Monday, July 11, 2011

When Your Car Is Just An Extra Large Backpack

When the boys and I first started camping, we borrowed all our gear.  Last year, I started slowly collecting gear of our own.

I spent hours daydreaming in the camping sections of REI, EMS and Target. I salivated over Coleman camp stoves, enamel Dutch ovens and Leatherman multi-tools. I sighed over shade shelters and screen houses. I was in collect mode. The more the merrier! It amused me how some people (backpackers mainly) were obsessed with having the smallest camping equipment imaginable.  I chuckled at the itty bitty tents and snickered at the tiny cooking gadgets.  I had no intention of carrying our gear on my back.  My plan was to throw our stuff in the back of our mini van, back that beast into a campsite and voila! 

One major flaw.  In March 2010, I sold the old mini van and bought a cute, gas-friendly hatchback. When it came time to pack for our first camping trip, I drastically had to re-think my gear.  It was either that or leave the boys at home.

Fortunately, I hadn't bought much at that point.  We had a pair of nice sleeping bags, a lantern for our tent and a single camp chair. We borrowed the rest. It was a tight squeeze, but we got everything squished into the car, including the boys.  I could still even see out the windows.

This past weekend, we were only required to bring our tent and personal effects.  My cousins were handling the majority of the food.  It was a good thing.  Traffic was terrible and I was late getting the boys.  We raced home to pack the car and as we pulled in the parking lot, the heavens opened and a deluge fell from the sky.  We ran up and down the steps in the pouring rain and just threw things in the car.  No careful packing this trip. 

I'm a little ashamed to show you, but since I promised, here's what our packed car looked like.

(Those coolers were empty. We used them once we met up with the cousins).

It was a mess that continued to the front seat.

The boys' section of the car was fairly free.  They shared their seat with their toys and a pillow.

But you get the idea?  Careful packing would gain some room, but not much.  As the boys grow and we continue to camp, I'm going to have to become a more proficient packer and re-think some of the gear (yes, I really do need that French press).

Or maybe I'll just investigate getting a roof rack for my car.

1 comment:

  1. Roof rack!!! I vote for that. And keep the French press. It's the little things, ya know. *hug*