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Grocery Bags, duffel bags, loosely thrown into the trunk of my car, I've kept my camping equipment in a variety of less-than-organized methods. But, this year since I've been rediscovering my love of camping and heading out to adventure solo more, I've started to develop a bit more of a system for all my gear.
Undoubtedly one of the most helpful things I've done has been to create a Camp Box. This box holds a lot of my gear, stuff that I don't necessarily need or want in the tent with me all the time, and has the added bonus of being a great place to throw things to keep them dry or pack into the car for the night to keep them out of the way. The possibilities are endless and you can organize your camp box however you want. I use a big plastic tote leftover from my college dorm room days. It's the perfect big-but-still-liftable size, locking lid, and keeps it's contents dry even in a little rain.
Here's what I keep in my camp box:
I keep my fire supplies all together in a little REI bag. That includes a lighter (wrapped in duct tape of course), a large box of matches, and a container of waterproof hurricane matches.
I also keep a bag filled with firestarter tumbleweeds and any extra cardboard I have for kindling/fire-starting when the campsite isn't generous with dry twigs.
Light (lantern, flashlight, batteries, fuel)
As you can probably tell by the beat-up box in the above picture, my lantern is old! It's a classic Coleman camping lantern and I love it! It's super bright, heavy duty, and virtually indestructible.
Aside from the lantern itself, I bring Camp Fuel for my lantern and Butane for my stove.
This category takes up the majority of my box, for sure. Camp cooking is one of my favorite things and is made infinitely better by having just a few of the right tools. I keep all these things stacked together in my camp box:
Wooden spoon and spatula
Last but not least, don't forget a collapsible dish for your pup!
Since all your kitchen supplies are now in one place, it only makes sense to also include your dry goods. I use a few tote bags help to organize and voila! One bag holds marshmallows, graham crackers, and fruit snacks, and the other holds mixed nuts, granola, coffee, etc.
One of the best tips I stole from other campers is to make a camping spice box. Want to season your camp food to make it even more *delicious* but don't want to carry an entire spice rack? Duh! Make a spice container!
First you need some small containers. Tiny tupperwares, itty bitty mason jars, really whatever works. You know I love some little mason jars and I also have some little 4oz tupperware containers that are perfect for carrying a little seasoning. These containers hold my salt & pepper, bagel seasoning, hot chocolate mix, brown sugar, etc. Then all those containers get stacked up in one box and boom! You've got all your seasonings in one convenient spot. No more searching through the bottom of your bag for that little packet of salt you saved from the drive-thru!
Hammock and tent supplies
Last, but certainly not least, are my backup tent supplies and my hammock. Always keep a few extra tent stakes on hand. If you're clumsy like me, you can easily bend a stake beyond it's usefulness and you'll be glad to have an extra.
Not pictured, a hatchet/mallet. A mallet is obviously useful for pitching your tent. My dad gifted me his old hatchet which is a sharp axe head on one side and blunt mallet on the other. Super handy, super helpful, and always good to have on hand! I also keep some extra rope, a multitool, and some tent repair strips, all just in case! And of course, a first aid kit I ususally keep a few of these handy. One in the box, one in my backpack, one in the car, better safe than sorry!
And finally, my hammock! One of my absolute favorite camp activities is to read a good book in the hammock. Benny curls up in my lap and we have been known to laze the day away.
My hammock is a Madera Outdoor hammock. It's lightweight, comfy, roomy, packs down easily, and best of all, Madera plants two trees for every hammock they sell (so you can even feel philanthropic while you nap)! If you're in the market for a hammock, I recommend you check them out at this link and use code RAYBAYCREATES for your own discount! (I know, shameless plug)
There you have it! Pack it all up in a box and you're ready to go! What else do you keep in your camp box? Let me know in the comments!