One of the biggest challenges to camping is making sure that you have everything you need when you get there. This is a challenge because your car or truck may not have enough space for everything. And, once you are at the camping site, there isn’t much that you can do if you find yourself lacking a crucial piece of gear.
There is a certain science when it comes to packing for camping to ensure that you don’t have to leave anything that you need at home. This definitely involves making a list of the must-have items and the nice-to-have items so you can prioritize what you pack.
Once you have that list then it comes time to pack. If you do it correctly then you can even take along most of your nice-to-have items in addition to your must-haves. In this article, I will go over several tips to help you pack better for camping.
Use the entire vehicle
You don’t have to only think about the trunk being the area to pack. Use the entire vehicle by planning it out well. For instance, with the right straps with a strong metal hook, then you can even use the roof by strapping down things like duffel bags or other soft fillable items.
Then, the back seat can often give you more space than you realize. If you have passengers back there, ask them to hold some things on their lap and by their feet.
There are even small bags that can be hung from the back of the front seats that face the back.
Make it smaller
This is the key to packing for camping and pretty much everybody knows that is what you’re supposed to do. However, it always bears repeating because some people think that they just need to find space.
First, look for special camping versions of common items. These will already be smaller or you can collapse them. Things like camping pillows are ideal as they take up a fraction of the space of a normal pillow.
You can also buy lots of other camping essentials that collapse to take up less space. Things like pots and pans can collapse into a smaller, flatter version.
For clothes, get a vacuum bag that you can fill with clothes and then use your vacuum cleaner hose to suck the air out. There are even versions of these bags that you roll to get the air out. Your clothes will take a fraction of the space.
Plan it out
Before you begin just putting items in the trunk, try to understand how things will fit together based on their shape and size. Almost like a game of Tetris!
Anything flat that can allow for things to be stacked on top should go on the bottom. If there is space on the sides, then you can possibly slide flat items in this way. Also, things that are soft like pillows or sleeping bags can be wedged into spaces where you would think that they wouldn’t fit.