The ice is beginning to thaw, the first wisps of green are reappearing on trees, and your tent is practically crying out from its prison in the winter storage space. As the weather starts to warm up, your mind might naturally gravitate towards camping.
Camping is all the best things rolled into one: a much-needed vacation, an exciting way to commune with nature, an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and a test of your mettle in the elements.
Packing for a camping trip is daunting, but don’t let the task overwhelm you. Below, check out four fantastic hacks for packing.
For Clothing, It’s Merino Wool All the Way
Camping stinks. Not figuratively, of course, but literally. Here you are in the elements, working up a sweat and soaking in the campfire smoke. It can get pretty smelly pretty fast.
Consider taking a page from the backpacker playbook and packing merino wool. Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, resisting odour-causing bacteria to keep you smelling fresh. The material is also sweat-wicking, breathable, insulating and wrinkle-resistant, making it an all-around powerhouse for camping. In spring, pack a comfortable merino wool hoodie, a tee, and a couple of merino wool underwear. Your tent-mates will thank you.
Ditch the Propane and Camping Stove – Bring a Grill Grate
Propane stoves are a hallmark of most camping trips, but they don’t do anything a fire can’t. They just take up precious space in your bags or vehicle, and the canisters are wasteful even if recycled. Ditch them.
Instead, bring a slim, compact grill grate. When you need to heat your cast iron or camping pot – whether for scrambled eggs or coffee – lay the grate over an open fire, propped up by two rocks. It’s a space-saving workaround that gets you closer to an authentic backwoods experience.
A Card Deck and Loose Change Equals Hours of Entertainment
Some people pack bulky board games or heavy sports equipment when they camp. These items aren’t a bad idea per se, but they do take up room.
If you want hours of entertainment, you only need a standard card deck and a pile of loose change. Most jurisdictions tend to frown on private gambling, but you’re in the woods – no one will mind. Divvy up the change (or encourage everyone to bring their own “stack”), and deal the cards for your favourite game, whether it’s Texas hold’em or baccarat.
Stay Organized with Multi-Colour Dry Bags
Camping can get disorganized reasonably quickly. After unpacking in the daylight, you lose track of items strewn across the campsite.
To stay organized, consider packing everything into multi-coloured dry bags. True to their name, dry bags keep your possessions shielded from rain and moisture. They also present a fantastic opportunity for compartmentalization. For instance, keep your utensils and cookware in a yellow bag, your clothing in a green bag, lights and electronics in a blue bag, etc.
Make your next camping trip comfortable, minimal, entertaining and organized with these easy hacks. And remember to always snuff out the campfire before heading to bed.