Ultimate Guide To Buying Camping Supplies At The Dollar Tree
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Have you ever heard the expression, “Camping, where you spend a small fortune to live like the homeless”?
It’s true, most people purchase a new tenant, trailer, or RV and the stuff that they are buying to take along and to fill the trailer or RV ends up costing a lot of money! You don’t have to break the bank to prepare for your first outing.
You can shop the sales at the local department stores, and you can scour Amazon and online discount sites, but I have a better idea. Okay, are you ready? Don’t laugh… Head on over to the Dollar Tree! Yeah, I know everything in the store is made offshore and is not going to last long enough to be passed on to the next generation, but at least it’ll get you started.
If you are trying to outfit a trailer or an RV, grab two buggies on the way in because believe me, you’re going to fill those suckers up!
Keep an open mind and don’t expect that you won’t have to violate the color scheme that you’ve picked out for your new home away from home. You brand-new hand towel from the Dollar Tree may not match the decor in your kitchen, but it sure will dry your dishes.
I’m about to take you on a trip to my local Dollar Tree store, and we are going to outfit your new rig room by room and accessory by accessory!
I’ll start with everything that you can purchase there for your kitchen. In my opinion, these items are going to save you the most money. Yes, you might have to strong arm the one dollar Can Opener that you purchase so, spray it with some silicone, and maybe it’ll work better!
If you plan on cooking on your camping vacation or storing food in your rig, you need a lot of the items that you can get at the Dollar Tree.
Everything in this picture environmental nightmare but let me tell you something, sometimes don’t feel like going to the pain washing dishes while camping. Mother Nature will forgive you this time.
Of course, you’re going to need storage containers for the leftover chili from Saturday night’s dinner or the rest of the baked beans that never got eaten. The best thing about getting these cheapies is that when they get stained from spaghetti sauce or chili, you can throw them out!
While we are on the subject of environmental nightmares, let’s add some more. I can’t even stand the feel of them, but oh, they are so very convenient when you’re in a pinch.
Sometimes you just will not fit one more container. That’s when the super seal plastic bags come in handy. Pour the rest of that Chili in one after it’s cooled off. Sandwich bags upgrade for keeping same size screws together, elastics all in one place, leaving you extra change. I remember times way back when sealing my son’s socks in a baggie because they smelled so badly!
I promise you that even though it’s only $1, this will open your cans. Lubricate it with some olive oil, and it will work like a charm. I promise!
Brooms. Yes, you will need a broom. There will be times when you do not have electricity, and you will not be able to use a vacuum. Like it or not, it happens. Pay no attention to the broom in the picture that’s already all bent up. Treated nice and it might last you a few seasons!
Okay, you managed to make a delicious meal either over the campfire are on your stove, and now you have to roll up your sleeves and do cleanup duty. Who doesn’t love a magic eraser or two? And don’t try to tell me you’ve never burnt anything onto a pot… Grab two bags of the metal scrubby’s. A little hint here, don’t bring Teflon pans with you if you plan to cook anything over a fire. You’ll ruin your pan and who knows what that burnt up Teflon will do to you when you ingest it after it’s been mixed into your burger. I prefer to take cast-iron with me on vacation. I’ve been known to once or twice take a dirty pan and put it right into the calls of the dwindling campfire and in the morning wipe out the ashes that are in there. You can season it on tonight’s fire with little but oil and half hour on coals.
Oh, so you purchased a trailer are an RV that needs a little TLC! Prepare to spruce up your backsplash in your kitchen on the walls in your bathroom with these self-stick rolls of vinyl. They go on smooth and clean up even easier.
It doesn’t matter if you’re attending, sleeping in a trailer, or motoring around in a motorhome. Mark my words, you will need a few of these plastic, cheaply made, baskets. Space is at a premium no matter what type of rake you have and having stuff in these baskets, you can stack them and find things easier.
Oh, what an assortment of plastic! I’m an environmentalist at heart but a realist when it comes to traveling. Plastic makes more sense when you’re traveling over the road. It seems no matter how well you pad your kitchen cabinets a glass or two every season is bound to break. Dollar Tree has glasses, dishes, bowls, and everything else in various colors shapes and sizes. Have a blast!
Okay, I have been known to be somewhat of a germ-a-phobe, but even the slobbiest of my friends decide to clean on occasion. You might want to pick up a few of these in spray bottles. Having spray bottles while camping is easier because the ones without the sprayers usually are supposed to dilute.
I know… there are no ingredients in Coffee Mate that you can pronounce. What I will tell you is that someday, sometime, you will run out of milk. Pack one, at least you’ll be able to have coffee, and they are a much better substitute for milk than powdered instant coffee is for the real thing!
