Thursday, August 25, 2011

Camping Organization: Notebook Essentials

We're off on another camping adventure. Roughing it without any amenities, hookups, or niceties. Just us and nature. Thankfully, it's only for two nights. I think I can manage that!

Actually 3 families are going and we're each cooking a main meal and then doing our own lunches and one of the breakfasts. I drew the other breakfast and because I'm feeding so many, it probably will be calorie laden and not super healthy. And the sourdough starter is staying at home in the fridge. I didn't want to pack it in 100+ degree weather when I wasn't going to be using it. I might do things differently if it was just our family, but once in a while, it's okay just to have fun and eat... JUNK. Hash browns, s'mores, and all kinds of traditional camping food. (Just wait until tomorrow's post!)

I wanted to share a little about my camping notebook that I mentioned in an earlier post. I love notebooks for organizing and so naturally, putting all my paperwork in an easy to carry three ring binder made a lot of sense.

My favorite item in it is a packing list that I can reuse to check off items as I get them in the camper (which we usually borrow, so it's not packed all the time, which is what I'd do if it were my own.) I downloaded a free check list from REI and then slipped it into a plastic protective sleeve that fits into a three ring binder. Then I use a wipe off type pen to make items off. When I'm all done, I just have to wipe it off with a cloth.

Other items your camping notebook might include would be things like...

• campsite reservations
• camper registration and other related paperwork (such as user guide!)
• tent set up instructions (especially if it's new or you haven't used it in a while)
• maps to your destination or maps of the area itself, such as hiking trails
• information on local attractions, shopping (such as a grocery store), land marks you want to see, etc.
• fishing / hunting license
• recipes for meals
• emergency medical information
• emergency phone numbers or locations of nearest emergency services, including park ranger stations
• first aid instructions
• contact information for your ICE persons (In Case of Emergency - extended family members, etc.)
• a running list of things you want to remember to pack NEXT time, that you forgot while camping THIS time!
• a wish list of camping gear to purchase in the future

What items would you include in a camping notebook that I didn't mention? Let's make sure we've covered everything!


  1. Great information! My hubby & I love to camp! We have a 5th wheel that stays packed with most everything but I really like your idea of using a notebook, the reusable checklist and adding all the other information right in the notebook so that it's all in one place. I LOVE organization and this will help me a LOT! Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for this! I, too, like to have a binder for nearly everything and like to have checklists as well. This is a great idea. Hoping you have a fun camping trip!

  3. Have fun ! I love camping and being at one with nature ! You realise how lucky we are to have what we have after a week of ruffing it in the woods ! Have a wonderful day !

  4. Thanks for this list! We have a camper but there are always things I forget to pack! The camper is mostly used for "cool bug free sleeping" we rough the rest. LOL!

  5. The reservation number of a 5 star hotel.
    Roughing it is overrated, sister. I enjoy comfort...indoor plumbing, AC, running water, room service!

  6. I've never been much of a! But, I remember a friend of mine when I lived in Texas loved to go. I remember her "lists" would just stay!

    Enjoying your blog! ♥

  7. I've been thinking a lot about this camping thing as 'practice' for getting-outta-Dodge in a major emergency. It's a great idea, but ...maybe my thoughts are WAY too serious for this blog or the scope of these posts about camping, but here goes.......

    Have we given any thought to where we would bug-out TO?

    If we were faced with a major-MAJOR emergency, such as 'the big one' hitting the west coast or a weather or terrorist emergency in the east, has anyone given any thought to where all those folks emptying out of all those citys will go?

    I can really see people driving as far as their gas tank allows or hike until they can't anymore. They see a suitable place. They climb (or break down) the pasture fence of YOUR field - and set up camp. In other words, squat! Lots and lots of them. Picture the "catastrophe" movies you have watched - or Woodstock - without the music. Masses of people, most of them unprepared, perhaps in bad weather, descend on the rural areas of our country. OR perhaps we are part of the masses, with nowhere to go?

    Both scenarios seem worthy of contemplation, but how could one prepare for that?

    1. I have never been fond of camping but in the past year I bought camping gear just for this situation. The way this world is today I really do see something happening.

  8. Amazing ~ you can find ANYTHING on the internet! lol Have fun on your trip & ~ just between you & me ~ who cares about calories on vacation?! Eating like your don't eat at home is as much fun as being someplace & doing things you don't normally do at home. :-)

    Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

  9. I have to chuckle at the different interpretations of 'camping'! I never thought of sleeping in a camper, tent trailer, travel trailer or 5th wheel as camping! When we say we are camping, that usually means a tent (or not) and staying in whatever place we can hike into to get away from everyone and all modern conviences. Otherwise, shouldn't it be called RVing? Many times our mode of travel to get to where we are camping, has been on horseback...boat/canoe... or our own two feet! You don't need (or don't want to pack in) a list ~ if you forgot to bring it this trip, you will surely remember that you need it the next time! True camping really teaches survival skills! (It really helps to have an avid outdoorsman/hunter for a husband! I wouldn't camp without one!)

  10. Amy, your timing always amazes me. We're going camping tomorrow, and I was so frustrated the last time that we went at how much preparation it took and how hard it was to remember everything. We laughed about how it was almost more work than it was worth. I have been pondering how to make it go more smoothly, and here you are with my solution! Thanks again!

  11. We camp a few times EVERY YEAR and we always forget something. Thanks so much for this info!!

  12. I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee camping but than I was a girl scout. And not just any girl scout when I sold cookies they were 50 cents a box, opps, dated myself!

    I agree with Marmee (aka Kim) anything one eats standing up has no calories!

    Here is to campfire smoke in your hair!!

  13. Hello, I found this song and it really reminded me of this blog. I think you'll like it:

  14. One of the things I love about your blog, Amy is how downright practical you are. And you give enough details that I think, I can do that too!


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