Ty and I have developed an ok groove of the 3 p’s.
I plan and prepare (and pack a little), and he packs the truck / camper.
Do we have the same meals every time we go? – Pretty much
Do I somehow spend the same amount on groceries for 4 days camping vs regular weekly food – Also yes
Does it take 35 hours to pack up the truck / trailer? – Feels like it
Does the smallest child have the most equipment needed? – Yes
Do the kids watch tv all morning just so we can pack? That’s a big yes
Does it seem we bring more with every trip? – It’s a mystery on how, but yes
Do I forget something almost every trip? – YEP x3
Did I make a list of all our “big” items we need every trip – Yes
Do I know where this list is? – No
Ok honestly I feel like I don’t have a lot of secret tips or hacks. Trust me, I wish I did. This is what works for us (most of the time).
1. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t work, and adapt.
2. Recognize the parts that are awful and battle through. For us setting up our campsite, and taking down our site are usually high-stress. This is when near by playgrounds, shorelines, or cousins come in handy. Ty and I work pretty independently in these stages, we know what each other is doing and stay out of each others way. 😂
3. Make 100 lists. I actually operate 3 for camping. I LOVE LISTS.
- Groceries (from the store)
- Groceries (existing in the house)
- Everything else
The everything else list I had planned to type up and just print a copy for every trip. I had great intentions, but currently cannot find that list. Even though it’s the same every time, it’s easy to forget in the chaos of getting ready to go. Ty and I review this list before hitting the road.
We don’t review the food list, although maybe we should. We know wherever we are going there’ll be a store if we forget something. I forgot a few (food) items last trip, we survived. Forgetting marshmallows ok, forgetting life jackets – not ok.
Supplies – when we first got the trailer I was avoiding buying more things, especially when we have everything in the house – why do we need 2? I read an article on Pinterest saying that have a camping set will ensure you have everything every trip, which makes sense- especially with my track record of forgetting things. We use old towels, and bedding for the camper. Before buying new check out what you have, will it be missed if it goes to camping? We also keep a tote with all of our “kitchen” supplies (old, used, borrowed, blue – that’s us).
Remember marketplace, or second hand stores might have what you need at a lower price point. We love Canadian tire – always wait for whatever it is to go on sale, and never underestimate the power of dollarama.
Kids clothing – this is a game, which I think they enjoy. I call out what is needed, they run to their rooms and bring it back. “3 pyjamas!” “4 shorts!” “5 gitchies!” etc etc. It’s a good way for the kids to be a little involved, and it’s on them to have everything packed (but also be sure to review what they packed haha).
As overwhelming as the 3 p’s are… also overwhelming is ….
- asking the kids to clean up 10x over
- staring at the endless cycle of clean up and laundry
- kids fighting over the same toy for no reason
- <insert more overwhelming things here>
At the end of the day (or camping trip) as overwhelming as the 3 p’s are for us it’s worth it . AND I swear it goes more smoothly with every trip. Be brave and 3 p your next adventure.