How are your post camping processes?

Post Camping Processes 1

By Lynley Joyce

It’s been a fantastic weekend camping and you’ve made it home after a long car drive.  Everyone is off to work or school tomorrow, you’re exhausted and there’s a car full of camping gear, some of it wet and dirty. What do you do?

Depends on the circumstances

Option 1: Forget about it until at least after work tomorrow, and preferably not even then.  Just have a shower and go to bed.

Option 2: Offload the gear, then forget about it until you have time.  Maybe just clear out the by-now festering cool box and find everyone’s toothbrushes, but leave the rest.

Option 3: Clear out the car, put dirty things in the laundry ready to be washed and hang out wet things to dry.  Pack away food and other perishable items, but probably leave your home looking like a hurricane’s hit it.

Option 4: Sort out everything straight away, so the only evidence left that you’ve been camping is a few washed and wet things hanging on the clothes line.

Obviously in an ideal world, option 4 is what we are all aiming for.  In the real world, it often doesn’t happen that way. The best option depends on how late you return.

Priority 1: Washed and fed people

Post Camping Processes 2If you arrive back home in the middle of the night, the most you’ll want to do is find your toothbrush, have a shower and go to bed. If you’re arriving back home with kids any time after mid-afternoon, probably the main goal is to get them fed, washed and in to bed. At least make sure you have what you need to get through the night and the next day.

Food-wise post camping, grabbing a bought meal on the way home is very attractive.  It’s a good time to pick up any essentials you’ll need for the next day such as milk or bread.  Good post-camping easy meals include eggs cooked in whatever way, baked beans on toast, or anything that is easy to heat and eat.

Priority 2: Unpack the perishables

Post Camping Processes 3Hopefully you’ve used up most of your food, especially perishable items.  It’s good to unpack them as soon as you can.  Unpacking a camping coolbox is not fun, but it’s even less fun if the food starts festering.

Chances are your plates, cutlery and cooking items will need a good home clean.  This is not a huge priority, but should be done sometime, with everything packed again ready for the next time.

If you have bags of rubbish, put them out in your bin as soon as possible.  Chances are they are already festering.

Priority 3: Wet gear and airing items

Post Camping Processes 4If gear is wet, it is a good idea to at least hang it out so it can dry and not go mouldy or musty.  Unless you live in a humid climate, usually the next day is fine but obviously the sooner the better.

Wet tents are probably the hardest to dry.  Ideally it’s great to pitch them in the back yard for a sunny day or so, but this is not always possible. Smaller tents can be hung from a decent sized clothesline, pegging the corners of the groundsheet to different lines so the inside gets a good airing.

Even if they’re not damp, it’s a good idea to air out sleeping bags.  Turn them inside out or unzip them and place them in a warm sunny area for a day or so before putting them away.  It’s best to store them out of their packing bags, well fluffed up. Self-inflating mattresses are also best stored inflated and flat.

Post Camping Processes 5Priority 4: Cleaning and repairing

When you have time and a little energy, just after a camping trip is the best time to clean or repair items.  Any issues should be fresh in your mind.  Undoubtedly you would have forgotten about it when you pack next time.

Priority 5: Get things ready for your next trip

Post Camping Processes 6Unpacking is the best time to get ready for your next camping trip.  As much as possible, make sure everything is well packed with all the tent pegs, etc, so you can grab it and go next time.

It’s also a good idea to pack all camping gear together in one area.  People who regularly go camping often have packed basically everything they need for their next camping trip when they unpack, apart from fresh food and anything they only can’t spare (eg spectacles).

This makes packing for the next camping trip a breeze.

 

Other useful resources on post-camping by Lynley Joyce:

 

Using a post camping checklist or process (article) and

 

A downloadable post camping checklist (from Camping for Women’s free checklist page).

 

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23 thoughts on “How are your post camping processes?

  • December 9, 2017 at 10:17 am
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    I always unpack the perishables first. I don’t want it to spoil or turn into waste. I also ensure it can still be consumed in a day or two.

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  • November 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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    I am totally obsessive when I get back from a trip or camping. I make everyone in my family help put things away and where they belong. If we don’t do it right away it gets postponed for too long. I also start the dirty laundry immediately!

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  • November 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm
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    Everyone talks about going for camping and trips but I am glad this was about what must do after returning. It is very important to clean up, throw away the trash and perished goods. The wet things must be dried. This is important from hygiene point of view as well as it keeps us prepared for next trip.

