Top Tens

Top Tens – Campsite Setup

What’s arguably one of the most important aspects of part time, full time or even camping on your own property? It’s the campsite setup and camping gear. In one fell swoop, you can decorate your awning with hanging plants, throw up some lights and you’ll have a statement or two letting fellow campers get a glimpse of you and your pose’s style—your vibe. Below you’ll find our staple items with a review to boot and the photos to prove their swagger. We do our top 10’s with our busy readers in mind, starting with number one.

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Telling a story through social collaboration
Super easy to setup and sports a solid, dependable frame

01 – Clearsource Water Purifier

You would never realize how challenging it is to enjoy clean, filtered water on the road. We’ve seen time and time again, dozens of purified water jugs littered around campsites. Though you can refill jugs at a local grocery store, and we have while camping in the desert, it can just be such a space waster.

The small dinky water filters almost ALL RV stores recommend is over priced, leaks often and in our humble opinion, doesn’t do the heavy lifting needed to filter campground water supplies.

Campgrounds are notorious for old pipes, well water and we’ve been to several where we wouldn’t even wash our dishes with what was spouting out.

In comes the Clearsource Ultra. A three staged filtration system that takes RV water to the next level. It’s so dependable, we’ve hydrated right from our RV spigot (we recommend a new hose before doing so). It tastes great and we have peace of mind knowing what’s coming from the ground is truly filtered not once, but three times using freaking NASA technology! I know we’re gushing over here, pun intended, but it also features a sleek, dependable frame you can leave outside.

You can purchase the Clearsource Ultra RV Water System here.

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Easy to setup and a mainstay for our campsite
Easy to setup and a mainstay for our campsite

02 – The Clam

It’s not very often you come across a “game changer”, and that could be anything from a tool you come across to your favorite snack food. The clam changed our campsite setup as well as HOW we enjoyed the outdoors. It’s extremely easy to set up. It’s essentially a pop-up shelter, complete with attached poles for the door. The only thing you’ll have to do is put the stakes down. That easy. 

It also has the small details us outsiders can appreciate, such as flaps for the ground to further protect the inner contents. We hang a lantern from the center and it has plenty of opportunities to string lights or other decorations

Durability test: this thing sat outside for more than a full season with absolutely no issues while we enjoyed an extended stay in Maine. When we left, we used it to shelter our bikes and chairs doubling as a temporary storage unit!

It’s great for a rainy day, but be sure to tack on the additional rain cover as we noticed the walls protrude out enough to catch the rain due to the locking mechanisms.

Check out the CLAM Quick-Set Escape here.

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The Solo Stove in use
Eric unpacking one of our favorite outside toys, the Solo Stove

03 – Solo Stove

This company gets it. They found a niche need not only for campers, but for homeowners and apartment owners alike. The product? A shiny must-have we call the “Airstream” of fire pits.

We love it, as we’ve encountered plenty of situations where there wasn’t a specific place for a fire. Imagine rolling up to a premium beach spot and realizing there isn’t a place to set up a fire. I mean, lights are fine, but there is just something about a fire burning that really sets the scene to a backdrop of a moonlit ocean.

As budget conscious campers, we understand it’s a bit pricey, but be sure to be on the lookout for monthly specials. We also suggest you keep your friends and family a safe distance away from the fire pit, as it gets super hot and isn’t insulated as some might assume, but remember, that’s part of the reason it gives off so much comfy heat! It also really does have a lot less smoke. This is a staple for your campsite setup.

Get fire fancy and purchase a shiny new Solo Stove here.

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Pull Start Fire Product
Featuring waterproof packaging

04 – Pull Start Fire

This handy fire starter is a must-have for glampers and campers alike. For glamping, it’s a super enjoyable experience that has you ripping the chord for the kiddos for an almost firework-like show. For camping, stick on the outside of your bag and don’t worry about it getting wet. You’re guaranteed to get a solid fire going while having a good time doing it.

Stock up on supplies and purchase a pack Pull Start Fire bricks here.

