Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
This summer we upgraded our camping shelter from a
leaky tent to a small popup camper. It’s been an exercise in luxury: no hitting my head on the light, beds that don’t deflate suddenly around midnight, and best of all, no puddles.
We already had our camping supplies put together, and they were designed to fit in the back of our Subaru. The kitchen supplies fit in one box (see My Camping Kitchen Box (With Pictures)). We were limited by space on what we could bring.
With the camper I suddenly had more space. I had drawers. I had cabinets. I had little nooks and crannies.
And I realized that I was in danger of making this much more complicated than it needed to be.
Sticking To Basics
My camping kitchen box held all the necessities for producing meals in the woods. The first thing moved into the camper was the contents of that box. Two drawers and part of a cabinet were enough to contain the contents of the bare-bones kitchen.
When we were tent camping, we also had to haul along many things. Now the camper removes the necessity for items.
I removed everything from our standard packing list that was covered by the camper: tent, air mattresses, mattress pump, the stove, fuel and table. All of these have been replaced by items inside the camper.
Using Camper Storage Space
One of the beauties of the camper is that we can transport many things inside of it, and not have to haul things in and out for every trip, as we do with the car. Our sleeping bags now live in the camper, as well as a few games. Our lanterns and the big first aid kit are also stored there, but accessible from the hatch should I need them when we are at home.
Because the camper has limited storage space, we hold ourselves to using just that space. We don’t fill up the space in the camper, and then also fill up the space in the car that used to be filled with supplies. The back of the car contains only our chairs and the cat carrier, who have joined us in our camping excursions.
In some cases, the items I had used for camping were bare bones because of the space. One example of this is our can opener. I had a full metal hand crank can opener that took very little room in the kitchen box. The down side is that it is very difficult to use. We upgraded the can opener to another manual model with a bigger wheel and padded handles.
Selectively Adding Items
Every purchase we have made for our camper has been reasoned out and tested. For instance, we used to heat water on our stove while tent camping. Now with electrical hookups, it seems easier to heat water using an electrical device (the electricity is included with the camping fee) rather than use our propane tank. So we added a lightweight hotpot to the supplies.
Our camping toaster would petrify bread rather than toast it, so a small lightweight two-slice toaster joined the camping supplies this last trip. A lightweight standing paper towel holder is much easier to use than wrestling a roll out of a zipper bag.
At the same time we have rejected things we have seen other campers buy: microwaves, portable showers, televisions and such. We are trying to camp, after all, not bring the totality of modern life into the woods.
So far we have managed to stay minimal with the camping gear, while really enjoying the luxury of the camper. It means we have very simple requirements, and less stuff to weigh us down.
Photo by Xelcise