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Camping with kids - packing

How do you keep clothes/tent organized while camping with younger kids? Twice a day our tent looks like a tornado hit it. With prompting they're great about picking it up but I'd really like to encourage them to stay organized so the transition from car camping to back packing next year will be easier.

2 Replies

Hi KermitB!

One good way to transition to backpacking AND get them organized is to greatly decrease what you allow them to bring camping. If you encourage them to only bring the essentials, keeping it neat and clean is a lot easier.  When I was a kid, my parents would not let us take more than we could fit in a milk crate for our multi week car camping trips.  I do the same with my kids now, which also makes packing the car easier.  I also bring color coded stuff sacks for them to use for their toiletries, books, water toys, dirty clothes so they can organize their stuff that way. This could also be a good forward play to backpacking, as I organize my pack in this same way - minus the water toys of course! 🙂 

Have fun this summer!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Howdy @KermitB!  As much as I have a couple ideas and a couple solutions that have worked for me an our kiddos we sometimes still have the occasional #geartornado 🙂 I'm a huge fan of the packing cubes and we've amassed quite a collection over the years (probably 20 or so). We firstly separate clothing by category: all swimwear in a cube, all PJs in a different cube, hats/glove in different cube, etc. On some trips we've gone so far as to label the cubes (with kid name and what's inside). This is particular helpful for me trying to help stay organized. We've also tried to create a space in the tent for the kids to play in the tent, separate of where all our sleeping/clothing gear is located. We have a big 6 person tent for our family of 4 and during the day we pile up the bedding in one side. We can fit two small chairs and a small table inside the tent for reading or board games. This creates a space for inside tent fun without the kicking everything out of the way.  I'll be following this conversation as I feel still have more to learn. Thanks for a great question!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.