There’s going to be that ONE time you pull into your campsite, are starving, and one of these $1 frozen meals will taste delicious. Buy a couple just in case.
Yep, you’re preparing for your first outing with your new rig. Can you believe all the paperwork that you got with it when you bought it? These flimsy organizers are perfect for shoving all that crap in there. You will never look at it again, but at least now, you know where it is.
Are you like me and don’t want to wash dishes? The environmentalist in me is cringing to admit this, but occasionally I buy these throwaway pans to make my life simple. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone.
These particular storage containers are much more upscale than the cheap ass ones left. If you trying to impress your new campground neighbors, send them home with leftovers is bad boys.
I’ll admit it, I absolutely love these brushes. I don’t know how I got so hooked on them because my mother certainly never use anything like this. You on’t ever see me without one at my kitchen sink. They are the best for scratching off burnt on remnants of a roast, and then you can use the brush part for grinding off the rest.
It’s a good thing with such great friends now because I can also admit that I do always carry bottled water with me when camping. You never know if the campgrounds water is going to be full of chlorine are non-potable are just plain tastes bad. A few of these bottles tucked away are an excellent insurance policy!
I know, I know, you have visions of the perfect camping trip with the warring campfire every night and perfect weather. Suck it up Buttercup, I don’t know anyone that has ever had The. Perfect. Camping. Trip. If you happen to have a microwave in your rig, you might want to toss in a box of microwave popcorn. It just might be what’s for supper after a long day of driving.
I don’t use any of these, but when you invite new camping friends over for a burger and salad, you might want to have some choices for them.
Do you have a slob in your family? Even if you don’t, having some paper towels and napkins are just like the bounty label says essentials! Most times when camping a paper towel is my placement and napkins can also double as Kleenex as long as you don’t have a sensitive nose.
The next room in the “house” that needs a lot of stuff is the potty room. It doesn’t matter if you have a porcelain toilet or a pot in the bushed surrounded by a shower curtain for privacy, you will need stuff for your potty.
I’m all about proper dental hygiene, so my overnight bag always has an assortment of floss, Plackers, and any other gadget that promises to keep your teeth in great shape. I happen to own $1 million smile. Yes, I’ve sunk almost $1 million into the 34 remaining teeth I have. Stock up in your hygienist will be happy!
Don’t match your color scheme or decorating taste? Pffft… they are $1. Grab some.
I know you think that bathroom section is a weird place to talk about flip-flops. It’s not that weird overtime to advise you to buy a pair for everyone in your group. They are only a dollar so be a sport. Friends don’t let friends get athletes feet from yucky shower stalls. That’s all I will say on that subject.
Treat yourself, buy a vacation toothpaste.
For those of you that have never had to carry your septic around in your vehicle, this tip is for you. I know everyone loves their 16 ply, super cottony soft, expensive toilet paper. Leave that at home! Read the fine print on this pack of toilet paper. It’s one ply. Use toilet paper sparingly, and you might never have to clean out a gunked up black water tank in your camping career. May the septic gods be with you. Trust me, you never want to have a gunked up black water tank.
If you are a camping toilet newbie, listen up. RV toilets are very different than home toilets. They use much-less-water. I’ll paint you a picture with words. Much-less-water and the same amount of solid waste (a groovy name for poop) going down the hole. This results in the bowl having residue on it that’s almost impossible to flush down. In comes, the $1 toilet brush to the rescue. Don’t leave home without it! NOTE: If you are planning on replacing your camper toilet, purchase one with a side sprayer. You will thank me until eternity for suggesting it.
Buy several pairs of this particular brand. They are the heaviest weight gloves at Dollar Tree, and they have never failed me when I’ve been scrubbing the toilet! They also come in verrrrry handy when performing the magic of emptying the black water tank. Goggles are a good idea too – just kidding!
You’re welcome. This is undoubtedly the BEST investment you will EVER make!! Hunt one down and Tweet the manufacturer a big thank you. I have one of these in every bathroom I own. Got a plugged up sink? No worries. Tease this ingenious invention down the hole and get someone with a cast iron stomach to pull it out. The stuff stuck to it looks like a… well, I won’t spoil the surprise for you by telling you. Happy snacking!
While we’re on the subject of malodorous substances (what goes down the toilet bowl hole), I suggest having one of the lifesavers pictured above hidden behind your toilet at all times. Skip the fruity scented ones and go for the odor blaster ones. Fruity scented and bathrooms are not a good paring, unlike a good wheat beer and dark chocolate which is a fantastic pairing!
