Packing and Organizing for a Large Family

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by KzooHamm, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. KzooHamm

    KzooHamm New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021
    We are a semi-large family of 4 kids (ages 6 - 10) and two adults. We upgraded from tent camping to a pop up last year, and after 4 outings last year, have started to get the hang of organizing the pop up. HOWEVER, we are always looking for better, easier and/or more efficient ways of packing and organizing. What are you best go tips, tricks and hacks for keeping life with kids camping semi-organized and simple? Where have you found your best ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Zephyr

    Zephyr Active Member

    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    Location:
    central Oregon
    color-coded duffle bags. If you can't find a different color for each kid, add colored tape or ties to the handles.
     
    RCmom and KzooHamm like this.
  3. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Adventures with KODI in AZ

    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Location:
    AZ
    We learned many camping organization skills during our decade in scouting. A clothing and gear list was printed out for each type of camping (day hiking, backpacking, car camping, disperse camping, winter camping and summer camp). We gave DS a list and he gathered each item listed. After he gathered each item, I verified each item from the list while he packed it into his bag.

    There are several options to chose from:
    • Plastic tub for each person.
    • Plastic drawer set and each person gets a drawer.
    • Packing cubes for each person.
    • Duffel bags for each person.
    • Plastic tubs for camping gear: kitchen, toiletries, camping accessories, tools, games & etc.
    Each option are labeled with names to identify its contents.

    In addition, create a list for camping. I have a camping gear list for the trailer and truck. DH uses the truck list while I manage the trailer list. Next, I prepare a camping menu and food item list. And while I’m camping, I’ll add to a camping refill list. Items needed, to be replaced, refilled and new camping ideas for our next trip. Before I go on the next trip, I’ll check my camping refill list and see what’s needed before leaving.

    Having a list before each trip makes things easier. Less chances of forgetting stuff. It also creates a routine which kids and adults can follow.

    Happy Camping…[put&hy]
     
    Verde likes this.
  4. KzooHamm

    KzooHamm New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021

    Thanks!! We currently use laminated lists for the kids to pack. A refill and check list for the adults only makes sense too!
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    6,973
    Likes Received:
    4,019
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Look up military roll for clothes. Each roll has everything you need for that days clothes. Surprisingly rolling clothes can actually pack easier too. Also easier to grab a roll then having to hunt for everything. Doesn't work for those kids who just HAVE to determine what top to wear with what bottoms. Otherwise their world will crash. Ugh! For me for longer stay trips, it's easier to keep clothes In the SUV except for a few days worth in the camper. Dirty laundry in the SUV as well.
     
    Verde and DiamondGirl like this.
  6. KzooHamm

    KzooHamm New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2021
    Hmmm.... We could try rolling to see if things fit more densely. Good tip. Currently we have two 3-drawer containers and each person gets a drawer (there are six of us total). We usually keep 3-4 days clothes in the camper and the rest stay in the van.
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  7. Verde

    Verde New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    This is a great idea, thanks for sharing
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  8. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,762
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Mass
    The best thing that we did was to bring a 8 person tent to use for storage and as a changing area. We put all the suit cases in the tent and also items like paper towels, soap, ect. We have no clutter in the camper. We have a cot and a chair in the tent. The storage tent is also good for blocking the view of a neighboring campsite.
     
    tml01, MyAuntFanny, Rik Peery and 2 others like this.
  9. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,856
    Likes Received:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Not as big as your family, but we do a fair amount of scout camping and family road trips. Rolling your clothes makes a big difference. Just grab a roll and you have fresh everything. Depending on the trip pants/shorts usually get worn 2 days, so I'll have one roll with a shirt/underwear and socks, and a 2nd with pants or shorts as well. Then one roll that has spares for "just in case".

    Last year I picked up some collapsible cupboards from Cabelas and I really like them. Once I get set up for a 2-3 night stay I can transfer clothes and other sundries to the cupboard, which sits on one of my counters. Bags get crammed into whatever space is open that used to hold the bedding. I do have one of those 3 drawer Sterlite plastic units - it travels between the bunk and the dinette, and holds the shower curtain and sheets. When I set up, it goes on a counter as well, and the drawers are now free to hold other gear like bags, clothes, toiletries, etc.

