Camping is, to put it simply, the ultimate family bonding activity. No electricity, often no cell service, and nothing but the great outdoors to run around in or gander at fireside. There's always great snacks and not-too-shabby games, probably a few pranks and slow mornings cooking over open flame.
Now, as summer wanes and we're getting back to the grind, it's the season for fall camping trips. And while much has changed, camp essentials—like great snacks, bug spray, and many pairs of socks—remain the same no matter where you are and however you're camping. Here's what you need to camp better, together:
Marshmallow skewers: Think of the s'mores! Plus, no more searching for random sticks in the woods to skewer your marshmallows with. Your kids will thank you.
A map of the night sky: Stargazing is more fun when you actually know what you're looking at.
Clementines: Best portable fruit, hands down. Good for stashing in backpacks for a mid-hike snack.
Cereal: Perfect for breakfast necessities, a midday handful or two, during a hike, or whenever you want something with a little crunch. Toss it with dried fruit and bits of chocolate for a sort-of trail mix.
A disposable camera or two: A camera phone can't make the grainy, click-and-forget photos that disposable cameras gift you with—they'll become heirlooms and memory bombs for later. Trust us, you're going to want them.
Enamelware cup: The coolest mug to sip hot cocoa from (and coffee, too).
Chocolate-covered graham crackers: S'mores want chocolate-covered graham crackers, trust us. As we say, the more chocolate the better.
Board and card games: Nothing says family bonding like laughter and competition. And don't forget the Mad Libs!
Old-Fashioned Lantern or flashlight: Use to illuminate your face in spooky shadows as you tell ghost stories around the campfire. Sure, it might give some the shivers, but what's a family camping trip without a ghost story, anyways? Plus, it's handy if you need to find your way to the bathroom at midnight!
String lights: If the stars aren't shining bright, you'll still have a starry sky of twinkle lights. Plus, these are battery-powered, so you don't have to worry about finding an outlet.
Here's to a happy camping. And with that, camp (and snack) on, folks!