Do you have a camping list? Did you use a checklist for that big pile of camping gear and equipment on the floor? Do you know the best way to organize and pack all that gear for a camping trip?
These camping tips are simple and basic, but you would be surprised how many campers don’t think of them.
*Note – any shopping links are my own Amazon affiliate links – which I only use to recommend good-quality camping gear – Gus
#1. Use a camping checklist:
…the MOST IMPORTANT tip
A camping list isn’t just for new campers, veteran campers use checklists because they know how important even the smallest things are when you’re on a camping trip and you only have what you brought with you.
It’s unlikely you’ll forget the camp lantern or flashlight, but did you remember the extra batteries or mantles? If you’re not sure what camping gear you need, a camping gear list will lead you by the hand, and a checklist will help you make sure what you thought you packed – really got packed. Not left in the garage or on the kitchen counter.
#2. Pack and organize your camping gear by use:
Duffel bags, stuff sacks, and color codes
Of course it seems like common sense; pack your clothes together, and the pots and pans, and the tent gear, but what about all those loose items you just toss in a pile? The camp saw, hatchet, ropes and other campsite “stuff?”
Is, “Where did we pack the ________,” a familiar camp question? Is digging through the trunk or trailer to find the tent stake mallet a regular occurrence? Does it take dozens of trips and armloads to get all the gear into camp?
And what about all that camp food? Is rummaging through multiple boxes and coolers standard for meal time?
Here’s what you should do:
- Get a variety of different color duffel bags and stuff sacks, in a range of sizes, (based on what gear you will be using them for), to pack related gear in. You don’t have to spend a fortune for these. Dollar stores, Goodwill, and discount stores usually have these at bargain prices.
- medium to large top-zipper duffel bags, (on the right), work well for campsite gear, like; ropes, camp tools, etc.
- Use the same duffel bag every time. So you always know the ropes, mallet, and stakes are always in the “green” bag, and the camp knives and cooking utensils and gear are always in the “red” bag. If you pack and group your items like this, you will always know where to find it.
- Stuff sacks work great for toiletries, wet clothes, dirty clothes, cords, and almost anything you want to keep together.
- Collapsible Coolers – Once you do this you will wonder what took you so long. As much as possible pack each meal ingredients in a separate collapsible cooler. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to just grab a colored cooler and have all the meal ingredients at hand – in one place. No rummaging through the bulk food boxes or coolers. Plus, when empty, they collapse and pack out a lot easier than big rigid coolers.
#3. Load camping gear in proper order:
Load your gear in the order you will use it. Another tip that seems obvious, but do you already do it. Or do you load all the heavy camping gear first, and then load the backpacks, food, clothes, etc.?
Before loading up for the trip – think about what you have to do first on arrival. Most campers want to set-up the tent(s) and get something to drink first. So the tent gear and drink cooler should be loaded last, so it is up-front and ready when you arrive.
Camp clothes, backpacks, and camp food are usually the last things you need after arrival, so they should be loaded up first, so they are not in the way of the real things you need first.
Think about it – do you usually end up with a pile of backpacks, boxes of food, and camp chairs on the ground beside your vehicle as you dig through everything to get to the tents and cooking gear?
Tip: The same process works for leaving camp too, except this time the heavy stuff goes in first, because it is the clothes, backpacks, and food that should be unloaded first when you get home.
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