Where do you keep your camping supplies?
I started camping late 2019 and now have a bunch of stuff for camping. I live in a small apartment and now my camping gear is in my coat closet, linen closet, and the closet on the porch. I keep some stuff in the trunk of my car… Some of the stuff is essential, some luxury, some super extraneous for family camping. Some stuff is just normal things like towels, bedding, soap, etc. that I keep round the house. I condensed actual camping gear from two bins to one, but I’m not sure I replaced all the stuff I used and may need more space once I get back in the groove!!
Do you have specific camping stuff or do you run around the house with a list like a maniac grabbing things you need? Almost always forgetting something anyway?
I like the idea of having specific camping gear. I want to just grab my bins or bags and be off… but I don’t have the space for doubles. Most of the stuff I would double is cooking stuff or towels/bedding. There is also some stuff that is extraneous that I might take for family trips, but not solo… like glow sticks, bug nets, string lights, grilling gear, yard games, etc.
So for me, over the years, it was easier to have camp items separate from home items. Even with tent camping with 4 kids, I actually had camp clothes in a suitcase that was separate from home clothes (until they became teens). We now have a teardrop with minimal storage but even that’s easier than apt. dwelling and limited storage. My suggestion would be to figure out the necessary minimum gear that is essential to camping, find storage bins that fit either in closets or under beds or stack in a carport, and have it readily available when you want to go. Even if it requires the purchase of a small storage closet to hold it, it will make camping much more enjoyable and way less stressful, to have your basics (excluding perishables) on demand when a weekend presents itself. Upon return, dirty towels, dishes, etc, can be washed and stored and READY for the next trip. I keep certain foodstuffs & personal care items stocked and replenished after every trip. I keep everything in bins that are easy to grab and put in the truck or teardrop (5x8). I also use clear waterproof bins so I know what I have at a glance.
We’ve always kept our camping gear separate. We have a couple of totes ready for tent camping as well as an A-Frame trailer ready to go. For us, if it isn’t set aside, it will be forgotten.
I feel you on storage space! We are in a town home and just have limited space overall. Our stuff goes carefully tucked away in our utility space in our laundry room. We don’t double up much stuff if we can help it! Most things are designated as camp stuff (though like chairs of course we’ll pull out when needed).
*I just noticed I said wrong and that we stored in our living room, which we do not do. It’s our utility room/laundry room! Ugh.
We recently got a small camper but with plenty of space for my husband and I. We keep certain stuff in the camper but we also keep the camper hooked to power due to temperature shifts not wanting the bed to mildew. The cost of “storing” it versus just keeping it lit is way cheaper. I do yoga even when camping so I have “camping” yoga gear and regular. I have some stuff organized but occasionally when the seasons change and we swap out heavier blankets and stuff I have to do a scavenger hunt. Lol
Having a teardrop is great!!! I have site items that I keep in my camper, but there are others I pick and choose depending on weather, destination, and company.
One key is to ensure that the storage location is appropriate for the equipment. Humidity won’t affect my stove, pots and pans, but it can be a problem with tents or sleeping bags. I have containers to keep gear organized by activity to make it easy to grab and go. And I have a bag for toiletries and towel that is always ready to go and makes it easy to carry to and from the bathroom.
That’s my main problem. I forget the things I need or just forget I need things at all. I needed to get out in nature recently, and went camping with little to no planning. I forgot my flashlight and phone charger. Luckily I had a car charger and an emergency glow stick. I drove around for an hour to get my phone above 50% before bed because I didn’t want to leave my car running at 11:30pm in the campground. I also almost missed out on coffee in the morning because I forgot to bring my fire starter kit. Luckily (or maybe because I have forgotten before…) I had a small box of matches in my car, but I ripped the striker right off!! I caught the camper across the way as they packed up and was gifted a Bic lighter ‘to keep in my car’. lol
So I had fun googling ‘teardrop camping’ and finding out about trailers! What a neat way to camp! I have a sedan so I have to be able to fit everything in the trunk or backseats. Sometimes I borrow my sister’s Subaru hatchback which makes everything easier and sleeping in the car a breeze. I haven’t tried sleeping in my sedan yet.
