The Joys of Packing for Camping

The one thing that’s not so fun about tent camping is the packing. Every time we go on a trip I vow to not bring as much stuff. To be more simplistic. It never works out that way, though. The other challenge I find is organizing all of that stuff so that while we’re there we can access everything we need easily. I despise rummaging through a bin to find the salt and pepper. My solution? More bins, of course! Beware: This method is not for the stream lined camper. 😉

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A bin for pots, washtubs, cutting boards, etc.

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This is for kitchen items. A drawer for plates and cups. One for the eating and cooking utensils. Spices in another. Dish cleaning stuff, etc. in another.

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A set for extra items. Bandaids, Tylenol, insect repellant, sunscreen, lighter, twine, screwdriver, and so on. (This one is a new addition)

I didn’t show the bin for dry foods, the cooler for veggies, etc., the cooler for raw meats, or the small drinks cooler.

The problem is that van gets quickly filled…to capacity. I don’t think that we could fit one more thing in…

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I guess we go for comfort. That’s why we find it difficult to be streamlined. I like having chairs to sit on, and good food to eat. I still can’t see how to cut it down further. The weather can change on a dime so you need to bring clothes for every contingency. Not to mention, shoes. Running shoes and sandals for each family member are a minimum requirement. The tent takes up quite a bit of space, too. And then there’s all of the blankets. A sleeping bag for each of us as well as an extra blanket each, too because the nights can get quite cool. Then there’s the fishing gear.

Now the beauty of the bins is that I leave them packed and ready to go. Hopefully, no more forgetting stuff which I am notorious for doing. Although, I was not the one to forget the adapter to the stove this last time!

Once we’re there, though, all of the organizing and packing seem worth it. We’re comfortable and can enjoy our time together as a family confident in the knowledge that we’re prepared for the worst. Of course, the worst doesn’t often happen and I find I’m unpacking stuff we didn’t use. But ya just know that the one time I don’t bring an extra tarp we’ll face rain, rain, and more rain. And if I bring the tarp I also have to bring the bungee cords to put it up.

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One day, though, we’re definitely purchasing a trailer.

One like THIS would cool, but we don’t have an extra $20,000 hanging around.

As far as tent trailers go THIS one looks good. It has three pop out thingies instead of the traditional two.

THIS one looks funky. Too small for us, though. 🙂

At any rate, it might be a couple of years. So, it’s tenting and bins for us for awhile.


About Debbie

I am a stay at home mom of 2 energetic children. I homeschool them as well. I have a great husband who, after 7 years of working away from, finally has a job where he is home every night. We are trying to learn how to live together again along with adjusting to the lower pay that came along with the job change.
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14 Responses to The Joys of Packing for Camping

  1. Robinella says:

    You rock when it comes to camping. (you can’t see me, but I am down on hands and knees saying I am not worthy, I am not worthy…) I responded to your HP5? Here’s my response so you don’t have to go looking for it at my site.

    My 7yo was not scared at all. It was INTENSE at the end, but not scary to us. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be scary to anyone else. But if your kids have seen the other movies, then I don’t think this one would be any scarier. It is a little “darker” than the others…whatever that means. 🙂

  2. Dawn says:

    Wow, you are so organized. I have pre-packed totes also which makes packing for camping easier. I do think the drawer thing’s would be better to keep things organized. We don’t camp much anymore and we have two extra kids to put in a vehicle. Last year we had to take the truck to fit all our stuff, and the sleeping bags had to be removed from their totes to fit everything under the cover. I am not sure what we are going to do this year as we are going further, and doing a weeks vacation after. We are trying to figure out now what to do, whether a rooftop carrier or pull behind trailer. They cost about the same.

  3. poeticscot says:

    Wow, you sure can pack – a lot into your van 😯

    I have difficulty with just packing my shopping into the boot of my car 😉

    At least you have all the essentials with you – for your camping – except of course the adapter 😉

  4. poeticscot says:

    How did I miss those trailers 😕

    Guess it’s still getting used to these bifocals

    I luv the last one – kinda different and an eye-catcher.

    Must admit they are amazing and far better than I expected with all those facilities too!!

    Saves sharing with the bears 😉

  5. Heather says:

    You are SO organized!! Whateve it takes to make it easier and FUN!! I hate digging in bins and packs when camping but we usually don’t have much of a choice on our trips because of space/weight restraints…you are creating awesome experiences and memories for your children…

  6. Joy T. says:

    Organization is key and it looks like you have it down to a science. I’m laughing at how packed that van looks though!

  7. Carla says:

    I feel the same way about simply packing for a trip. You should see all the little separate baggies inside my backpack…just trying to keep it all somewhat organized instead of all thrown in at random. We must have similar personality types. Anyways, have fun camping.

  8. beccy says:

    You are so organised which must make packing very easy and camping very enjoyable. I always forget something, this week it was beach towels, bath towels and deodrant!

  9. Pamela says:

    I was impressed by the neatness of your campsite. If you ever saw some of our camping pictures you might think we were some of those creatures in the Lord of The Rings…

  10. Pamela says:

    bloglines had a dryer story on top – but when I clicked on it there was an error. You must have removed it.

    I want an outside line to hang clothes on — I love the smell of sheets in the sunshine

  11. Steffi says:

    Yes,I agree with Dawn-Wow, you are so organized! And that´s the other site of camping- you need so much things !But it´s really nice and enjoy your camping time!

  12. Debbie says:

    Roninella – LOL. Thanks!

    Peter – Yes, out of all of that stuff we still manage to forget stuff. And yo didn’t MISS the trailers, I added them on. 🙂

    Heather – I’m usually not organized at all, but I’m trying to be. I really don’t like forgetting stuff.

    Joy – I wasn’t kidding when I said I couldn’t fit anything else in there!

    Carla – Baggies in a backpack. That’s a good idea! For my children’s clothes I use a…guess! A bin! It helps to keep them dry and they no longer have to rummage.

    Beccy – Hee hee. Bath towels. eeek. You were going to the beach, weren’t you? Okay – here’s one for you. I once forgot the TENT!

    Pamela – I had just cleaned up after supper, Adrian and the kids were off fishing, and I was alone with my book when I decided to take that shot. It is NOT always that neat!

    And that’s strange about the dryer story. I set it to automatically post. It’s there now.

    Steffi – Yes there is much to bring (for us anyway) on a camping trip.

  13. Debbie says:

    Oops! I missed ya Dawn. :} Don’t know how that happened.

    I’m trying to get organized. You’ve seen the inside of my cupboards!!

    I hope you find a way to get everything packed. It doesn’t matter how organized one is – we still only have so much space!

  14. my4kids says:

    Wow you are pretty organized with your stuff! We take bins but not the drawer kind. I don’t think I could convince the hubby to let me be that organized.

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