My Camping System
So many people think of camping as much harder than going to a fully equipped condo in Florida or a cabin in the mountains. On those weekends away, you open the door and needn't do a thing. Ground coffee, tea, snacks and paper towels await you. Umbrellas, visors, sun block, bug spray and frisbees fill the hall closet. In comparison, preparing for camping might sound like an exhaustive hassle, but it doesn't have to be. It can be as easy as walking into a hotel if you plan right. As I am a systems and process person, I have created a super simple system for camping, and I want to share it with you because it can help make a camping weekend a delight. Try it....you may lose interest in condos, hotels and cabins forever!
My first recommendation to make camping easy: keep your camper well equipped. Rusty, my husband and I, keep a duplicate set of staples and our favorite small appliances in our camper. Our staples include coffee cups, plates, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic wrap, dish soap and other non perishables. We also have condiments like mustard and catsup, maple syrup, oatmeal. olive oil and other favorites.. Always having these at hand, means that when I shop weekly for food, I only need to buy the fresh food for meals I plan.I don't have to buy all the random ingredients or waste time going back and forth from the kitchen in our house. I suggest keeping your pantry sufficiently stocked - it's an amazing time saver. Lastly, we always leave in a Ninja blender, charcuterie board and electric skillet in our camper.Think about what you use daily and buy another one for your camper. Maybe you need a coffee maker or a toaster.
I also prepare in little ways during the week...maybe fifteen minutes one night and fifteen minutes another. Only when I grocery shop and cook, do I spend more time.
When Friday comes, we are ready to go and stress free.
My typical week unfolds like this. On Tuesday or Wednesday, I buy food. Admittedly, I am a bit type A so I separate my purchases at the grocery store. Everything we need for the camping weekend that I won't use for meal prep goes in one or two bags. When I get home, I walk those bags into the camper, unpack them and don't think about them again until we have left.
On Thursday, I do meal prep. The amount I spend really depends on what I decide to have for the weekend. If I want something elaborate. I might take 45 minutes to an hour preparing for two nights of meals. If I am in the mood for something extra, I might make up a big batch of trail mix. Nevertheless, the time I spend on Thursday night prepping is just as much if not less than I would spend if we were to stay home all weekend. Better yet, I never have to think on Friday or Saturday morning what we will have.
I also do a clothes check on Thursdays. Do I have sports bras, socks and other needs for a weekend of being outside? I also have a last minute bag which I hang on the door and grab on my way out. The bag hangs on my door all week so I might throw in some random items I think of early on. Putting the bag on the door handle is a bonus trick and so simple... never once have I left it behind.f.
Rusty's job is to hook up our truck and trailer on Thursday. He will typically fill it with water on Thursday. We have a truck that holds 30,000 pounds, and our camper is only 11,000 pounds so we don't need to worry about max towing capacity. Make sure you know your capacity so you can stay within the limit. Also, research if the site you are going to will have water. Water is crucial, so do your homework!
When Friday comes, we are ready to go, and I have not become stressed once. Rusty and I have the routine down so well that we can just head out once he gets home, takes off his work boots and slides on his hiking boots. I always pack snacks as Rusty usually gets very, very hangry on the road. It's not a bad idea to keep a stash in your glove compartment too. Once we are in the camper, our trip unfolds glitch- free.
Most of the weekend, I just relax. Sometimes I just look around and hold my breath in wonder at the natural world around me.Sometimes I become aware of the seasonal rhythms which I would never notice otherwise. The few things I do: sweep and wash utensils . No matter what,I don't need to do much. Remember, the RV is one tenth the size of a house.
On Sunday mornings, Rusty and I often have our date night ( yea I know most people have one on a weeknight) and we talk over coffee outside; it's relaxing and we can catch up and tell stories. Often we come up with some really good business ideas but we never feel pressured as we might if it was a work day. Brainstorming works much better without the pressure. I also usually do some Sunday morning business planning while I sit outside. I find it soothing to work in nature and a really nice way to feel at ease. In this environment, In nature, I have an expansive capacity for creativity.
Rusty and I are usually home by seven at the latest on Sunday nights. All we do is take in a bag of laundry and food leftovers. For so many people, Sunday is stressful and anxiety lurks about the week ahead, but it is never rough for us. We have placed a priority on taking care of ourselves, enjoyed the outdoors. time and are organized for the week.
Do try my system, or at least some of it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is..
Until next time,
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