It doesn't take long before you acquire a lot of camping gear, but that brings with it problems. Here's a useful tip that will save you lots of time.
It doesn't take long before you acquire a lot of camping gear, but that brings with it problems. Here's a useful tip that will save you lots of time...
When you're family camping, you need much more gear than non-family campers. And each year, you end up with more and more gear.
We can all sleep with just a bivvy. We love back to basics camping, but there comes a balance between keeping it simple and the practicalities of family life. The result: you often need a lot more gear.
With each camping trip, you'll see what works and doesn't and plug the gap with something else: more chairs, a larger table, a bigger stove, etc.
All this means it soon gets difficult getting all the gear to the campsite, and you have to decide on getting a roof box and/or a trailer.
But getting to the campsite is only part of the problem:
- You need to store all that camping gear.
- It takes time to pack up to go camping, unpack when you get to the campsite, and then repeat the process when you get home.
Camping Gear Solution: Grab n Go Boxes
Something that has worked extremely well for us for the last several years is creating boxes packed with different items for camping.
Getting organised with camping gear can save you many headaches.
The boxes are packed and ready to go camping (...sometimes the kids raid them though for things, but otherwise, they're ready to go). Come the weekend, lift the boxes straight into the car...or trailer.
The trailer is also packed and ready to go. A trailer is just one big Grab-n-Go box on wheels.
The boxes are easily unpacked from the car when we get to the campsite.
Some boxes, like our kitchen box, lift straight into the tent, ready for use.
Our kitchen box was upgraded to this dedicated kitchen travel bag from Outwell.
Less reliant on a checklist
The other benefit is that with everything ready in the box, the checklist of things you need to take is much less.
When starting with family camping, you can use many of your items from home: pots and pans, washing up stuff, etc. However, as you do more and more camping with your kids, getting items dedicated to camping stored in boxes ready to go saves time.
Come Friday night, when everyone is back from school and work, you can set off to the campsite with much less effort than before.
If you need a checklist to get your camping gear organised, you can download our one here:
Family Camping Planner
This planner has your camping packing checklist and a whole lot more. Download and print it out.
Boxes for everything
Reading this list, it does look a bit OTT, but it's what has worked for us over the years (though we are constantly improving on this).
- Kitchen Box - has plates, cooking utensils, toaster, spare gas cartridges, etc.
- Sleeping Bag Box - keeps sleeping bags dry, though usually leave the box at home and stuff sleeping bags into any 'gaps' in the boot!
- Tent Peg Box and Peg Bag - A small box full of wire tent pegs (from several tents over the years), plus a peg bag with 2 mallets, peg extraction tools, and several good tent pegs.
- Fire Box - fire lighting kit (lighters, matches), plus Dutch Oven cooking items (hot gloves, lid lifter, ash brush, etc.)
- Cooking Box - wooden spoon, tin opener, herbs, and spices.
- Cutlery Box - knives, forks, spoons. Take this box to the campsite wash-up with you.
- Washing-up Box - cloth, sponge, washing-up liquid, hand wash
- Peg Box - not tent pegs but clothes pegs.
- Lighting box - torches, tea light candles, tea light lanterns, glow sticks, citronella-burning-smelly-thing
- First aid box - (always in the car)
To keep things simple, some of the above boxes have been combined into the Outwell Kitchen Storer.
So if you're starting to find all that camping gear overwhelming, find some boxes and get organised. Even cardboard boxes would be a start.
You don't have to try and do it all in one go, either. Why not start with the cooking items, or maybe just the washing-up stuff?
In the Trailer
We also have our camping trailer ready to go. Some of the above boxes are stored in the trailer, ready for use.
We also keep things like our kitchen units, tables and chairs, and the tent in the trailer.