Camping at Whidbey Island

Overnighting in the outdoors is one of my favourite things to do. It must stem back to my days as a Wildland Firefighter, when we’d find ourselves in the most remote of places with the barest of minimums and loving the challenge of still keeping comfy.

Well those days are long gone. Car camping today as a family is far from bare minimums, even though some would still say that sleeping in a 16 x 10 tent, 7 feet tall is roughing it. Regardless we find ourselves quite comfortable these days with all the luxuries car camping and having the right gear can provide.

Camping is one of those activities that, with time gets  better and easier. Each camping trip we go on, we learn something new and pick up on more experience that we pass on to the next trip. Everything from what to pack, of course what not to pack, meal plans and camp set up. It’s a simple “the more you do it, the more comfortable it gets”. I’ve heard many stories where people go out and camp with bare min. for 3 days, eat nothing but hot dogs and sleep on rocks and then say ” I don’t do camping”. Well neither would I.

My goal with these posts is to help families that want to go camping , but feel like it’s too overwhelming and daunting. Yes it’s work and yes you need some gear and yes you need the room to store it, but if you want to put the effort in and have the means to do it, this post will really help you and your family along with having some great experiences! Camping really is the first “Social Networking Site”.

First off the top is you need a list, we’ve used the same list we got online years ago. To this list we have added our own personal touches, based on each trip. We don”t follow the list exactly, but just about. After years of experience and limited room to pack our stuff, we pretty much got it down to a science. Our Mazda 5 (which is great) is roomy for a family of 4, but still smaller than a regular van. This has forced us to be efficient with our packing and really assess what’s  important and what’s not. I will add that we do also have a Thule Box 2100 Atlantis, (an upgrade from our original Ascent 1600) which is one of the bigger boxes you can buy. The bigger box really alleviated the pressure of jamming the inside of the vehicle.

Another big improvement in packing efficiency was the simple change in going to one Plano Storage Trunk, versus multiple bins. For us one Trunk is all we needed but really, if we had the room, two would be ideal. Of course it did mean lots of condensing and revamping, but having the 1 box vs. two or three bins has really alleviated the concerns of fitting all our gear in the car. The Plano Storage Trunk is a super sturdy, military style storage bin, making it perfect for hunting and camping. The integrated wheels make it excellent for transport, especially with heavier cargo. The trunks big latches (4 of them) make it easy to close shut and its also got holes for padlocks for added security. For $20 bucks you can’t to wrong with this storage bin.

Wheeled Storage Trunk Reviews

Plano Storage Trunk

Also in terms of another huge space saving item for us was the purchase of proper camping pots and pans. It may not seem like much of a big deal, but when you bring all kinds of assorted pots and pans from home they will take up space. The purchase of the Stansport Family Cook Set in Stainless Steel really enabled us to  condense all our gear from 3 reg bins to the 1 Plano Truck. All the pots and pans stack inside of each other and really maximize our space and especially our versatility when cooking.

Now of course if we had a truck or a bigger van these issues wouldn’t be issues, but for us, with the car we own, cutting these corners made huge differences in our space management. “The more space you make, the more you can take!”



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