@jaycie Tent stakes are important, and those little aluminum things most tents come with are nonsense.
Gratefully, every hardware store has big 1" metal spikes. Buy an appropriate number of them and a cheap hammer, throw 'em in your tent bag.
You'll want to let folks know where they are in the dark. A cut tennis ball will go over the end well; an empty aluminum can also works. Consider some of that orange or pink vinyl "tape" to tie around your tent's guy-lines.
@jaycie Luminoodle makes wonderful, rubber-encased LED strips in a variety of lengths. They run for hours on a simple USB battery charger. Can be strung out as area lighting or kept in its bag as a single glow lamp. It doesn't take long before folks start getting creative with placement.
@jaycie The northern hemisphere is headed toward winter, so consider getting a couple packs of Hot2Go reusable hand warmers. Lovely little things: you pop a piece of flexed metal inside them, and they provide heat for a good while. Boil 'em, reverse the reaction inside, and they're good for another go.
@jaycie In warm weather, if you have the space, a folding cot is a great sleep surface; doesn't trap body heat, lets air pass around you on all sides.
In cold weather, a cheap futon mattress—especially the kind in two parts with a zipper down the middle—is excellent. Thick enough to provide insulation from the cold ground, especially with a blanket or two on top. Unzip it, roll each side up, tighten with ratchet straps, and pack it away.
@jaycie JetBoil kits are expensive, but the sheer joy of being able to turn your cold, winter's-day water into hot chocolate or soup in one or two minutes is priceless.
@jaycie The cheapest fabric you can find and a set of clothespins from a dollar store can add a lot of life to your campsite, provided there are trees around. Also useful for creating semi-private areas. Always be careful and kind with the trees. 🙏🏼
@jaycie You WILL want a folding table on which you can make food. Stansport makes a good, long one that folds in the middle to save space. Bigger and more collapsible is better; you will not be happy with something under 24".
Cheap 5-gal. plastic buckets from the hardware store are great for holding things that can't get wet. Put a trash bag over the top and your items are nice and safe.
@jaycie Any food you can pre-cook at home and simply warm when hungry is the way to go. I like making meat, beans, and rice for tacos/burritos. Dip out an appropriate amount, heat in whatever way makes the most sense, slap into a tortilla and munch 🤤
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