How to Pack an SUV for Camping? [Best Way to Use the Space]

So, planning for memorable camping with your family or a set of friends? Camping trips are undoubtedly so much fun. Know what makes the entire chore appalling? Yes, it is packing the car as it is repetitive, laborious, and usually just plain tedious.

No worries, that’s why we’re here! Below you’ll find some useful tips that are guaranteed to make your SUV packing quicker and more efficient!

Important Tips for Packing SUV for Camping

1. Lay out some time

­­Remember that camping adventures only happen rarely, given, of course, your hectic lifestyle. Hence, you want to make sure everything is perfect as possible, and that also includes the stuff you’ll be bringing.

Which camping items do you need? List them out and then organize them the day before your trip. Where should you store the items, especially those related to food? The important stuff is usually stored in huge plastic tubs with well-fitting, sturdy lids.

As for containers, make sure they are closed tightly – preventing insects or rain from entering. Staples are a good food storage option too.

2. Discover your car’s cargo and storage options

Take a meticulous look at your SUV. Discover the cargo and storage options accessible plus scope out for any space you should work with.

Also, look to see for any extra space available in your vehicle. There might be “hidden” spots you can use for keeping valuables out of view. Afterward, gear up to fit.

Choose the right boxes, duffels, bags, etc. to maximize your vehicle’s parking space. They must fit together accurately and fill in each space entirely.  

As possible, use a smaller number of boxes and bags instead of the bigger ones to allow more options for utilizing space more capably.

3. Fill in the gaps …don’t just throw things

Have you been tempted to just throw your items in the back during the outdoor adventure? Well, some people do, and that’s a common camping mistake that must be addressed properly.

Chances are, there are nooks and crannies all through your car, which deeply beg to be used. These could be a perfect spot for storing personal pieces of stuff or other light items.

Though, it’s also recommended to leave some gaps and holes as you can later fill them with pieces you may need along the way.

4. Put the heavy stuff first

Any hard or hefty objects should be placed low down and to the back and middle of your trunk or boot to minimize the weight effect and gravity center on handling the vehicle.

And since it is low, secured, and centered, your car will prevent momentum and thrust once it suddenly stopped.

Suitcases are not ideal for camping. You can rather opt for backpacks or duffel bags. For various small items, haul them together in huge canvas or other similar bags.

Doing so will help secure and protect them from the elements when moved between the car and the tent, besides lowering the number of separate items you will need to load.

5. Keep all your necessities nearby

You don’t want to feel the discomfort of wrestling through piles of bags just to find a personal item you need during the trip.

Not only is it infuriating, but it could also put your safety at risk. Hence, make sure they are easily accessible. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and snacks are on the list of these necessities. You can put them at your gear pile’s top.

6. Use bins

Considered one of the most important camping stuff, bins can be used for loading all your eating, cleaning, and cooking tools.

You can have one to keep dry and nonperishable foods too. Label each bin so you know exactly what you’re getting. Either buy some or make your own travel-sized bins.

7. Consider having a rooftop storage

Have awkward items that need to bring along, such as camping chairs, fishing poles, or others? If so, you may want to invest in a rooftop storage system so you can still have them and never going to miss such a unique outdoor venture!

A roof rack is one of the suggested alternatives. Though, keep in mind that only bulky yet light items are only acceptable. Placing heavy items could be risky.  

You can also strap down heavyweight duffel bags on the top deck, but only if the weather is fine. Otherwise, they can easily sop up through the zippers.

Just some small tips: reduce your roof load’s weight as much as possible to prevent dangerous transitions in performance, gravity, and handling of the car, pay attention to constrained areas, and properly secure your load. Use the right restraint equipment.

Avoid Overpacking SUV for Camping

Perhaps, this is every traveler’s enemy. It makes your SUV space feel teeming and cramped. It can even put your vehicle perilously overweight – putting added wear and tear on the tires.

Beginners usually fall into the trap of packing nearly anything they like. In that case, here is the list of gears you should and should not bring with you.

Items To Include in SUV Packing for Camping

  • Food supplies
  • Cooler/water filter
  • Cookware, dishes, and utensils
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Headlamp or flashlight for lighting

Items to Avoid in SUV Packing for Camping

  • Bulky luggage
  • Nice clothing/jewelry
  • Unnecessary electronics
  • Other consumables

These are just a snippet of the important and less essential kinds of stuff during outdoor camps. While food supplies are a very important necessity, ensure you are not overdoing it.

Here’s a better suggestion: Bring only a few things you can eat on the first day. Then, do a bigger grocery tour when you’ve landed at the location.

Once everything’s cleared, don’t forget to snap a picture of what you’ve accomplished. You can use it on your future camping trips – helping you save time.

What makes SUVs a perfect transportation option for camping is that it offers a wealth of room for gear. Just ensure to invest enough amount of time planning and organizing your vehicle space to make the most of your outdoor experience.