How To Pack Your Car For Camping

how to pack your car for camping

Going camping involves a lot of packing. You sometimes think you need an RV or SUV to fit everything in. Although not completely necessary they certainly wouldn’t do any harm. There are tents, sleeping bags, coolers, clothes, cookers, grills etc to be taken for a successful family camping trip. (Backpacking requires less stuff, because you have to do with less because you can’t carry it all.

In effectively packing for a camping trip you need to start sometime earlier than morning before you set off in your car and travel to your camp site. It starts with good planning to consider which campground you are going to, the facilities, your activities and likely weather condition s. In this way you can compile a camping checklist which you need to ensure includes all the camping essentials like tents, sleeping bags etc as well as other useful items you want to take a long. If you can grade your list from essentials to nice to have, it may help you decide on what to leave behind if you run out of time.

To help determine if you have enough room you can get all your  camping gear together sometime before you leave and try a dry run, this will give you time to order a roof rack or box. If you are taking along bikes you might consider a bike trunk mount rack.

The night before the big day of your journey get all your camping equipment together in one place to make it easier to pack your car.  This helps to ensure you don’t forget anything. Clear everything out of the trunk to give you as much room as possible.

On the day, have just one person doing the packing. This prevents gear being stowed all over the place and not having it packed in the most effective way resulting it taking more room than is needed.

If you can, to make the journey as comfortable as possible you want everything stored in the trunk or on the roof rack and not in the passenger compartment.

Into the trunk put in your larger items first – tent, folding chairs, tables, camping stove and coolers. Make sure all liquids are secure to prevent spillages. On top of these items place your sleeping gear, clothes, sports equipment. Anything that won’t fit should be stored on the roof rack. Use a tarp to protect the roof of your car for underneath and pull over your items to protect from the elements. Secure them to the car using bungee cords. Kayaks and bikes should go on the roof rack.

Inside the car, have blankets and pillows as sleeping aids. A small cooler is a good idea for storing food and snacks for the journey. A bag full of play things is also handy to help alleviate boredom unless you are a fan of I-spy and singing for the whole journey.

Other things for inside the car are: litter bag, change for the tolls, extra clothes, any directions or instructions you need and a backup map in case the GPS navigator doesn’t quite get you to where you want to go.

If you don’t have enough room you could consider taking a second vehicle or you might need to cut back on what you are taking, starting with the nice to have items.

With a little bit of organization planning you can usually fit everything you need and have a safe and fun journey to your campground.


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