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CAMP­ING trips can seem very stress­ful for fam­i­lies and those who only go camp­ing once or twice a year. How­ever, it doesn’t need to be. Take the time to plan your trip in ad­vance so that ev­ery­thing is prac­ti­cally ready to go and all that’s left to do is pack the truck on the day.

Plan two to three weeks out by writ­ing a menu for ev­ery day you are away, and then break down that menu into a shop­ping list. That list should be sec­tioned off into cat­e­gories (deli/fresh pro­duce/non-per­ish­ables/per­ish­ables) to make it eas­ier when at the shops.

Prep­ping the food be­fore the trip makes it eas­ier once you’re at camp. Pre-chop all meat and veg­eta­bles and vac­uum seal them to keep them fresher for longer. A great idea is to freeze them flat so that they can go straight in the fridge/freezer stand­ing up on their ends like books. La­bels make it easy to de­ter­mine what each packet has in it.

A fully stocked pantry box – a pre-pack­aged meal kit – is a fan­tas­tic way to take the stress out of pack­ing for a trip. By hav­ing the box al­ready stocked, you just need to top it up with fresh items like gar­lic, onions and pota­toes. Hav­ing one box makes it so easy to pack in the back of the truck.

Also keep all non-per­ish­ables and kitchen items like dish­wash­ing liq­uid, scrub­bing brushes, garbage bags, snaplock bags, uten­sils and cook­ing ap­pli­ances in one big box. Think about the items you cur­rently use the most in your kitchen at home, and pack th­ese items.

The re­main­ing bulky ne­ces­si­ties that need to be packed are bed­ding and cloth­ing. The eas­i­est and sim­plest way to pack and trans­port th­ese items is by us­ing a large duf­fel bag. Th­ese bags are show­er­proof, dust­proof and are made from a hardy ma­te­rial, so they can be thrown around and won’t get dam­aged. Whack the duf­fel bag on the roof rack and ratchet-strap it down. It will be the last thing to go on and one of the first things to come off once you ar­rive at camp.

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