My husband and I have taken on a big goal: to “compartmentalize” all of our camping gear into boxes of more manageable size and logic with organizing in mind. Let me explain…

We are preparing for a road trip to Canada later this summer and we’ll be camping some, staying with friends and family some and staying in hotels some. We decided it would be great to put everything into compartments so that they are easily accessible and identifiable in such a way that made logical sense to both of us.

Compartmentalizing Your Camping GearSo we have the following “boxes” broken down and identified as follows:

  • sleeping gear
  • kitchen box
  • hand wash “station”
  • restroom “station”
  • coffee “station”
  • Dry food
  • Ice chest (cold food items)
  • Day hikes (water packs, day backpacks, etc.)
  • Bug repellent and sunscreen

We have two larger packing boxes in which most of the items above boxesWoman with backpack hiking condense into…for example:

In one packer box, we had the hand wash station, restroom station, and kitchen box – as well as a loose cast iron skillet and our 2-burner Coleman camp stove. It’s like a game of Testris getting everything situated into the packer box, but it works!

Here’s how we broke the stations down:

ID-10079939Coffee Station

        • coffee
        • Backpacker stove (with white fuel)
        • small tea kettle for boiling water
        • long reach lighter (by the way, this is one of our “6 ways to start a fire” we have with us at all times when doing outdoor activities)

tradtional wooden outside toiletBathroom station

My biggest challenge is bathrooms. At some of the camping facilities they are suspect or just plain gross. I personally prefer to find a tree or bush to squat behind. With that in mind, we put together our bathroom station:

  • Baby wipes
  • Toliet paper
  • Towel
  • handheld shovel
  • Antibacterial hand¬†sanitizer

The idea is that each of the boxes is condensed down so that it contains exactly what we need, within a hand’s grasp and we aren’t fumbling around searching for the lighter or the antibacterial wash, etc.

Our hand wash station was an instance of being in our “camp kitchen” and needing something available to wash our hands easily. Our hand wash station has liquid soap, bar soap, a towel, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Our kitchen box is fairly intricate: it includes various tools we use to cook with (spatulas, spoons, etc.), cooking oil, paper towels, a small cutting board, knives, etc.


We also always make sure we travel with extra propane bottles for our stove, white fuel for our backpacker stove and, as I mentioned above, we always travel with 6 ways to start a fire. Want to know what they are?

  • Magnesium and flint
  • matches / lighter
  • lighting device in a flashlight
  • small piece of glass or magnifying glass
  • good old fashioned rubbing 2 sticks together
  • firestarter (petroleum jelly and cotton balls)

Our bug repellent and sunscreen box is a small box with varying levels of sunscreen protection – both lotion and spray and varying types of bug repellent sprays.

How about you? Do you have a specific method to your packing for camping trips? I’d love to hear about it!

Compartmentalizing Your Camping…

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