Does anyone else HATE the packing away at the end of a camping trip?

(41 Posts)
MinimalistMommi Fri 02-Aug-13 18:53:34

Just got back this morning.

I love the planning of the camping trip and packing isn't too bad but when it comes to taking down the tent and rolling the SIMS up and packing the sleeping bags away and filling the car and unpacking it at the other just seems so much to do!

Surely I can't be the only one to feel this way?
The DC's had a great time making friends though grin
Maybe camping is like childbirth, you forget the pain so that is why you do it all again.

I just wish it was easier. Maybe minimal camping is the way to go...hmm

Ineedmorepatience Fri 02-Aug-13 19:08:30

I find it hard too but I have improved the way I store and transport my kit. I have some large plastic boxes with lids that stack 3 high in the car, I keep all the kitchen stuff in one, lights and blankets and other odds and ends in another and food in the third. This has made unpacking much easier and I am really anal strict about packing up to come home so I dont have a massive mess to sort out.

I agree about being minimalist but I just cant do it grin

MinimalistMommi Fri 02-Aug-13 19:28:04

I identified a few of the DC's but we don't need grin

troutsprout Fri 02-Aug-13 19:52:34

Yep... I hate striking camp. It takes me ages

expatinscotland Fri 02-Aug-13 19:54:18

It sucks. It's why I don't go camping.

Ledkr Fri 02-Aug-13 19:54:32

Aw shaddup. We are mid camp ATM and you reminded me of the hassle.
I also hate hate hate long boring ferry journeys too.

ZingWidge Fri 02-Aug-13 20:12:47

DH is back with boys any minute now.
he just grits his teeth and does it - it's 2 adults (him& his mate) plus 4 capable kids so it takes about 30 mins anyway.

at the same time I start loading the washing machine, dishwasher and sort dinner.
after food and bath for the kids the 3 of us have a curry, then I put 2nd load of washing on. (last load tomorrow)

that routine works well for us and it's all sorted by tomorrow lunch time & worth just getting it done.

chimchar Sat 03-Aug-13 15:17:16

Oh god.

It's the reason why I can't get my arse in to gear to go away at the mo....

Memories are still fresh from last trip.

And the packing to go I hate too. I just can't pack light! And in the uk, you have to pack for hot, cold, rain, shine, beach, wet clothes, dry clothes, warm loathes, cool clothes etc....

Bah humbug!

Milliways Sat 03-Aug-13 18:03:36

This is why I am a Motorhome convert. Put chairs/table in garage, wind in awning, ensure all cupboards shut and fridge drawer locked, lift handbrake and drive.

Get home, pull into drive, bring in ineaten food from fridge and clothes to wash. Everything stays on the drive. grin

(We did camp for 25 years, we still have the tents!)

Ledkr Sun 04-Aug-13 07:32:26

My camper van still requires a lot of unpacking though.
Bedding etc awning groundsheets windbreaks.
I find it only less stressful than camping.
I also always seem to have two bags of junk.
DVDs chargers nappies medicines etc etc
Plus all the swimming stuff two towels each and inflatables.
<dreads next week> mind you we do go for weeks at a time.

Cooroo Mon 05-Aug-13 07:38:27

I dread it but it always seems easier than I expect. Mind you it's just DP, DD16 and me with 2 pop up tents between us. It does get easier!

I hate that the milk ALWAYS leaks in the cool box and it comes home rancid.

Tiredtrout Mon 05-Aug-13 07:42:20

It's the worst bit, no matter how its organised there's just so much of it

Ledkr Mon 05-Aug-13 07:46:28

It also depends on the time and weather you have to pack up in.
I find if its not rushed and wet I can pack so well that's its a doddle to unpack.
We are packing on Sunday so fingers crossed.

pictish Mon 05-Aug-13 07:50:40


We are off for a mon-fri trip this morning (just fuelling up with coffee as we speak) - and I must say I agree.
What a drudge it is. We take loads of stuff.
Sometimes the camping gear just sits in the hall for two days. blush

jamaisjedors Mon 05-Aug-13 13:08:48

Gah, yes we got back yesterday and I'm still doing laundry (and it's just started to rain!), wiping down chairs and mats, airing sleeping bags etc.

