Things to Look for in a Camping Table

Every camper has a list of accessories they like to bring with them on their outdoor adventures. Next time you are packing your car for a weekend camping trip, make sure to add a camping table to your packing list. A camping table is an often overlooked camping accessory. Many campsites have large, wooden picnic tables available, so bringing your own table may not have crossed your mind. It is a great way to add a little extra comfort and convenience to your camp out. There are many different camping tables available to consumers. This article will help consumers navigate what to look for in their next camping table. 

The main reasons campers choose to pack a camping table include using it for dining, food preparation, and as an accessory table. Ask yourself a few of these questions to determine if you should bring a table on your next camp out: How many people you need to feed? How much room do you have in your car for transportation? How heavy can your table be? All of these questions can help narrow down what kind of table will work best for you.  If you are using it for dining or food preparation you want your table to be sturdy, and big enough for all of your guests to sit around. If you are using it to hold backpacking accessories, think about which accessories you want it to hold and where you will be storing the table. Once you know what you need from your table, it will be easier to narrow down your search.

Types of Camping Tables

There are a few different types of camping tables you can purchase. In order to determine which type of camping table is for you, think of why you are bringing a camping table on your trip. Do you need it for food prep? Card games? Dining space? Or a general storage location? Once you have determined the need for your camping table, it becomes easier to narrow down your search based on size, weight, and stability. Think abouFoldingt the qualities you would like your camping table to have, and then find a type of camping table that fits those needs. Here are a few of the most common types of tables to purchase for your trip.

Folding Tables

This may be the most popular style of camping table. They can come large enough to seat 6 or 8 people, and small enough to be a personal table. This type of table can be easily used for food prep, dining or storage. A folding table can usually fold at the legs, but larger tables will also fold down the center of the table top. They are typically made with metal legs which make them quite sturdy. This is ideal for situations in which you will be placing a camping stove or other heavy supplies on top.

Pros of Using a Folding Table

They are very sturdy, and do not easily blow away or fall over. You will also find they are quite easy to set-up and take down quickly. Because they can accommodate a larger number of people than most, it is easy to use a folding table as the center of a campsite to gather for food and games. The table tops have lots of surface area, that is easy to wipe down and clean. This means you can use your camping table season after season.  

Cons of Using a Folding Table

They can come quite large and bulky if you buy them big enough to host lots of people. Unfortunately, you may find a folding table takes up a large amount of space in your car trunk. So on trips when space is limited, this is not a great option. Although folding tables often have handles to carry the table when folded down, they are not very portable.

A Roll-up Table

Another popular option to bring camping is a roll-up table. Roll-up tables have legs that can fold and then the top can roll-up into a tube. Having a table that rolls-up into a tube makes it easy to store and pack. This option is especially valuable for those campers who are low on extra space. They are quick and easy to set-up and take down which is why this is such an appeal option for so many campers.

Pros of Using a Roll-up Table

These camping tables are lightweight and come in a variety of sizes. This combination makes them ideal to pack along when you go backpacking. This means you can have a small table to do your food prep and dining on even in the most remote mountain locations. If you choose a larger roll-up table, you can use it at your campsite for more substantial purposes. Roll-up camping tables set-up and take down in minutes, making them very user friendly.

Cons of Using a Roll-up Table

Because these tables don’t have a solid table top piece, they can be slightly less stable than a folding table. This also means they aren’t the best at holding heavy accessories like dutch ovens or camp kitchens. This is especially true if your camp accessories have small legs that may get caught in the creases of a roll-up table. The creases in the table also mean roll-up tables are more difficult to clean, than a table with a single table top piece.

A Lightweight Table

While roll-up tables can be used for backpacking, lightweight tables are probably your best backpacking option. They are specifically designed to be small and portable. A lightweight camping table is usually only one or two pounds and stands just a few inches off the ground. Because they are so small, they can typically only serve one person at a time. These small tables are a good addition to your camping trips, backpacking adventures, or beach outings.

Pros of Using a Lightweight Table

The biggest pro of using a lightweight table is in the name itself: it is lightweight. This makes it easy to transport. You could even stack a few lightweight tables in the back of your car for impromptu outdoor adventures. They are small enough to set up inside a tent, if you need a place to store your personal items off of the ground. They are small and easy to wipe down to clean, which is always a bonus.

Cons of Using a Lightweight Table

Unfortunately, in order to get the table lightweight a few sacrifices had to be made. The first is that they are not as steady as bigger tables. Because they are not as sturdy, you can only fit a few items on at a time. You should also try and avoid heavy or bulky items and they may tip the table over. Another con of using a lightweight table is that they are usually personal sized. If you are planning a big group event and need lightweight tables, try packing multiples!

In Conclusion

While camping tables are not a camping necessity, they are definitely helpful. Bringing your own camping table on your next adventure is not such a bad idea. Think about the purpose you will be using your table for, the location of your campsite, and the number of people that need to use your table. There is definitely a camp table that will fit the needs of your next adventure.

Amy O'Brien

I am a mother, homeowner, and a DIY kind of gal. Whether it’s backpacking in the mountains or throwing a BBQ in my backyard, I love bringing my family to the great outdoors!

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