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PACKING TIPS FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

Coleman coolers, lantern and sleeping bag. Coleman coolers, lantern and sleeping bag.

A successful camping trip requires not only bringing all the right supplies, but also making sure it stays organized. From grouping similar gear together to bringing a separate bag for dirty clothes, these tips will help make sure your gear stays organized for your next outdoor adventure:

 

Pack like a pro.

Think in categories:

Fumbling through your gear takes the fun out of camping. It is much easier to keep things organized at the campsite if you pack supplies with ones that are similar (kitchen tools, beach toys, toiletries and towels, etc.).

Double-check your gear:

As you pack, check gear that has been sitting for a long time. If you’re missing tent stakes or find a mouse has taken up residence in your camp stove, it’s better to find out sooner than at the site. Fire up the stove and lantern to make sure they are in good operating condition.

Camper-specific bags:

Pack a separate bag of clothes for each camper. This will mean less ruffling through clothes in the tent. Don’t use suitcases – they are too bulky for a tent. Instead, pack each person’s clothes into a different colored duffel for easy identification. Don’t forget to bring a large empty duffel or clean trash bag to store away dirty clothes. This will keep the tent more organized and keep you from mixing dirty and clean clothes.

Last in, first out:

Try to pack the car so that the first things you’ll need on arrival are the last to go in. This makes the unpacking and setting up camp more orderly. Pack your tent at the back of your vehicle, so that it can be set up first.

Last-minute essentials:

Toss some essentials on the top of the pile. Keep a lantern, headlamps, spare batteries, and insect repellent handy so that you are ready when you arrive at the site.

Ready to head home? There are two trains of thought when it comes to packing up – do it now or do it later. There are pros and cons to both strategies so use the one that works best for you.

Do it once, the right way:

Many campers believe in taking the time to dry out, wipe down, and pack up the gear so that it can go straight into storage from the car. This route takes a larger time commitment before leaving the site. It helps to have a hand broom for dusting off dirt and disposable wipes or a damp rag for cleaning up gear. Some chores, like cleaning out the cooler, will simply have to wait until you return home.

Deal with it at home:

Another strategy is to get your gear into the car in any way possible. The thought behind this is that it will be easier to dry out tarps when you can stretch them out in your yard or easier to clean dishes when you have your dishwasher at the ready. If there is enough room in your car, you can loosely roll up sleeping bags and pads and air them out at home. Store dirty dishes in a container for washing when you return home. Your departure will be quicker, though you will need to devote some time when you return home to putting things in order.

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