It’s easy to throw everything into the back of a van for a camping trip, smashing, crushing, perhaps breaking, but if you do it right you’ll find that everything fits, possibly with room to spare. The name of the game is space utilization, not unlike Tetris. Things not being used while in transit go in the back, personal items go up front. Taking the time to pack things efficiently will allow for a smoother un-packing, a cleaner vehicle, and leaves room for any souvenirs you might find along the way. Here are five easy steps to pack a van for a camping trip.
Step 1: Soft, compressible items go on the bottom of the pile. Sleeping bags should be rolled and compressed tightly, followed by pillows, blankets, and the tarp for your tent.
Step 2: Heavy suitcases or bags go directly on top of these items, further compressing them. Personal backpacks can be stored with the passengers they belong to.
Step 3: If you’ve packed a cooler with food and snacks, it should be in an accessible location. Between the front seats and first row of backseats is ideal. If you’re not traveling at passenger capacity, on top of the back seat out of the leg room area is better. On that note, designate a bag for garbage and make sure to empty it when you stop to avoid traveling in a trashcan van.
Step 4: Keeping tabs on electronics can be tricky, designate a small pack that can be stored in the front seat so avoid missing charging cords and handheld devices.
Step 5: Finally, the tent. Depending on the size of the tent, it can sit on top of your loot in the back or stored on the floor in the backseat.