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Posted: 7/20/2018 10:53:33 PM EDT
Went camping recently with the family and failed miserably. I am looking to see if any of you have some sort of checklist to go through when packing up. I know everyone has different needs, but what I am looking for is more of a general checklist.

thank you.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 10:58:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2018 11:05:47 PM EDT by rfox]
The more you do it, the more you learn and the easier it gets.

My families 1st tent camping trip was pretty miserable. By our 4th we were rollin.

Now its pretty comfortable and very enjoyable.

Take notes of what failed, what you forgot and what you took that really helped.

I make an items checklist and a mealplan for each day.

Tent, air matresseses, sleeping bags, pump, earplugs, pillow, food, lighters, knife, saw, cast iron pots&pans, utensils, paper plates & cups, chairs, flashlights, bug spray.

And get a 10 man tent. A tent can't be too big.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 11:11:00 PM EDT
Batteries. Definitely batteries. Or a solar charger for phones or USB rechargeable lights. A tarp, para cord, and duct tape, too. If it rains every bit of overhead cover you can put up will make things a little more enjoyable.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 11:52:52 PM EDT
Whatever you put on your list, I use Google forms checklists. I just have different lists for different type trips, like winter, car camping, etc.
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 4:11:17 AM EDT
In for info. The little one is getting close to an age for a first camping trip.

My most memorable camping trip was probably 10 years ago. We get to the site, start unpacking and setting things up. Get to the tent, and find that my buddy’s lazy ass brother had screwed us over. He’d used all the gear a couple weeks before and didn’t put things back where they belonged.

No, it wasn’t an instance of missing tent poles. This idiot packed one of those canopy things in the tent bag. So our “shelter” had no floor. No sides. Conditions were wet and there were a ton of bugs

A couple of us slept most of the night in our vehicles. The silver lining was being able to laugh at another friend’s misery. On the way to the campsite we’d stopped and grabbed lunch at McDonald’s. My one buddy had cheeseburger left over which had been sitting out for hours. He gets hungry late in the evening, and decides to re-grill the cheeseburger over the fire

He found a stick, broke it off so that there was a “y” shape at the end, and sat there holding it over the fire like he was the smartest man alive. We tried to tell him it was a bad idea. He didn’t listen. Probably less than an hour later he’s puking his brains out, and was getting no sympathy from the rest of us. To this day we’ll still bust his balls over that fateful decision
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 11:03:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CrazyPollo:
Went camping recently with the family and failed miserably. I am looking to see if any of you have some sort of checklist to go through when packing up. I know everyone has different needs, but what I am looking for is more of a general checklist.

thank you.
View Quote

So here is my extremely generic list. What exactly do you mean by fail. I would look at what worked for you and what didnt and make adjustments from there. For me its been an evolution. I look at what worked and leave it look at what didnt and change it. Eventually i get to everything worked then I look at what would make it better, lighter, more comfortable.
Tent
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pillow (optional)
Stove
Fuel
Water
Food
Change of clothes
Lighting
Bug dope
Raingear
Insulating layer
So ething to carry the above in.
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 11:28:07 AM EDT
If you need somebody else to give you a camping list, maybe you shouldn't go camping.
Link Posted: 7/22/2018 3:00:52 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PhulesAu:
If you need somebody else to give you a camping list, maybe you shouldn't go camping.
View Quote
That's a little harsh. I'm no expert, but have thousands of miles of backpacking experience...and I still use a checklist. Hell, a couple decades of combat experience, and I still use checklists for PCIs/PCCs.

For the OP, start by breaking down the basics of what you need:

Shelter (much depends on the type of camping, but if you're using tents, set them up before heading out and makes sure you have everything)
Sleeping gear (sleeping pads, match your sleeping bag ratings to the temperature, bring a few extra blankets, and don't forget pillows)
Water (bottled, water jugs; filter if you are using stream/lake water)
Cooking kit/fuel (Enough plates, utensils, pots, etc...don't forget soap and a scrubbing pad)
Food (nothing to overthink...but if you plan to do serious cooking, make sure your cookware matches)
Clothing (change of clothing, layers, rain gear, hats, etc.)
First Aid (boo-boo kit, have burn gel, sun block and mosquito repellent)

I'm not sure what type of camping you're doing, but if camping within walking distance of your vehicle, you can have a more forgiving checklist.

If you stray away, start considering signaling devices (whistles, flashlights, etc.), and have a map and compass of your area (presuming you have a basic understanding). If you're using a main campfire, have a saw and axe and know how to use them. Fire starting can be difficult depending on the conditions. Have several lighters, matches, and tinder (Vaseline and cotton balls are cheap and easy). Gloves and a small shovel help work around a fire.

