How to getaway camping without much effort

May 12, 2015

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…

Storage Boxes in garage ready to Grab n Go camping

When you’re family camping, you need a lot 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, and 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.

Each camping trip you’ll see what works and doesn’t work, and plug the gap with something else, be that 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:

  1. You need to store all that camping gear.
  2. 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

Cooking Box
Something that has worked extremely well for us for the last several years is creating boxes packed with different items for camping.

Kitchen storage box
OK, so that’s not rocket science, but getting a little bit organised with the camping gear can save a whole lot of headaches.

Washup box and cutlery box
The boxes are packed ready to go camping (…sometimes the kids raid them though for things, but otherwise they’re ready to go). Come the weekend, just lift the boxes straight into the car…or trailer.

Fire Box
The trailer is also packed and ready to go. I suppose a trailer is just one big Gran n Go box on wheels.

Tent Peg Kit
When we get to the campsite, boxes are easily unpacked from the car.

Some boxes, like our kitchen box (recently upgraded to the excellent Outwell Kitchen Storer), just lift straight into the tent ready for use.

No more camping gear check list

The other benefit is that you no longer need a big long check list of things to take and several hours trying to find all the gear.

With all the boxes already setup, just load the boxes and you’re done.

….that’s not completely foolproof of course – “Who’s taken the whatsit out of the thingymejig box?” – but it works most of the time.

When you’re starting out with family camping you can use a lot of your items from home: pots and pans, washing up stuff, etc. However, as you do more and more camping with your kids, it saves time to get items dedicated for camping, that sit in their boxes ready to go.

Come Friday night when everyone is back from school and work, you can set off to the campsite with a lot less effort than before.

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 improving on this all the time).

  • Kitchen Box – has plates, cooking utensils, toaster, spare gas cartridges, etc.  *
  • Air Bed / SIM box – keeps SIMs nice and dry and can put box in trailer. Number of beds now outgrown box!
  • Sleeping Bag Box – keeps sleeping bags dry, though usually leave box at home and stuff sleeping bags in to any ‘gaps’ in the boot!
  • Tent Peg Box & 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 a number of 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, plus 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)

* In an effort to keep things simple, some of the above boxes have recently been combined into the Outwell Kitchen Storer.

As I mentioned before, we also have the trailer “box” that has tent, chairs, dutch oven, fire grill and tripod, charcoal & wood, charcoal starter, tarps, etc.

Sleeping Bag Box
So if you’re starting to find all that camping gear a bit 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 may be just the washing up stuff?


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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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