Whether it’s your first time camping or you are a seasoned camper, here are some items that might make your visit to First Landing State Park Campground a little more enjoyable. There are a few obvious items, and some you may not have considered. Links to comparable items at Amazon are provided.
Flashlights And Lighting
It can get pretty dark in the campground at night, so if you are tent camping you will want to bring a flashlight for any late evening or early morning trips to the bathhouses.
Another option for lighting around your campsite and inside your tent is to use solar landscape lighting. You won’t have to worry about access to electricity and a typical charge lasts up to 8 hours.
If You Are Camping In A Tent
Because tent sites don’t have water hookups located at each camp site, you will want to bring along a few empty gallon jugs to fill with water for cooking and cleaning. The campground has water spigots located throughout the various sites where you can fill your water containers.
Fire pit grill grate
All the fire pits at First Landing campsites come with an adjustable grate cooking, however the grate is not very big. At best, it might hold 6 small hamburgers at a time. That’s not a problem if you are fine with only cooking one food item at a time. And once you have food on the grate, it’s cumbersome to reposition it closer or further from the flames.
To accommodate all the cast iron pans and other food items, we use a large rectangular grate along with a smaller portable folding grate that sits on top of the larger grate. That provides a large lower grilling area, and a second higher cooking level to either keep food warm or cook food at a lower temperature. An entire meal can be prepared at one time, rather than individually cooking food items.
The campsites at First Landing are either primarily compacted dirt or a sand/dirt combination. The morning dew makes the soil instantly stick to your feet. While having a small doormat in front of your tent or camper will help stop you from trekking some of the dirt inside, having a larger outdoor rug or RV mat will keep a decent amount of your campsite clean.
But don’t get an outdoor rug with a flat weave; even if it has a short pile it will still attract a lot of dirt, get heavy, and be hard to clean once you get it home. Look for rugs or mats that are plastic or have a straw weave. These are easy to shake out, very lightweight (but sturdy), and can be cleaned at home just by spraying them down using a garden hose.
Pop up tent or shade sail
Hopefully you have great weather during your camping trip. But in the event of rain, you don’t want to get stuck inside your tent or camper until the weather improves. A pop up tent or shade sail will give you a covered area to still enjoy being outdoors even if it rains. You’ll have a protected spot for activities and eating or just relaxing. It can also be used to protect some of your camping gear. Even if your camper has an awning, you can still use a pop up tent to extended the protected area of your campsite.
If you bring a pop up tent with mesh sidewalls, you have the added bonus of protection from biting insects.
Cast Iron Pans
Don’t sacrifice your kitchen cookware, which can become warped and charred on the fire pit. Cast iron pans are extremely durable and specifically meant for cooking on grills and grates. You can use them at home too on your gas grill or in the oven. You will want at least one pan and one dutch oven. The ovens are nice because they hold a larger amount of food, can be used for baking (think cinnamon rolls), and the bonus with the Lodge double dutch oven is that the domed top lid can also be used separately for cooking.
Picnic Table Tablecloths
The wooden board picnic tables do not necessary have a level surface and are hard to wipe down and keep clean. If/when someone spills food on them, you will get flies. Bring along a vinyl tablecloth for easy cleanup. You’ll want the kind with elastic to keep it in place, or use clips, weights, or thumbtacks to prevent it from blowing off the table.
No, not the fancy ones. You will want a few easy-to-clean serving trays to help with food and picnic table setup and breakdown. Plastic or bamboo trays are best. Serving trays make it so much easier to carry all the food items over to the grill area, as well as bringing things (condiments, plates, etc) in and out of a camper or cabin.
Grilling gloves (the kind that extend to your elbow, with the silicone hand portion)
Seriously, unless you enjoy have the hairs on your arm singed off, you will want to wear protective gloves before reaching over the open flames.
Solar phone charger (there’s no electrical hookups at tent sites)
Long grilling tongs
Trash bag holder (the kind that you can clip onto your truck/tent/etc)