Keep in mind that this list will GROW considerably as we think of the many things that make our camping excursions easier.
• Sleeping Bags and Camp Pillows – You can find little camp pillows – in stuff sacks – at many department stores. These little gems save on space when packing.
• Tent – Ours is a 9’x9′ dome and accommodates 3 adults and a dog comfortably. If you don’t already have a tent, get a dome. Brianna has ours set up in less than 10 minutes ~ by herself!
• Plastic Tarp – Use the tarp under the tent to prevent moisture from the earth soaking the bottom of your tent. Our tarp is about 2′ larger than the base of our tent in one direction (by the door). We use this extra area as a “patio” of sorts for removing shoes before going into the tent. The patio concept is really only a ‘dry weather’ idea. For camping during rainy weather you’ll want your tarp to fit nicely under all sides of your tent. An added fold accomplishes this for us with the same tarp.
• Steel or Aluminum Tent Stakes – Get the good stakes that’ll fit through the grommets on the tent and not bend in half when you hit a rock while pounding them into hard soil. We use 4 for our tent plus 2 or 3 for the front of our “patio” tarp. Now, I also have 5 or 6 extras that I use with an extra tarp for making rain cover or wind breaks when needed.
• Lantern – Pick your fuel… We use propane in the disposable cylinders for convenience. Our stove uses the same. Keep both in mind when making your selection. Coleman now makes the Northstar lantern that uses the cylinders, is lots brighter than a standard lantern, and is self-igniting. (Ok, I want one of these REALLY BAD!)
• Camp Stove – Again, pick your fuel. There are many different styles to choose from. Keep in mind ease of cleaning after cooking messy bacon or burgers… We found ours at a yard sale for $10 and it was used only once. It sells at Target for about $49!
• Utensils – Spatula, Knives, Forks, and Spoons in a variety of sizes for cooking and eating.
• Pots & Pans – We’ve got a set of el’cheapos that we use just for camping.
• Kettle – Coleman and a few others make the enamel perk type. We use it to boil water for coffee, tea, cocoa, cooking, and dish washing.
• Hot Mitt or Pot Holder – Those el’cheapos get pretty hot to handle!
• Can Opener – By all means, don’t forget to bring a can opener.
• Lighter or Matches – We use an “Aim-n-Flame” made by Scripto. I also pack dry matches just in case.
• Plates, Bowls, & Cups – If you’re into day camping then disposables may work fine for you. We don’t like to throw a lot of stuff away when we camp so we have a nice set of the enameled metal ones. We just do dishes after every meal.
• Broom, Whisk Broom & Dust Pan – I bought an inexpensive broom and cut the handle down about half way. Great for sweeping our the tent or keeping our “patio” clean. As for the whisk broom and pan, Coleman makes a mating pair that costs about three bucks.
• Cooler – We bring two. One for beverages and one just for food. We specifically bought one with a tray to keep some items (lunch meats, chocolate bars, etc.) out of the water when the ice melts.
• Water Bottle – We use a five gallon collapsible plastic bottle. It is much easier to have water at the camp site for cooking and cleaning. We just walk to the closest water spout, fill up, and lug the thing back to camp.
• Flashlights – You’ll need one to find the lighter to light the lantern. And flashlights mean hours of mindless entertainment for kids. They love ’em so get a cheap one for each kid.
• Battery Operated Lantern – We use a Fluorescent Tube lantern inside the tent (a MUST) and around the picnic table. If the kids run into it nobody gets burned.
• Dish Towels & Washcloths – You’ll use less paper towels if you have a few old dish towels or washcloths to dry hands and dishes. Hang them out to dry and use them over and over.
• Sponge Scrubber, Wash Tub, & Dish Soap – One of those little yellow and green kitchen scrubbers will work for cleaning your campware. Fill a plastic wash tub with soapy water and wash away. Our wash tub is just large enough to wash a plate or pot in. We store our dishes in it when packed away for travel.
• Camp Ax or Hatchet – You’ll need one for pounding tent stakes, pulling stakes, & chopping fire wood.
• Knife – Growing up, I always used one of Mom’s good steak knife. Now I recommend using a good Buck lock blade, Swiss Army knife, or Gerber Tool.
• Fun Stuff – Frisbee, Balls, Gloves, Books, Magazines, Games (Yahtzee, Jenga, Cards, Battleship, etc.), Stamping Stuff, Art Supplies. By all means, don’t forget some fun recreation stuff for you and the kids.
• First Aid Kit – Tweezers, Gauze, Band Aids, Antiseptic, Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer, Children’s Medicine, Female Supplies, etc.
• BBQ & Charcoal – We love our compact ‘Smokey Joe’ and we only use ‘Match Light’ charcoal. No messy lighter fluid to spill or leak.
• Water Bowl – For the dog…
• Cork Screw
• Clamps – We use 4″ plastic hand clamps for all sorts of hanging and securing tasks. These are the ones that you squeeze on one end to open the other. Essential to wet weather preps.
Other helpful Items:
Camera, film
Can/bottle opener
Extra batteries
First aid supplies
Fishing tackle/bait
Flashlights, lanterns
Folding chairs
Folding shovel
Food, drinks
Grill and its fuel
Maps, nature books
Matches, sparkler
Paper goods
Road flares
Sports equipment
Toilet articles
Trash bags
The Menu
Cereal, Toast, & Juice
Pop Tarts & Milk
Eggs, Bacon or Sausage, Toast
Eggs, Corned Beef Hash, Toast
Hamburgers or Hot Dogs, Pork & Beans, Chips
Sandwiches & Chips (PB&J, Deli Meats, Tuna, etc.)
Ravioli (Eat ’em cold or warm. Yum.)
Chili, Bread & Butter (Could be a dinner item instead.)
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
BBQ Steak, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob
BBQ Chicken, Potatoes, Veggies
Dinty Moor Beef Stew & Bread
Hamburgers or Hot Dogs, Pork & Beans, Chips
Browned Hamburger with Pork & Beans & chopped onion simmered together until delicious!