If you have young kids, I would always ensure they have a lanyard with a flashlight and whistle that they kept on them at all times.

Comfort items are just that...things that make camp "nicer". Chairs, mosquito net cover, hammocks, fishing gear, covered area for cooking/eating, coolers for cold drinks and keeping perishables fresh (assuming you're cooking steaks or hotdogs). I know electronics are more comfort than necessity, so consider extra batteries, chargers, etc.

The more comfortable you get, the more experienced. Experience helps reduce excess stuff and will likely lead to more remote camping trips which most find more enjoyable because you're getting away from the typical car-campers.

So, what kind of camping are you doing? What made it such a disaster?

ROCK6
Link Posted: 7/22/2018 10:31:34 PM EDT
Yeah, it’s kind of silly to say there’s something wrong if you need a checklist from someone else. Or did you not first go camping with your father, Boy Scout troop, etc? I’m sure they gave you a list of things to bring instead of saying “if you need me to give you a checklist you shouldn’t be out here.”
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 12:15:29 PM EDT
What look like failures today can be some of your best stories later on.

You could start out in steps; camp out in your back yard, over night in a developed campground, several nights in a developed campground, over night in an undeveloped location, etc.

We could offer more specific suggestions with more information about what you want to do and what went wrong.
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 2:29:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2018 8:31:13 PM EDT by AFCarbon15]
To reiterate what Rock6 said, set up your tent/shelter in your back yard. I still do this. I've even setup and taken a nap in my hammock in the back yard more than once. I prefer hammock camping over tent camping but it is a pain to get everything right. Once you figure it out, you'll be set. Experience is the best way to see what works and what doesn't. Most dome tents can be set up in your living room. Have the kids help, but you may want to do it once or twice prior. I've boiled water with every one of my stoves many times before they were used in the field.
Backpacking will help you determine what is and is not a necessity. Car camping can afford a lot more comfort items.

ETA: I set her up again today to test a few changes and adjust my rain fly times. Attachment Attached File


While not as critical when car camping as backpacking, a what NOT to bring list is quite helpful as well. Keep track of what you brought and did NOT use. While some item's use may be weather based, others just sound good but rarely see application.
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 3:55:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CrazyPollo:
Went camping recently with the family and failed miserably. I am looking to see if any of you have some sort of checklist to go through when packing up. I know everyone has different needs, but what I am looking for is more of a general checklist.

thank you.
View Quote
No details. How did you fail?

We've probably all been on bad camping trips. They happen from time to time.

Tell us about the trip and we can make recommendations.
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 4:48:03 PM EDT
Rock6 is pretty much on point.

My backpacking list:

ESSENTIALS:
Shelter (tent/hammock)
Sleep (pad and bag, or quilt/underquilt for hammock)
Water and water cleaning system
Food (freeze dry, cliff bars, snacks)
Cook set (gas can, stove, spork, cooking pot, lighter)
Headlamp
first aid kit (bandaids, ointments, some gauze, ibuprofen, allergy meds. Definitely blister tape)
multi tool, usually my Leathermen Style CS these days.
navigation tools (gps/map/compass)

Nonessentials nice to have:
camera
camp seat (either a piece of foam like a Zpad or a folding chair)
camp fire stuff
book, headphones
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 6:39:17 PM EDT
OP, involve your family when packing. Lay everything out and get their input. And then when everything goes pear-shaped, then there is no one to blame/blame shared evenly.
Link Posted: 8/13/2018 3:44:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2018 3:45:52 AM EDT by CrazyPollo]
Originally Posted By ROCK6:

That's a little harsh. I'm no expert, but have thousands of miles of backpacking experience...and I still use a checklist. Hell, a couple decades of combat experience, and I still use checklists for PCIs/PCCs.

For the OP, start by breaking down the basics of what you need:

Shelter (much depends on the type of camping, but if you're using tents, set them up before heading out and makes sure you have everything)
Sleeping gear (sleeping pads, match your sleeping bag ratings to the temperature, bring a few extra blankets, and don't forget pillows)
Water (bottled, water jugs; filter if you are using stream/lake water)
Cooking kit/fuel (Enough plates, utensils, pots, etc...don't forget soap and a scrubbing pad)
Food (nothing to overthink...but if you plan to do serious cooking, make sure your cookware matches)
Clothing (change of clothing, layers, rain gear, hats, etc.)
First Aid (boo-boo kit, have burn gel, sun block and mosquito repellent)

I'm not sure what type of camping you're doing, but if camping within walking distance of your vehicle, you can have a more forgiving checklist.

