5 Car Camping at Lake Cushman Must-Haves

We’re no strangers to roughin’ it, and we’re sure you aren’t either. There’s something thoroughly satisfying about being in the middle of nowhere with nothing but what you packed in—especially when that middle-of-nowhere is the Olympic National Park.

But let’s be honest: it’s hard to get margaritas in the backcountry. You can’t play light-up bocce ball, and it’s pretty dang hard to make chipotle grilled oysters without an iron grill over your camp barbecue. That’s why sometimes, we’re all-in for car camping. 

Must-Haves for Lake Cushman Camping



Between the wealth of amazing campsites around Hood Canal and the ingenuity of camping accessories available these days, a weekend full of fun outside is as attainable as ever. We’ve composed a list of must-haves* for an escape with your weekend warrior pals in Hood Canal. Read on to get the goods.

Oh, and before you hone your setup, take a peek at the list of our favorite camp spots in the area. Your needs might vary depending on where you plan to stay.

*Yes, we consider a hand-crank margarita blender a must-have.


The Kitchen Setup 

A number of the campsites maintained by the Forest Service are equipped with fire rings and iron grates or coal barbeque grills. Though preparing a full meal (drinks and dessert included) in a campsite can be a bit challenging, these items are well poised for the ‘wow’ factor and are going to make you want to schedule a weekend trip right away.

"The kitchen is the heart of the home…or the campsite!"

"The kitchen is the heart of the home…or the campsite!"

1. Cast Iron Griddle

A good cast iron griddle or two can go a long way. We always have a few sizes on hand. Oh, and campfire Dutch Oven cinnamon rolls? Amazing.  

2. Camp Bar Setup

This setup by My Camp Kitchen is nothing short of a party starter. Although it’s marketed as a camp kitchen, we can think of a better application… There’s hardly a graver faux pas than drinking bad cocktails on a camping trip. Never again.

3. Hand-Crank Blender

GSI Outdoors has created a hand-crank blender. That’s just brilliant. Now we really can’t wait to try out this campfire enchilada recipe to pair perfectly with our fresh margaritas.


The Sleeping Setup

After a rowdy evening of camp games, good eats, and togetherness, having a comfy nest in which to cozy down will make a big difference for your adventuresome bones. We are pretty impressed with these setups:



1. A Rooftop Tent

It’s like a treehouse without the nails and sap! CVT makes a collection of sweet tiny homes, and they are ridiculously easy to pitch.  

 2. A Sleeping Bag-Turned-Snuggy

Sleeping bags have come a long way in the last few years. Now, the newest—and, in our opinion, best—thing to have around a campfire (besides a flask of whiskey) is a mobile sleeping bag like Sierra Designs’ “Mobile Mummy.” Sure, you kind of look like a cocooned insect walking around—but you’ll definitely have the last laugh when the temperatures start to drop. 


Or, Ditch the Camping at Lake Cushman and Book a Room!

If after this, you’re left thinking “not my jam,” that’s okay with us! There are a number of places to stay inside in a cozy bed in Hood Canal. Fancy a view of the fjord with a fireplace? Or a sojourn in an acclaimed spa? No problem. Check out the extensive list of indoor lodging options.

Regardless of where you rest your head, we can’t wait to hear about your Hood Canal adventure! Share photos and stories on social media with #wildsideWA, and for more ‘campspiration,’ keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram