How to Pack Light for a Long Camping Trip?


If you are looking for some adventure in a subtle way, camping is one of the best things to do. Many individuals go camping because it makes them step out of their routines and comfort zone. Camping can also help reset circadian rhythms and help you relax and unwind. Families, too, go camping because it revitalizes relationships, strengthens bonds, and provides an opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. 

However, when you are going camping, you need to pack wisely based on where you are going and the duration of the trip. Even when you are heading for a long camping trip, you need to pack light and wisely to keep your luggage weight minimal.

Here are 12 tips on how to pack light for a long camping trip.

Pack What You Need

Extra luggage weight can slow down your movements when you head into nature. Hence, you need to pack only what you need. Sure, you might carry some luxuries like books to accompany you during your free time, but don’t go overboard. Make sure you have all the essentials and toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, and soap. If you have oily hair, you would want to carry a cleansing shampoo for oily hair. You may also want to carry bug spray if you are camping deep in the woods.

Start Packing Early

Packing at the last moment isn’t a great idea because you might forget important things. Start packing early, and you will have more time to double-check if you have all the items that you need for the camp trip. It can also give you enough time to have second thoughts on what you may not want to carry.

Pack Fewer Clothes

When you are heading for a camp trip, you can always mix and match clothes. Always pack light and comfortable clothing that would allow you to have more movement. You can carry one set for hiking the area, one for sleeping, and one for when you are just relaxing in the wilderness. You can stick to one set of socks for 24 hours rule, and probably the same rule applies to underwear as well. Choose clothing that is lightweight, durable, and quick to dry. Pack your clothes the right way to help you unpack them conveniently.

Don’t Forget the Jackets

If you are heading out in the cold or rain, jackets can consume a lot of luggage space. In most cases, you will need double layering to keep yourself warm. Carry a long sleeve sweater or thermals and layer it with a synthetic puffer mid-layer or choose a GORE-TEX jacket that is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. 

Share the Weight

When you are going camping with family or friends, the best idea is to share the weight. Make a list of all the items you need and split some of the luxury items to ensure the weight is distributed evenly. This would make it convenient for you to move around the camping site even if you are carrying your backpack. However, make sure that you still adhere to tip number one, and that’s to pack only what you need. 

Carry a Dry Bag

Well, you certainly can make a trip without a dry bag. However, when you are going for many days, you might likely experience an unpredicted shower or wet your clothes during a river crossing. Having a dedicated waterproof dry bag would ensure that all your clothes are clean, tidy, and safe from other gear in the backpack.

Pack Easy to Cook and Eat Foods

Packing in plenty of food items can add extra weight to your backpack. Hence, you can pack easy-to-eat foods that you can consume as you trek, like protein and granola bars, cookies, nuts, dried fruits, boiled eggs, and sandwiches that would keep you going. If you are going to cook meals, carry items like bread, hotdogs, sausages, and canned food that are easy to pack. 

Go for Water Purifier Bottle

When you are heading for an adventurous trip, you need to stay hydrated. Carrying gallons of water can add to your luggage’s weight. Instead, you can carry a water purifier bottle that comes with an inbuilt purifier that cleans the water on the go. If you are internet savvy, you can browse for the best filtered water bottles for outdoor trips. This would allow you to fill up water from nearby lakes or rivers and ensure that you are drinking safe water. 

Carry a Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are lighter than regular pillows and blankets, and therefore you need to carry one that can help you sleep well, especially when you are in a tent. If you are car-camping or camping in an RV, you might not need a sleeping bag at all. Similarly, you can also bring in a small inflatable pillow which would take up less space in your backpack than a regular one.

Use Versatile Items

One good way to reduce the load of your backpack is to carry items that can be used in multiple ways. For instance, you can use a bandana for protection from heat and sun, but you can also use it as a hot mitt for cooking or cleaning your sunglasses. You can also carry an additional tarp which can be used to take shelter from rain or just used as a mattress on the ground. 

Evaluate the Weight of Your Gear

You must evaluate the total weight of the gear you carry to help you pack well. You might not need all the gear that you want to carry, and therefore you need to decide on what you need keeping in mind the weather and the geography of the location. 

Pick an Action Camera

Carrying additional cameras and camera lenses and other devices, and external batteries for charging can take up a lot of space and add more weight to the luggage. Hence, it is advisable that you avoid carrying gadgets and devices and instead enjoy nature around you. However, if you still can’t resist, take a small action camera that is lightweight and waterproof. 

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