Follow these steps when packing your vehicle for a Scouting adventure

Anyone who has tried to fit four Scouts and all their camping gear into a compact SUV knows that packing a vehicle can be as frustrating as a thousand-piece puzzle.

But when that puzzle is solved? When each piece is in its proper position? That perfectly packed car is a work of art.

OK, but how do you become a master packer? Our friends at Yakima have your back. They bring you these tips for packing your vehicle for your next Scouting adventure.

1. Encourage your Scouts/Venturers to pack smart

Smart packing begins before departure day. Smart troops and crews ask Scouts or Venturers to limit the amount of gear they bring. For a backpacking trip, tell them all of their gear must fit in their backpack. When car camping, pretend you’re an airline and allow onboard one large bag and one small daypack per person.

2. Don’t rush

Haste makes wasted space. On departure day, allow plenty of time between when Scouts are asked to arrive and when you’re actually planning to leave. That way you can take your time getting everything in its right place.

3. Set out everything you need to bring

You wouldn’t start a puzzle without first taking all the pieces out of the box. Similarly, before placing a single item into your vehicle, spread out all the gear to see what you have.

4. Make any necessary cuts

Sorry, golf umbrella and giant folding chair — you won’t be joining us. Take a look at your gear and determine what is essential and what isn’t. Eliminate items that aren’t critical. Scouts are resourceful, so if you realize you left something behind that you actually needed, challenge your Scouts to create a solution onsite.

5. Separate hard and soft items

Place hard items — coolers, skis, camp stoves — on one side. Place softer items — duffels, sleeping bags, rope — on the other side.

6. Start packing

Place hard items on the bottom of the cargo area and lay softer items on top or in the spaces that remain. Not only does this more efficiently use the space, it also avoids any bruised knees (and egos) when you open the hatch and things come sliding out.

yakima-skybox7. Expand your vehicle’s capabilities

Running out of room in the vehicle? We’ve all been there. Rooftop cargo boxes are a simple and convenient way to expand your vehicle’s capacity. It means you can take even more gear — and give your Scouts more space inside the vehicle. Looking for a recommendation? Yakima has an expansive, quality product line for all of your Scouting adventure travels.

8. Remember music and snacks

Now that the puzzle is complete, don’t forget the most important step: road trip music and snacks. Ask each Scout or Venturer to bring a favorite (Scout-appropriate) playlist and some snacks to share.

9. Hit the road!

After one last check that all of your doors and hatches are closed — and that you haven’t left any Scouts or Venturers behind — it’s time to get moving.

Post powered by Yakima, which offers a line of well-designed products for all of your Scouting adventures. A Yakima rack system gets everyone’s gear there simply, securely and ready for action. But it does more than that. A Yakima system creates room in your vehicle for friends and family. And pets. And snacks. All the things that make the trip an epic shared experience.


About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.