Using a post camping checklist or process

Free Checklists post camping

By Lynley Joyce

Packing up, getting home and unpacking is the part of the post camping process most of us enjoy the least. Here’s a bit of a rundown to help you get through it all.

1. Packing up

There are two broad approaches to packing up the campsite.

  1. Clean, dry and organise everything as much as possible to make life easier back at home.
  2. Stuff everything back into bags and the vehicle to worry about when you get home.

Obviously (A) is the better option, but it’s not always practical. If the last day of camping is wet, most of us get out as quickly as possible. Often most of us have better things to do on the last day of a camping trip than ‘housework’. Most of aim for (A), with the post camping process, but usually end up somewhere between (A) & (B).

Aim for the following in order of priority:

  1. Packing 1Put all dirty or wet clothes in one bag (or several bags) separate from clean stuff. You’ll be able to toss those bags in the laundry as soon as you get home. Hopefully throughout the camping trip you’ve been putting dirty things together, so this should be easy.
  2. Put any dirty eating and cooking items in a single spot, ready to quickly offload into a dishwasher or whatever when you get home.
  3. Pack up clothes vaguely in to bags that correspond to their storage place at home.
  4. Make a note of anything that needs fixing or special cleaning as you go along.
  5. Sweep out the tent before folding it up. If the tent is damp when packing up, just get it in the bag in whatever way is easiest, as you’ll have to dry it out at home. If it’s dry, shake it off and fold it properly, checking the number of pegs etc.
  6. Put any perishable food in one spot, preferably a cool box, so it’s easy to offload into the fridge at home. Hopefully there’s not too much left by the end of the trip.
  7. Carefully check around the campsite before you drive off to make sure nothing has been left behind.

 

2. Everyone fed, watered and (relatively) clean

Once home, it’s best to get the people in order before worrying about the stuff, especially if some of those people are kids. Everything is so much easier if everyone has had a good feed and wash. Kids then are generally happy to entertain themselves or go to bed. If it’s a long trip home or it’s late, many people buy dinner on the way home. If you arrive home very late, this might be the most you can hope for until the next day.

 

3. Post camping: Unpack the car

Unless you’re travelling with small children, and you arrive back home in reasonable time, you’ll probably unpack the car and possibly some of step 4 before step 2, with everyone pitching in to help.

 

4. Sort everything out, preferably ready to pack & go next time

Start at the top and work your way down the list. Stop & go to bed when you’ve had enough.

post camping 3a. Avoid a public health hazard

  1. Unpack the cool box and any perishable food. If the safety of the food is in doubt, throw it out.
  2. Clean the cool box. Leave the lid off so it can dry properly.
  3. Put any rubbish in the outside bin.
  4. Clean any dirty eating/cooking equipment. Your camping stove may need a scrub.
  5. Throw dirty tea towels and cleaning clothes in a laundry basket

b. Avoid long term damage to expensive camping equipment

  1. Air out sleeping bags by turning them inside out in an open area for a while.
  2. Hopefully you swept out the inside of you tent before you packed up, but if not, shake it out now (an outside job).
  3. Set up or hang the tent to ensure it’s dry before packing away. If it needs cleaning, give it a wipe. Check for and follow up any needed repairs.
  4. Check the tent still has a decent number of tent pegs. Straighten any tent pegs as needed.
  5. Completely empty out backpacks and let them air/ dry. Trust me, you don’t want to find old food there the next time you pack for a trip.
  6. If you have wet or muddy walking boots or gaiters, wash them and put them somewhere suitable to dry. If the boots are leather, polish and wax them to keep the leather in good nick. Check the shoelaces and any gaiter straps. If they are worn, make a note to replace them now. It’s easier than having to deal with them half way through your next hike.
  7. Throw all dirty clothes, in with the dirty tea-towels etc. Start washing either the most essential, the dirtiest/wettest or the most valuable first.
  8. If items are wet but not dirty, hang them out to dry & air.

