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My love and I recently went to Hope, BC to visit his parents for the weekend. You see, they have a camper at Hope River RV Park that they have been spending the weekends at. My father in-law retired this past week and we went down to celebrate and decided that we would stay a couple nights so we could enjoy the festivities. So my mother in-law rented out a camper from the RV park for us to stay in for the weekend. Sweet…we were pretty excited about not having to set up a tent! Although, I love tenting it since that is how I was taught to camp. This was going to be a breeze! It being our first time staying in a camper, we learned a few things…and now you have Camping 101: How to Survive the Weekend in a Camper of sorts.
What to know before you go:
Just a quick little story before I get to the important information… So it’s bed time and we fall asleep, yay…at about 3am I am woken by a kerfuffle next to me and my love yelling “what the f*** was that?” Haha! So I don’t know about you, but this is the most horrible way for me to wake up lol… and my first panic at this outburst is that there is someone in our trailer! Eeek, I’m terrified! Someone has broken in!! And then he tells me that something was hopping across our bed, he could feel it and he thinks he kicked it over there and that it felt too big to be a spider. Now, all shaken, the thoughts of what possible creature could be living with us is horrifying too.. I was so freaked out that I was shaking and my heart was racing and here we are shaking out the blankets at 3am to make sure there is nothing in there…moral of the story…
There could be mice living in the camper too… Ew I know!
Mice don’t usually bother me because they’re tiny and cute, but I would at least like to know ahead of time so I know what to expect.
It is also quite possible that there is only a mattress in there for you…no sheets, blankets etc. Not even any toilet paper… Now, when renting something like this, you would expect to be informed about what is included and not included right? Well not at this place. The owners of this park didn’t care to tell us that these items were not included and that we could pay extra to have it completely ready for us. Instead they said it would be ready and that was good enough. Not only was it not ready at all, but it was not good enough. Granted, we still had a good time and enjoyed our weekend.
Read on for some important items to pack and first steps to take once you’re in your camper!
What to bring:
Food…but this one is obvious, right?
All the necessary clothing, i.e. pants and shorts, tanks and t-shirts, a sweater, underwear, socks and runners, flip flops, a hat… PJ’s!! I somehow ALWAYS FORGET THE PAJAMAS!!!
Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
A foam mattress pad of some sort is a must! Because extra cushion is always good when it comes to camping!
Pillows, pillow cases, sheets and blankets, or sleeping bags will do
Dishes and utensils
Ziploc bags can come in handy in so many ways
Disinfecting hand soap and dish detergent
Disinfecting wipes of some sort, like Lysol
Towels and cloths
A heater in case the heat in the camper doesn’t work
A small broom and dust pan
Mosquito Repellent – I like OFF Deep Woods, it repels for up to 8 hours!
Sunscreen – My choice is Coppertone, a classic.
Aloe vera gel in case you do get a sunburn
Matches, newspaper and wood so you can perfect your fire building skills. And cook a wicked dinner!
Nylon string or rope
A first aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes and some polysporin
Duct tape because it can fix so many things in a bind
A folding knife can come in very handy
A Compass because you never know when you may need one. Make sure you know how to use it 😉
Deck of cards, sudoku, crosswords and a book so you have a few options for entertainment when needed
You’ve got the keys for your camper…
- Make sure you go and visit your camper first and foremost, while there is still daylight. We unfortunately did not do this, so it was fun looking for the light switches and stuff in pitch black.
- Look for mouse poop!!! This is SO important!!! And look everywhere, including on any seating surfaces. Sweep up any you may find and use your disinfecting wipes to clean counter and table tops, etc.
- Make sure your mattress is clean. Put down your foam mattress pad and make the bed immediately and tuck in top blanket all around. Just in case lol…
- You may need to heat the camper depending on the time of year. If needed, run the heater through the day, so you have a comfortable temperature at night.
- Keep a light or two on at the opposite end of the camper in hopes to deter the mice from coming out at night.
- Make sure you keep all screen doors/windows closed if you need fresh air, you don’t want any of those terrible mosquitos getting in, or any other bugs for that matter!
- Ensure your fire wood is in a place where it will remain dry. There is nothing worse then trying to light a fire with wet wood. It just won’t work very well.
You’re on your own from here!
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I was brought up camping in tents so I am always leaning towards sleeping in a tent rather than an rv/camper. Though this was a good experience and I would definitely like to have a camper of my own one day because they just work so well for road trips. And I am a road tripper at heart! I hope this has helped you to be prepared for your camping adventure and wish you the happiest and safest of travels!