Connor here! I’m the co-founder that has, fortunately and unfortunately, been studying abroad while we’ve been starting things up here at Coonhound. While I haven’t had a lot of camping experience living in a big city like London, I have honed my skills in the masterful art of packing light. I believe that, whether you’re traveling, camping, or going for a long hike, what is and, more importantly, what isn’t in your backpack makes a big difference. Here’s what I’ve learned going from London to Jerusalem and several places in between.
First, like any good southerner, I’ll use a lesson I learned from my mom. It’s the most obvious - don’t pack a lot of stuff. The way she helped me do this is by asking me to lay all the clothes I wanted to take on my bed. Then cut it in half. Once you’ve gotten down to only the essentials, cut it in half again. That’s how much you actually need. What this consists of should be, if you’re concerned about your appearance, things that are versatile and all go well together. I’d recommend sticking to one pair of pants (unless you have some particularly for hiking) for your trip. You might laugh now, particularly if you’re a guy, but buy into the miracle that is stretchy jeans. They’re perfect for any situation, and I have personally put them to the test, walking over 20 miles in a single day in them.
Secondly, to maximize your space I would recommend rolling up your clothes in tight cylinders, a trick many probably already know. What I recommend more, however, is to instead pack button-ups. Button-ups are the unsung heroes of efficient packing. They take up less space, look nice, and, most importantly, can be customized to the temperature. Hot? Roll up the sleeves and maybe unbutton a bit. Cold? Do the reverse. This way, there’s no need to bring both the long sleeve and the short sleeve - it’s a 2-in-1!
Speaking of temperatures, always bring something to cover up with. There’s nothing that can ruin your fun like being unexpectedly cold. Most times you don’t even think about how cold it can get, I certainly didn’t in Israel. Whether you’re in the desert or the mountains, the nights are much colder. Make sure you’re prepared. I think the best way to do this is to bring your rain jacket. This breaks the wind, covers up, packs well, and also means you don’t have to worry about the weather.
There’s a few more tips across the board I’d like to mention. First off, I’ve had success with packing cubes, but you should be careful to fill in the cracks between them with stuff also. Otherwise, a great way to stay organized. Second, re-wear clothes. It sounds like something your mother would scold you for, but trust me it’s not necessary to have a different shirt for each day. If you have a particularly long trip, buy a couple Woolite packets and give them a quick rinse in a sink. Otherwise, just mix and match! Lastly, stuff all those cracks between your packing cubes with some pocket-sized snacks! Snickers hit the nail on the head when they said, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” For your sanity and the sanity of your companions, keep those snacks locked and loaded at all times.
That’s all I have for now! I hope to see several people sporting the stretchy jeans, button-up, and rain jacket look munching on some cashews when I get back to the beautiful hills of Tennessee!
If you’re wanting to pack as light as possible for your next camping adventure try out Coonhound! Not only will you avoid the hassle and time-consuming process of setting up and taking down, but you’ll get top notch equipment and not have to carry a thing! Whether the Great Smoky Mountains are in your backyard or you’re flying across the country, camp with Coonhound and you’ll truly get the most out of your trip!