Packing clothes is the hardest part for me when we go camping. For men/boys, it’s relatively easy because they think nothing of wearing the same pair of jeans for 5 days, they just switch it up by alternating between two different t-shirts, KWIM? But I like some variety and I try to plan for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
We use two large gym bags for our clothes, my husband and I share one, and the boys share one. I find it is just easier that way, since they share a tent. This way, one bag goes into each tent. I prefer to use totes to pack clothes in, a good, sealed tote will keep moisture and dampness out if you’re camping during a rainy period, but it depends on the room you have available in your vehicle.
I usually have my kids pack a pair of jeans, a pair of sweatpants, two sweatshirts, a pair of pjs, 3 pairs of shorts, with a couple of tank top style shirts and a couple of t-shirts. Then they pack a pair of underwear and a pair of socks for each day, and add two pairs. You never know!
My husband packs his own, and usually follows the same plan as the boys do… but me? A girl needs some variety, am I right? I can’t just limit myself to two different t-shirts… I mean, what if we get there (4 1/2 hours away from home, an hour to the closest retailer!), and I decide, I don’t want to wear the fushia shirt I thought I would want to wear, I really want the powder blue one instead but it’s at home? Ugh, the decisions!
Luckily, they make women’s t-shirts very thin (hence why I layer them with a tank or another t-shirt,), so I can pack as many as will fit. Most of the time, I wait until my husband is done packing his things, then I utilize whatever space he missed (sshhh, don’t tell him!). I can usually squeeze a substantial amount of clothing into my “half” of the bag =)
The BEST and BIGGEST secret to packing clothing for any kind of trip… friends, pay attention because this is important stuff…it’s rolling your clothing up.
You may have seen this tip before and not thought much of it, but I guarantee you, if you try to fold your clothing up and pack it, and then try rolling it, you will have more space leftover after rolling it. Not to mention, rolling up your clothing reduces wrinkles! I kid you not, your clothes will be virtually wrinkle-free when you pull them out to get dressed!
But there are three add-on tricks I’m going to share with you, and fellow moms, you will love me for this! First, roll your child’s outfits into one roll. Lay out one pair of jeans, layer a sweatshirt on top, and then a t-shirt. Roll. When it’s time to get dressed, their entire outfit is in one convenient package, there is no guessing what goes with what. (You can also add in underwear and socks if you prefer)
Second, if you have little kids, pick two or three colours for your child’s outfits and stick with them. In the event you need to mix and match, everything will be coordinated, no matter what they wear. With my boys, it was always navy blue and grey. It was SO handy!
And lastly, you want your clothes smelling fresh, right? How do you keep that freshness when you’ve been camping for three days? I have your answer!
When you are rolling your outfits together, sneak a dryer sheet into the mix. They take no space, they keep your clothes smelling great (perfect if your tent is downwind from the fire… I love the campfire smell, for sure, but not everything I own needs to smell like a campfire), AND, if your campground has laundry facilities, you have dryer sheets handy to use. Added bonus, you could also use them as fire starters if you’re desperate! (After one run in the dryer)
Unfortunately, I do not have the phone number for a laundry fairy upon returning from said camping trip… but I will definitely share my tips on unpacking in a future post!
Thanks for reading… and as always, please share your great ideas and tips!