30 Things to pack in your duffle bag!

By Jelane A. Kennedy

My small duffle bag. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

My small duffle bag. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

As we begin the process of putting Abbey in for winter, I find myself looking at my packing list, reviewing the trips we have made and thinking about what I’m glad I packed and what I didn’t need. Packing can feel like one of the most arduous tasks. As a kid I didn’t think much about it. Growing up when my friend Julie and I would go on retreats or to summer camp we would laugh as one or the other of us always forgot something the other would remember. When I was in my 20’s it wasn’t uncommon to have a change in plans after work and carrying a little bag of essentials made life easier then making the 30-minute trip home to change. Over the years I have found ways to make packing less stressful. Keeping packing lists on the computer has taken some of the thought/decision making out of packing. I now go to my packing folder and pull out my three-season list that is for general travel and camping. There is also the winter list. Most often I use the three-season list and modify as needed.

Packing bags & cubes. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Packing bags & cubes. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

I also try to start packing a week in advance of leaving. When I do laundry I begin setting things out usually in the spare bedroom. I go through the list and start finding the items. With the camper van there are some things that are left in Abbey all year round (i.e. basic rain gear, fire tending clothes, etc.). Then when the time is closer I wheedle down or beef up what I’m taking by looking at the projected weather and what we are planning on as activities. I also use packing bags or cubes. Most manufactures sell them as a set of three in one color (i.e. black) so I added different color patches on the bags to make them easier to identify on the fly what is each one (i.e. pants, long sleeve shirts, short sleeved shirts, underwear, socks, etc.)

Thoughts of summer camping. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Thoughts of summer camping. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Here I am sharing with you a starter list for camping that may be helpful:

1.     Sleeping hat (knit/wool)

2.     Wool socks for bed

3.     PJ’s

4.     Hiking Boots/Walking stick

5.     Hiking Socks and Liners

6.     Fire tending clothes- Jeans, Wool Shirt or Denim Shirt (no synthetics), Leather Gloves

7.     Wide Brim Paddling Hat & Baseball Cap

8.     1 set of long underwear

9.     Change of underwear for each day


11.Long Pants and Shorts (Zip offs give you two for one)

12.Long Sleeve Wind Shirt

13.T-shirts/Tank tops (preferably wicking rather than cotton)

14.Jacket or Fleece with wind stop


16.Rain Coat or Poncho

17.Sneakers and/or Sandals

18.Flip Flops for the Shower

19.Toiletries – Tampons/Fem. Pads, Medicine, No-Bite-Me Bug Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, face cream, sunscreen lotion, Aspirin, Benadryl, Tweezers, Deodorant, Peppermint Shampoo

20.Handkerchief and/or neck gator

21.Book to read, musical instrument, games


23.Cell Phone

24.Towel (Micro-fiber)

25.Bathing Suit and Cover-up (goggles, bathing cap)

26.Wallet – Cash, Credit Card, I.D., Medical Insurance Card

27.Laundry Bag

28.Day Pack

29. Sunglasses

30.First Aid Kit with hand sanitizer

Jelane on Hike to Lost Pond. By Eileen A. McFerran

Jelane on Hike to Lost Pond. By Eileen A. McFerran

(c) 2013 Jelane A. Kennedy & Eileen A. McFerran


This entry was posted in Camping 101 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 30 Things to pack in your duffle bag!

  1. maryanne powers says:

    a friend gifted me with an llbean small pack that hangs and i think is for cosmetics (it has a mirror). It is so roomy and has so many sections that I sort my small stuff and store it in there (small batteries & head lamp, cosmetics, clips for clothes line, etc) I love it and it helps not having to dig through a million zip locks looking for the right one.

  2. Gail Wrieden says:

    Great idea, love the pictures. Gail

  3. ccocodeyoung@gmail.com says:

    Enjoyed this read, Jelane. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving. Hope to chat after the holidays. Carmine

    Carmine Coco De Young, DTM Author, Speaker, Storyteller Phone: (203) 438-6999 Fax: (203) 438-7334


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