All the camping gear

A place for everything when camping?

Husband will tell you that I’m not naturally tidy. In fact, he’ll probably tell you that I’m not in any way tidy, natural or otherwise.

My mum would vouch for that too. I’m from the school of organised chaos, as opposed to tidiness & order.

Unfortunately, my untidiness doesn’t work out too well when we’re camping. With four people, even in an eight-man tent, we can’t really afford to give in to the chaos or we might lose one of the Tinies under a pile of something.

But the major problem I find is that there really isn’t a place for everything, so everything can’t be in its place. Which leads me to wonder whether tidiness and storage are a bit like chickens and eggs. Which came first?

We’re going camping with some friends at the start if May. I’m a bit concerned because it will be their second-ever camping trip, and first with children, putting us in the position of “most experienced campers”.

In acquiring all of the kit they need to go camping C has bought a wardrobe. There will be four of them in a five-man tent and I’m wondering where exactly will the wardrobe go (and will there be a lion or a witch through the other side of it?)

Am I missing something? Would I be tidier if we had more storage? Should we invest in more shelves and actually hang up those funny ladder/packet things that came with the tent? We’ve only been for two nights at a time so far, so I’ve just kept clean and dirty clothes separate and that’s been the extent of it. We have a kitchen unit which has a couple of shelves for keeping cooking-related paraphernalia, and that’s it.

I know that in a small space it’s better for things to go away. I even make an effort to put the kids’ colouring things away and keep shoes in a designated corner (if we had the porch I’ve been after they could stay in there!).

But herein lies the challenge. If I demonstrate I’m able to be tidy while camping there will be an expectation that I can do it at home. And I have many, many more things to be doing before I can manage that…


3 thoughts on “A place for everything when camping?

  1. Hazel

    I know where you are coming from! Tidy is not my middle name, however, desperate searching for the torch when youngest is desperate for loo but won’t traipse across dark field without it does not make me a happy camper. Those ladder bag things really are quite useful – only don’t fill them up too much or the tent fabric will be puled down at that point creating a little puddle (if it rains) which will then leak into the tent. Oh yes, that IS the voice of unhappy experience you hear.

  2. Rob B

    I have never felt the need to buy camping wardrobes and cupboards etc – they seem an unnecessary expense – HOWEVER there is a need to be neat and tidy when camping, A) because you don’t want to be scrabbling around for a torch in the middle of the night etc and B) because it can be dangerous, particularly when you have stoves, gas lanterns etc, it can be easy to trip on items left on the floor, knock over the stove…… you get the picture.

    My tent has a built in set of pockets on the outer wall of the sleeping compartment and I find this invaluable for storing small items that you need regularly. Tissues, torch, dog lead, glasses etc. If your tent doesn’t have this then I would recommend any sort of hanging organiser pockets that you can suspend from a tent pole.

    I also have a large, sturdy plastic crate with a lid. This lives in the wardrobe at home and contains all my camping essentials. Lanterns, mallet, kettle, spare gas canisters, my little washing line thingy, matches, spare pegs and guys, pots and pans, little tool kit, the inflator for the air bed. Basically everything you need for a trip except the big items like the tent, air bed, sleeping bags. When it comes time to go camping I just load the whole box straight in to the car, safe in the knowledge that everything I need is in there.

    When on site the box lives in the tent and any item that is not in use remains in the box, if I need it, I take it out of the box, use it and put it back in the box. This keeps things tidy and stops stuff wandering off and being lost. Added to which the crate keeps everything dry and free from dirt and bugs and serves as an additional table/worktop in to the bargain. Also helps to stop things sliding around and being damaged in the car.

    Additionally I always try to pack the boot in such a way that things im less likely to need are in the bottom of the boot/trailer and that way they can stay there when on site, saving space in the tent. My car has a false floor with a storage tray underneath so items that are not needed straight away or only used for set up and break down tend to live under there out of the way for the duration of the trip.

    Storage nets can be handy int he tent as well. We don’t need full standing height in the sleeping bit so we string a net in the roof space of the bedrooms which then holds our coats and jumpers until needed.

    All small things which cost either nothing or very little and are not so cumbersome or heavy as big items of furniture.

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