Storing/packing camping shite. What do you do?

(16 Posts)
GlomOfNit Tue 26-May-15 19:19:10

I spend at least half a day shock packing the car/roof box for a family camp. Most of the stuff lives in the shed (dry and mouse-free) - chairs, SIMs, tent poles and pegs, cooking stuff, etc. Bell tent and bags live inside, under beds. But there is no system. I have a large Morrisons reusable bag with kitchen stuff and extra odds and sods (glowsticks, extra pegs and guys, mini bottle of disinfectant, camping rag rug mat for door mat, etc), so that gets carried to the car entire, every trip. But the mats have to be rolled up (they're stored flat), the bags and tent etc retrieved from upstairs, clothes put into fabric shopping bags (1 per person), chairs, table, cupboard etc located in shed and removed. We end up with 6 zillion small bags packed into the car, plus duvets if expected to be cold, plus coats, buggy for DS2 and books, dinosaurs, etc for boys.

It takes half a day, honestly. sad Is this just me and my rampant overpacking tendencies, to which I readily own up, or is that normal? Is there a clever way I can pack stuff up compactly? We have a Mazda 6 hatchback and (hopefully) a roofbox for this year. If I could just go 'box, box, box, bags of camping shite, slam boot door' I would be so happy.

Camping this summer compounded by DS1's beaver camp being same sodding weekend we were planning on setting off to camp as a family. angry Bad timing. So I have to grab him and small tent and some of the camping shite, he and I drive off to Beaver camp, come back 2 nights later and immediately put the rest of the camping shite in the car and drive south. confused Suggestions of anything that can mitigate the sheer awfulness of this would be appreciated.

MehsMum Tue 26-May-15 20:58:27

I feel your pain. We are lucky that most of our camping stuff (tent, mats, chairs, table, cheapskate pillows, catering stuff etc) all goes in the shed, but the sleeping bags all live indoors (along with the clothes....).

The best thing I ever did was buy a huge semi-transparent plastic box with a clip lid (Really Useful Boxes, I think the brand is called). In this live, all the time: pots, pans, plates, mug, flask/teapot, chopping board, cheap cooking knife, enamel mugs, washing line and pegs, tea towels, roll of kitchen towel, detergent, washing up bowl and, in a smaller box also in the big box, cutlery, matches, pack of playing cards etc. It is brilliant and saves hours of packing time, and once you're at the camp site anything which has to stay dry (matches) or be kept away from squirrels, foxes etc (bread, fruit) can be clipped into it. Also makes handy extra surface when cooking.

Other than that, I'm quite crap at camping, always moaning that I'm cold and need an extra pillow...

GlomOfNit Tue 26-May-15 22:28:14

New boxes always feel good. grin Though we have precious little car packing space after the monster tent and chairs, etc. Oh, and we have an IceyTek too... not tiny. grin

I'll try a large box and go through my Morrisons bag o'shite and see what can be discarded. Currently, camping plates, mugs etc live on a shelf in the shed but they're always right there to be packed.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Tue 26-May-15 22:35:22

You need to invest in a trailer, which you can keep packed and ready to go at all times!

woollyjo Tue 26-May-15 22:44:14

I keep all our kitchen stuff and bits and Bob's (batteries,torches, midget spray etc) in a set of plastic drawers. We take the whole thing with us and put it next to the table thing that our stove sits on. After a trip it goes up in the loft, I have to take the drawers out to get it up there but put them back in once it is all though the hatch.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Tue 26-May-15 22:51:20

We have a Big Wooden Box in our bedroom with a hinge lid.

Mostly it is a nice surface for other stuff; but inside it is DP's trangia stuff, maps, knives, ropes, cutlery sets, steel mugs, Kendal mint cakes, compasses, torches, waterproofs, tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, water bottles, dry bags, and all the other stuff which was generally taking over the house at one point.

It makes such a difference having one big dedicated space for it all!

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Tue 26-May-15 22:51:45

Midget spray grin

Tommy Tue 26-May-15 22:54:56

we have a trailer which lives in the garage and all the camping stuff is in there in plastic boxes

Callmecordelia Wed 27-May-15 09:17:08

I've set up heavy duty shelves near the garage door which have everything camping related on them. When I need to pack, I get the duvets first, which are the only things not in the garage, and then get everything else on top of them. It takes under an hour.

Naoko Wed 27-May-15 20:03:44

My packing takes forever, but it has some added complication in that as well as camping gear I'm usually packing costume, weapons and armour. I also have a tendency to pack everything, the kitchen sink, and a spare kitchen sink.

I've sped up the process over the last year or so by keeping as much of it as possible in the same place through the season (most of the camping gear plus some of the costume lives on top of the double wardrobe) and keeping a spreadsheet with everything I need. The day before we go I open the sheet and gather everything together in the living room, ticking things off as I go.

I also try to pack up neatly when we take down the tent, and leave stuff I don't need to use or clean in their bags - so when I get home, I throw all the laundry straight into the machine, wash any crockery, and bin the rubbish, but the bag with costume accessories doesn't get unpacked and neither does the bag with lanterns.

Tapasfairy Thu 28-May-15 20:59:18

I have a massive cupboard. I have it all in grab and go boxes, still takes half a day though.

jollyjester Thu 28-May-15 21:14:38

I love the build up and packing everything! I have a laminated check list that I work with. I am sad blush

PatriciaHolm Fri 29-May-15 07:26:10

"Costumes, weapons and armour"

DS would just explode with excitement if our camping trips included that kind of kit!

TheSconeOfStone Fri 29-May-15 12:20:55

Our camping gear is in the cellar. We are thinking about moving house but I don't think we will ever manage it unless DH can take the cellar with him. We have a VW van so packing should be quite straightforward but half a day is still required. We have a plastic box with all cooking stuff in and plates etc live in the van.

We still need to round up tent, SIMs, sleeping bags, kids duvets, pillows, porta potty (for me at night), beach gear, fire pit, clothes etc. I imagined with a van we would just get up and go bit it hasn't worked out that way.

Naoko Fri 29-May-15 15:46:24

Patricia, lots of people bring their kids to the LARP events I go to (with my weapons, armour and camping gear) and they all seem to be having a fantastic time, so your DS is not alone! grin

workJack Fri 29-May-15 19:36:54

We bought a Campervan because of this problem, but it still takes an age to pack. I second the Really Useful boxes. Really sturdy and come on any size you could possibly want. I've tried the cheaper boxes but they never last. Otherwise I try to make sure that I have specific camping stuff that only gets used for camping so it's easier to pack. So for example wash bags and towels, pots and pans, kids toys.

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