beyond the basic weekender trip.
personal fun gearYour personal fun gear is all the "stuff" you need to do your various outdoor activities. This stuff really depends on your outdoor environment, hobby or sport. For example, if your heading for a waterfront campsite with a beach you'll need beachwear, towels and sunblock. Now if you have a hobby or sport (4 wheeling, photography, hiking) you'll need all the accessories for those hobbies. Just plan out what you'll be doing and think thru all your needs. For power sports, think about extra fuel and a toolbox. Duct tape is probably the most used item for emergency repairs while camping. Don't forget important stuff like a good first aid kit.
clothingYou'll need underwear for the length of your stay plus one day (trust me on this). Relaxed clothing is the usual outerwear while camping. You should bring dry and wet weather clothing, unless your going in a desert. Bring a set of clothes for 10C below what is predicted for the region unless you actually trust the weatherman. We usually camp for 7-10 day trips and we pack a duffel bag of clothes.
camp itemsYour imagination and needs dictate what items you'll want to bring. Here is a list of items we started carrying along with us even on our shortest outings. Keep in mind we usually camp in woodsy areas.
- camp shovel and wood ax
- plastic tarps (10ft x 10ft)
- 3/8in rope (100ft)
- toolbox (with duct tape)
- propane lantern with fuel
- two flashlights with extra batteries
- full set of cookware (bowls, pots/pans and skillets with lids)
- full set of plates, bowls, mugs and utensils (for 4 people)
- folding chairs
- groundsheet and/or ground blanket
- small extra cooler with only ice
- air mattress and normal pillows
camp kitchenWe found some kitchen items are very valuable while camping. We usually pack these items along with the standard cookware .
- long and sharp kitchen knife and cutting board
- wash basin and camp soap
- wash cloth, table cloth, towels and clothes pins
- water cooler and water tanks (2 liters per day per person + 10 liters extra)
- can opener, utility knife, hand broom
stuff that is nice to haveThis list is stuff we started to bring on our extended stays that are normally forgotten by most campers. We actually used this stuff at least once or twice in our years of camping.
- ABC rated fire extinguisher
- extra tent pegs (and extra tent pole kept separate from the other poles)
- expendable rigid pole
- small 12V air compressor
how to pack all this stuffSo how do you pack all this stuff in a beat-up sub-compact to head out into the wild? You don't! We tried to go camping in a small import sport car once...not recommended! So what do you do?
First off, you pack tight. We started using plastic packing boxes for all the loose kitchen items, loose camp gear and dry food. The clothes, tent and sleeping bags are stored in duffel bags. The coolers get the wet/cold food. If you read the First Trip page, you know that you should gather everything first. You can then plan on how to it all this in your vehicle or think about renting a larger vehicle. We had to get a roof mounted weatherproof travel bag for the light items in order to fit everything.
You'll be surprised on how much you can actually fit in your car/truck/SUV.