Keep Your Campsite Organized and Comfortable
Why the push for organization while you’re out roughing it?
If you treat your campsite with the same care as you treat your home, you’ll find many of the comforts you enjoy in one location can be found in the next!
So how do you get to this goal?
1. Have the correct equipment
2. Plan ahead
3. Practice responsible habits everywhere you go
The main purpose behind this post is to help you find ways to get organized so you can spend more time relaxing and less time struggling whenever you camp.
The first two steps of this guide refer to having the correct equipment and planning ahead.This may lead you to two questions:Where to Start
One: How do I know what equipment I am going to need?
Two: What should I be planning for?
The Correct Equipment
In most instances, the camping gear you bring on a standard trip won’t very all that much. You’re going to need a shelter, something to sleep on, a heat source if you plan to have a fire, and some other basic amenities.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you are bringing everything you need is to make a checklist of what gear you think may be essential to a successful camping trip. A quick search of the web will produce a wide variety of lists that you can use to easily determine if you have what you need.
Once your list is complete, you can start pulling your gear out of storage. This is the perfect opportunity to examine everything to see what kind of shape it is in. The last thing anyone needs is to arrive at the optimal camping site only to discover broken tent poles or a missing or damaged rain fly!
Closely review each piece of equipment you plan to bring along. Repair or replace any items that could cause you headache later on. Make sure to also check any kits you routinely bring along. Things like first aid kits are routinely used, though only individual items are ever taken out of them. Inventory everything and restock if needed.
Now that we have begun the framework for an organized camping trip, the next logical step is to make a plan for how to stay organized.
It may seem like overly simple advice, but always check the weather report for where you are headed. Temperatures and weather can vary tremendously when you change your location and your elevation.
It is never a bad idea when preparing what camping gear to bring to anticipate wet or unfavorable weather. Many items like extra garbage bags or tarps don’t take up much space, but can work wonders for making any camping excursion a touch more comfortable.
Make a plan to pack vehicle with this thought in mind. Your tent and any items central to setting it up will be the first thing you need when you arrive. If you bury them under mounds of other stuff, it will take you even longer to set up camp. Put every non essential item on your camping list into your vehicle first. The keeps the stuff you need most readily available right away.Once your gear is organized and ready to be loaded into your vehicle, take a moment to consider what you are going to need first once you arrive at your campsite. If you are tent camping, then establishing your shelter should be your first priority.One of the most useful tips for easy organization is to have dedicated totes for individual areas of camping. Kitchen and cooking related items are in one. Disposable items like paper towels and trash bags are in another. While these totes are for sure too bulky to take when backpacking, having your equipment organized in this manner makes finding what you need easy when it’s time to head out.
Setting Up a Comfortable Camp
Be sure to put your tent in a flat spot that is free from rocks and other hazards. Make a quick check of your surroundings for any signs of places water may occasionally run and avoid these at all costs. The first thing to do is to get your tent up and secured without delay. No questions.
Once your shelter is established, you can begin unpacking other items. Certain items are nearly as critical as your shelter and should be high on your priority list. A source of light (whether a flashlight, solar powered light, or headlamp) will soon become a necessity. Make sure you have one on you from the onset of arrival. This is the time to unload and put any other “tent worthy” stuff in the shelter.
If you opt for the tote approach to packing an organized, you can stack totes out of the way until certain items are needed. Be sure to return all items to the correct tote or designated area after each use. There is nothing more frustrating when out in the woods than being unable to find what you need when you need it!
What To Avoid
While many of the tricks that help a household run smoothly and remain organized can be brought out into the woods, there are a few things you should avoid if comfort and easy living are your goal.
First and foremost is to be aware that anything essential which gets misplaced will need to be repurchased. The price for certain items can skyrocket when you are in a camping area, so be organized and be responsible with your gear.
Next, find a central location to store all of the things you simply can not lose or risk having stolen. Keeping track of things like medication and car keys are vital when it comes to success in everyday life and losing either while camping can severely compound matters. Decide on a secure location to keep these types of items and never vary from keeping them there.
You should also scout out local amenities as soon as your site is situated. Finding a water source, bathrooms, and a ready source of firewood will make life easier once the sun starts to set. This can also give you and your party a chance to get acclimated to your surroundings and avoid getting lost later on. Plan to store water in a suitable container that can easily be carried and accessed when needed.
Also, please remember to always take care of your food and cooking items. Anything that tastes like food, smells like food, or even looks like food is fair game to local wildlife. Everything from birds to bears will take advantage of an easy meal if given the chance. Keep food items stored in your car when not in use and make sure to remove all trash and food scraps after each meal.
A basic camp site will give you a place to sleep, a place to cook your food, and possibly a place to sit when you’re not busy. These things can be improved or used as is.
When you find yourself struggling to make life easier, consider what is making it hard in the first place. Materials such as wire coat hangers and pvc piping can be adapted in the moment to suit any number of needs. Improvising is what leads to improvements over time.
Creativity can also play a huge part in enjoying time spent in the outdoors. For many people, the opportunity to sleep under the stars and cook over a wood fire isn’t an everyday experience. Play around and interact with the world around you. You’ll be glad you did!