Too much stuff- need to organize

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Penny Logan, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    Just got back from 3 nights in my N2M hybrid and I guess I took everything but the kitchen sink. 8 emergency rain poncho's, tons of paper plates/cups, food to last a month.
    Today I went to couple of yard sales and got 4 of the white vinyl covered wire shelves to use for storage.
    But where to begin to take what is needed and not everything. It is just me and my guy friend. We should be able to travel fairly light.
    Thanks in advance for any help :)
     
  2. Camping Fever

    Camping Fever New Member

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    I don't like my camper cluttered so I take the bare minimum required. This comes from years of tent camping and having limited space.

    A while back my DH and I reserved a walk in site. We had to haul our gear 1 1/2 miles to the site. We thought no problem. My DH walks 9 miles every day for work. Different story when you have to haul gear. After completing trip one of two, we quickly learned the difference between need to have and want to have.

    So...just imagine if you had to haul your gear a mile and a half...what would you bring? For me, the eight rain ponchos wouldn't make it past the checkout at Walmart.

    You might also want to try marking your items with tape. When you use an item, take off the tape. After six months, see what has tape and what doesn't. Anything that still has tape should be eliminated from next trip.
     
  3. candleems

    candleems Member

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    Take less stuff. Keep the extra in a "camper" spot. I have shelving units in the garage that sit beside the camper (PUP fits in the garage .. woot!). I unload the shower tent, shower, AC when I don't need them. Less stuff in the aisle the better.

    My parents always kept their camping jackets in the camper. That way they weren't in the house taking up space. And they didn't have to work them in when it was cooler. Limit yourself in clothing to what will fit into a dishwashing basin for basic overnight trips. Do you really need 3 pairs of pants? No, probably not. Wear one, pack one.

    The first 2 trips of the season, the ski clothes go along (snow pants, coats, mittens, hats, winter boots). They stay in a plastic tote in the van. If they are needed, I know where they are. If not, they are out of the way. When I get home, back on the shelf they go.

    Same with food. Take only what you can consume in 2 days. You don't need extra. Plan your meals. Your goal is to use it and not have to unpack it.
     
  4. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    This might sound simplistic, but,,,,,,,,

    make a list. As each item goes on, ask yourself, "do I NEED it?"

    then STICK to the list!

    Plan meals in advance and make a list of food too, asking the same thing for each ingredient. Do you NEED the big spaghetti pot if you're not having spaghetti? No? don't take it.

    If you know you will be able to wash, you won't need clothing for six days,,,,,,,take clothing for 2 and do a load of laundry every 2 days. Make a list of which clothing to take, that way you won't be tempted to toss in "that cute pink and black shirt".

    lists are the only way I remember to take/not to take anything,,,,,,,I'd be lost without them. If you keep a running list in your computer you can print it out for each trip and make adjustments based on season, where you're going and how long you're going for.
     
  5. mamabean5

    mamabean5 Well-Known Member

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    I plan every meal ahead of time. Necessary ingredients are measured out and put in labeled ziplocs, if possible. I pack all my groceries in paper bags and 2 reusable grocery bags. As we empty them while camping, I burn the paper bags and save the reusable ones for trips into town.

    Clothing must fit in a small duffel at the foot of your bed, no spilling out into the general area of the pup. Dirty clothes go back into your own bag--I use a small kitchen trash bag to separate my clean from my dirty, all within my duffel. If the kids bunk is a mess, I don't care as long as it's all contained on their bunk. I just close the curtains. I added velcro dots to the curtains to better seal the opening. Works great! :)
     
  6. jeffanddeb

    jeffanddeb New Member

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    Less is more. :)
     
