Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Winter Camping Trip - Day-0 - Loading Up for the Road


Wow! This is the day before we hit the road and it is going to be a busy one.

Over the years, we have found that we need to make the day before we leave on a camping trip a special one.

Because our drive is going to be a long one, we know that we need to do things in a certain order.

As I mentioned in a previous article, we have most of what we are going to take with us kind of, well, piled in the floor of our spare bedroom. So there will be no last minute searches for articles that we might need.

Here are some of the things that we will do that makes our trip packing a lot more efficient;



  1. We know where we will fill up with gas, because less that 6 miles away, right before we get to the Interstate highway, there is a 24-hour gas station where we will fill our tank, and get or first morning cup of coffee.
  2. I already had the car (SUV) checked out at the dealers, you know, tires, belts, hoses, etc
  3. We have concentrated our meals over the past several days to eat everything that might go bad while we are gone, and what is left will go into the trash for pickup the day we leave. So the Fridge is pretty bare.
  4. We have some great neighbors who we always ask to "just keep an eye" on our house while we are gone.
  5. We called and stopped our newspaper deliveries, and we also went online (usps.com) and had our mail put on hold for the time we are gone.
  6. Because of our planning, we are just going to take it easy until late this afternoon before we start the actually loading of the car.
We have one of those hanger bars on our SUV so we will take a lot of our clothes on hangers, which will minimize our other packing. We have used suitcases for packing our other things but we eventually changed over to using soft carry bags, similar to what you would take on an overnight trip or to the gym.
The advantage to using them is that they pack together better and do not leave open space between them.

After we load the hanger clothes, we will load these bags. Essentially, we have a bag dedicated to these each of these types of articles; 
  1. Bag-1 shoes, 
  2. Bag-2 underwear, casual shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas, etc.
  3. Bag-3 medicines and bathroom items
  4. Bag-4 Computer, tablets, chargers, WIFI Modem, etc.
  5. Bag-5 Last Minute Items we forgot to pack
Once these bags are filled and loaded into the car, we come back inside our home and just rest. Knowing the next day will be a long one, we try to relax and take it easy until it is time for us to go to bed.
And before we go to bed, we have a glass of wine. This allows us to relax and get to sleep easily.

Actually, those last two bags are packed but we keep them on the table until the next morning, just in case. Then they go into the car with us.

And, by the way, the next morning, we will shut our house down by doing the following;

We have a programmable thermostat on our house so we will set it to only turn on if the inside temperature reach the limits of; 85F-because we want to avoid high moisture levels and possibly mold, 55F- because we want to avoid any potential cold weather damage to the house. This one isn't really a problem in Florida, but being creatures of habit, we still set these limits. 

Tomorrow?
We will be ON THE ROAD, again!

by Don Bobbitt