Trail Mix
Chips & Dips
Oreo Cookies & Moo Juice
Fresh Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Grapes, etc.)
After Dinner
(We could call this “By the Camp Fire”)
Hot Cocoa
Hot Coffee

  • Don’t forget that you can buy ahead the non-food and non-perishable food items to reduce your grocery bill. Some of these things should last you an entire camp season so you won’t need to buy them every time.
     Paper Towels
     Zip Lock Bags (1 gallon size)
     Butter Tub or Squeezable Margarine
     Aluminum Foil (To cover your cook surfaces with, wrap potatoes & corn, etc.)
     Snacks (Trail Mix, Pretzels, Chips, Oreo Cookies, etc.)
     Dips for your Snacks (Salsa, Onion Dip, Clam Dip, etc.)
     Pancake Mix
     Maple Syrup (Vermont Maple Syrup is the BEST!)
     Hot Cocoa Mix, Coffee or Coffee Singles, Tea
     Meat (Steaks, Chicken, Ground Beef, Hamburger Patties, Hot Dogs)
     8oz. Cans of Pork & Beans (Pull Tab tops are great!)
     Ice – by all means, don’t forget plenty of Ice
     Dinty Moore Beef Stew (Our traditional First Night dinner.)
     Bacon and/or Sausage
     Pop Tarts (Our traditional Gettin’-on-the-Road Breakfast.)
     Eggs (You’ll need a nifty crush proof egg carrier for these little chicken gems.)
     Cereal
     Milk
     Marshmallows (Smores!)
     Chocolate Bars (Smores!!)
     Graham Crackers (Smores!!!)
     Lunch Meats & Cheese (Roast Beast doesn’t do too well in a cooler unless you plan to eat it on Day 1 or 2.)
     Baby Wipes (No kids you say… Great for general camp cleanup and hand washing.)
     Bread
     Mayo
     Mustard
     Catsup
     Sugar
     Salt & Pepper
     Peanut Butter & Jelly
     Plastic Cups
     Juice or Juice Mixes (Ocean Spray makes condensed juices that don’t need to be kept cold.)
     Fresh Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Grapes)
     Tuna
     Pickles
     Pop Corn (Jiffy Pop in the foil popping pans still work great after all these years!)
     Sour Cream
     Dish Soap & Scrubber
     PAM Cooking Spray
     Sun Block (SPF 15 or better)
     Paper Grocery Bags (You don’t have to buy these… have ’em load your groceries in them when you’re done.)
     Plastic Grocery Bags (Ditto)
     Potatoes
     Corn on the Cob
     Canned Veggies
     Canned Corned Beef Hash
     Canned Ravioli
     Canned Chili
     Batteries (Get batteries for your lantern, flashlights, radio, etc.)
     Matches or Lighter
     Personal Hygiene products (travel size toothpaste, shampoo, & soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, etc.)
     Bug Spray
     Paper napkins & paper towels
     Medium or Large Onion (for Mom’s Camp Skillet Dinner)
     Match Light charcoal
    l and click ‘Jo