    I try and organize my cooking gear in tubs that live in the cabinets. However, I do have a chuck box that holds the bulk of my gear, and it gets set up outside with the kitchen.

    Utility tubs for water hoses and grey water supplies. Collapsible tubs to set up a wash station for cleaning dishes. I admit though to relying on paper plates a little more these days - I really hate cleaning dishes at camp.

    The 2nd cabin tent is a good idea. We have never needed it ourselves, but I can see the utility. Sometimes I set up a canopy with a screen, and it could easily be used for overflow storage.

    Do you have a roof rack on your TV? If so, pick up a cheap roof pod on CL or FB Marketplace. Mine was life changing for trips. We toss the duffel bags up there, camp chairs, long tarp poles, pillows and sleeping gear mostly. Really helps open up room in the TV and keeps from stuffing the pup to the gills.
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  10. Camping Party of 2

    Camping Party of 2 Active Member

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    161
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2020
    We got some Plano storage boxes (2 sizes) Fit thru the door and can store on the floor for travel. Have for cooking, dry goods, and the small ones for Tools and one for tent pegs & landscape nails. They also fit in the front storage area. they also stack well out of the way after setup outside under the rear bunk
     

    Attached Files:

    tml01 and DiamondGirl like this.
  11. Dave Moz

    Dave Moz Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2021
    Best advice I have is don't be afraid to pack light and wear the same clothes two days in a row.
    If camping near near a beach, swim suits are acceptable clothing all day long each day.
    Look at what you used the last 4 trips, and more importantly what you didn't use... Start dumping stuff that can be expendable unless it's for a specific place/location.
    Set some limits for certain things... Does one person really need 4 kinds of shoes on the trip? We also have two collapsible wire racks we put next to the door and under the pop up so no shoes go inside when possible.
     
    tml01 and Econ like this.
  12. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2018
    Location:
    Southern California
    I've had my Viking Pup for a little more than 3 years now. I only boondock camp. At first I was packing way too much stuff. Things I thought I would need but never did. Over time I have leaned what is really needed and what is not. I try to leave the camper packed and ready to go without opening it up to put stuff in before a trip. I have a compressor Fridge that I don't put in the pup for traveling. I can load it with perishable food stuff right in my home kitchen. I carry it on the front seat of my pickup. I also take photos of all the stuff in the different drawers and cabinets in the pup so I have a visual record of what's in there.

    I found that there was a lot of things that I just didn't need to carry. Things like 3 frying pans, two coffee pots, 3 sleeping bags, a full set of cookware and eating utensils. I have one camping chair. I don't hang decorative lights all around. All of that stuff takes time to set up and makes for a longer take-down when you are tired and dirty from camping. I camp alone, so I'm sure it would be different for you and the kids. But you get the idea.

    For clothing, I just take a couple of shirts, one extra pair of Jeans, Several pairs of socks, and of course one extra set of underwear for each day I will be gone. I also carry some laundry soap and actually had to wash some socks and underwear on my last trip.
     
    tml01 and Econ like this.
  13. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    914
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Location:
    Deep South
    We are only 2 minimalist people. Once a year everything is removed from the camper and reevaluated. Do I really need you? There is nothing so important that cannot be lived without for a few days.

    There is a lined sticky stuck to the table where you write down resupply inventory.

    We maintain 2 inventories. One for the house and one for the camper. The camper items are stored in the camper except cloth in the summer. It is known to get slightly humid around here.<GG> My clothing and bedding is stored as camper only and a combination of winter or summer. In the summer it is stored as a box in the basement. The thought is at the last minute the cloth box can be grabbed and go camping with only having to turn on the propane and stock the refri knowing I have everything I need. We are retired.

    I am handy so drawers were built expanding storage by a factor of 3.

    Camper clothing is washed in a separate batch and returned to Camper

    We have to wash clothes around the 10 day mark
     
    Rik Peery likes this.
  14. Pommom70

    Pommom70 Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    57
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Location:
    Ohio
    My dad insisted that all that was needed was a big coffee can to cook in & not much else. He felt that since during the war all that was needed was his helmet. One could cook in it, wash & bathe in it also!
     
  15. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    489
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    MN
    Most people pack far too many clothes. A medium duffle, 5 to 6 days worth, do laundry when needed. Everything should have a place in the camper. We have 7 kids. Most of the time, less is more.
     

Share This Page