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Make lists, and add and subtract as you figure out what you need and use. We began a list years ago, for ground camping, and now have variations for the pup and backpacking, too; all of the lists are revised as needed. We started the list by thinking of the campsite as a "house" and making sections for various "rooms", such as shelter (tent or pup, table canopy, related items), sleeping (bedding, pillows, etc.), bathroom (towels, shower totes and supplies), kitchen, food, cooler, clothing, hiking, etc. Not everything on a list goes on each trip, but we make a conscious decision to leave items at home, instead of accidentally leaving it behind.
    We still keep food and cooking equipment in the TV, preferring to cook outside when we can. We have 3 flat boxes for dishes, breakfast/snack and supper foods, plus a couple of other plastic totes and boxes, one for bulky items. We keep all food in plastic boxes, after having mice invade a previous vehicle on more than occasion.
    We don't have built in space for clothing in the pup, so it all is in the duffels we've used for years. Unless we know it is going to be cold, we keep one duffel for the warm jackets and other clothing, and it stays zipped, unless needed.
    Some trips just seems messier than others, especially if we encounter a lot of rain, mud, etc. On the last trip, in Nov., I ended up with things all over the pup, including stringing a clothesline down the center, in an effort to dry out my jackets, hats, gloves -not fun, but I walked miles along the South Rim of Grand Canyon in the fog, snow, wind, etc. [DH was backpacking below the Rim, I'm not sure how we would have coped with 2 people and all those wet things.]
     
  8. tjcamp

    tjcamp New Member

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    I agree, planning & lists are key. You must take in account: How long is trip? What temperatures you're camping in? What activities planned? From there you can start your planning & make your lists as you prepare for trip. 5 Main categories (lists)
    1. Emergency/ survival, includes first aid & I usually add to this list flashlight, batteries, matches, blankets, bedding, paper products, really just basic camping needs
    2. Food, how many meals, for how many and what's needed for each meal: ingredients, prep & cookware, tableware, basically everything you need to prepare, cook & eat your meals. May include extra table, grill/appliances you could use, table clothes, clean up.
    3. Beverages, chilled & hot, may want coffee maker, insulated coffee cups/mugs, thermos for hot bevs, coffee, tea, cocoa . Ice chest/cooler or if use frig/freezer in camper, cups. Again, plan on how many days & people. Bring water, if not using your water tank or water hook-ups.
    4. Clothing, only what the number of days & temps require, your personal care needs, shower/bath accessories can all be included in this list.
    5. Activities, gear needed for any excursions planned, games, books, what ever form of entertainment interest you if any.

    Keep a notebook, you can record/log info about each trip: where you went & for how long, what the campgrounds were like, what sites you liked, and what you didn't like, if anything. Then you can include inventory of what you may need to bring next trip or leave home. Also, you can add "re-stock" items needed for next trip. This is also a very nice way to keep account of where you have been and be enjoyable to read later, help you stay organized and plan for future trips.
     
  9. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    In the beginning there's this obsessive inclination to load up the camper with all kinds of bric-a-brac, about every kind of gadget and a backup to the backup for every system aboard. Finally, when weight and spending most of the time loading and packing and unloading becomes a major issue then a system of culling out the stuff never used and really not needed begins. When I carried something for an entire season (certainly two) and it was never used, it was on the list to be gone. Of course, some things just have to get a free ride ... extra bulbs & fuses, tools and flash light batteries. But then, this is the adventure of it all ... what works and what doesn't, what fits in and that which simply does not.
     
  10. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    First thing that gets permanent residence is TOOLS, EMERGENCY SUPPLIES, FIRST AID KIT, and BASIC NEEDS items (sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries)

    everything else is based on the specific TRIP/DESTINATION needs.
     
  11. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    I got some more ideas, and here I thought I was all set LOL

    tools are going on my "health and safety" list,,,,,,,

    and a plastic tote for the food so we don't get mice LOL

    Never would have thought of that! Thank you!
     
  12. danard

    danard New Member

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    I hate making lists and journalling and all such activities. Instead we camped in the driveway a few times and got a good feel for what we wanted in the camper all the time and what we could live without. It turns out wine is a "must have". Who knew? But you can drink it out of a solo cup. [:D]
     
  13. Camping Fever

    Camping Fever New Member

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    I never use lists. If it isn't important enough to remember then it probably isn't important enough to bring. I just think being over organized takes away the fun of the "simple life".

    I also think being over organized you have a tendency to bring too much stuff.

    And just when I thought I had that song out of my head....
     