c. Get ready for the next time

  1. packing 4Once things are clean and dry, pack them away, preferably in one or a few locations ready to grab & go next time if you can.
  2. Anything you forgot or didn’t have this time that you needed? Follow it up now while the memory is still fresh. Maybe store whatever it is with your other camping items for next time.
  3. Check you have the right number and range of eating and cooking implements and pack them ready for next time. Remember to check there’s a box of matches with enough matches.
  4. What needs to be replaced in your first aid/emergency kit? Restock as needed, and check the expiry on antiseptic, headache and any other medications. It’s usually band aids that disappear first.
  5. Make notes for yourself for things to remember next time.
  6. Tidy up any remaining stuff in the area you dumped all your camping gear when you arrived home.

d. Flake out

You’re fed, watered, everyone has what they need for the next 24 hours and nothing is going to get damaged if you leave it. Be sure to relax a little and have a drink of whatever it is you fancy. Get a good night’s sleep in the luxury of your own bed. Most of us are pooped after returning from a camping trip, no matter how enjoyable and relaxing it was. There’s no point becoming so exhausted from unpacking that you need another holiday.

 

Also don’t forget…

Important: As part of the post camping process, notify any person(s) that you left your Personal Itinerary Notification (P.I.N.) details that you are now safely home again.

A post camping checklist, covering the points included above has also been put together by the author and is able to be downloaded from Camping for Women’s free checklists page.

post camping 2

 

Multiple Contributor at | Website

Lynley Joyce lives on the outskirts of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia with her family and a variety of other wildlife. She loves to camp and hike in her home territory of Tasmania, though she has been sighted on walks in other parts of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Europe. Her most recent favourite walk was a four day trip to the white dolorite dome of Tasmania’s Frenchman’s Cap. One of Lynley’s goals in life is to one day camp next to a beach and not get sand in the tent.

33 thoughts on “Using a post camping checklist or process

  • September 2, 2018 at 7:51 am
    Permalink

    Wow, some great tips on packing up, going home and getting ready for camping again. Would definitely be helpful to any novice who is preparing to start the world of camping. Thanks for sharing some top tips as always.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    Permalink

    This is really helpful article. Not just in camping, but this will be helpful in any trips you have. and the most important is to avoid a public health hazard. Always keep the place clean before you leave.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    Permalink

    Fantastic post-camping checklist. I am guilty of not taking care of my gear after the camping trip. now I’ll make sure I follow what you wrote about.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2017 at 9:35 pm
    Permalink

    Such a great list. So many people don’t take proper care of gear when they are camping. Resulting in expensive gear ruined! Such a waste. Simple steps and your gear will last a lot longer.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2017 at 9:17 pm
    Permalink

    What a grat post, we love camping and such trips and can’t agree more with it. The most important part of your post is to avoid a public health hazard. Keep the place clean for the others is always a must.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    Hahaha, this is such a great list. I didn’t know most of this stuff. I’m glad I read your blog.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    Permalink

    Wow this weekend i am going to travel for 5 days and this post would help me out from today on how to manage everything when I get back. Thanks for such a great post.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 9:08 am
    Permalink

    Looks like a very comprehensive post camping guide. I personally don’t camp as much as I would like, but this gives me the info that will help get me out there more, as everyone hates the clean up process.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm
    Permalink

    My sisiter is planning a camping trip with her college friends and she is really excited about the trip. I’ll definitely suggest her to visit your blog. Great work.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    Permalink

    Hahaha, this is such a great list. 🙂 We’re totally in camp B when it comes to packing. We just stuff everything into our bags, throw it in the trunk, and head home. We take care of any dirty laundry or leftover food, then leave the rest in the corner for a few weeks until we finally get to it. But the same goes for our travels in general. XD Still, definitely shouldn’t be so lazy. I’ll have to start using this post-camping checklist to get our butts in gear after a long camping vacation. Thanks for the tips! I never thought to turn our sleeping bags inside out and let them dry; will have to do that (and many other things) next time.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    Permalink

