Just like most of you, we love to go on short weekend camping trips between busy work weeks, especially when we can get out with other families. But nothing ruins a short weekend of camping more than starting it off leaving late Friday night because packing takes too long. Then you can end up getting stressed out, yelling at your kids, and fighting with your spouse. Which never happens to us....
What follows are our recommendations for avoiding that.
Our high level recommendations:
Our packing list:
The packing is divided into 3 sections:
Using these tips, we can usually pack for a weekend trip in less than 1 hr ahead of time plus 30 min the day of and then unpack in less than 1 hr.
One final note: when you're packing for a short trip, don't spend too much time ensuring you have every single item on your packing list (except of course for any especially critical or life-saving items). The extra time required to go from 95% correct to 100% correct can be 1-2 hours which isn't often worth it for a short trip. If you do forget something, use it as a teaching opportunity for the kids to learn how to live without having everything. We have a long list of items we have forgotten on trips and it makes for good stories. (Like when our daughter had only climbing shoes instead of regular shoes for an entire weekend, or when we forgot the fuel last weekend.)
Two Silicon Valley engineers who have had a love of the outdoors since childhood. Parents of two small kids, spending our free time exploring the outdoors with them.