Grockle Mon 05-Aug-13 13:12:28

I think I'm going to invest in more plastic boxes with lids. I use those folding crates but have to pack & unpack each time. Maybe I need a trip to ikea...

RonBurgundysPanpipe Mon 05-Aug-13 13:12:48

Pleased it's not just us who takes loads of stuff, just not sure minimal camping can be done. We always come back with camp envy too and something else on our wish list.

cantreachmytoes Mon 05-Aug-13 14:43:05

I hate packing my trolley case after a beach holiday. Packing up a tent etc is a nightmare - and I haven't even done it with kids yet!!

Grockle Mon 05-Aug-13 15:10:02

I'm after an IcyTek now. I wish they weren't so expensive!

Pixel Tue 06-Aug-13 21:39:35

I've been wanting to go the plastic boxes route but not sure how practical it would really be. They wouldn't go in the boot as we have ds's wheelchair in there and most of the stuff in the trailer is awkwardly too long to go widthways so there isn't much room to stack anything square.

I don't mind unpacking at home so much. We each have a holdall for our clothes/washing stuff etc and they go in the car boot with the coolbag. When we pack up camp I usually redistribute clothes so all the dirty ones are in one bag so when we get home it's just a case of taking the bags indoors with us. Some go straight upstairs to get sorted out later and the dirty one(s) goes straight to the washing machine. All the actual camping stuff stays in the trailer so we just have to wheel it into the garage.

It's the actual striking camp that I hate, mainly because everything seems to need to be fitted into a slightly-too-small bag! Readybeds/table/chairs/cooker stand/tent/awning etc it seems to go on forever. We've ditched the bags for some things like the carpet but you can't really do that for most things.

AlohaMama Wed 07-Aug-13 04:55:10

I don't mind striking camp, it always seems fairy quick. Mind you now we have the kids I suspect our packing will increase. I hate coming home and having to unpack everything to air/dry/wash before packing it again for storage. That bit sucks. Like the plastic box idea, its on my list of things to do this winter. That and buying duplicates of things so I can have separate camping corkscrew, sharp knife etc rather than having to gather them all from the kitchen.

Oblomov Wed 07-Aug-13 06:46:06

Our site has a washing machine. I do at least one load. So minimal washing when coming home. We don't have anything that needs airing. So we pack up, put in trailer , come home.
Saying all that, I have made it sound really simple, right? wink Then how come it takes hours to pack up. Dh and I work like buggery. Am cream crackered. And loathe it. And the thought of doing it in 2 Weeks time fills me with dred! Just asking? wink

Ledkr Wed 07-Aug-13 07:45:25

It's all the little bits that annoy me. I've got two bags with just "stuff" in. Chargers, DVDs, medicines, wet wipes etc etc
They will sit on the kitchen table for a few days as I sift through them.
I'm debating doing a load of washing again but it cost about ten euros which I think is extortionate!
What I have noticed is that I've bought far too many clothes as dds and I tend to wear the same few things even dd1 isn't doing her normal fashion parade to go out for dinner.

nooka Wed 07-Aug-13 07:54:46

I don't mind coming home from camping, but we generally only go for a couple of days and have a good routine (plus we press gang the children, and at 14 and almost 13 they are generally keen to be going home!). Also I have a half ton pick up so packing is mostly a matter of slinging the boxes in the back. The last trip was a bit more work as we took a full size bed for my mother and two kayaks and they took a lot more room than I imagined so packing had to be a bit more carefully organised.

At home most of the stuff goes straight into the garage for next time, so we have me/dh slinging stuff off the truck, one kid packing the garage, the other carrying stuff upstairs and then the other parent getting the load into the dishwasher / washing machine. We are usually done in an hour and slumped in front of various electronic devices...