    Those tips are so useful. I was going to go camping for the first time next weekend. I didn’t know most of this stuff. I’m glad I read your blog.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 7:32 am
    Permalink

    I think I’d end up somewhere between A and B as I am organized and would have kept everything in order whilst camping. After staying in hotels I always check the under the bed, bathroom etc.. before checking out so I would check my area well before leaving making sure I don’t leave anything behind. That’s a useful tip about once you are home to write down anything you missed last time and also to check anything that needs replacing etc..

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 11:04 pm
    Permalink

    It is my husband’s job to take care of our camping equipment, while I am responsible for the food supply. I will share this article with him. I know he is very efficient in taking care of our camping gear but there might still be a thing or two that he could learn from your tips. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    You have mentioned some great tips here as well as the camping checklist! I am planning to go camping with my girlfriends. These tips and the separate checklist will be handy then!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm
    Permalink

    This is such a great list for any kind of trip, I’m so with Jeanne on this! Thanks for this xo

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    Permalink

    I always like to have a checklist it makes the process feel easier. Certainly think that unpacking and storing away properly is super important.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 9:42 am
    Permalink

    This list you included did not skip over anything and is super helpful! I camp A LOT, but by the end of my trip I am always so tired and ready to just get home. This list breaks it all down in easy to follow and easy to manage steps!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 8:59 am
    Permalink

    This is such a helpful guide. Camping is especially tricky since you have a lot of equipment to pack and stuff into your vehicle, aside from your personal items like clothes. I am the worst at unpacking. Sometimes, it takes weeks for me to unpack the stuff I bought with me on vacation!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 4:28 am
    Permalink

    I can not move without having a checklist, it helps remind you of everything you need to get done and quite possibly what you have forgotten altogether. The article and the checklist are a great resource, thank you.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm
    Permalink

    This was a great post. I think more people will over time think about these things. I know it came with time that I was able to get past the quick fix that later turned into a mess to clean up.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2017 at 6:39 pm
    Permalink

    I always need a list for everything and for a camping it is life saving! You have really consider all the details before and after the camping.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    Permalink

    That airing out the tent before packing it away was the one thing that I didn’t learn the first time we went out camping. You have to do that or you will end up with mould and then it’s a waste.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2017 at 11:14 am
    Permalink

    This is such a great process with list. Not only is it good for camping but this is really great to be used as a base list for road trip/beach trips, etc. Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2017 at 4:54 am
    Permalink

    This is such a detailed checklist on camping. I hate unpacking too! “Stop and go to bed” is the only thing I love after camping…nothing is as luxurious as your bed after an adventurous camping trip. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 9:41 pm
    Permalink

    I love this point of view of camping and the whole process. And thank you for adding a checklist!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 8:44 pm
    Permalink

    I have never read about camping earlier,but all this making me think that I should take out little time and go out there. Your tips and tricks are useful and can make most of it sorted..!!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 5:51 pm
    Permalink

    Great post! I hate the unpacking part. lol I love the prepping part and thinking about the fun trip ahead. Is there a way to skip the unpacking? hahaha

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm
    Permalink

    That was great, such comprehensive information to help when camping. Will be sure to refer to when we go camping very soon.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 9:58 am
    Permalink

    This is great! I see so many pre camping check lists but none for after! We have just got a tent so this will be great for our next trip!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 9:50 am
    Permalink

    This is really awesome and helpful article to remember. Thanks for sharing:)

    Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 8:06 am
    Permalink

    I think a post-camping checklist is a good idea. I’m familiar with making a pre-camping list, but one afterwards would help me avoid forgetting things!

    Reply
  • August 4, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    Permalink

    Not only great for camping, but this list is good for packing after any type of trip (especially the parts about taking your time unpacking!). Fabulous checklist also!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: