Through Every Season

Camping Part 1: Packing the Van

Once upon a time, when we lived in Texas, we went camping quite often.
We had a full sized van and families from church who camped with us
and we had a wonderful time.. especially at Mo Ranch.. 
where I’d like my ashes spread one day far in the future after I’ve had many grand children.
Then we got a Kia and moved to FL, where “The mosquitoes will pick you up and carry you away.”
We only camped there 3 times.  The first time was almost our last 
thanks to the mosquitoes who lived in the near by swamp.  
Our last camping trip it rained, and rained, and rained, and finally at 2 AM we 
were going crazy from the little drips of water raining in our “weather proof” tent 
and we packed up all our drenched stuff by flashlight and went home to sleep in our dry beds.  
Now we live in Alabama the beautiful.. and it’s easy to find beautiful camping spots..
but my wonderful, dear, husband has become accustomed to the air conditioning
and we’ve both sworn never to camp in the rain again.. we are getting picky in our old age.
Ever since we moved here I’ve been dying to go tubing in Helen, GA.  
The chance of rain diminished, so we decided to try camping again.  
One of Mike’s dislikes about camping is all the packing and meal planing that’s involved.
This baffles me because I am the one that does it all and I never complain.
I think the family time we get is worth it.
One thing that has always helped make it easier is that I made this list years ago.
I always print off a new one and cross off stuff as I get it packed.
It has EVERYTHING on it.  
I lists for staying in a cabin and visiting family, too.
You can tell that the one above was pretty old by some of the things on it like film 
and a rod (for spankings).  It used to have sippy cups, too.
I decided it was time to up date it again:
I was inspired by a photo blog talking about taking pictures of your packed car.. so here they are:
We got this luggage tail gate thingy at a neighbor’s garage sale for a 
fraction of what it was worth.. it can cary bikes too.
It’s a life saver.. as you will see the inside of the car soon.
I tried to think of things that were weather and dirt resistant to put out on it.
I wrapped our camp chairs in the foam mats the kids sleep on 
and then our box of cereal and chips out there, too.
I tie it down SUPER well with a bungee net and close line.  
We’ve used it on several trips and moves
 and no one has ever stolen anything off of it.  Thank you, Jesus.
Here’s the back of the car.. full to the brim.  I put the kids’ sleeping bags in pillow cases this time.
They are pretty old and don’t have the strings that keep them rolled up any more.
We took out the seat behind the passenger seat because it’s broken and to make more room.
Josh had class and couldn’t come with us.  🙁 
Flash lights, more lights, extension cord for the lights, hammer and mallet for the tent stakes.
The red Dirt Devil vacuum is for blowing up our air mattress.
Sun Chips from Costco, a grill, and in the blue tub more food, paper towels, plates, lighters and stuff.
I like to hang my clothes.  Judi’s put in her back pack and purse so far.
Here are my lovely knees, my bag of books, 
my backpack has my blow dryer and other stuff for when we hit the showers, and my purse.
Not much room left for feet.
Joel’s ready to go.  He actually has the most room in the car when Josh’s seat is out.
James is sitting up his ipod charger.  
It’s covered in electrical tape because he did something to modify it.

Mike’s setting up the Nuvi.  I get the first driving shift.
Judi’s in and ready to go.. she and Joel are having gogurt and grape juice for breakfast. 
And we are off..


  1. Elayne

    awesome. Can't wait to see the photos of the rest of the trip! I have never bought ipecac syrup. Have you ever used it?

  2. Jennifer Coleman

    No, I never bought any either or any of that dermoplast. Luckily we never needed it. I think I put it on the list thinking one day I might buy it.

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