This is an entry in our current non-fiction writing contest by Happy Camper.
This is my master list for camping that I would like to share with the Wolf pack, I am convinced that this is an evolving list, it will never be perfect because the people we camp with and the places we go will always be different. I would like to know what you would do differently to what I have in my list.
I have refined my camp requirements to:
- 3 x 50L tubs, Food, Utilities and Power.
- Cooler box (Techni Ice 135L icebox).
- A few chairs.
- A step ladder.
- Bag of assorted ropes and camp tools.
- Tent when my children camp with me.
- My own bedroll, bedding and water drum is permanently in my vehicle.
I aim for the 15/15/15/15 rule. That is 15 minutes to pack, 15 minutes to set up camp, 15 minutes to pull down camp and 15 minutes to unpack the vehicle. Anything past this time frame and things become a chore.
This is the routine that I aim to stick to, when going camping. And below it is noted the ‘Camping Master Lists’ that are the specific items that I have in each tub if you are interested in the particular item lists.
ROUTINE FOR GOING OUT BUSH:
Notify a third party that where you are going, who is going and when you will be returning.
Check on weather and tidal conditions.
Ensure that your arrival will be in suitable lighting conditions.
Check and pack all prepared items. Aim to stick with the 15 minute rule.
Check stocks of medication and water. Ensure these items will not get damaged from travelling.
Purchase fresh food, ice and fuel vehicle.
When arriving at your destination, check communication availability, check overhanging trees, all persons to apply insect control, start camp fire and then get site set up.
Have site set up before dark including lighting and solar requirements.
ROUTINE FOR PACKING UP FOR HOME:
All tents, tarps, sleeping items, ropes etc must be cleaned of debris and folded.
Food and utensils stored in plastic tubs are to be reassembled (these are to go into the kitchen for cleaning, sorting and restocking upon arriving home)
Pack items as to how they need to be removed from the vehicle when you get home, so the last item that you pack into the vehicle will be the first out.
Bag rubbish / recycling separately to be dropped off at a rubbish point on the way home, or put into rubbish / recycling bins when arriving home.
On the way home wash car at the car wash, generally only the outside of the vehicle can be cleaned as the inside will be full. Refuel the vehicle if you need to.
When getting home, everyone needs to pitch in before tending to their personal requirements; this is where the term ‘many hands make light work’ comes into play.
All items are to be tended to as needed, including item cleaning, repairs, packing away. Finally vacuum the vehicle. Have a shower, coffee and plan next adventure. J
CAMPING MASTER LISTS
FOOD TUB: Coffee, tea, flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, pepper, gravy, sauce, plain noodles, ramen noodles, cheese sauce powder, rice, canned foods, cereals, custard powder, peanut butter, vegemite, jam, powdered energy drinks, dry dog food, matches, cooking oil, basic first aid kit, pain meds, antihistamines, sanitary and cleaning items, toilet paper, baby wipes, insect control, cash for sundry items and fees. Recipes for camp food- to be in another article. Everything to be individually vacuum sealed. All of these items are stored in a 50L water proof clip lock plastic tub.
UTILITY TUB: Cooking equipment including, tongs, egg flip, cutlery, two cast iron skillets, two pots- one is only to be used for boiling water (my personal sanity revolves around the availability of fresh coffee), dishwashing soap and cloth, sharp knife x2, army knife, can opener- old style, fire starting gear, extra matches, extra batteries (& steel wool) , cordage, screw driver, pliers, small axe, insect control, stove & butane cans and fire starting preps, each person is allocated and must maintain their own mess kit. One butane can per meal, extra fire lighters. All of these items are stored in a 50L waterproof clip lock plastic tub.
POWER TUB: Lighting equipment, battery packs, solar panels, utility chargers and torches. Spare torches. Allow a minimum of one torch per person and one lantern per area, keep track of the items as they will be mobile. Torches abscond from camp sites.
As a general rule, I have a 9v USB solar charger for each of my ipad and iphone, also I have a solar battery bank that doubles as a USB power pack and I can charge my own lantern and torch off this, I keep these for me only, not to be used by anyone else’s hands except mine.
In my camp vehicle I made a conscious decision not to add solar panels to the roof for power within the vehicle, as a weighted decision against adding an additional battery (with isolation switch) that would be charged by the motor anyway. Either way having a large solar panel or an additional battery I would need to purchase an inverter. It was more beneficial to invest in a better quality inverter in my opinion.
COOL BOX: This is one of the last items to be packed, for fresh food storage, the correct way to maintain a cool temperature for a maximum period of time is to decrease the ambient temp before adding food and ice, Tip: I generally purchase fresh food and ice when heading out of town, I go to the supermarket and buy fresh items, then stop by the service station to fuel the car and buy ice.
WATER DRUM: minimum 5L per person per day, allow 10L minimum in summer.
CHAIR: for each person. Folding step ladder for additional seating or as a side table.
TABLE: optional, I generally omit a table due to the space they take in the vehicle.
FIRST AID: Check each first aid kit before each trip, first aid kits to be located in food tub and each vehicle, several portable kits for walking / hiking trips. Personal medication requirements at double the anticipated amounts. Communication facilities for emergency to be in place at all times, the Australian bush has an abundance of things that like to bite. All first aid kits to contain extra matches.
SHELTER & BEDDING: Vehicle, tents to requirements and bedding to requirements.
Tools: Hammer, axe, basic vehicle tools, additional sharp knives, scissors, army knife, matches.
Use the light and dark to your advantage, Early morning: solar items to go on charge, clean up camp site mess (manners are important), check and pack stocks, tidy out tents, check food and water for insects, animal nibbles and spoilage.
Before dark: Finalize evening meal, have the fire going, prepare evening activities, hang wet clothes to dry, insect control, check fire wood stock. Kids to prepare own entertainment in tents, check lighting for the evening.
Each person gets allocated named items that they need to look after: Cup, plate, utensils, torch, bedding. “Sorry kids if you lose it, its gone”
Above all, have a great time and be safe.
**Important note: I would like to add that I went camping last week, off grid, alone. I did not take my utilities or power tub with me. This has got me to thinking that it may be wiser to have each tub as a combination of food, utilities and power, rather than having everything separate. What are your thoughts on this?
Prizes for this round (ends August 11 2014) in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A $150 gift certificate for Fiocchi Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner, and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads.
- Second place winner will receive – 15 Live Fire Original – Emergency Fire Starters courtesy of LPC Survival and a Survival Puck courtesy of Innovation Industries.
- Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.