In a constantly evolving effort to be more efficient when on family camping trips, I decided that it was time to sit down and take inventory of what is actually in those disastrous camping bins of ours! First, I reorganized them, then I made an inventory list. I’m not a list-maker by nature (or even a frequent user of the word “inventory” for that matter), or at least I wasn’t before I became a mother (haha), but when you’re out in the middle of nowhere with a toddler, it never hurts to be extra prepared!
|Exploring the Limekiln River in Big Sur, California|
So, in anticipation of our Sequoia camping trip next month, I sat down and created a packing list for our camping bins! We have been using the bin system for a few years now. It definitely cuts down on our packing time and we are less prone to forget the little things! Most of the items in our bins are permanent bin fixtures. When we get home, they get cleaned and put back into the bin, so they are ready to go for the next trip!
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Side Note: This bin list is catered to car camping where you have easy access from your tent and campsite to your car.
Camping Bin #1
This is what I lovingly refer to as the kitchen sink. It contains all of the necessities to prepare and cook our meals and a few other essentials.
- first aid kit
- 1 roll of Paper towels
- 2 rolls of toilet paper
- 3 wash cloths
- 1 pack of wipes
- aluminum foil
- salt & pepper & olive oil
- large frying pan
- (2) large pots
- 3 plates
- 3 bowls
- 3 cold cups
- 2 hot cups
- 3 forks
- 3 spoons
- serving spoons
- wine opener
- can opener
- flexible plastic cutting board
- coffee percolator
- table cloth
- garbage bags
Camping Bin #2
This holds all of the necessary tools for seeing, burning and cleaning.
- 6 propane tanks
- 2 lighters
- 2 lanterns
- 2 flashlights
- 3 headlamps
- various extra batteries
- (2) single burner stoves for boiling water, etc
- Biodegradable dishwashing soap & scouring pad
- dust pan & small broom
A must have for any camping family because even though you are out in nature with so much to discover and explore, kids still get bored. I have also found it to be comforting for our two year old to bring a few of her favorite toys along.
- Sand Toys (Buckets, Shovels, Trucks, etc)
Make Ahead Camping Meals
I also plan our meal menu ahead. I have found this to be the most economical and efficient way to do things. We used to just go the the store on our way out of town and we would end up spending TOO much and usually only use HALF of what we bought. Planning and prepping everything before we leave means, saving money, less work at the campground and more time relaxing and exploring!
|A little down time…|
I buy a box of the gallon Ziploc freezer bags and use them for all kinds of prep like marinating the meats, filling them with pre-chopped veggies to roast over the fire or make-ahead salads that only needs to be dressed when it’s time to eat. I also love to make easy-to-grab, finger food lunches like quiche and zucchini fritters, perfect to throw in the backpack and eat on the trail!
- Leeks in Olive Oil (Pirasa
- Zucchini Fritters (Mucver)
- Green Beans in Olive Oil (Zeytinagli Fasulye)
- Roasted Broccoli and Pancetta Quiche
- Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola
- Chicken Salad with Avocado and Cilantro
- Oatmeal Banana Bread
What are your camping bin essentials? Your must-have make-ahead meals?