The clocks have changed, winter darkness is rapidly disappearing and our thoughts are wondering outside again at last. Long summer evenings are suddenly coming our way so lets be ready to seize them with both hands and get out there! If your camping kit has been lingering in a shed or attic for the past few months, now is the time to dig it out, dust it off and quickly get packed up ready for a season of easy stress-free camping fun. 1. Gather - dig out your list and gather all your camping kit together to inspect. 2. Assess - How big is your pile of camping gear? Will it fit happily in the boot of your car? Just the boot… not the back seat, and no, you don’t need a trailer or a roof box. If you really want to go camping more often and more easily you need to take less and pack small. Even if you have six kids and a dog. Otherwise your gear may overwhelm you and the thought of all that packing will put you off going at all. Instead of wild weekends star gazing around the campfire you could find yourself stuck at home submerged in chores or watching mindless TV, kids glued to gadgets. There is a better way!! By preparing your gear now, taking less and packing small ,you will find camping for even just one night can be easy and stress-free.
3. Reduce - Think about what you could do without, and what you can downsize to save space. The aim is for a compact kit for the whole family which will stay packed all summer, ready to be thrown in the car at a moments notice. Every time you camp, try leaving something behind and see if you miss it.
4. Clean - Once you’ve reduced your kit its time to freshen it up. Wash your sleeping bags, rinse your saucepans and clean your stove.
5. Restock - Replace the basics like oil, washing up liquid, matches and tea bags, change the torch batteries, while remembering ‘small is beautiful’. Tiny bottles are big enough for a weekend away so keep your eyes out for tiny versions of everything. (I have a friend who takes tiny bottles of luxury toiletries for a petite campsite treat. I love that idea!)
6. Pack - We use the ‘3 Box System’ (see blog) You will need: 3 large plastic tubs which fit inside each other. Plus 3 small ice-cream tubs with lids (for keeping your tiny items tidy and easy to find)
A few hours preparation now at the beginning of spring will have you packed and ready to go at a moments notice. No more mad rummaging, panic packing or playing tense car tetris.
So while we are waiting for the rain to stop and the weather to get the memo that spring has actually started lets get organised!