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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Packing for Camp


I was never good at packing and knowing what to take on trips. I always took too much and was often unable to decide what to take. A stint as a Girl Scout leader changed all of that when my girls were little. One year as we prepared to go to camp, we learned about packing. Later on, I customized the packing.

Here’s how we learned to pack.
Buy a box of gallon-size zipper bags and label a bag for each day of the camp. Depending on the length of the camp/trip (days and nights), choose enough under garments and socks for each day. Place each day’s undergarments and a pair of socks in a zipper bag for each day. Next decide on a color or similar colors that you want to take. This will result in three things; 1) you will have a color scheme for the trip; 2) if you forget something, you will have options for wearing something of a similar color from another bag; 3) when you return home, you will likely only have two loads of laundry, one for whites and one for the color of the garments that you took. After deciding on what to wear, place a complete outfit (top and bottom) in each bag with the socks and under garments and close securely, making sure that you expel the excess air. Then, place night clothes in another bag. Use a separate bag for swimwear. Finally, place all toiletries in another bag.

By packing in such a way, campers can easily make their way to the camp shower by simply picking up a bag each day. Having their clothes in separate bags keeps campers from having to decide what to wear and helps them keep up with their clothes. Dirty clothes can easily be stored in the empty zipper bag. By using the bags, clothes stay dry in the shower area, and water from wet clothes does not get on dry clothes.

Although we used this for camp, I still use this when packing for other trips. It just makes life a lot easier when traveling.

Contributed by Veda Pendleton McLain, Ph.D., of Veda McClain Consulting, a professional services firm specializing in literacy, education, and parenting products and services for individuals and organizations.

Photo Source: St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

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