in Fun & Games
Promoting fun for your kids is a big part of a successful outing. Here’s some of the many things that we do to pass our time away from home. Most of the following ideas are based on entertaining two or more. Some, however, are for those moments when kids (and parents) need ‘down time’. We even like to set up a small tent for the smaller kids to use for their quieter activities. They like it because it is a space they can call their own. We like it because we know where the kids are when things get just a little too quiet. And don’t forget, you can get involved, too.
Items with the Game Guide link next to them have rules or suggestions for play available. Simply click the Game Guide link to get the basics on how many can play, what you need, and how to do it.

Card Games
Go Fish! Game Guide
War Game Guide
Crazy Eights Game Guide
Solitaire Game Guide
Old Maid Game Guide
Board Games
Chutes n’ Ladders

Higher Energy
Flashlight Tag
Freeze Tag
Capture the Flag
Kick the Can
Tug of War
Lower Energy
Story Telling
Car Games
Count Your Cows Game Guide
Sign Game Game Guide
License Plate Game Game Guide
Card Game Guide
Go Fish!
Players: 2 – 5
Cards: One 52-card deck
To Play: For two players, deal each player seven cards. For three or more players, deal each player five cards. The dealer places the rest of the deck face down on the table to form the stock. All players pair any same rank cards in their hand (9’s, Queens, etc.) and place the pairs on the table. The player to the left of the dealer then begins by asking any other player for a specific card. (“Dan, I would like your 9.”) The asking player must have one of the cards being asked for. (I already have a 9 and need another to make a pair.) If the asked player has the card he must hand it over. If the asked player does not have the card, his reply is “Go fish!” The asking player draws one from the top of the deck. If a pair is made, either way, the player shows the pair, lays it down, and goes again. If no pair is made, the game moves to the next player on the left. The object of the game is two have the most pairs at the end of the game. If a player runs out of cards, he may draw from the stock on his next turn and ask for a card matching the one drawn. Once the stock is used up, a player with no cards is out of the game. You can have even more fun if you’re flexible and create variations of the game.
Players: 2
Cards: One 52-card deck
To Play: Deal all of the cards between the two players. Each player puts his stack of cards face down in front of him and turns up the top card at the same time. The player who has the higher of the two turned up cards wins both of them and puts them face down at the bottom of his stack of cards. The King is the highest card and the Ace is the lowest. (Sometimes the game is played with the Ace high.) if the two turned up cards are the same rank, the players have a war. Each turns one card face down and then one card face up. The higher of the two new face up cards takes both piles. (Total of six cards.) If the newly turned up cards again match, there is double war. Each player once again turns one card face down and one face up and the higher of these two new face up cards wins the entire pile of ten cards. The game continues like this until one player has all the cards.

Crazy Eights
Players: 2 to 4
Cards: One 52-card deck
To Play: This game is also known as Crazy 7’s, 8’s, Jacks, etc. The goal of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all one’s cards. Here’s how: In a two person game, deal each player seven cards. Three or four people – deal each player five cards. When the dealer finishes dealing she puts the stock face down in the middle of the table and turns the top card face up beside the stock as the starter card of the talon, or pile of played cards.
Play starts to the dealer’s left (or with the other player in a two player game). The first player must play to the starter card a card of the same suite or rank (face value). Each person in turn continues to play a card of the same suit or rank to the top card of the talon. If she cannot do so, she must draw cards from the stock until she can play. A player may, however, draw cards from the stock even if she is able to play. Some players will draw to avoid having to play an 8, which is the wild card.
All 8’s are wild, and any person may play an 8 to the talon and thereby win the right to name a new suit. She may play the 8 even if she is able to play a card of the same suit or rank. The next person, in turn, must play a card of the suit just named or play another 8.
If the stock becomes exhausted and a person cannot play to the talon, she passes and the next person in turn may play or pass. However, no one may pass if she holds a playable card. If the stock is exhausted and no one can play to the talon, the game ends. This is called a block. If the game ends in a block, the player with the lowest score wins. (Score is based on the cards remaining in one’s hand. 10 points/face card, Face value for cards 2 through 10, and 1 point per ace. Normally, a game ends when a player ( the winner) gets rid of all of her cards.