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Camping Chair
Kayla enjoying a tasty beverage at Bear Lake, Utah

05 – The Ultimate Camping Chair

Or better known as your outdoor throne, complete with cupholders and a folding table for your fireside feast. We picked these guys up on our very first outing. They are comfortable, sturdy and we kid you not, more than just a chair. These suckers are on our patio at this moment! The foldable table is perfect for outdoor meals and we still use the pockets for miscellaneous things like fire starters. The only downfall is they only fold in half, so not as compact as other chairs. It never hindered us as we used them from the beach to a creek bank.

Sit back, relax and pick one (or two) heavy duty folding camping chairs here.

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The Eno Hammock
Yes, we’ve shared the Eno with Sadie a few times!

06 – The Eno Hammock

Two trees is all you need for a relaxing outdoor nap. No need to learn complicated knots, these hammocks simply loop around the tree or post of your choosing and let gravity do the rest. We suggest the two person size for extra comfort or additional space for your pup or partner, after all, sharing is caring! Ours has built in LED lights for even more chill vibes.

Be sure to check your campground rules on hammocks and do not hang on young trees.

Check out the ENO DoubleNest here! They also sell the easy-to-use wrap around straps that are WAY easier to use than tying complicated knots.

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Cork Laptop Surface
An essential part of our remote life

07 – Bamboo Portable Laptop Surface

This is a must have if you work remotely. The bamboo is lightweight and lets your computer breathe, there is a holder for your phone and an inset mousepad. You can just plop down outside and work away. We’ve had ours for over three years and it’s still holding strong! There are a couple options out there, but as long as it’s bamboo and has come nifty device holders, it should do the trick. We found this one here, with even more “features”.

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Camp Setup Lighting
We loved working at night with rope lights around us

08 – Lighting Setup

We love our lighting, and if you like a little ambiance like us, pick up some of those plastic “brewpub patio” lights for the awning, and LED rope lights for the ground for your campsite setup. We loved throwing rope lights around a picnic table for an extra glow as we would enjoy the night sounds or play a round of Monopoly Deal. The LEDs can be used inside as well for a cozy rainy day. We also lined our Class C bunk with them when we had guests stay.

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Portable Camping Stove
Camping with friends and cooking up some good food in Colorado

09 – Portable Propane Camping Stove

This might be a little obvious, but for us it was quite helpful, especially when dealing with… bacon. When you’re camping in a small(ish) RV and you decide you want those fatty strips of deliciousness, cooking them in your tiny kitchen will make your unit smell of it for a couple days. This took us a while to figure out, but when the craving hit for more grill out type foods, it was a good workaround. It’s also good to have in case you’re at a site with no fire pit and you want to cook outside. 

Our first outdoor cooking setup was a simple skillet, but we later upgraded to a camping stove as we focused more on a traditional camping experience. There are a ton of units with their own outdoor grill, but we didn’t have that luxury and we didn’t want the additional attachments. Be sure to NOT refill the canisters and be careful where you store them.

This is our current model by GSI Outdoors sold on Amazon and REI.

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Outdoor Mat
The desert is notorious for high winds

10 – Outdoor Mat

We had to include it, but nonetheless, a staple for your campsite setup. We are sure we are preaching to the choir, but we’ve got to list the importance of a rollable outdoor mat. It stops dirt, allows you to walk outside in your socks and covers a good amount of ground for your chairs. We’ve probably owned three of these suckers, and it was worth the purchase every time. We are just waiting for better patterns!

Beware: It can take up a lot of storage and be sure to stake them down in high winds.

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We Only Share the Best Camping Gear We Think our Fellow Travelers Would Use

Good luck on customizing your ultimate setup! Take a breath, and have fun with it. Purchase the items you know will make you happy, especially when your outside with a good book and warm cup of coffee.

Be sure to check out HOW we traveled with all this wonderful goodies!

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Our favs for you

Where the rubber meets the road. Where we cut right to the chase. Check out our “Top Ten” articles that give you more time to setup camp or make a fire.


  • Board games
  • Breweries
  • State Parks
  • National Parks
  • Privately owned
  • Books
  • Playlists
  • Camping gear
  • RV accessories
  • and more on it’s way!

Our mission? To get you on the road.

We want to keep the dream going. We want to share insights, awesome spots, and keep pushing our creativity with our fellow campers.

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