I’m sure that any seasoned camper will tell you that planning, preparing and packing for a camping trip is probably the most time consuming, difficult and hated task on any camping trip. In fact I prefer setting up or taking down camp to preparing for a camping trip because these tasks only take a couple of hours at most. Here are a few suggestions to consider:
Maintain a Master Packing List on Your Home Computer: Print a fresh copy of the list for each camping trip. This will save you hours of frustration in writing a list for each trip. What’s more, it can save you the aggravation of forgetting to list and pack something important, like a tent or sleeping bag. Several years ago while camping at Bon Echo, my new neighbour arrived, only to drive back home and return the following day because he had forgotten the key to his rooftop capsule that contained most of his camping equipment. Over the years, your list should be updated to reflect your current needs. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, here is a starter list that you can build on: http://www.tips4camping.com/camping-gear_316.html
Test Out All Camping Equipment At Home Annually: I test out all of my camping equipment, each spring, before the first camping trip. The tent and dining shelter get set up on my front lawn at home to make sure that all parts are still operable. I also inspect the fabric for rips and tears. This would be a good time to reseal the seams with a tent sealer product. Air mattresses and self-inflating sleeping pads should be inflated and checked for leaks. The stove should be cleaned and started to ensure that it is still operable. You should check over everything that you take on your camping trip and repair or replace whatever is defective. If you need any new camping gear, you can check this link to get an idea of what is available and how much it will cost: http://astore.amazon.com/tip4cam-20
Reduce Waste When Camping: Drinking water is safe at most Ontario Parks campgrounds. Bringing cases of bottled water is a bad option because it takes up space in your vehicle and the empty bottles add to waste at campgrounds. Boiling water or using a water filter pump or water purification tablets are other options if the drinking water isn’t safe. Avoid using paper cups and plates, as well as plastic forks, spoons and knives. Use refillable propane cylinders instead of disposable ones to reduce waste at the campground.
Compress Gear Before Loading: Tents, screen houses, and sleeping bags should always be packed in the bags and stuff sacks that they were purchased in to ensure that they are compressed when in transit. Pillows and other items can also be compressed, tied, and bagged to save space. Loose items can be packed in hockey bags, backpacks, knapsacks, and plastic storage bins to make them as compact as possible and allow for easy management at the campsite. Consider paying a little more for camping gear that is more compact, as this can save some frustration if you are challenged for space in your vehicle.
Buy Groceries at Home: For the most part, the grocery stores near campgrounds will be more expensive and the selection is not as great as at home.
For more details on camping see The Camp Tripper. The Camp Tripper includes: trip planning, reservations, gear, meals, setting up camp, activities, breaking camp, maintenance of gear and many tips for memorable camping trips in Ontario. The book is very reasonably priced and small enough to fit in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Here are four reasons why you might prefer to order it in e-book (electronic book) format:
- The e-book price is 37% less
- No shipping costs, which saves you even more
- Instant delivery to your computer or hand-held device
- Eliminates paper and saves trees
This book is currently only available in online bookstores.