Packing: The Struggle

It was a little after 5:00pm when we drove off into the sunset.  It was the start of our car camping journey and we had zero ideas of what to expect. 

Would we love it? 

Would we hate it? 

Would we come back traumatized after only a day or would we fall head over heels and be on the road for years? 

Everything was open-ended and unplanned.  We had no idea where we would be parking, showering, or traveling next. 

It was our first real adventure together and we could. not. wait.  

The day started off smooth with just the right dose of hectic.  I mean, we were packing up our entire lives into a midsize SUV and venturing off into the unknown.  

Aside from some googling sessions and scanning several Pinterest posts, we didn’t know much of what to expect.  All we knew was that we were excited.  And, a little nervous. 

Who really likes packing?

I’ve never been a light packer.  I could manage to turn any overnight trip into a trunk load of stuff with little to no effort. 

I could say it’s because I’m super organized, compulsive and absolutely need my ten pre-arranged outfits that I’ve already picked out with all matching ten pairs of shoes.  

But actually, it’s just because I’m really lazy.  

And, a champion level procrastinator. 

I hated packing. 

So, when it was time to take off for a trip, I would just throw everything I could think of into some embarrassing version of luggage and be on my way. 

Well, now I had to do that for an uncertain amount of time, for any season, and for any occasion. 

Let me tell you, it was tough. 

Boris is a lot simpler than me.  

When we first started moving towards a minimalistic lifestyle, the transition was far easier for him.  I’ve never been materialistic, but my need to prepare for the worst case scenario and sentimentality led me to collect a lot of crap. 

Now, it was time to come to terms with my issues.  

It was the true test. 

“Are we seriously taking all of this crap?!” 

This time around, Boris was definitely not amused with my little packing ritual.  

He took a look at our fully stuffed car and gave a hard sigh. 

“How are we ever going to move everything to sleep?”

“There’s no way I’ll be able to see while driving.  This is insane.”

In retrospect, he was completely right.  It was insanity. 

We ended up using not even 80% of what we hauled and could’ve gotten by with even less.  

But, hey packing wasn’t my strong suit.  

We all have our things. 

Stay tuned for more…

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  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!

    It’s the little changes which will make the most significant changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I hate packing too. That’s my most hated part of traveling. I tend to overpack as well. Hopefully we will overcome this oddity so that our luggages will be lighter and more travel-friendly!

  3. That picture of everything crammed into the back of your car sums up my experience of camping! I always try my hardest to pack light but can never fit everything in my suitcase on the way back!

    1. Hahah I hate when that happens!! The stuff always seems to expand on the way back!

  4. I don’t enjoy packing either… sucks! But I’m pretty good at packing light no matter how long we’ll be traveling for. At least you learned that you don’t need so much stuff (much to Boris’s relief I’m sure!).

    1. That’s a great skill to have! And haha yes I definitely learned. Car camping was a fantastic learning experience on just how little we need.

  5. Hahaha! I was exactly like this 3 years back. On a 5 day trip, I packed a huge suitcase and my friend got so confused that he forgot to bring a lot of things and another friend was so intrigued when she saw that I got matching jewelry for my outfit everyday!!! But since last year I’ve learnt how to backpack.

    1. That’s so funny! It’s great to look back and see how we have grown as travelers and packers! Lol

  6. Well, we make experiences only by taking action, so I’d say fair enough, you’ll know better next time 🙂 I definitely agree on packing minimalistic is hard!

    1. Absolutely! Now I really know what minimalistic packing is! And it wasn’t that! Haha

  7. My parents used to take me and my brother camping to West Wales when we were younger, and you’d swear we were heading into the Siberian wilderness, not 2 hours down the road to a nice little seaside resort. Your photos look a lot like or car did! We couldn’t move for random items! As my mother used to say, “You never know what you might need when you least expect it”.

    1. Hahah that’s hilarious! Yes my mom would say the same thing. Maybe that’s where I got it! What a wonderful experience and memory of camping with the family!

  8. This is one of the best methods of finding out what you really need. Take what you think you need and all the things you don’t use, leave at home next time!

    1. Couldn’t agree more! This was a great way to find that out lol. It was a very long way, but a great one! Lol

  9. I hate packing even if it’s for a weekend! Hats off to you for fitting your entire life into an SUV!! I hope you guys were finally able to sort out what you’d take.

    1. Thank you!! We had everything and much more. Now I know better :).

  10. I wish you could’ve seen my face when I first saw this photo. Holy begebus that’s a lot of stuff. Packing light is easy. You just have to be ruthless and not take so much extra stuff. Or extra for the extra stuff as a just in case.

    1. Haha I bet! And yeah definitely! This time around I know exactly what to take. Just took some trial and error! Lol

  11. Packing is so hard!! I hate it!!! Especially it’s for a long trip and involves Winter clothing.

  12. I don’t like packing also and always forget something 🙂

  13. Haha, I tried car camping once with my buddy in Iceland. It was actually really fun. Except we didn’t have a midsize SUV, we had an Econo rental car. For most of a week it worked out great – one of these days I should write it up. We did some tenting beside waterfalls and craters, but sometimes we reclined and actually slept in the car down the road from geysers.

  14. Omg that looks like my car! Packing is so hard!!

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