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Packing for a Weekend Camping Trip Made Simple

Updated on November 26, 2012

Toyota Tundra with Camper Perfect Weekend Trips

I use my Toyota Tundra with a camper shell for my quick and easy camping trips for just a few days. When going to your favorite local outdoor spot to camp and go hike in the woods or camp near a favorite boat launch and go boating and fishing if you keep a few boxes ready to go with essentials getting ready for a weekend camping trip is easy. At the end of the day it all depends on how many people you will be going with and what their basic requirements are to function away from the house for a couple of days. My wife and I are easy going and ok with roughing it for a day or two and do not need a lot to enjoy a couple of days camping. We keep in the truck during most of the nice weather months a couple essentials like box wit hsleeping bag, air mattress / sleeping basics so that we don't have to cart it in and out of the house. This is the benefit of the camper shell, you don't need a tent and if you are outdoors a lot you can easily store your essentials in the car so you are always ready, just grab a cooler with some food and get out of town. Other items that need to be assembled in our camping backpacks before we go include some clothes, the iPad, cell phones, camera, and meds and toothbrushes - even though there is a set in the boat and car, its always good to be prepared with a tooth brush.

Check out what is in the rest of our camping essential boxes that we grab before heading out on a trip.

Easy Sleeping - Tundra Truck Bed

A decent camper shel is perfect for an air mattress.
A decent camper shel is perfect for an air mattress.

5 Basics for Camping in a Truck

The essentials include the following and I just have these in a couple of bins that can be grabbed and tossed in the truck on a moments notice to go for a camping adventure.

With a truck that is easy to sleep in for a quick weekend fishing trip, I won't fuss with a tent and all the extra gear like stacks, hammer, tarps, etc.

1. Sleeping bag and air mattress. Without these I am uncomfortable and not able to sleep well, with them I am good to go and not much else matters. I always keep my Coleman reachable quick pump in the car with a battery charger with the car, I can always plug in the charger on the way to the camp site and inflate my air mattress in minutes in the back of the truck. A pillow is always a bonus, but I have folded many sweatshirts over the years for a make shift pillow.

2. Cooler with food. I prefer to carry some nutritious camping food versus the traditional weenies and beans and gallons of sports drinks like Gatorade. Simple trips will be pb&j sandwiches and healthy snacks. Longer trips will include some chicken, rice, and veggies for decent dinners, that can also be packed and eaten when out on the water, since when I am camping I generally am fishing.

3. 5 Gallon jug of water or at least a couple 1 gallon jugs. While many places will have water available I prefer to just bring my own for drinking and cooking.

4. A camping chair. There are many different variations of the camp chair from simple fold ups to elaborate lounge chairs that provide maximum comfort while hanging out before going to sleep for the evening.

5 Toothbrush and Toothpaste - While on a weekend camping trip if I happen to forget to grab the bag with personal items it is ok, we are out fishing in the boat all day anyway. Take a good shower afterwards and you can be clean enough to head into town to grab a bite to eat or go to the gas station, but if you forget your tooth brush your mouth will feel nasty all day long and is sure to be bad. So I never go camping without a toothbrush. It is so important that I also keep a back up in the glove box of the boat, cause if you drop in early in the morning and forget to brush, then you are good to go.

These are a few of my basic essential camping items when I am planning a camping / fishing trip for the weekend and want to go light.

Camping with the family

Of course going on camping trips with the family, girlfriend, or group of friends will be different and you will want to plan ahead and bring a few more amenities. Depending on the locations you are camping at always determines what else is already at the site, some camp sites are little more than an open field, whereas other sites are basically an outdoor resort with everything imaginable onsite. Pick your family camping outing based on the amenities that will be needed for everyone to have a good time.

But if you and a buddy have a secret outdoor location that you want to sneak off to for a hike or fishing adventure then you really only need a few basic supplies. The focus of the trip is on the activity.


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