I had one clear bin, then I had two clear bins and was working my way to a third, so I condensed into a single large opaque bin. Figuring out what is needed vs wanted is fun. Do I need pots and pans? Not if I am eating PB&J. Do I need a kettle? Absolutely, every time, hot water is always useful.
Did I mention our teardrop is 8x5? After years of tenting, we are in heaven! May I suggest finding one, just one, deep cast iron pot or pan? Fry that PBJ to go with your hot coffee.
The more you do it, the less you’ll forget. I grew up camping, also tend toward minimalism, so have figured out necessity vs convenience. We just spent 2 weeks on the high desert & Utah without an ice chest.
I kind of do a combo. I have one large bin in the garage that holds my tent and shelter, two smaller vertical bins about the size of a backpack for designated camping stuff like lanterns and stuff for eating, and then a checklist that I keep in one of the bins to remind me of all of the stuff that I do keep in the house. This system has worked pretty well for me!
We keep all of our camping gear in the garage on shelves. Some things are always in the rig, but depending on time of year and location we select from the bins for that specific trip. I make a list about 2 weeks before we go and check it off as we load. There’s nothing like getting somewhere and asking yourself “where are my pants and my coat?” Been there, done that. Food is also planned ahead no matter how long the trip is keeping in mind that if you are near a town you can pick things up as you go. Our longest trip has been 6 weeks.
ooooh fried pb&j!? That would have been awesome to try yesterday! But I didn’t pack a pan so I just had regular pb&j for dinner and I was too lazy to make a sandwich this morning so I had cookies with my coffee. lol
did you forget it? Or not need it? Is an ice chest a necessity or a convenience in the desert? I’ve never been to a desert or Utah.
is it the same checklist every time? or does it change? A static checklist to ‘go get these five things’ every time sounds like it might work for me.
It is the same! I have it laminated.
I have a soft-sided topper for my hatchback, I don’t think I could fit enough for some trips without it ever since I got a giant dog. The dog gets the back seat now, he has a seat protector/hammock thing that’s worked great and I’m looking into getting a barrier so he doesn’t fly into the driver’s compartment if there’s an accident. I am very concerned about all this stuff bouncing around with me, considering all the driving I do.
Anyway, I fit what I can in the topper but anything too heavy for me to lift or temperature-sensitive goes in the cabin. I keep them in 2 heavy duty rubbermaid bins with latched tops, behind the seats.
When it’s not in use I keep everything except the food and toiletries in a storage unit. I’m lucky to have a parking spot in a garage so I can keep the topper loaded between trips but if I still parked on the street I would need to unload it every time or things would get stolen. I wanted to get a hard shell topper for this reason but I don’t want to modify the car to install it.
Nope. I should clarify, had the ice chest but used no ice. Running out of ice is a drag, and (outside of having readily available cold beer) isnt a necessity. Unwashed eggs dont need refrigeration, there are shelf stable creamers and milk, not to forget powdered milks. Yogurt doesnt require ice, just cool. Our fresh fruits & veges…same. We utilize cool water from rivers, cool night air, use canned meats/fish/proteins etc. We eat great, and don’t miss the headache of keeping a cooler cold. Nor the cost of a Yeti!
We started a basic camping list that we use for each trip. Modify as needed for what season/location/kind of trip we might be taking. That’s helped a lot. Just keep a working file on the laptop, then print right before packing time. That way we just always have the same process.
I am probably in a better position with camping gear as I have been camping, being gifted, bought my own, or inherited gear for longer than probably many members of this forum have been alive. And I do have my gear arranged in totes, small ones, that allow me to just grab and go. Kitchen, one tote, and one storage bag, load in, tent furnishings, One tote, load in, bathroom, one bucket, load in. Toss the tents in, toss sleeping bags in, toss cooler in, double check the supplies on the in car first aid kit, load in fuel, and go.
Glow sticks are a non issue for me. Just not my thing. String lights, nope. Grilling gear is in the kitchen tote. Yard games? Nah, too much fishing or hiking to do…
I must mention, at this point in our lives, we are doing what some people consider “Glamping”, and we adjsut the gear list depending on the time of year and the gear to support that. AC in summer, heater in winter etc… I know many don’t think AC=camping, but we live and camp in Texas so…
I use the Packpoint app and have the custom version so I can create my own lists for different activities and my own camping needs. Plug in dates, destination & activities and it figures out what I need to bring.