What is the best way to pack your camping bag?
Camping is a great way to enjoy nature without the expense and inconvenience of a hotel or bed and breakfast.
But, if you have never camped before, it can be a little daunting when you arrive at the campsite and realise:
- You don’t have any camping equipment, and
- You have no idea what to pack!
All campers are different. Some campers pack light, others pack heavy. Some campers pack only essentials, while others pack everything but the kitchen sink.
But for many, packing for a camping trip can be quite a daunting task. To help you get the most out of your next camping trip check out these great packing tips for beginners.
Choosing the correct camping bag
Prior to packing the things you will need inside your camping bag, it is important to bring the right bag for your trip.
There are three main types of camping bag – canoe bags, duffel bags and backpacks.
Duffel bags are normally used by campers who stay in one place for a long period of time and are made up of a large volume of material that can be compressed to fit into a small amount of space.
Most canoe bags are fitted with a shoulder strap and are designed for easy transportation of your camping gear in one trip.
Backpack for camping is generally used for day trips and is the most comfortable to carry. You can choose to carry a smaller backpack or a larger one, depending on the number of days you will be camping.
You also need to decide if you are looking for a large camping bag or a small one. You also need to decide where you are going to camp.
If you are a frequent camper you need to get a durable bag that is easy to carry. If you are going to camp for the first time you need to find out what items you will need to bring.
Definitely, a suitable bag will depend on the items you will need to bring.
Choosing the right camping bag for your next trip is indeed far more important than you may think.
If you miscalculate the weight restriction of your airline, a heavy and bulky tent can cause an unnecessary flight delay.
If you overpack, you may be carrying unnecessary weight and a little bit of unnecessary baggage at the same time.
It’s for this reason that it is extremely important to make sure that you choose the correct camping bag.
Organising what to take
When packing your camping bag, you should be sure to keep all of your essential items organized.
This will ensure that you have easy access to the items you need and there is no wasted time in the morning getting ready.
First step to organise your bag is to make a list of what you need to take.
To make it easier to remember, types of items by use – clothes, accessories, food, cooking gear, hiking equipment, etc. Clustering items by weight is also important.
Some of the essential things to bring are tent, sleeping equipment, food, water, lamps/torches, cleaning utensils, entertainment, an extra set of clothes, survival kit, toiletries and emergency first-aid kit.
Ultimately, you should also know what kind of camping you are going to be doing and the weather conditions to help you decide what camping gear you need to take with you.
You need to pack in layers to keep your clothes protected from the elements but also allow you to quickly access what you need.
The easiest way to pack things is to place them in a logical order as you pack. Remember to keep the heaviest items closest to your back, and place lightest items on top.
This will keep the bag’s balance of weight and ensure that your clothes don’t get wrinkled.
The bottom layer should be filled with heavy items like boots and clothes you don’t need to get at easily. It is best to arrange the bag so that the heaviest and bulky items are placed near the bottom of the bag.
A mid layer should contain the personal items you will need access to during the day, such as a camera, snacks or anything you will need for a day trip.
The top layer should be where the light items are and the clothing you can wear in a variety of climates that you will need access to during the night, such as socks, sweatshirts, and a warm coat.
Keep clothing you don’t plan on wearing in your bag separate from your dirty clothes so that they don’t mix.
Dry bags can also be used to keep the stuff like sleeping bags and clothes away from the rest of the stuff that may be wet.
Packing your clothes and gear in small, organized piles will help you keep things in order. Pack similar items together and keep them in the same spot in your bag.
You should also carry extra clothes, in case you need it later.
Use an outside pocket of your bag for all of your smaller items and additional items. Pack lighter items such as your toiletries in a smaller bag or pouch and then place it in your outside pocket.
This will help you locate your items faster and it will keep them safer from getting lost amongst your other items.
The side pockets are ideal for items that need to be readily available, such as your cell phone, a flashlight, or water bottles.
The external attachments of a camping bag have numerous uses for extra items.
Below are some of the miscellaneous items to put in your bag’s external attachments.
- Rope: Use your camping rope to tie up your bag or as a rope to hang your hammock. It can also be used as a signal line in case you want to leave a trail or mark your resting place.
- Tarp: You can use your camping tarp as a sleeping gear or a floor to sleep or lay down a picnic blanket and have a picnic.
- Waterproofing: You can use your camping waterproofing to cover your tent or other camping equipment to prevent water from getting inside.
- Basket: You can use your camping basket as a place to store your clothes for the day or as a container to store your food during the day .
- Cooler: You can use your cooler as a storage space for ice, bottles of water and other drinks. But, it is also great if you want to use it as a seat or even a table while you are out camping.
Try it on
After organising and packing your camping bag, you should be trying it on and see how it will feel while walking around.
By this, you will know if anything inside the bag is moving around when you wander or walk. If this is the case, you will need to repack and get rid of that hollow space.
It is also the biggest test if the weight of your camping bag is properly distributed. The bag should be balanced on both sides.
Ultimately, this will tell you if you can handle the weight of your camping bag. You might be going for a hike and a lot of walking around.
Make sure that you can see yourself walking around with that weight from your bag. If not, then you will need to consider reorganising.