I talked before about what we pack for camping.
There are a few other things you might need to consider packing. Plates and silverware? Cooking utensils? Pots? Pans? Garbage can? What about bedding? I don’t know about anyone else, but sleeping on the three-inch-thick mattress that comes with the camper isn’t exactly comfy! Where do you store all this stuff?
We bought some cheap silverware at our local big box store. I have enough for 8 place settings and a couple serving spoons. I also bought some plastic plates & bowls. We bought some cups and used some extra mugs from the house. The dishes are bright and colorful and it doesn’t take long to wash up a few dishes after each meal. Paper plates and plastic ware are also good options.
I actually had extra pots that I could use for camping – we take two small pots, a frying pan, and a pancake griddle. We had a tea kettle from tent camping that we use to make hot water for coffee. One thing we forgot on one of our trips was a hot pad to get the kettle off the fire…we used a sock. I plan meals that only need two pots max (since the stove only has two burners). We try to eat at the picnic table as much as possible. There’s more room and if something gets spilled, it’s not a big deal.
What about bedding? Our daughter sleeps on the dining area bed and she uses a sleeping bag. The bed is an odd size and we set up the dining area each morning so it’s easier to just roll up her sleeping bag and then toss it and her pillow on the boys bed. The boys sleep in the smaller of the two pull-out beds. I put a padded mattress pad on it and then a sheet. They each have their own blanket to cover up with so there’s no fighting over covers. John & I have a pillow top and then a mattress pad and then king size sheets on our bed (we don’t fight over covers so much). The pillow top is pretty bulky and takes up some storage space, but for us it’s worth it! I tried leaving it on the bed when we closed up the camper, but it was too bulky and the top didn’t close right. So, I roll it up and bungee it together and put it on the floor towards the back of the camper. Sheets get stored under the sink & stove for traveling.
Misc & Storage
We bought a small garbage can and we use plastic store bags as garbage bags. Most campgrounds have a dumpster to toss trash in so we just toss it as go by on our way out (either to check out or just going out for the day). A small cleaner like a dust buster or a broom is also a must, especially with kids!
There is actually a lot of storage in a pop-up. The trick is figuring out how to maximize it. Dishes go under one of dining benches (the one w/o the electric cord) along with towels (5 – one for each), wash clothes (just a couple), and hand towels (3 or 4). Food goes in the compartment by the door and extra drinks go under the sink. The fridge usually has enough stuff to get us through 3 days. I cut egg cartons in half so they fit. We take a cooler full of ice & soda/water. Silverware and other utensils go in a lidded plastic container that goes under the sink too. I also fill the aisle with stuff – the gray water tank, cooler, pillow top, pillows, suit case. You get the idea! If we’re only going for a weekend, we put wood in the back of our tow vehicle (Ford Explorer), otherwise, that’s more storage space for another suitcase or two and any other overflow. Our theory is, if we forget it and we can’t live without it, we can buy it when we get there.
What’s your storage trick? What else would you take along? What would you leave behind?