Make your luggage work for you
Just like with an RV, you can’t fit everything in your luggage when you’re heading out on a camping trip. There are things you will want to take, and things you will need to take. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two. As we’ve learned with RVing, there’s always a way to maximize space so that you can fit an unbelievable amount in limited confines.
Finding the right bag
When you’re picking out a bag for camping, you will want to make sure you choose one that’s large enough to fit the essentials and items you want to take along with you. This sounds obvious, but what is not always obvious is choosing the right size for hiking.
If you’re walking to your campsites, it may be best to choose a smaller bag than you think is ideal. This will help you only take what you need and absolutely want, which will reduce what you take and the weight you’re carrying. Sure, we could pick the biggest bag we could find, but how on earth are you going to lug that up a hill to your campsite?
Another thing you should look for is a waterproof bag. As much as we’d like them to be, weather reports aren’t 100 percent accurate, and rain can happen when we think the day is going to be beautiful for camping. You also don’t know when an accidental slip into water could happen. Choosing a waterproof bag will keep your items safer, and your clothes dry.
So now that you have a bag, how do you cram more into it?
- Roll your clothes, don’t fold. Rolling your clothes allows you to get them tighter and fit them in your bag in a way that folding just doesn’t allow. It also allows you to stand your clothes up rather than laying them flat.
- Squish it! If you have soft items, but take up a lot of room (we’re looking at you, socks!) then you can place them all neatly in a sealed bag, roll them up to get all the air out, and finish sealing the bag. This creates a vacuum and squishes out all the air that takes up valuable space.
- Zip it and see. USA Today tells us one method of packing, and we rather like it. Pack your bag, zip it up, and then open it back up. Zipping will squish and settle items in space, and it will also reveal open spaces where more items can be stored.
- Get rid of bulky bottles. Are you packing shampoo and conditioner? Maybe you need to take lotion with you? Don’t take large bottles that contain more than you need on your trip. Instead, buy travel size bottles that you can fill.
When you’re camping, it’s good to take some specific items along with you, you’re going to need them. Here’s a list of items we suggest and their uses.
- Sandwich bags can be used to store liquids in, so they don’t spill over onto clothes and electronics. It’s good to have a few extra on hand to store waste or food so animals won’t smell it and want to explore your campsite.
- Wet wipes are handy to help you clean up, and they’re versatile enough to be used on your body, or to give your tent a good scrubbing. Just be sure to use unscented ones, so the perfume doesn’t draw the attention of wildlife.
- Headlamps allow you to see your surroundings clearly while keeping your hands free to do other tasks.
- A multi-tool gives you all the essential tools you may need in one handy item.
- Portable chargers ensure that your batteries don’t give out on you if an emergency arises.
Are you unsure where you should go camping? When you’re a member with The RV Advisor, you can find advice on great campsites as well as campsites with membership discounts! Grab your membership before your next camping trip.