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Once you have developed a "standard" camping equipment list, put it on your computer in either a Word file or an Excel file. I put several columns in front of each item - How many? Have it? Find it? Buy it? and print it out for each trip. I also had lists for the kids so they could pack their own stuff when they were younger.
Source: 40+ years of Girl Scouts
By Eileen M. from Elk Grove, CA
We have always had a "housekeeping box" for the basic set-up and break-down stuff: toilet paper, paper towels, table cover, first aid kit, rope, hammer or mallet, wasp trap, trash bags, flashlight, aluminum foil, potholders, tissues, etc. This is always the last box to go into the car so it can be "first out" and we can get set up ASAP. It goes under the kitchen table to be available and yet be out of the way.
I also use a smaller action packer type box as a tool box. It has: basic tools, duct tape, flashlights, mallet, shovel, hose remnant, more duct tape, rope, clothespins, extra tent stakes, etc. I put a bunch of the smaller stuff inside an all-metal #10 can with a plastic lid, this doubles as another bucket when needed. All bins, boxes, and crates are labeled on the top and all 4 sides so I don't have to open them to figure out what's inside. Anything that is used up on a trip is replaced as soon as we get home so we aren't out of it next time.
By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA
If you camp at camp sites with electric hookups and/or water, take 2 essential electrical appliances:
1. An electric skillet
2. A coffee pot that basically heats water.
You can thank me later.
By Veronica from Sedalia, MO
We have a pop up tent trailer. I make room by putting items that can be folded in a trash bag and use my vacuum cleaner to suck the air out of the bag. I tie it with two twist ties tied together. The air is sucked out and the bag lays flat.
When it's time to return home I have a place for dirty laundry or a place to keep things clean and dry. It works nice for sleeping bags too.
By Cindie in CA