Players: One
Cards: One 52-card deck
To Play: After shuffling, begin by turning one card face up and six more cards face down to form a seven card horizontal row. This is your tableau. Next, turn a card face up on the second card of the row and then place five cards face down, one on each of the remaining face down cards. Repeat this procedure with five, four, three, two, and one cards. The completed tableau has 28 cards with piles containing respectively one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven cards. Each stack in the tableau is topped with a face up card. Use the remaining 24 cards as stock.
The goal of the game is to use all stock, discard, and tableau cards to build on each foundation ace upward, or ascending, sequence by rank and suit – aces to kings. Play any ace face up on the tableau to the foundations row. (This will be a row above your tableau that will consist of the four aces.) On each foundation ace, you must build an upward, or ascending, sequence by rank and suit. On the face-up cards in the tableau, build downward, or descending, sequences by rank and in alternate colors. You may fill spaces in the tableau only with kings face up in the stock or with kings and king-high sequences face up in the tableau. If you move one card of a sequence to another pile in the tableau, you must move the whole sequence with it.
After all possible tableau manipulations have been made, turn the cards in the stock face up one at a time and, if possible, play them on the foundation or tableau piles. If these plays are not possible, place the card face up on the discard, or trash, pile. If you play a card from the discard pile, the one beneath immediately becomes playable. After you have run through the stock once, the game ends.

Old Maid
Players: 2 or More
Cards: 51 of a 52-card deck – Remove one of the Queens from the pack.
To Play: Deal one card at a time to each player, as far as the cards will go. Don’t worry if the cards don’t come out even. The goal is to avoid getting stuck with the last unpaired queen. Each player sorts his cards and puts aside, face down, all the cards that he can pair. (A player with three of any card would only lay down a pair of two with the third remaining in his hand.)
After each player has discarded his paired cards, the dealer presents her cards, fanned out but face down, to the player at her left. The player at the left selects one card – blindly – and quickly examines it to see if it pairs with a card still in his hand. If so, he discards the pair. In any case, this player now fans his cards out and presents them face down to the player at his left.
This process continues, player by player, until all of the cards are paired – EXCEPT ONE. The player left with the odd queen at the end is the “Old Maid.”
Car Game Guide

Count Your Cows
Players: Everyone in the car or just a few riders
What you need: Windows (the glass kind not the computer kind)
To Play: This Rider Classic road game began when I was a child traveling New England with my family. The game play is pretty basic but can provide hours of fun for the entire family on the road. Each player counts the cows they see along the way. The player with the most cows when you reach your destination wins. Here’s the twist. If you pass a cemetery the first player to announce “Bury your cows!” keeps his cow count. All others go to zero and start over. There are variations of the game that include double points for cows that are laying down, extra points for “Smart Cows” (the first player to announce when passing a school), etc. Have fun with it! Be creative with it!

The Sign Game
Players: Everyone in the car or just a few riders
What you need: Windows
To Play: Another Rider Classic road game. Each player tries to complete the alphabet, letter by consecutive letter, by spotting the letter they need on signs. The letters used must be the first letter of any word on any sign along the road, on businesses, or on cars & trucks. License plate letters don’t count except for the names of states and state slogans. (P for Pennsylvania or K for Keystone state.) When a player spots a letter they announce the letter and what word they see that gives them the letter. (“A for Appletown.” ) In the event that two players spot the same word at the same time, they can do any of the following: Duke it out in the back seat to see who gets to take the letter while missing any good signs that may pass while they fight, or give it to the oldest, or give it to the loudest, or Rock-Paper-Scissors it to see who takes it. Or perhaps there could be a vote. Or… Part of the fun with the Rider Classics, parents, is that you can make it up as you go. This can be a fun, fast moving game that all but the very young can play. This game can also be played as a group whereby each player adds to the group alphabet. (Brianna spots “I for Indiana”, Bobby spots “J for Jack in the Box”, and I spot “K for Kawasaki.”)

The License Plate Game
Players: Everyone in the car or just a few riders
What you need: Windows
To Play: Yet another Rider Classic road game. My family may not have invented it but we sure loved playing it. We still do. This game can be competitive or a group effort. Each player tries to spot as many different state’s license plates as possible. Extra points can be awarded for finding two (or more) different plates from the same state or by spotting a car/truck with more than one state’s plate on it. (This happens most frequently on tractor trailer combinations. The tractor may have one state and the trailer may have another. Also, some semi’s may sport several plates from different states.) Each player announces the state and points out the vehicle the plate is on. Players can spot the same state if the plates are on different vehicles.