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 > How efficiently do you pack?

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Jeff10236

Columbia, MD

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Posted: 05/11/18 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, I've sold my pop up and for a few years I'll be going back to tent camping exclusively.

I used to have a 2011 Ford Fusion midsized sedan. When I had that, I could pack lightly for just me and fill the trunk, but if I brought a friend or girlfriend with me, it wasn't uncommon for the trunk and entire back seat to be filled for even a short camping trip.

Now, I have a Kia Sorento CUV so when I go tenting instead of taking my (now former) pop up, I have plenty of room to take whatever I want.

Well, due to reliability issues that are showing up (while I'm about to run out the warranty) plus a desire for better gas mileage, I'm about to replace it. While I may go with a midsized hybrid or a compact hatchback (Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Kia Niro), I will most likely downsize to a compact sedan (Toyota Corolla or Hyundai Elantra) so I can pay it off in 2-3 years (2 years used, between 3 and 3 1/2 new). Because I'm in an apartment and only have so much storage space I'd rather not have to get a rooftop cargo carrier.

So, how do you guys pack? Especially those who don't do minimalist camping and have a small car, how do you pack it all in and what do you leave at home?


Vehicles: 2016 Kia Sorento LX V6
Camper: 2003 Starcraft 2406 (sold)
Tents: Boulder Creek Hunter Ridge 4 (cheap 4-season tent from Bass Pro Shops), Alps Mountaineering Vertex 4, Kelty Grand Mesa 6, Big Agnes Fairview 4

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 05/11/18 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I started camping by myself, I started with a Honda Motorcycle, a 2 man pup tent, 1 change of clothes, one rain suit, and a can of pork-n-beans and headed for ... wherever land! It's not the amount of stuff you take with you, it's the amount of stuff you actually use you take with you.

I think guys camping alone can do with a lot less than when "the girl" comes along.

Fast forward 45 years and now with wife, 2 kids, 5 grandkids, my 35 foot travel trailer sometimes is too small.

In the Army, I lived out of a duffle bag. Everything in the duffle bag was military clothes and transportation was an Army Jeep with 3 other guys. So you know, you could probably go camping at a nudist camp and not even need the clothes! It really is a matter of what you feel you really need to be comfortable. Add more people and yes, it takes more space for "stuff."


DutchmenSport

2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
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SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 05/11/18 09:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats funny. For most of my formative years, I carried all my 'stuff' on my back in a backpack including tent, sleeping bag, bag pad, fishing pole, food, mess kit, compass, flashlight and food for a week....and my trusty Buck folder, which I still have. Still have the backpack as well. Kelty Expedition aluminum frame. No tent though. Rotted away years ago.

Owning a truck camper of not too large dimensions, we still pack frugally.


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Ski Pro 3

Placerville, CA

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Posted: 05/11/18 09:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we go tent camping, I use a Yakama Rocket Box on the roof. There are several soft-sided as well as clamshell/egg McMuffin style roof top carriers that are very easy to install and remove between trips.

If your car can accommodate a receiver hitch, there are baskets that can be carried that way as well.


2006 Dodge Ram 4x4 crew cab w/diesel and manual tranny.
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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 05/11/18 10:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of the little hatchbacks can actually carry a (relatively) enormous amount of stuff. I've carried a dozen rolls of attic insulation in my Honda Fit, for example, though ten was more comfortable and safer (the two extra were in the front passenger seat, and blocked vision to that side rather more than I liked). What they don't do very well is carry a bunch of stuff and more than two people simultaneously.

Oftentimes packing seems to expand to fill the available space. It's been awhile since I've been tent camping, so I can't say how well I'd do at packing for it; but I think I could be reasonably frugal of space without too much angst if needed.





seagrace

Somewhere in the wilderness

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Posted: 05/12/18 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry, apparently I'm not allowed to post relevant content.

* This post was edited 05/12/18 01:50pm by seagrace *

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 05/12/18 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah, yes, the overloading friend problem. I brought a friend along on a trip. I told her space was limited and to bring just one bag of clothes, a small toiletry bag, a couple snack options for herself, a six pack of drinks for herself, and I gave her a couple specific ingredients to bring for meals. Everything else was covered. I had planned meals and optimized fridge and cupboard space accordingly, I had all the essentials (cooking gear, sleeping gear, washing up gear, etc.), so she did not need to bring a bunch of stuff. I made room in cupboards for her things.

She came with a case of bottled water (I already had plenty of water for the trip), a bag of clothes, a bag of shoes, 3 bags of groceries "just in case we want something else", a purse bigger than her weekend bag, and a hat the size of rhode island. We were tripping over her stuff all weekend. Only the bag of clothes fit in the cupboard.

After that, I got a cardboard box. Now I say "if it fits in the box, it can come. If it doesn't fit, it stays behind." That forces folks to not bring a lot of "just in case" junk that isn't needed. It also limits the 5 outfits per day and 10 pairs of shoes for a weekend packers.

Also, make sure the essentials are packed first. Then pack your things. THEN pack their stuff. If you run out of room, tell them they have to eliminate stuff. Because all the other stuff is packed already, they can't see the 2 lanterns and suggest you only need one so they can bring their hair dryer.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

maddog348

Bakersfield,CA

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Posted: 05/12/18 03:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LOL !!!!! Toadtoes ya said it all.





Jeff10236

Columbia, MD

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Posted: 05/12/18 04:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When it is just me it can be anything from a tent, sleeping bag, sleep pad, and camp pillow (to save space over a regular pillow), and a bookbag type backpack for clothes for a weekend trip and no food with plans to eat out every meal (when I used to ride, I bought a bunch of minimalist stuff for planned motorcycle camping) to going all out with a cot, regular pillow, some clothes, a kayak (on the roof), a fan, extension cord for the fan and a cooler or two full of food and drink for a week. Of course, it can also be anything in between.

When others come, I usually bring a screen room (especially if they don't already camp and may want protection from bugs when eating), pack on the heavier side if I'm trying to win someone over to camping (comfort items like a fan and sleep mattress/mattresses/cots take space), and then there is what they pack (I've found with girlfriends, women friends, and even guy friends that they all overpack). That is of course when I'm a bit more worried about space issues.

Jeff10236

Columbia, MD

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Posted: 05/12/18 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

Some of the little hatchbacks can actually carry a (relatively) enormous amount of stuff. I've carried a dozen rolls of attic insulation in my Honda Fit, for example, though ten was more comfortable and safer (the two extra were in the front passenger seat, and blocked vision to that side rather more than I liked). What they don't do very well is carry a bunch of stuff and more than two people simultaneously.


Yeah, if I go Mazda 3 hatchback, Corolla iM, Elantra GT, etc. I'm not too worried, but they tend to be more, sometimes much more, than the sedans (strange to someone who was a teen in the 80s and remembers hatchbacks being the epitome of economy transportation), and if I go small it is so I can pay it off quickly. Heck, I'm even considering going one size smaller (Toyota iA, Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Accent) so I can pay it off in 2-2 1/2 years even if I go new (though I probably won't go that way- I'm 100LBS overweight and nearly 6' tall so I'm not a small guy, and I'm turning 48 this summer so a bit more size/comfort appeals to me).

* This post was edited 05/12/18 04:55pm by Jeff10236 *

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