Camping check lists, a waste of time or extremely useful … what do you think?
I always used to smile at our son’s habit of writing lists, through schools and then in business.
He’s still doing it and rarely forgets things.
I smiled until one day, early in our caravanning days, when we forgot to take the hand brake off our van and drove for a short distance wondering what was wrong with the car.
From that day we created our check list (see below), it sits just inside our van.
We probably don’t need it these days, but it is still there and I still glance at it occasionally, just to make sure.
It occurs to me what ever your preferred outdoor activity is, a list would be very useful.
How many times have you forgotten something in the middle of nowhere and it’s a bit late to get a replacement (or is that just me?).
I figure backpack weight is extremely important, so list your days, your proposed meals, maybe an extra day’s meals (to be safe), snacks, clothes, changes, compass, etc. I’m not a hiker, so if you are, you’d know better than me, make your list and stick to it.
Space is also very important here, so I’d list the tent, fly, ground sheet, check I haven’t lost any pegs, torches are operating and I have spare batteries etc. Make sure gas bottle or canisters are full, don’t forget new mantles for your gas light and as above, plan your meals ahead, it’ll make life easier. I also jot things down every time we run low on an item in our camping kit, so we know to replenish it before we go next time.
Crickey, it looks like I’m writing lists all the time, not really, it doesn’t take long for a bit of peace of mind.
Our destination determines what we list, pack and the spares we take. Generally our van is normally stocked with essential items, cooking appliances etc. However, if we go bush then we would take a different kit than if we are staying in a park, close to a town and supplies. Pre-planning and listing items for both scenarios also makes sense here.
Wonder what our list will be when we do the big lap … we’ll need everything!
Back to our caravan ‘pack up’ list, this is ours …
Van manual hand brake off
Water pump off / plug out of sink
Windows & hatches closed
Stove lid shut
Hoses and power cables disconnected
All doors & drawers secure
Fridge shut, latched and setting correct
Gas bottles turned off and secure
All 240v power cables disconnected
Pop top roof locks down
Radio & TV antenna down
Stabilisers up & wheel braces removed
Air conditioner covers on/off
Safety chains & stabiliser connected & secure
Park keys returned
Lights are working
Mirrors in correct position
Hose connector removed from tap
Water tank valves shut
Wheel chocks and jockey wheel stowed
Oh and my wife’s in the car!
What’s on your list?