When the weather starts getting nicer in Texas, our family starts getting excited for our spring camping trips. Being in nature is so refreshing. We find that weekend camping trips are a great way to get away and refresh between our bigger vacations.
Given that we go camping as often as we can, we have built up a decent collection of supplies (you can see our camping packing list in this blog post). We have found that it is really convenient to store many of them in a box (one that can fit into your car's trunk) so that you can grab it and go, and don't risk forgetting key items.
Once you see how much stuff you have, the first step is to get a box. You can use any old plastic storage box, but we felt it was worth investing in these watertight storage boxes from The Container Store. The size is good for our trunk, their shape makes them easy to stack in the garage for storage, and of course the watertight factor is great for camping. You don't have to worry about this one being left out in the elements.
Here is how we have organized ours.
Here's a general snapshot of all that goes into the box. I will describe more about how we organized the different parts below. As you can see above, we seek to find things that can store flat (such as items in narrow mesh bags), or store compact (like our collapsible lantern and broom/dustpan set).
Loose inside the box are big tools (like the hammer), marshmallow roasting sticks (secured with a rubber band), our pots and pans, plates and cups, paper towels, a cutting board and our coffee percolator.
Large cooking utensils are held together with rubber bands and carabiners. We have sets that we purchased just for camping (we usually get them cheap at Ikea) that we can leave in the box (therefore, we never forget to bring them).
We have learned to bring both regular and recyclable trash bags when we go camping (you'd be surprised how much of your camping debris is recyclable). When the quantity in the box gets low, you can save space in the camping box by securing the remaining bags with a rubber band instead of keeping them in their cardboard box.
Dish rags/napkins are also kept together with a rubber band. We keep the other dishwashing supplies in a large ziplock baggie to prevent leaks from the dish soap.
We keep a standard set of spices/seasonings in the camping box in these spice bottles from The Container Store. We then keep them together with a zippered mesh bag so they don't bang around in the box.
Zippered mesh bags are also a great way to organize other small things you want to keep together in the box. We use them for our different insect repellants, as well as our small flashlights. I hated digging around looking for flashlights in the past.
We got a small plastic storage box from Ikea to keep our misc. small tools and utensils organized within the larger camping box. We keep a dedicated pair of scissors, sets of utensils and measuring cups/spoons in the box, and organize them with rubber bands or carabiners. Other small items include bag clips, a can opener (we'd be screwed if we ever forgot our can opener when going camping), coffee scoops, etc.
We keep other random small items together in a plastic pencil case.
Ta da! The finished product, ready to store in the garage until we are ready to load it into the car for the next camping trip.