Upgrade Your End of Summer Camping Experience

First Steps on the Trail

If you could spend the least amount of money to have an adventure while making life-long memories, would you do it? I have always loved road trips. I would sit in the back, watching scenic views, breathing in the cold mountain air, and singing my worries away. That was my childhood, and that’s how I grew to love going on road trips.

In 2014, I tried my first camping trip. We had bare-minimum essentials – a tent, sleeping bags, stove, and cooler, and all of them borrowed. That was the last time we ever had to use someone else’s camping equipment. Vacation and travel have changed for us, and we didn’t wait long to start investing in our camping gear.

Fast forward to 2019; this year has seen many adventures and camping gear upgrades. My adventurous better half, our two snow dogs and I have taken six camping trips in the last six months. 

From weekend off-roading in Anza Borrego to Dumont Dunes to Alabama Hills, we have learned so much about camping essentials. 

Getaway Crib with Freespirit Recreation Rooftop Tent (RTT)

This particular item has been a game-changer for me. During our camping trip in Dumont Dunes, we got to try a fellow camper’s roof-top tent. Not only was it warm, spacious, and sturdy, we never felt the sand storm that night. The following morning we decided this was going to be the next camping investment. We got ourselves the glorious Freespirit Recreation’s rooftop tent.  I went from sleeping on the ground with no padding to air/foam mattresses and finally to RTT. I’ve experienced it enough to see how each transition elevated my camping experience. The coolest thing about our rooftop tent is that it assembles itself in less than 60 seconds! No more setting up the ground tent in the rain, snow, hail, etc.

And because we travel with our dogs, we also have an annex attachment that clips onto the tent and can probably fit an additional 3-4 people. Our crib on wheels is my new favorite thing about camping.

Purchase this item here!

Grill Master with Tembo Tusk Skottle

Whenever we go camping, we try to eat well, but sometimes, it’s hard to find a fire pit with a grill. I am not a fan of freeze-dried meals, but if that’s how you roll, that’s cool too. The funny thing about our camping food is that we almost always have our four staple go to foods: chicken wings, burgers, fried rice, and breakfast scramble. To save the day, we bought a Tembo Tusk Skottle Grill. It’s a mash-up between a cast iron skillet, grill, and wok. You can cook almost anything, clean up quickly and easily, and pack it up. Ever since we got this, we have stopped using our camping stove. The Grill Master is all we need to make sure we have nice-warm meals while on the road.

Purchase this item here!

Travel Fridge with Dometic CFX50

We used to lug 30 pounds of ice in two coolers every camping trip and restock every couple of hours depending on the weather. Until we found out about the Dometic fridge series.

On our first off-roading trip to Anza Borrego, our fellow off-roaders displayed their decked out rigs. Not only was it for educational purposes, but it was also to allow people to see what’s possible when camping/being on the road. Almost every car we looked at we saw a Dometic fridge. We realized this was going to be the next purchase. We went ahead and got ourselves a CFX50 fridge. The temperature is adjustable, keeps our spiked seltzers and food cold, and no ice required. The fridge plugs into the car with a 12V cable when it’s running, and when it’s not, we have our Goal Zero portable power station that keeps it going. We have eliminated unnecessary stops along the way, dumping melted water, and all in all, the biggest plus always has cold beverages on a hot day.

Purchase this item here!

Goal Zero Yeti 1000W Portable Power Station +
GoalZero Nomad 100 Solar Panel

We didn’t even know we needed the Goal Zero Yeti until we bought the Dometic. This power station bundle comes with a solar panel, so it can charge the battery while it charges your electronics. My partner loves photography, and this allows her to charge her computer while she uploads her photos. It has proven to be handy when it comes to charging the battery on the go. Especially on “lazy” camping trips when you want to spend the day in your campground, the Goal Zero keeps the fridge running while charging to sustain itself.

Purchase this item here!

Making New Memories and Exploring New Places

These upgrades have taken the game to another level for us. My partner and I enjoy taking road trips, making new memories, and exploring new places. This way of travel allows us to experience “van life” with our twist on it. After all these investments, we spend perhaps $200-$350 on a camping trip (all expenses include – food, gas, campsite fees, and other essentials).

Do you need all of these to have a fantastic quick getaway? No. The point is that you have this way of traveling available to you. From getting dirty and stuck to finding solutions along with all the laughs and tears on the road – you create lifelong memories.

I don’t have to wait for two weeks PTO to take a vacay anymore. A quick getaway week/weekend trip can fill my need for adventure, relaxation, and travel bucket all in one, at a relatively low cost, while creating the best memories to last me a lifetime. 

Let’s go camping!

*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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