FIRST THINGS FIRST. Tell me this road trip doesn't look like an adventure waiting to happen?! It reminds me of Pete's Dragon, which I recently watched and fell in love with!
1. Activity list
2. Food list
3. Cooking list
4. Gear list
5. Clothing list
But, there's one thing that needs to be done first, as it will impact all your packing: the weather. Make sure to keep your eye on it a week out to see how precipitation changes. Based on this info you can get started on your lists! (are you as EXCITED as I am?!?)
What are you planning to do this weekend? It doesn't need to be really specific with days and times, but you should think of all the things you would like to do. How active or inactive you are during your trip can alter what you wear and how much meal prep to do.
If you regularly meal plan, this is no different from your normal schedule. Make your list of meals then your grocery list. This year we are keeping things really simple because we want to keep our cooking and clean up time to a minimum so we can do other things. Breakfast will be made on a griddle: eggs and bacon or sausage. Lunches will consist of premade salads. For dinner, we will be cooking all our meat on the grill, along with veggies packets I prep beforehand. Just slice up whatever veggies you want with some seasonings and wrap them up in aluminum foil. Make them personalized and let people decide what they want in their packet, or just do one large one. Carrots, zucchini, green beans, onion, and peppers are great options because they taste good with any meat. I like to put the packets into plastic containers before the cooler for two reasons. It keeps any water from finding its way in, but also it's great to have a container later for leftovers. Need ideas? Try these! (just remember that potatoes do not freeze well and turn color quickly, so that's something to add right before cooking)
Now that you have your food planned, you can make your list of kitchen equipment. You've probably decided how you plan to cook your foods, which makes it easy to determine large equipment like pots and pans, grills, etc. Be sure to think of each meal and what kind of tools/utensils you will need. I have no idea how many times I've forgotten a can opener or a pancake turner. Bringing beer or wine? Don't forget the bottle openers. Also account for extra paper towels, baggies, and dish cloths. Here's a nice kitchen checklist along with some other great ideas to remember!
Use one of many Pinterest camping lists, if you're not sure what to bring. I've posted several lists myself. But mostly I wanted to talk about packing the car. This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to pack chronologically for how you will set up camp. Bedding and clothes in first, kitchen and food next, then tables and chairs, finished off with your tent, canopies, and tarps. That way when unloading the car, start on the biggest tasks first, then the small stuff. We always pack our food supplies in large totes that way we can easily set them in the car at night if we are concerned about critters poking their nose around! Don't forget to bring a rainy day activity like cards, magazines, or a board game.
Since weather/climate is different everywhere, I can't really advise you on what to pack. But I do know that you probably need less than you think. Consider layers for day time, a jacket or sweatshirt for evening, a raincoat or poncho, and a pair of shoes you can wear to shower. And if there's even a small chance of rain, pack extra socks. Wet socks just sounds like a nightmare, right?! Visit my post earlier this week if you want to see what I'm packing.
I hope you found this info helpful! If you have gone camping before, what was the most important thing you forgot?