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Even your camping trip benefits from organization

by respaced on August 25, 2009

We spent part of last week camping at Wallowa Lake, and it gave me a new appreciation of how much organization camping requires. We’ve been camping many times before, but this time I was determined to pack as efficiently as possible and take notes on what we should do differently next time. Here is what worked this time and what we plan to do in the future:

1. I typed up a packing list, dividing it into a few categories: Nathan, me and Chad, general, cooking and food. We always make a list of what we will eat at every meal, so I used that menu list to fill in the food part of the packing list. I left the packing list on the counter, so we could cross off items as we packed them. It completely alleviated the “have you packed the …?” question. And I can simply print it out the next time we go camping, so I won’t have to make a packing list ever again!

2. I kept a list of things we forgot or should pack for our next camping trip. This list will be added to the packing list.

3. It sounds commonsense enough, but I used a colorful binder clip to keep the map, directions, check-in directions and packing list together. No more hunting around for four separate pieces of paper in the car.

4. Maybe you do this now, but we plan to purchase four large Rubbermaid bins with lids to pack the “Nathan” items, “general” items, “cooking” items and “food” items from the packing list. We will label the bins, and they will stack perfectly and save space in the back of the van. No more searching the house for empty boxes, bags, bins and suitcases (and not finding any because I don’t save empty containers …) Can you tell I’m the most excited about this part of the plan?

We love how inexpensive and rewarding camping can be, but hate, hate, hate the planning/packing/unpacking it requires. Hopefully, our new game plan will reduce that pre-vacation stress!

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