To be honest, packing is one of the more loathsome chores to complete when going on a camping trip. It’s time consuming, repetitive, and generally just plain tedious to do – especially when it’s the last order of business standing between you and the great outdoors. Perhaps this is why so many of gloss over the duty, only to find ourselves forgetting an item or over/under-packing when we reach the campsite. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely eliminate the pain of packing. There are a few tricks, however, that can help you pack more quickly and efficiently for your next camping trip.
Make a general checklist that can be applied to future trips. In this instance, a little work now will save lots of time and effort in the future. Take an hour or two to think of all the miscellaneous things you find necessary on a camping trip. This includes stuff like pots and pans, flashlights, and snack items. Then, write them down to create a sort of “master list” that can be used for future reference. With that list handy, you’ll be much less likely to forget the one needed item that always seems to be missing at the campsite. At Love The Outdoors, we’ve been building our own camping checklist over the years.
Roll, Don’t Fold
For space saving, roll clothing instead of folding it. This tip, commonly used by business travelers and flight attendants, is great for conserving precious space in your camping duffel or backpack. Instead of folding shirts and pants in the traditional department store style, fold them in half lengthwise and roll them up. The result is a compact, virtually wrinkle free clothing tube that leaves loads of free space when compared to regular old folded clothing. What’s more, these compact bundles are much easier to sift through in the bag than digging to the bottom of folded stacks.
Use Plastic Bags
Put all your toiletries in plastic bags. Every traveler has experienced the horrors of an exploded tube of toothpaste or shampoo bottle in their bags at least once. It’s one of those unavoidable evils associated with travel. The problem can be mitigated, however, by categorizing your toiletries (including shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and lotion) and placing them into separate zip-locking plastic bags. While you can’t do much to keep spills from happening, this should prevent any real damage to your stuff.
Develop a Habit
Get your camping trip packing method down to a science. As the old saying goes, “people are creatures of habit”. It rings true with any process we undertake, including packing. If you go on enough camping trips (which for many outdoor lovers isn’t difficult at all), then packing should eventually become second nature to you. To help break monotony in the meantime, try making it a point to watch a favorite TV show or listen to some great music as you pack.