3 Must Haves for Jeep Camping in Maui, Hawaii

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If you’re thinking about camping in the back of a Jeep in Maui, Hawaii, I’ve created the complete packing list, including all of the items we purchased for our glamping trip to ensure a safe, very comfortable, and affordable vacation that we planned at the last minute. This post breaks down the top 3 purchases I made for a camping trip in Maui, Hawaii over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

On a Tuesday morning at 4:30am, I woke up to my boyfriend’s 10 texts, listing out all of the details he had made for a long weekend in Maui, Hawaii, including flight details, excursion ideas, lodging options, car rental deals, and more. Not all of the details were hashed out yet, but one this was for certain– we were going to board a plane at the PDX airport to Maui at 6:17pm and we both were on board with the crazy idea of sleeping in the back of a Jeep.

We would load the car Friday during my lunch break and leave directly after work, which meant we needed to pack the bags ASAP to make sure everything fit into two carry on bags and one checked bag.

So, how exactly do you fit all of your bedding, clothes, excursion gear, and more into these 3-5 bags? You choose the right gear. While I was working, Jeff’s job was to find the items we needed for camping, order them, and pick them up at Amazon’s hub lockers in downtown Portland since we were rushed for time. When I returned from work each night, my job was to ensure that everything fit into our luggage and was under the weight limits.

This bedder be good…

When Jeff told me we could get an air mattress for the back of the Jeep I thought to myself, “this better be good or he’ll never hear the end of it”. We’ve all had those awful air mattresses that deflate in the middle of the night and I was going to make sure that I wouldn’t be in one of the most perfect places on Earth, completely deprived of sleep because I didn’t sleep for three nights. To avoid this and the endless complaints to Jeff, we agreed to research the air mattresses first. The most important and trickiest item that we ordered first was the air mattress. Thank God Jeff did the research, because this purchase we really did well with and enjoyed. We wanted to make sure it fit into the actual back of a Jeep and that it was comfortable, of course. What was also important was that it had an air pump that was not battery operated. Not only did we not want to spend money on batteries, but we can’t carry batteries onto the plane, so it had to have an adapter. We ended up finding a really comfortable mattress that is purposefully for the back of SUVs and Jeeps. What we loved about this mattress was that it had four separate air compartments, allowing for less chances of deflation during the night time. Another great feature was that it had flocking on both the headrest and the sides, allowing the mattress to mold to the width of the back of the vehicle. It also was long enough so that we could keep the cab open and stick the mattress out instead of our legs cramping up to the length of the trunk.

The air mattress we deflated and fit back into the box to put into our luggage. This helped keep all the parts together and ensure it didn’t get any scratches from other items in our luggage. It really didn’t add a ton of weight to our luggage.

Prevail against being dirty…

There’s a stigma that comes with camping– that it’s dirty and gross. While, don’t get me wrong, it most certainly can be, there are products like the adult wipes made by Prevail that allow you to completely avoid being gross and smelly on a three day camping trip without showers. We were in Maui camping in the back of our extended Jeep for 3 FULL days and while the campsite had a shower, we never actually asked where it was. Our goal in Hawaii was to be as active as we could be without spending time at the campsite unless it was to sleep. We used the wipes a few times a day to stay clean and fresh. We swam all day the last day we were in Maui and took a quick shower in our bathing suit at the beach. Other than that, we went the entire trip without needing to shower– that’s truly how good these things are.

These wipes are often used for senior citizens or peoples who are often bed-bound from surgery. They are fairly large and can cover large areas. What I loved about these wipes for camping was that they were lightweight, could fit in the glove compartment for easy access, and lasted us the entire trip with plenty to spare. While they aren’t flushable, they are easy to throw into the garbage with our other rubbish. We didn’t find that they stunk up the car even after leaving them in the trash for a few hours with the windows shut. I used these even on my face to remove makeup and felt like they had enough dampness and roughness to them, but were still gentle on my sensitive skin. They don’t have too much of an odor to them, but are comparable to baby wipes with a light, clean scent.

Tripod

The third best purchase we made was a bendy tripod. It’s small enough to fit in my purse, bendy enough to mount to mostly anything, and sturdy enough to withstand the wind. We used the tripod most when we wanted to take a few nice photos, but didn’t want to ask someone to take a picture of us. For example, when we were walking down the street and wanted a few more natural-looking photos of being tourists, we just set up the tripod on a tree stump and set the timer for ten seconds and selected a still from the live photo. The tripod comes with a phone holder, but can also adapt to even hold my Nikon D3300.

The value for this tripod was great for day trips and using it here and there on the fly with our iphone.

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