Why make a list?
From Ronnie Garrison, former About.com Guide
Years ago I put together a checklist to make sure I had everything I wanted or needed for my camping/fishing trips. That list has served me well over the years and I still use it. A few things have been added since I first started it, and it is now typed and saved on a computer rather than hand written, but I still use it before overnight trips. I print out a copy and check each item as it is loaded. When fishing I don't ever want to be distracted thinking about something I forgot to bring. When I come in off the lake I like to grill a steak, take a shower and go to bed. If no showers are available I take a bath in the lake if warm enough. I camp to make fishing more convenient so I am sure my list would not include everything for people that just like to camp. Related items are in groups. Under the heading “fishing” I have rods, tackleboxes, depthfinders, charger, cords, map, sunglasses, caps, gloves and sunscreen. For “sleeping” I include bed, bags, pillows, heater or fan, flashlight, radio, lights, cords and 3-way plugs. My heading “food’ has a lot of blank space under it to add specific items. It includes cokes, coffee, cream, sugar, salt, pepper and lunch sack, but I will add things like potatoes, onions, bread, other items. I also have an “ice chest” list with room under it. Standard items include butter, cokes, ice, catsup, mustard and mayo. Other items that I might add later would be steaks, lunch meat, lettuce and anything else that needs to stay cool. My “eating” list includes plates, grill, charcoal, lighter, silverware, pot, coffee pot, cups, tongs, stove, serving spoons, paper towels, dishpan, soap, water jugs and thermos jugs. I finally made a box to contain all these things and now all I have to do is check it and load it. The “clothes” list has snowsuit, towel, cloth, rainsuit, t-shirts, underwear, jeans, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, shorts, sox, boot sox, jackets and insulated underwear. I put a number beside each item depending on the length of the trip, and carry several extras. It is awful running out of clean sox and underwear! My “shoe” list has boots, tennis shoes, good shoes and snow boots.
Making a list and checking it twice
I carry a medicine bag, and the list for it includes soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, and bag. I also list several kinds of first aid medicine and Band-Aids, as well as any prescription drugs I am taking, and extra sunscreen. A final group of items is headed “morning before” and repeats items I need to load at the last minute. Things like pillows, radio, toothbrush and paste, cash, ice chest, medicine bag, suitcase and others that I load just before leaving are on it. For many years I had a dog that went fishing with me so there is a list for all the things I needed for the dog. There is room on the front of the page for other items that I might think of, such as specific lures I want to try. That way I don’t forget to try them. For trips that last several days I will list each day’s food on the back. I will do a short menu for each day and make sure I have something to eat morning, noon and night. Some meals might be “sweet rolls” while my dinner menu might be pork chops, baked potato, steamed onion and salad. I make sure each item on the back is listed on the front. Do I overdo it? Probably. Many of the items now stay in my van or motor home, hich creates another problem. For years all I camped in was a van and I could keep everything in it. Now I have a motor home, too, so I have to make sure I transfer what I need for each trip. Consider making a list so you won’t get to the lake and discover you forgot something important. Use mine as a base but add things you like and need, and make copies to check off. Spend time enjoying where you are camping, not worrying about what you might need and not have.