In my opinion, suitcases are the stupidest idea for camping. They aren’t waterproof (important, especially if camping in a tent), they take up too much space, and their flap (which is never zipped shut while camping) just gets in the way. To me, plastic storage bins are a much better way to go.
I started using bins for camping when I was still single and roughing it in a tent. You can read a little about me “roughing” in HERE. Most of my clothes hung up – in my “Walk-in Closet,” but everything else went into bins. I sometimes left the bins in my trunk. I called it my “Dresser.”
As a mom, I have graduated to storing my clothing in a closet in the trailer, but my kids still need a storage solution. Because space is so limited in the trailer, the bins I use for our three littlest ones can’t be too large. In fact, they need to be shallow enough to store under the table or the bed. This year, I found these bins for about $7 each. $7 is a little on the steep side for me (I can usually buy a bin twice the size for around $5) but my options were limited and these were the only ones that fit the bill.
The other thing I do that brings sanity to our camping trip is packing the kiddos clothing in gallon sized storage bags. Before using bags, the girls would destroy their bins by Day Two because they were looking for a particular pair of shorts or they couldn’t find their pajamas. Why can’t they carefully peek through their piles? No, if the clothes aren’t flying through the air, then they aren’t doing it right. Now, they grab a bag and go. In each bag I put an entire outfit including underwear. They have the freedom to choose their own clothes without disturbing the other outfits, and I have the freedom to enjoy a little more vacation time that would otherwise be swallowed up by picking up after them. Let’s be honest…camping isn’t a vacation if you are a mom. It’s just chores at a different location!
Here is everything in place: matching outfits along the left and on the right, pajamas, a sweatshirt for cold nights, socks (we mostly wear sandals), and extra shorts and underwear…because accidents happen.
So, there you have it…packing with storage bins. This system works great for other traveling as well. Even when traveling and using suitcases, the plastic storage bags help keep little one’s items organized. Plus they come in handy if someone has an accident…right back into the bag they go, keeping the clean clothes dry.
How do you pack your kids’ clothing when traveling? I would love to hear your suggestions!
Don’t forget the rest of the Camping with Kids series:
Camping with Kids: Lessons Learned
Camping with Kids: First Aid Kit
Camping with Kids: Packing for the Kids
Camping with Kids: Meal Planning for Real Moms
Camping with Kids: Campfire Treats