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Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

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Many a spring and summer memory can be made while taking the family tent camping in the Texas Hill Country. But prepping for the trip is often more than half the battle. The kids might enjoy getting to your site, running around chasing butterflies, and getting ready to take a swim somewhere in the campground, but ultimately, as parents, you know how much work is put into loading up the truck, van, or car, and unloading everything when you get there. And so, here is an easy list to help remind you of some useful things to take along which could save you time and money.

Tent (Of Course) & Extra Tent Pegs

Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Wikimedia

You would be surprised at the number of people that have packed up their entire vehicle and trekked on down the road to their campsite, only to discover when they get there that they’ve left the tent behind. So first, check that off your list. But second, make sure you have all of the extra components required to mitigate any problems that might arise from your makeshift domicile. Have carpet thread and a needle ready for when those tent straps decide to give way. Have waterproofing spray for those troublesome areas. Have tent patches for when spray doesn’t quite cut it. And make sure to bring extra tent pegs. Regular use can cause wear and tear on the plastic version, and general loss has been known to happen with the metal ones simply from packing and unpacking. Check everything twice before loading it up.

Proper Bedding

Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: National Park Service

A sleeping bag and some pillows are nice, of course, but so is a blow-up or foam mattress for added comfort. A tired camper from a rough sleep doesn’t make for a good day. Especially when they’re 10 years old and their favorite words at 8 a.m. are “I’m bored.” Even a rolled up sleeping pad keeping something between their sleeping bag and the damp tent floor could make all the difference.

Cooler (Stocked with Ice, Pre-Made Food, & Drinking Water)

Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Steven Depolo

It’s nice to pack a cooler full of food and think you’re prepared, only to get to your campsite and remember that you need a spatula and frying pan for eggs, or you forgot the condiments for the hotdogs, and so on. Do yourself the favor of preparing an idea on what each meal will consist of, what’s needed to prepare it, and what fixings will be going with it. The idea, of course, is to make sure your meals are properly chilled in the hot Texas sun. And the drinking water is a necessity for two reasons: one, it’s cheaper to take it than to buy it on site, and two, you may end up at a campsite that’s a long haul to the closest store. Having to carry the drinking water to the site might be a little more strenuous than you thought this fun-filled family vacation was going to be.

Grill/Barbecue & Cookout Utensils (Matches & Fire Starter)

Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Wikimedia

Many campgrounds and sites will provide a rough fire pit, and some may actually have a burn ban, depending on location and that season’s weather conditions. Either way, it’s better to be overprepared than to arrive and find out you can’t have an open fire to roast your wienies and marshmallows on. Pack a lightweight enclosed grill in which you can light charcoal or a small propane camp stove. Make sure you have the proper utensils for the type of cooking setup you’ll have (i.e. longer tools for open flame cooking, and shorter for camp stoves) and a set of waterproof matches and appropriate fire starter for the number of meals you’ll be cooking.

Lanterns/Flashlights (& Your Best Campout Stories)

Time & Money-Saving Gear Guide: Tent Camping in the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Pixabay

It may seem obvious, but a number of lanterns and flashlights might be necessary on your tent camping expedition in the Texas Hill Country. You can easily keep battery-operated lanterns hanging in your tent for night-time activities, and may require a flashlight or more (depending on the number of kids you’re taking) for trips to the restroom or shower houses. They’re also handy for shining up from under your chin while you’re scaring the pants off your family with your best campout stories! Happy camping!