Pilots are mission-minded, and they are also mindful of weight and balance. Through trial and error, they'll assemble and make room in the confines of a cockpit for the equipment that will work best. Check out what you need for a camping trip with the family.
For fly-in camping trips with my family, I tend to follow the motto, “More is less.” When the airplane is already loaded down with people, camping equipment, and all of the food needed for several days, it helps to have equipment that can do more than one job. When traveling with little ones, it's also important that all my equipment is durable enough to withstand some abuse.
That's one of the reasons I love the Zagg Rugged Book Case for my iPad Pro. It comes with a laptop-style keyboard that turns my iPad into a computer. It also has an easy magnetic system for detaching the iPad from the rest of the keyboard so it can be used in flight as a tablet only. Because I use my iPad as the platform for giving checkrides, writing, and for running ForeFlight when I fly, I feel like my entire work life exists on the iPad.
A good-quality, hard-sided cooler can be heavy, which is not a desirable trait when trying to take off in an airplane loaded down with family members and camping equipment. The Yeti Hopper Soft Cooler weighs only 5 pounds but performs as well as any hard cooler I've ever used. It also has a wide shoulder strap, making the cooler easy to carry. After a hectic day of flying and setting up camp on a hot summer day, I really appreciate an ice-cold beer from a cooler I can count on.
Check out more in the 2018 AOPA Gear Guide.