Camping Tip of the Day: Use a Checklist

One thing that has helped Amy and me prepare our camping trip is a checklist. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at your campsite only to realize that you left your pillow or flashlight or worse yet; your beer (just kidding). Type out a checklist and save the document on your computer. As your camping needs change, you can always go back and revise the checklist. We often have different things to pack depending on the season/weather. A day before the trip, we print out the checklist and begin packing the camper. Having a pop-up, as opposed to a travel trailer, requires more thought on how we pack it. Our checklist is broken down into categories. Each category has a specific list of supplies.

1. Clothing/Cosmetics

2. Food and Cooking Supplies

3. Dog Stuff (we have two dogs that require all their toys and of course treats LOL)

4. Personal

5. Miscellaneous

The night before the trip, we begin packing the camper and SUV. As we put items in we check them off the list. Some items stay in the camper year round (i.e. campfire chairs, Dutch Oven, etc). However, we still double-check those items are actually in the camper and then we check them off. Over the course of the last two years, we have updated the checklist several times, the benefit of having it on the computer. If you really want to get tech-savvy, create the checklist on Excel and save the document on an Internet-based storage system, like Dropbox. Use your Smart Phone to access the document thereby never printing the document but always having the checklist in your pocket.

Not only do we use a checklist, we also have specific places where things go in the camper and the SUV. For example, our chairs, dutch oven, pie iron, and hot dog sticks go underneath the left-hand side storage compartment in the dining area of our pop-up. Our cooler is last to be packed in the back of our SUV.

Packing for a camping trip can be stressful, especially when you pack for 10+ day trips.  Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Once you use the checklist and get into the routine of packing, this process will become less and less overwhelming.


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