If you stray away, start considering signaling devices (whistles, flashlights, etc.), and have a map and compass of your area (presuming you have a basic understanding). If you're using a main campfire, have a saw and axe and know how to use them. Fire starting can be difficult depending on the conditions. Have several lighters, matches, and tinder (Vaseline and cotton balls are cheap and easy). Gloves and a small shovel help work around a fire.

If you have young kids, I would always ensure they have a lanyard with a flashlight and whistle that they kept on them at all times.

Comfort items are just that...things that make camp "nicer". Chairs, mosquito net cover, hammocks, fishing gear, covered area for cooking/eating, coolers for cold drinks and keeping perishables fresh (assuming you're cooking steaks or hotdogs). I know electronics are more comfort than necessity, so consider extra batteries, chargers, etc.

The more comfortable you get, the more experienced. Experience helps reduce excess stuff and will likely lead to more remote camping trips which most find more enjoyable because you're getting away from the typical car-campers.

So, what kind of camping are you doing? What made it such a disaster?

ROCK6
View Quote
Thank you for this. Very informative and definitely gonna go through things.
Originally Posted By ME2112:
Yeah, it's kind of silly to say there's something wrong if you need a checklist from someone else. Or did you not first go camping with your father, Boy Scout troop, etc? I'm sure they gave you a list of things to bring instead of saying "if you need me to give you a checklist you shouldn't be out here."
View Quote
Where I come from, camping is very uncommon. First time camping when I failed.
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:

No details. How did you fail?

We've probably all been on bad camping trips. They happen from time to time.

Tell us about the trip and we can make recommendations.
View Quote
I failed in the sense that I let my brother in law make an inventory of all the things. I was only in charge of bringing drinks. I kinda saw what he packed but mostly was useless stuff taking space. After that, I made the decision (which I should've done from the beginning) of running my own inventory. But to my excuse, I have never been camping, he has, so I assumed that since he's been camping multiple times, he knew what to bring. Oh boy, what a mess he is.

To the rest. Thank you for chiming in, This has been really helpful and I know it will help me for my next camping.
Link Posted: 8/13/2018 7:08:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2018 7:09:03 PM EDT by Zirk208]
While their gear may be overpriced, thier knowledge is pretty sound:

REI Camping Checklist

in pdf, so you can print it, each time, take notes, add stuff, etc.
Link Posted: 8/15/2018 4:31:04 PM EDT
I have been keeping camping checklists since I was a Boy Scout. They used to be hand-written on note cards. Then I switched to PalmPilot based lists. These days I use MS Word. Every item I bring is on a list, down to aspirin or extra mantles for the lantern. I re-evaluate the list after every trip.
Link Posted: 8/16/2018 12:16:31 PM EDT
Buy yourself a Boy Scout handbook. Seriously. Great resource, would likely not address all of your needs but would give you a great start.

Also addresses first aid, camping and cooking methods etc.

eBay one super cheap.
Link Posted: 8/17/2018 10:08:37 PM EDT
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned that is an absolute essential...

A helinox chair. I don’t care what it weighs...i take that thing with me every time. After hiking 15 miles a day it is amazing. Took it to boundary waters too..my helinox doesn’t care if we are backpacking or canoeing it just wants to be there for me. And I appreciate it.
Link Posted: Yesterday 8:20:30 PM EDT
I use a checklist. I started with the REI one, added what I knew and continually update it as I need something and do not have it. I also keep a running tally if I use something.
Link Posted: Today 2:34:58 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KD5TXX:
One thing I haven't seen mentioned that is an absolute essential...

A helinox chair. I don't care what it weighs...i take that thing with me every time. After hiking 15 miles a day it is amazing. Took it to boundary waters too..my helinox doesn't care if we are backpacking or canoeing it just wants to be there for me. And I appreciate it.
View Quote
@KD5TXX,

Can you tell me a bit more about this chair? is it comfortable enough? This thing looks amazing on how small you can fold it and carry it.
Link Posted: Today 1:20:52 PM EDT
The chair is amazing. I can't say enough good about it. Packs up small and fits easily on my backpack. Maybe a little heavy at around 2 lbs, but worth it. There are knockoffs that are comfortable, but weigh more, some a lot more. Both of my sons have knockoff chairs made by moon lence. These have worked well for them. I prefer the helinox over the crazy creek type because they get you off the ground and you just melt into them. They set up and take down quickly. i honestly don't know what else to say. They are awesome.
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