What to pack for your first trailer camping trip:
Storing Food & Water
Food and cooking are highly personal and depend on your group size, length of trip, and style of camping. For us, the mindset shift in trailer camping extends to cooking and eating. We’re not limited to freeze-dried meals, but we’re getting far enough into the backcountry that we don’t want to do full-on cooking in the vicinity of hungry wildlife. We like to prep more involved meals at home and bring the components in takeout containers in the cooler, or cook simple things like oatmeal, packaged grains and soups, and quesadillas that don’t involve long cooking times or lots of food waste.
The Pika and the Classic have a galley that functions like a kitchen and prep area. Depending on your cabinet/sink/fridge arrangement, you should have plenty of space to store dry goods and cooking/eating utensils in the galley. Everything will get knocked around in transit, especially if you’re on bumpy trails and roads. We make liberal use of grippy shelf liner to protect the beautiful wood cabinets, as well as plastic bins to contain things.
After initially planning for maximum storage with stacked lidded bins, we found that we liked more minimal open bins, cups, and even tall plastic takeout containers for easy access storage. And for a few nights on the road, we don’t need to bring an entire pantry!
If you didn’t get the fridge option for the trailer, you’ll need a cooler. We keep ours in the trunk and refresh the ice as necessary. It’s very helpful to have a few plastic bins in the cooler to keep food floating above the ice and drinks layers at the bottom (though if you’re driving on rough up-and-down roads, water will eventually get in these bins).
Finally, a note on food: there are a ton of grocery store options for pre-cooked grains, beans, potatoes, soups etc. that come in packets or boxes instead of cans. Save yourself the trouble of bringing a can opener and the waste of empty cans by buying packet foods.
In our next post, we’ll go into cooking and eating, as well as the joys of cleaning both the campsite and yourself.
Sarah Labowitz and Pete Molick live in Houston, TX and their favorite place to take their Pika Off-Road is Big Bend National Park.