Lighten Up: Packing for RV Camping the Right Way

It’s ironic that those who plan camping trips bring along scores of luggage, a surplus of items, and a lot of things unneeded.  Of course, some items must come along for the journey – maps, GPS navigation tools, fresh water, etc.  However, conducting a quick survey before you embark will help you realize you’re taking too much and that some things are better left behind.

Five-Star Snacks

You’ll need to maintain energy when camping, so bring food and water, but don’t assume you need to bring along five-star ingredients and indulgences you enjoy at home.  Leave your French cuisine for a cozy Saturday night at home or when entertaining guests.  As far as camping goes, the bread maker and cappuccino machine is better left behind.  All you need is pots, pans, utensils, and some items you can quickly heat or eat cold.

Trashed Cans

It’s economically clever to buy a members card from a wholesale outlet like BJ’s or Costco, but you don’t need to think ‘in bulk’ when camping.  Maybe that 20-can supply of peas and carrots is too much for your 2-day camping trip?  You may get anxious about having enough to eat while being a short while away from civilization, but remember that you’ll need to lug these extra items around.  Be sensible and avoid buying too many food supplies; in a worst-case scenario, you can hop in the RV and head to a fast-food drive thru near the camping site!

Retired Tools

In the modern world, there’s a tool or gadget for just about any task imaginable.  However, ‘camping out’ suggests making modern-day sacrifices; those living centuries ago were able to get by on ingenuity and limited tools.  Bringing your toolbox is a bit much; stick to a few items that make tasks easier while leaving the majority of tools at home.

BYO Firewood

A number of outdoor outlets provide ready-to-use bundled wood for those planning a camping trip.  Of course, such needs are priced extravagantly, so to escape the need to pay retail prices, you may decide to bring along your own bundle.  Saving a few dollars at the store is not worth the time and effort associated to bringing along your own freshly cut wood.  Going in reverse and minding an above suggestion, it’s also not worth the effort to bring along an axe, chainsaw, or associated tools to chop down a tree and curate your own bundle of wood.  Alternatively, buy a small bundle at the outdoor store.

Work Vacation

The early pioneers would be disappointed in your tendency to check emails, call the office, and peruse the stock exchange while exploring the open frontier.  Dedication to your profession and a great work ethic is something to be proud of but don’t lose the forest through the trees; camping is a time to exercise a different skillset and pay regard to the outdoors.  Leave your laptop, work phone, and tendency to check the stocks via your smartphone apps to the side and pay attention to what’s in front of you amid the outdoors.  Seriously, are you really going to take a break, establish a home office in the forest, and start composing P&L reports on the spot?  You don’t need all of your electronic and work vices when on the road.

Wide Loads

Less is more when camping.  That means finding ways to stay lean when packing.  Opt for paperback books versus hardbacks; bring paper plates rather than plateware; and, use cans rather than bottles.  Try to abstain from packing heavy things and get in the habit of making needed items lighter.  Take items out of bulky packaging or find ways to make needed items ‘travel friendly.’  Moreover, ask your RV dealer at about towing weight and get suggestions regarding your load.

Weighing Attitude

It’s believed a bad apple spoils a bunch and misery loves company.  So, it’s suggested to leave your grievances and poor attitude at home rather than bring it along on your camping journey.  If you’re new to camping or being a ‘good sport,’ going along because it’s someone else’s idea, embrace the new experiences rather than get disappointed, frustrated, and tempted to lose your temper.  Concentrate on the fresh air, solitude of the outdoors, and the ability to live without modern-day conveniences.

Finding ways to keep it light will make the experience more rustic in addition to save you money and stress.  Packing for an RV camping adventure is a lesson you can translate to other areas of life.  Most often, less is more and you can add value by subtracting things unneeded.

Tony Peake is an RV repairman. He likes to write about his experiences on the web. His posts can be found mainly on camping and RV blogs.


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