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  • November 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    inspiring article which was really practical…
    enjoyed and love reading it.. keep it rocking up !

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  • November 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm
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    This is really a thoughtful post. We all put so much effort and time in plan our camping trips but never give much thought about post camping tasks. You have listed down very helpful steps, I generally go with feeding myself and retiring for the night and sorting things the next day.

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  • November 27, 2017 at 10:30 am
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    We always try to get back home with some time for me to prepare the dinner. Then once home bathing and cooking is the priority but before that, all the dirty clothes have to go into the machine while the others which need hand cleaning go to the backyard and have to wait for a couple of days or probably till the weekend. This post is perfect to keep handy if I forget something 😉

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  • November 27, 2017 at 10:07 am
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    Thats such a thoughtful post. Everyone writes on planning a trip but not what to do after its done. Great suggestions too!

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  • November 26, 2017 at 10:13 pm
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    That’s a very useful post. Usually no one bothers to actually sit and list down or point out the aftermath of a fabulous camping trip. Thanks for doing it! Sooner, this is all done, the better it is!

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  • November 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm
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    I agree with you on all the points. It’s absolutely important to unpack once you are home and also wash clothing that you have used during your camping. To maintain the hygiene is extremely important.

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  • November 26, 2017 at 7:29 pm
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    After a weekend away I always go for option number three. I can’t stand to think of leaving them as is.

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  • November 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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    So many things to do when you prepare for and when you get back from any backpack experience! generally I’m so tired I leave the backpack untouched for days until it starts… smelling like hell! :-O Thank you for these tips, definitely very useful!

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  • November 26, 2017 at 6:21 pm
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    Those are pretty good things to remember when unpacking. I know we didn’t always do this and ended up with some things we ended up having to throw out. And yes we do all aim for option four.

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  • November 26, 2017 at 6:13 pm
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    Whenever I come back from my holidays I just have to unpack straight away. I hate to leave my dirty washing just lying there!!

    Louise x

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  • November 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm
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    These are great tips and camping is always such a fun thing for families to do together! Thank you for sharing

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  • November 26, 2017 at 8:59 am
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    Great post! Unpacking is the most tiring thing especially when you are done with your adventurous trip. Very helpful tips on prioritizing the unpacking. Repairing is a step I generally miss on until I have to get ready for the next trip. But I think fixing things along with unpacking is great. I need to practice this. It’s always great to be ready anytime for the next adventure. Thanks for sharing this helpful post. 🙂

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  • November 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm
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    I can totally relate myself with this post. We do so many Pre Camping processes but Post Camping is equally important. Finding tooth brush back again is a big task. Laundry cleaning after wards and for 2 to 3 days, my house looks like a Professional Laundary Shop. Also taking out perishable things is very important. But however this process is tiring, it is always so good to be ready for the next camping trip.

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  • November 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm
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    I totally agree on getting geared up for the next adventure as soon as you’re back from the first. I like to air dry everything upon unpacking. I like your point in emptying out the perishables first. Cheers!!

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  • November 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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    These are great tips. I used to go camping all the time and you definitely need to care for your items for your next trip. These are awesome tips for those first-time campers.

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  • November 25, 2017 at 11:47 am
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    Interesting post and informative too. This is a good guide for anyone who goes camping specially with kids. Thanks for sharing.:)

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  • November 25, 2017 at 11:16 am
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    My Dad instilled in me the importance of drying out the gear asap, so that it doesn’t get musty/start to mould. Unfolding it always the first thing we do.

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  • November 25, 2017 at 6:26 am
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    It makes sense to prioritize, what do you need to pay attention to immediately upon unloading once home again (like perishables), and what can be sorted out (dirty laundry) and then what can wait for cleaning the next day or two (dirty laundry again). If you have young kids make sure you leave extra time for helping them to bathe and get ready for bed in addition to the above tasks.

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  • November 25, 2017 at 4:40 am
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    This is great post! Really enjoyed reading it! Since I’m big backpacking girl and when I unpack I do it so it’s ready for next time. Thing needs to go right to washer and dryer. And I do take out dishes and wash and clean them. I do go out big meal and wash up and good night sleep!

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  • November 24, 2017 at 9:55 pm
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    I’m probably the worst person to comment on this, as I’m more glamper than camper! However, these are excellent tips for regular campers, and for those with families too. I totally agree about leave your wet things out to dry. Even if you’re tired after your trip, you’ll be thankful your gear is ready (and dry) for your next camp!

    Reply

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