I tend to wake up a lot in the night, use the restroom and look at the time. I do this at home so I knew I would traveling too. The battery operated clock was a godsend!
My phone battery died within hours of being at the campsite. My battery life stinks. It never holds a charge. I had an idea and to put the phone in airplane mode and it worked pretty well. But to charge my phone, it was on the other end of the tent so I couldn’t just glance at it to see the time in the middle of the night. I was able to keep the little clock right next to me and look at it in the night. In fact, it fit right in the hanging mesh organizer that came with our tent. So it was right above my head. It was right there when I needed it.
The battery alarm clock has a nighttime light so all I had to do was push the little button and a lighted display popped right up! This clock also has an alarm clock so I can set the time when on vacation as well as snooze button. I used the alarm clock when Clay and I went to Tennessee on a weekend getaway. The snooze button may or may not have been pressed a couple times that weekend. 😀 I love that it folds up so it is super compact too. It fit right in the pocket of our suitcase on our weekend getaway and in my tote for camping.
The flashlight was perfect for two reasons. 1.) It’s a flashlight so we had plenty of light when walking around the campground at night. It uses LED light so it was super bright. 2.) It’s a weather alert radio with NOAA National Weather Service alerts so we were able to keep up with any warnings or alerts in our area. Luckily, the weather turned out to be gorgeous the entire weekend. (Thank you Lord!) The flashlight can be run two ways. It can run on double A batteries or it has a hand crank for emergency use if your batteries are dead.
Here are more features for the AcuRite Weather Alert Radio and Flashlight:
- Emergency weather radio with NOAA National Weather Service alerts for your location
- Flashlight with super-bright LEDs
- Hand crank provides emergency power by recharging the batteries
- Automatic notification: emergency, weather & public announcements
- Responds to all hazards and warnings for NOAA / NWS / Dept. of Defense & Weatheradio Canada
- Sounds a loud siren when emergency conditions occur
- Listen button – hear local weather report at any time
- Backlit LCD displays scrolling messages
- Color-coded LED’s indicate alert type
- 50 mile signal scan receives 7 digitally tuned NOAA channels
- S.A.M.E. technology ensures local info
- Phase Lock Loop (PLL) digital tuning
- Time & date with automatic Daylight Saving Time (DST) adjustment
- Backlit display
- Headphone / accessory jack
- Volume controls
- Low battery indicator
- Battery operated or AC adapter powered (not included)
Ok, I mentioned that this AcuRite Traveler’s Pack comes with three items. The third, that we use at home, it a digital window thermometer that gives you the days high/low temperature. It can be used for indoor or outdoor.
- Indoor or outdoor temperature
- Daily high / low temperature
- Large, clear display
- Reversible design for indoor / outdoor window use
- Durable, weather resistant construction
- Low battery indicator
- Re-positionable, rotating suction cup mount
We didn’t have electric hookups at our campsite. We were in the slightly primitive camping section. So we took a rechargeable, portable generator to charge phones and to run a fan in the tent in the night. It was near 90° and humid as heck so those fans helped keep us cool and comfortable all night. So a fan(s) is another item in my must-have camping gear.
For cooking, we used the firepit ring and our Coleman Stove. If it was raining we could still use our Coleman under the canopy tent to boil hot dogs or even fry hamburger. If we’d had electric, a hot dog roller would have been super cool to use on a rainy day to give them that crispy texture boiling just doesn’t create. You can read more about those here.
One last item that I have in my must-have tent camping arsenal is a “pee bucket”. I got a lot of flack over this one, mainly from the guys. When you have 3 young girls and you, yourself have a bladder the size of a pea, you don’t want to be traipsing all over God’s creation in the middle of the night just to use the restroom. Our campsite was covered in poison ivy and tree frog’s. I don’t want poison ivy. And I have a severe phobia of those other nasty things. Not to mention venomous snakes. So I used a Luggable Loo and Double Doodie Bags and kept that sucker right in the tent. We only used it during the night and the bag was changed first thing in the morning. The bags we used have bio-gel that works to control odor and sort of “congeal” urine. Like a diaper! It worked perfectly! There was no odor!
So those are a few of my tent camping must-have’s. I like to tent camp the AcuRite way with a few other items to keep us comfy and safe. Check out all our tent camping must-haves!
What are some things you absolutely have to have when camping in a tent?
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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