  14. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    Ok, we are going through things. First off, I will bring what we need, me and the DH. If someone comes to visit they can bring their chair, food they like, etc. I do have a long flat plastic storage box in the storage pocket with ext cords, bungies, batteries, rope, clothespins, hot dog skewers, citronelli candles, etc I have first aid kit and tolietry box.
    I do have linens organized.
    I am working on this and appreciate all your advise and help :)
     
  15. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    K.I.S.S. !
    you can have a LIST, and not be organized.... trust me ! hahah
    I have it in my head, but to write it down would look like this:
    (emergency and essentials mentioned above not included)

    Clothes: essentials only, no suitcases!
    Cooking: not ALL the camping cookware comes along...lol, just what we need for that trip
    Foods: (rough ideas for all 3 mealtimes for length of stay) cooler(s)
    Fun: fishing poles, tackle, games, etc
    Lighting: flashlight for each, plus camping/table lamp

    when it comes to cooking, I am both a simplistic, and a realist.
    I prefer quick and easy, open flame cooking.
    but when it comes to the family the portable grill comes along too.

    If I am going to a RALLY, then i will pack differently then if we were just going for ourselves.

    but usually, in addition to the above MANDATORY EMERGENCY essentials, our personal gear weighs in at under 100 lbs total (Including sleeping gear)
    we pack enough personal under garments for the stay.
    if under 4 days then, 2 shirts, 2 shorts, 1 jean, 1 sweatshirt,1 towel. ( all fits in individual small backpacks!)
    one of those sets we will probably be wearing already when we arrive.

    when it comes to the kids, they are limited to one electronic item + their mp3 player.

    additional items:

    if we KNOW we will be fishing then the poles and tackle come along.

    if their is a site picnic table, then only 2 chairs (for me and dw)

    However, what you need to consider most of all is again back to that emergency items list, as that can be both cumbersome, and extensive depending on your family size !
    I know there are threads on here ( several in fact) regarding tools, first aid etc
    but this is where cub and boy scouting has helped us prepare better!
    firestarters, foil thermal blankets, matches etc etc etc.
    Ask a boy scout they are your best resource !
     
  16. robertswife

    robertswife New Member

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    This seems like such a personal/individual thing. What works for one family might not work well for another. Some people like to pack light and others want to take everything in the house with them "just in case". [;)]

    It's hard to know what the "right" amount of stuff is to bring so that you don't run out or wish you had something you didn't bring! We have the same problem when we pack for vacations that we fly to so it's definitely an issue we deal with every time we leave the house for >2 days.

    When the kids were younger, it did seem like we lugged around 1/2 the house everywhere we went. Now, it seems like we're only taking 1/3 of the house (and most of that is still their stuff!). [:D]
     
  17. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    ok, perhaps I missed this last part....sorry.

    but there is a ton of great suggestions here, but the only question is what do you NEED for that specific trip?

    there is nothing wrong with having the camper stocked with a reasonable amount of SUPPLIES.
    but you can have TOO MUCH of them ( like you mentioned OP, you had a MONTHS worth, when you needed a weeks.)

    i still stand by the TOOLS and EMERGENCY list, but everything else is up to you, the length of your stay is the biggest deciding factor, and packing for the BUT WHAT IF I NEED IT? frame of mind is where things get diluted.
     
  18. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    LOL, man we have some people with GOOD memories here! I can't imagine not working from a list, but I agree with the person who said the same things don't work for everyone! I have memory and cognitive issues due to a medical condition, so without my list, I'd forget underwear LOL,,,,if it was POSSIBLE, I'd forget my own head! [?:~{]

    But more to the point,,,,,,find a method that works for you! Which probably takes practice :)
     
  19. Penny Logan

    Penny Logan The traveling teepee in her Dreamcatcher

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    I am working on having the camper loaded where all I have to take is my clothes/food for the trip. We do take tool box, but I am working on having a separate one for the camper. Then will keep a liist, if I use something to replentish it.
    Canopy goes if no covered picnic table, grill goes if no grill, etc. It will help to know where going and what is available. i am a reader for going to sleep and had about 4 book lights. Looking thru stuff I had the light on the headband. Duh, I'll just use that [RTM]
    I did have too many tupperware bowls, where lots of time you can wrap in foil or a zip lock bag and it is easier to fit in the fridge.
    Ya'' are helping me to think of things I haven't. [2C] [:)C] Thanks
     

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