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How to Pack Camping Supplies

Elke Peeters
camping tent overlooking a lake
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Whether camping on a family campground or setting up your site within nature, camping can remind you of the beauty of the outdoors. However, if not done properly, with rainy weather or damp climates, your tent, clothing, and food can become wet and damaged. With just a few extra steps and proper planning, you can travel soundly knowing that everything is safely tucked away and out of harm’s way. 

Preparing for Your Trip:

1. Purchase items made for camping

Although some items may be cheaper than others, finding well-made items that are designed specifically for the outdoors will save you money in the long run. Aside from the cost, they will be made water-proof, lightweight material making them easier to travel with. Items such as eating utensils, backpacks, and even paper products can be designed with travelers in mind. 


2. Use clear containers

Use clear, stackable containers when storing your items temporarily. These will be easily loaded into your car and unloaded once you have reached your destination. You will also be able to quickly find what you need in a hurry by looking through the plastic. 


3. Give children their own bags

Traveling with kids? Designate different bags for each child to store their clothing and belongings. The brighter, the better when it comes to selecting kids bags as if they ever wander off, they will be easier to find. 


 4. Pack light 

Camping is not for the hoarders. Anything you bring with you will need to be packed, carried, and repacked. This means what and how you pack items needs to be done intentionally. For instance, if you are traveling with a significant other, pack one of some items such as binoculars, or heavy equipment to save space. Also, roll clothing rather than folding it to help with wrinkles.

5. Make room for food
Food is an absolute necessity during any trip and that means you need to save as much space as you can for canned food, water, or coolers. Keep reusable utensils in one bag along with soap and napkins, then place them inside bowls or plates. We recommend using two coolers as well, one for perishable food, and one for drinks. 

6. Your tent is an investment 

You may be tempted with sales and cheaper models of tents, however, this is your “home away from home” when traveling and will be put to good use. Check reviews thoroughly and consider the weight as you may need to carry it a far distance. When traveling with your family, it may be best to purchase a tent an additional size up to ensure comfort for each member.  

After Camping:

7. Wash and dry 

Tents, sleeping bags, and jackets have all been exposed to moisture and damp conditions of the wilderness. If you have the convenience of an outdoor hose, give each item a good rinse or wash to get rid of any mud or bugs that may have gotten trapped. Next, lay the items out in the sun to completely dry out. Any moisture left in these fabrics can cause mildew and mold to grow.


8. Remove batteries

For items such as flashlights or lanterns, remove the batteries before storing them. If left in and idle for too long, the batteries can leak and cause damage to the electronic wiring. 

9. Label and stack

Utilize the same clear plastic labels mentioned above to store camping items in the winter. Purchase sticky notes or an additional label maker to make it even easier next year once the weather is warm again to camp. 


10. Find storage

For optimal storage, consider a clean, dry environment such as a storage unit. Research local storage facilities nearby that offer climate-controlled units to keep mildew at bay.  Self storage is best for items such as this as they are only used on a seasonal basis and often. 

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