Ledkr Wed 07-Aug-13 08:02:13

I have a big plastic box that stays in the van. It has all our plates n bowls, cups, cutlery, sharp knives pots n pans clean clothes washing up liquid and scourers.
I noticed this time that my camping saucepans are better than my home ones hmm
We will have been here over 3 weeks and although its lovely, the best bit about camping is that you are always glad to get home.
I'm looking forward to a nice curry take away on mo day night yum!
You can eat too much BBQ food you know!

plum100 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:16:19

Absolutely!!! we got back Sunday and I'm still unpacking now!!!

it's the airing so the sleeping bags I cant bear - sticking them on the line and fabreezing them takes ages !!! And this weather doesn't help.

What's striking camping? don't know if I do that?

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 08:34:42

Yes. So much so we put our family tent on ebay the day after we got home from France. We have everything organized in boxes and one of those plastic drawer sets but it still takes forever to load the car up.

We'll only camp in the UK for one or two nights in our pop up from now on. We got camper van envy on our trip so we're going to give that a try next.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 07-Aug-13 10:10:04

Oh Quenelle - be careful which one you choose. We had an old VW camper for years and, whilst lovely, it was a money pit and by the end, we rarely made it anywhere under our own steam. Our road recovery payment was the best money I have ever spent on anything.

That said, I believe Bongos are brilliant.

As to packing and unpacking - I loathe it too. All our stuff from the weekend is still being washed or waiting to go in the loft. I am thinking of getting a large plastic shed for the garden (one which comes with a bottom to avoid too many creepy crawlies getting in) so we can just take everything from the car to the shed and out again. It will save endless lugging stuff up and down our dodgy loft ladder. I might keep the bell in the loft though as I would worry about damp.

Oh, for a house with a garage....

Ledkr Wed 07-Aug-13 10:43:33

We have a bongo. I'm not sure if I find it much easier tbh.
Still requires erection of an awning groundsheets etc.
Still take a lot of stuff.
Quite juicy on fuel and old so needs work often.
Cosy and soundproof at night though which I love.
Annoying to have to unhook awning and put seats back up for a trip out too.
Brilliant for festivals tho.

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 13:47:43

You're both going to hate me. We're getting a Transit. Substance over style (most definitely) I'm afraid.

On our last holiday in France 7 out of the 14 nights were overnight stops. Even using the pop up and SIMs and taking just the bare essentials out of the car we just spent too long pitching and striking camp every day. We would watch people arrive in their campervans at the same time as us and they would literally just park and get their chairs and tables out, then spend the next half hour watching us scurrying about whilst they sat in the sun sipping glasses of chilled wine. Then next morning they would be up and gone in minutes.

As someone said upthread, like childbirth, we would probably forget the pain and book another big trip next year, then remember what a PITA it could be. It's time for us to try something new. And we have to do it while DS is still small enough to sleep in the van with us.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 07-Aug-13 14:21:42

Oh I think a Transit is a great idea Quenelle. Reliability and fuel-efficiency would be what I would look for if we ever went for a campervan again. As it is, to avoid all the overnighters you mention, DD and I are flying to and from the South of France while DH drives 900 miles with one overnight stay in a hotel on his own. We are also doing one night all three of us in a hotel and I am sure it is costing a fortune - I haven't dared add it all up yet.

So it may be that another van is in our future too. The chairs and table out, straight into the wine scenario you describe is VERY tempting. grin

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 14:33:04

And Transits are a bit bigger, with three seats in the cab. We're actually going to convert our own because we couldn't afford even the oldest, most smingey of readymade conversions.

The thing is, I prefer a few nights on the road. We stayed at one site for 7 nights this year and it was too long for me. I was ready to move on after 5.

Have a wonderful time in the South of France MummyPig. Can I be nosy and ask where you are staying?

