Top 5 Reusable Must Haves for Camping


Over the Labor Day weekend Tyler and I headed up to Kings Canyon National Park and met some friends from San Francisco for 4 days of camping, swimming and hiking. It was great! Camping is one of my favorite things to do when I have a few days off work. When living in the city gets to be a bit too much camping is my go to way to get my nature fix. We head to campgrounds in National Parks, State Parks or National Forest public lands, there are just so many beautiful places to see. Sadly because of cutbacks and, frankly, lazy visitors I’ve been finding way more micro trash at most campsites than in years past. The two best ways to cut down on miro trash are 1. don’t be a jerk and leave behind your trash ;) and 2. Bring Reusables. Since I know none of you would ever litter we don’t even have to go there, below I share with you my top 5 reusables that we never go camping without.

Death Valley National Park Thanksgiving camping trip.


  1. The most common thing I see in campgrounds is people using paper plates, cups and plastic cutlery. There is so much unnecessary waste created at campgrounds by using these products. Washing dishes while camping can be a bit of a challenge but totally doable. The number one thing you need to make using reusables work while camping is dishwashing supplies. Grab one or two of your home dish towels (go for the older, faded ones that you’ve been holding on too but you never want to put out), a small bottle of bio degradable soap, a sponge, and a small bucket (we just use our larger cooking pot…one less thing to pack). Fill your bucket or pot with hot soapy water and grab one of your fellow campers have one of you dunk and rinse and while the other dries and stacks so they are ready for your next yummy meal.
  2. Reusable plates, bowls and cutlery. They make so many great kinds, designed for camping or you can just hit up Target or the 99 cent store to buy a set. We have a set of 4 of each. It’s nice to have extras in case someone else in camp forgot to bring theirs.
  3. Reusable water bottle. If you’ve been reading my past posts you know all about this handy eco-lifestyle must have by now. You just can’t go camping without it. I’m sad to say that one of the most common pieces of trash I pick up while camping are the caps from one time use plastic water bottles. I don’t even want to think about how many bottles a group of 4 campers for the weekend would need to stay hydrated…yikes! Really it’s time to get one if you haven’t and for sure bring it on your next camping trip.

    Enjoying the view & a water break in Joshua Tree National Park.
  4. Insulated mug. Whether you’re a coffee or tea person it’s so nice to have a hot drink while you enjoy the mornings cool air. Whatever travel mug you have at home will work great, just remember to pack it. It also handy for holding campfire cocktails!
  5. 5 Gallon refillable water jug. This way when you are buying your groceries for your camping trip you wont have to buy those flimsy 2 gallon water jugs with the spout. It’s great being able to fill up this jug at the water spigot at the campground. It is very convenient to always have water in the campsite for drinking, washing dishes or hands.

Making the time to enjoy nature is  important, so I hope next time you head out on a camping trip you will leave the paper and plastic products at the store and bring your reusables. Happy Trails!


2 thoughts on “Top 5 Reusable Must Haves for Camping

  1. We have a camper and I don’t know if I will ever be able to “tent” it! I love looking and enjoying nature….from a distance! Bob did not recycle when I met him but he is trying to think more about the earth because I do. Some times I do have to “dumpster dive” the kitchen trash, and he thinks that is hilarious. With the camper, we do use plastic plates, washable utensils, mugs etc. As always, you have more excellent ideas.

    1. Hahaha I love that you dive in after the recycling! That is such a great place to start and super important to do. Camping in a camper is great because getting out into nature is what it’s all about :D Glad to hear it’s stocked up with reusables!

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