Moving right along and getting this convo out of the gutter, let’s move onto bathroom supplies. If you purchase your Q-Tips, cotton balls, toothpaste, body lotion and a myriad of other (what you might call) essentials at the Dollar Tree, they will be portioned in smaller amounts and will be lighter weight. Whether you are carrying or pulling all your supplies when heading to your camping spot, weight is always an issue.
No explanation needed. You’re in a confined space.
I don’t know what half this stuff is, but apparently, it’s popular so buy some for overnight guests.
Allergy relief meds and cough drops are commonly brought along on backcountry trips. Sometimes, you will encounter something you didn’t know you were allergic to because you’ve never been exposed to it before. Don’t sweat it, the box or bag only weighs an ounce.
Trust me, you’ll need some of these after you back up the rig in a crowded gas station for the first time.
You’ll need them. Even if it’s to hang your favorite blouse from a tree because you slobbed ketchup on it and had to rinse it out.
Storage is tight no matter what type of rig or tent you own. I use most of these for uses not listed on the wrapper. Get creative!
These stackable, soft-sided, collapsible, storage containers are brilliant! I use them for face cloths & hand towels, laundry detergent, breakfast cereal, and more.
Have you got doors in your rig? I guarantee that everyone will have something hung on the back of it by the end of the trip! The rope and clothespins are perfect for drying personal things (fufu way of saying bras and undies) in the shower.
Laundry bags? I don’t use them at home but do on the road. My toes curl just thinking about dropping my bath towel on the floor of the public laundry room.
Every shape, color, and size – let your imagination run wild about all the things you can stuff into these cubbies!
Trust me, you are not going to get very dirty camping in your RV (I know you are not going to be doing laundry if you are backcountry camping!). This cheap stuff as – well, cheap. Plus its small size and will do the job.
Didn’t I tell you to buy some flip-flops for the public showers? Just in case someone “forgot,” bring some athlete’s foot crème and while you’re at it, grab some anti-itch, hydrocortisone crème, triple antibiotic and maybe some muscle rub. You’ll need the muscle rub for the elbow you bend when sitting ‘round the campfire at night!
Although I’m more of a fan of washing my hands with soap and water, I always carry some hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes when I’m traveling. You never know when someone is going to offer you some chips and you cannot remember where your hands have been.
My favorite cheap pens. I have never had one fail me when I’m frantically writing down the address of a campground.
If you poke these into the ground around your camper as a garden, you are not my friend.
Not my idea of a thrilling Friday night but hey, it could be fun!
Great to have around in case the grandkids visit or to find your partner at night.
Speaking of grandkids, carry along cards, envelopes, and stamps to keep in touch with your grandchildren or parents. Remember how cool it was to get a letter or card from a loved one?
If you work remotely like me, pack these just in case.
Too many uses to list. OK, here are a few; open that stubborn packaging on the gadget you just bought, opening the Amazon Prime box you just received, cutting high-quality duct tape (the cheap stuff rips easily), and whittling marshmallow sticks.
If duct tape in the picture above doesn’t work, Super Glue the sucker. I watched a fellow super glue cracks in his fingers with this stuff. I don’t recommend that!
Replacement bulbs and electronic gadgets are certainly going to be cheaper here than in the campground store!
Not one of the items on either picture is going to last a lifetime, but they WILL get that wall painted, tighten that loose screw, or hang your washcloth on the shower stall wall.
All those groovy flashlights you got for FREE at Harbor Freight are going to need new batteries. Probably when you’re an hour from the nearest store.
Yep, I’ll admit it. I have one, and I use it all the time. I keep telling myself, I’m not old, I’m just smarter than most.
Sometimes a hammer won’t work. It’s $1.
When the driver gets cranky if your bored and it’s raining, when the neighbors’ kids come to visit, or if you are PMS’ing, these are life savers.
I swear that tortilla chips are their own food group.
Award one of each these to the person that drives your new, big rig for the first time and does not put even one teeny, tiny scratch on it. Even more importantly, you both should wear one if you commuted, gassed up, and parked your rig and are still speaking.
Are you traveling anytime close to NYE, Madi Gras, your birthday??
You might need these if the “conversation” gets loud about how the driver just cut off a tractor trailer on the highway.
When you’re “blinded by the light,” you won’t care that they are cheap and not very clear.
Pink looks best on the navigator if they happen to be a male. Buy a bunch and stash them in every cubby, nook, and cranny.
If you are under 50 and need one of these, you know your trip has been a success.
And you may also enjoy our article on how to save even more money while camping.
What Kind Of Camper Are You?Outdoor Survival
feature image credit: Photo by Ban Yido on Unsplash