When you’re packing the car to go camping it can feel like you’re playing a life-size game of Tetris. One of the key considerations is your vehicle size in comparison to the amount of gear you need to take with you. Whilst a lot of our tips can help with any sized car, your best bet is to take a 4WD or SUV camping with you for the extra space they offer. If you’re heading camping in a sedan be prepared to compromise on your load.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH
The day before you head off, take everything that is already in your car out. Then collect all of the items that will need to go into your car for the trip. It’s important to see it all laid out at once so you can get a good gauge on whether it’s all likely to fit in the space that you have. This is a good time to cull back items and get ruthless about what you will truly need on the trip. Start to think about what you’ll need during the trip and what you’ll need as soon as you get there so you can make sure you pack these items last, or in an easily accessible space - you don’t want to be unpacking and repacking the boot 5 times before you arrive at your destination.
GROUP LIKE ITEMS
It can be helpful to group things like food, cooking utensils and even clothes into tubs or boxes which can be easily stacked or fit snuggly side-by-side. It also helps during your trip to have these things kept safely together. Just make sure that the dimensions of the tubs will fit into the car and also that you can easily lift and move the weight of the tub once it’s full. It’s a good idea to use soft-exterior cases for clothing if possible as these will pack more tightly together and flex around the hard edges of boxes. Keep some softer items like sleeping bags and jackets separate so you can use them to plug up empty spaces or protect the window or inside of the boot from being scratched.
As you start to pack the car, consider putting the heavier and bulkier items on the bottom of the boot, as far towards the front of the car as possible so that the weight is closer to the axel. Making the rear end of the car too heavy can cause issues with how the car handles on the road. If you have a 4WD, SUV or a Wagon with a cage or divider - consider using this for extra safety from things moving forward into the cabin.
TAKE IT SLOW
Really take your time to consider where you’re putting each item. This extra time spent will save you from rushing and stressing over fitting everything into the space you’re working with and hopefully mean you can head off on your trip in a more relaxed frame of mind.
KEEP IT LIGHT
Try and avoid packing too many things in the interior of the car. Sometimes it is unavoidable so try and keep it to soft items like pillows and perhaps a tub secured between the passengers in the back seat, ensuring that you don’t pack things up too high and that the tub cannot fly forward if you brake suddenly.
SNAP A PIC
Once you’ve completed your Tetris masterpiece, take a photo of where you have packed everything so you can refer to it before you start packing for the trip home. This will ease your mind and mean that once you’ve perfected your packing it will be a breeze next time.
When you return from your trip, take your car into your local Magic Hand Carwash to have all of that dirt washed away and dust vacuumed up - your car will feel as fresh as you do after a stress-free packing experience.