Ledkr Wed 07-Aug-13 14:36:37

We've do e a couple of overnighters but yes it's tricky (did anyone see my thread last week on my terrible tummy upset shits in a friggin service stop over?)
Are you going to convert it yourselves?
We were thinking we might.
My brother has lived in vehicles in Europe for 20 yrs now.
He has a truck complete with solar panels wood burner and running water. It's git a high double bed with a sofa bed underneath, how I would love that!

Ledkr Wed 07-Aug-13 14:41:08

X post!
We have been here (carnac) for 10 days. Another four to go.
Last year we did three travelling to the south but the weather was so good we made a last minute decision to opt for a shorter journey.
It's been lovely tbh dd1 met a group of friends and there's lots to do here for everyone without being too full on.
Fab pool open from 9-9 which is great as we can just pop in and out as we please without having to lug stuff down to the pool for the toddler ie snacks n stuff.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 07-Aug-13 15:19:36

Of course you can, Quenelle grin. We are going to near Perignan and staying here: It looks to be an all bells and whistles type site (which I would avoid like the plague in the UK) but DD (and we) will love the slides and pools. I will report back on whether it is as nice as it should be for the price looks.

Hopefully we will also do a bit of culture and visit Carcassonne while we are there, and maybe even a day trip to Barcelona.

Can't wait!

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 07-Aug-13 15:21:18

P.S. I am very jealous of you getting a van and converting it yourself. I would love to do that but sadly am much too lazy and would end up chucking a couple of airbeds in the back and calling it converted.

Oblomov Wed 07-Aug-13 16:48:42

MummyPig, I am DYING, literally dying of jealousy, re your site. smile

We have an oldish caravan, sited in Dorset. Dh says it is too old to tow to France, Spain. Plus the driving for him, the tolls, the nightmare of getting there = just not possible.

So, we put up with british weather. In dorset. The site is fab. 2 miles from the road, and the kids run wild, they only back for their dinner !!
But, it has pissed it down on us so often, for the may bank holidays and week in august, that I begged dh for sun. Ibiza, Spain, anywhere.

The weather is getting so bad, it is killing the site in Dorset. People are cancelling left right and centre.

I don't know what to do.

But am hoping that our 10 days, in a couple of weeks time, remain 'fair', atleast. And does not piss it down.
One year, we came home early. And dh went back and shut up shop, on his own. It was THAT bad.

I don't know what you guys think about UK camping, but I think that the weather means that it is surely in decline and may struggle to survive. sad

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 17:04:31

Looks fab. And just the type of place DS is going to love in two or three years time mummypig.

Yep, doing the conversion ourselves, except the windows. There's loads of info and clubs online devoted to the subject, as there is with everything nowadays.

Oblomov is the weather bad there at the moment? I was thinking this summer has been good for UK camping so far, and camping is becoming more popular again. I hope it stays nice for you.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 07-Aug-13 17:11:59

Oblomov, one option for the South of France is to get a ferry to Spain and to think of it as part of your holiday (because it can be quite pricey). Then there is a lot less driving to do to the site. But we are too stingy for that (or I am at least). So DH is very kindly driving all that way on his own. However, he does have the advantage of nothing to tow.

I must admit, in about May/early June this year, I did think the outlook for UK camping was very bleak indeed. However, since then we have camped several times in Kent in differnet places and the weather has been amazing each time and the sites busy and so I am now more hopeful.

But then that is weekend camping. You are only there a couple of days and don't have to go if things look grim. Holiday camping is a different matter and I agree it is a long time to be stuck in caravan or tent if you get sustained bad weather.

And that is why our 12 day holiday will be in France and not Cornwall where I would otherwise love to go.

Would it be an option to keep your caravan for weekend trips and just take a tent to the South of France or Spain or wherever? Then it would not be such a nightmare for your DH?

seventhchild Sun 11-Aug-13 20:47:01

Yes. don't really bother with weekend trips now s it's just too much hassle, only break out the tent for 3 or more nights.

Mum2Fergus Sun 11-Aug-13 21:12:32

Bongo-er here too...absolutely LOVE our Olly! Still a faff packing up mind lol ...

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