If there's one thing we've learned over time, it's that humans tend to be quite diverse from one another.
Habits, cultures, personalities, etc. The list could go on for an infinite length of time. Today though, I want to focus on one of them.
Those who prefer to pack light and those who prefer to pack heavy for camping trips.
Now, packing heavy may be beneficial for some things, such as moving to another country or when you're in for a long stay somewhere.
However, camping is always best enjoyed when you're able to bring all the camping gear with you while also not feeling like you're taking your entire house with you.
As we've mentioned in previous blogs, one of the most important things to remember when you're camping is that what you bring can make the difference between an amazing experience and a disaster on the campground (don't get me started on bear country).
That's why I've constructed a few tricks for you to try on your next camping trip so you can carry out all of your favorite camping activities with ease.
On your next camping trip, sit around the picnic table with peace of mind your first aid kit doesn't take up much space at all.
Roll Your Clothes Military Style
When you head out to the campsite, you're going to want to bring a bunch of suitable clothes with you.
There's no telling what could happen in regards to temperature changes and weather conditions, so it's best to be prepared. Days can be extremely hot while nights can leave you shivering.
However, sometimes doing this means that clothes take up a TON of space in your backpack. So how do we bring what we need and not weigh ourselves down in the process?
It's time to get around the style of military rolling.
A quite easy style of storing clothes, the method is simple.
Take a piece of clothing and fold it in half, then roll it up really tight in one direction. You should finish with your item of clothing in a nice compact roll that is much smaller than the item in its usual form.
This works well for virtually all pieces of clothing, and it means you can compactly store them next to each other.
Hot tip: Remember to bring some plastic bags for wet clothes to prevent other items from getting wet.
Use Items That Are Collapsible
Just like packing your clothes in a manner that will be conservative for space, purchasing items that in their storage form are super compact will only serve to leave more space in your bag and potentially save weight as well.
For one, there are many sleeping bags out there that are just extremely bulky, and while these are usually on the warmer side, it's also going to take up a lot of space.
Getting a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and comfortable while also being quite compact will serve you well when it's time to save space.
A sleeping pad can be one of the most space-consuming items on camping trips, so getting one that won't take up too much space and keep you warm is a great option, especially when you've got a good sleeping bag.
Cookware is also another camping essential that can take up a ton of space if you're not careful, and be quite heavy too if it's made of steel or ceramics.
Get yourself some foldable cookware such as pots and pans, containers and plates, and utensils. They usually come with their own containers as well to further compartmentalize the entire set.
Bring a first aid kit that has the essentials but isn't huge as well. You can find a first aid kit that has quite a lot of first aid essentials but is designed to be small and perfect for the great outdoors.
As far as camping tips go, compression is your best friend. Whether it be for camp meals, first aid, or a quality cooler.
Pick your Chairs Wisely
Camping chairs, unless you're staying at a campground or campsite that has tables, chairs, facilities, and the like, are a pretty essential part of the camping experience and you're going to want to take them with you.
However, you'll also probably be aware that these things tend to take up a lot of space.
So making the right decision on what chairs to take will save you some valuable room. Every little bit counts.
Look for chairs that are able to compress down in size and are also lightweight as well. There are plenty of camping chairs these days that come with a small bag that will help you pack in an efficient manner and keep your bags clean.
Create a Camping Checklist
One fantastic way to ensure you're really cutting down on things that you don't need is to make a camping checklist of the items that aren't essential.
We all know how quickly things can accumulate once we've gotten into the swing of packing things and this can add up quite fast in your backpack or in your car.
So before you even think about unzipping that bag or going to the grocery stores, get started on making a camping checklist.
When you do start packing, you'll save a lot more time too.
If you're having trouble cutting the list down, take a look at the items that you took on your last camping trip and didn't use, and cull those from your list.
It'll make it a lot easier to keep track of what's working and what's not, and you can keep updating it to suit your camping style.
Keep the essential items essential.
Use Microfibre Towels
Now microfibre towels are more than just a pretty name, they also come with a ton of benefits that are ideal for making your camping experience that much better.
Due to their design, they are super effective at absorbing moisture and drying off very quickly. Which is quite useful when it comes to handling the wet conditions you can encounter while camping.
However, the best thing about replacing your towels with a microfibre towel is that they are much smaller than regular towels and by bringing a few microfibres towel in place of your regular towels you’ll be conserving a lot of space.
The last thing you want is to be wet in your sleeping bag without a good towel.
Assess Your Equipment
When you’re scratching your head about how to fit all of your inventory into the back of your trusted car, you may still be a bit stretched for ideas.
You’ve culled your equipment and packed it all efficiently, but it still seems like you’re taking up too much space.
How is this car camping trip not fitting all the tent stakes?
What might be happening is that the camping equipment you have maybe more than you need.
Think about it.
Do you have a massive ten-man tent when you’ve only got a crew of three people? Do you have a big dutch oven when you’re not planning to do any hot pots? Are you packing for winter camping and winter sports activities when it's July?
If the camping equipment you currently have is proving to be more than you need, you might want to consider upgrading by downsizing.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality.
There are many camping equipment options out there that are much more compact and will still serve you just as well (maybe even better) than the larger option.
A sleeping bag can be downsized depending on the season or the camping trip.
Start refining those camping checklists and maybe leave the jumbo camping stove behind this time (or get a compact one)