Last Minute Labor Day Camping Items

Labor Day is upon us and if you have family camping plans, then I am sure that you are looking forward to relaxing at the campsite on the last long weekend of the traditional camping season. Before you go, here are some last-minute items that will help your family have a great experience.

Cutter Citro Guard Citronella Candle

Cutter Citro Guard Citronella Candle

There is no substitute for bug spray, but when you are sitting around the picnic table eating a meal, it is sure nice to keep the mosquitoes from buzzing around your head.

The citronella candles are great for the picnic table because the wide base helps prevent tip-overs. One of these candles will easily last all weekend and they are available at most big-box stores and many local hardware stores.

Note that these are an enhancement to regular mosquito spray and not a replacement. The effectiveness of citronella is limited to a very local area, but that is perfect for campsite meals.

Low-cost LED Lantern

Low-cost LED Lantern

We camped for years without a lantern, but we finally picked one up and now we use it quite a bit for s’mores and card games, after the sun goes down.

While researching this article, I found this LED lantern at one of the big-box stores for only $10. It runs on four AA-size batteries and based on my experience with our LED lantern, it should last the weekend.

One nice use for these low-cost lanterns is trips to the bathroom. Sometimes these facilities are not lighted, and a small lantern is a lot more functional than trying to juggle a flashlight.

Aerobed All-Terrain air mattress

AeroBed All-Terrain air mattress

There are a lot of horror stories about cheap air mattresses that seem to sprout leaks at the most inopportune times.

AeroBed seems to be one of the standouts in this category, though. They use a heavier, more puncture-resistant material than the low-cost air mattresses and it really seems to make a difference.

The All-Terrain is available at some big-box stores and includes a rechargeable (make sure you charge it for 12-hours, before your trip!) air pump and a storage bag.

Aqua-Tainer 7-gallon water jug

Aqua-Tainer 7-gallon water jug

There is a lot of washing of hands and dishes at the campsite, so having a portable water container is a big plus over running back-and-forth to the water spigot.

Rigid containers, like this one from Reliance, last longer and are easier to use than collapsible containers.

The Aqua-Tainer has an integral pouring spout and a vent, for easy water dispensing.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend – be sure to take lots of pictures and I will see you back here, next week!

See also…

15 thoughts on “Last Minute Labor Day Camping Items

  1. Roy, I had one of those little florescent lanterns that ran off 4 AA batteries. I used it mainly in the tent, it did give off enough light for the trek to the bathroom, but saved it for inside. It was small and compact so easy to carry and pack though.

  2. I have a lantern that takes a compact florescent light bulb. It’s powered by D-cell batteries. I took it on my last camping trip and it was FANTASTIC! I like the battery operated lanterns since they are so much safer than propane.

  3. Hey Roy do you know where I can get one of those 7gal containers in clear? I have seen them on other teardrop campers online but I think it was in Australia.

  4. All great suggestions. I especially love #1. We were surprised by all the bugs around here in NC. We got spoiled living in AZ where bugs were nearly non-existent when camping. It was magical! 🙂

      • Hahahaha, that is why there has to be a solution to this. Whoever invents the “happyfier” gets the nobel piece prize AND gets to charge thousands for it cause you know people will pay anything to un-crank the cranky family members 🙂

  5. LED lanterns are the best . . . will last you MUCH longer than a simple weekend. I took my two boys on a six week cross-continent odyssey this summer, camping for much of the way, and our lantern went strong the entire time (though to be honest for a good part of that time we were so far north that we didn’t need it). I’ve had the same batteries in my LED headlamp for probably five years now. There’s just no comparison to traditional bulbs.

    • That is what we have found too, Clark. Our big Coleman LED Lantern is on its second set of batteries, but we have used it for (I think) three years, now. My headlamp is still on its first set of batteries.

    • You are so right Clark! LED’s are the best – we love them. When LEDs first came out they were not very bright – but you sure can’t say that anymore! We have several different ones – we don’t have to carry batteries with us because we know we won’t need them because of their low battery consumption.