Whether for camping or at the beach, if there are no pic-nick tables and benches around, a small portable table is a must to bring along. The most obvious use for this type of table is as a lunch or dinner table, but it has many more potential uses. Most of these folding tables are lightweight, since they are made to be carried around, sometimes on long treks. Aluminum is very light, and so this is usually the metal these tables are made from.
Here’s a nice model – I actually own something like it, but this one is cooler-looking than mine:
Small metal folding table pictured: Heavy Duty Aluminum Roll-up Top Folding Camping Table/TA-8117 by Ming’s Mark
When camping, portability is a major concern, and so you may want to choose your table according to how it folds up. Some simply flatten, which is fine if they will be put in a car trunk, while other actually roll up, taking very little space. These can usually fit in an included bag that has a strap, so that you can carry it over your shoulder. Of course, foldable tables are not only useful outdoors. They can be used indoors, whenever an extra table is needed. But if you are opting for a short model, be aware that your seat will have to be fairly low as well. They may work well as a “TV tray table”, because a surface that is somewhat low tends to match-up well with the height of a sofa or an easy chair.
I like the retro-kitchen-table look of this one:
Outsunny Aluminum Camping Folding Camp Table w/ Carrying Handle – 23.5″ L x 17.5″ W
Sometimes metal tables tend to have a slippery surface, but on most models this is somewhat remedied by the metal having a certain rough texture. Otherwise, you may want to place a rubberized place-mat on top of the table to keep things from slipping and sliding. Then again, a slippery surface can be good for certain activities, such as playing cards. Make sure the feet of the table have rubber ends. If used indoor, the metal could scratch your floors, and if used outdoors, hollow-tube legs can dig in the ground and get partially filled with dirt and grass. If used for the outdoors, make sure the table won’t rust.