Nothing is better than an extended escape into the wilderness, and what beats a Jeep to get you there? The last thing you want to do when you roll up to your campsite at dusk is to rifle through your gear with a flashlight. Don’t waste your time. Before you find yourself loading and reloading supplies, read on to learn our tried and true strategies for loading up your Jeep before a long camping trip.
Get the Lay of the Land
Before you start throwing stuff into your Jeep with reckless abandon, take a look at what you’ve got. Start by laying everything out on the ground so you can begin to formulate an approach. Take into account the order you plan to use the items when envisioning your system. Even a two-door Wrangler with just under 13 cubic feet of cargo space can handle most camping jobs.
Do a mental inventory or write down a packing checklist, and stick to it. Make certain that you haven’t forgotten anything, then step back and assess what needs to go, and what can stay home. You don’t want to haul around hundred pounds of stuff you really don’t need.
Start With a Solid Foundation
The key to most projects is building a solid ground floor. Start by adding items you will need last, and heavy or flat objects such as your camp stove on the bottom, then work your way up. If you’re lucky enough to drive a 2018 Grand Cherokee, enjoy up to 68.3 cubic feet of open floor space, perfect for this strategy.
Place heavy boxes or clear, stackable plastic tubs filled with cookware and utensils, for example, below the highest point of your Jeep’s rear seat. This handy trick will keep these items from shifting in place if you need to stop suddenly, like when a deer decides to cross your path.
Position Important Items Just Right
Make sure essential and frequently used items like your tent are easily accessible, while stuff like tomorrow’s climbing rope stows in the back. This way, you don’t have to empty your Jeep to get into things you’ll need right away.
Put portable lighting at the top of the pile in case you arrive after dark, and point zippers toward the gate so you can reach into bags without having to remove them entirely. Look for the 2019 Cherokee’s hands-free, power-liftgate. Just hover your foot below the latch, and you’ll never have to put down an armload to open the gate again.
Get Really Clever
Unroll sleeping bags and use them to wrap around small items or lay them flat to conserve space. Leave little cubby holes between pieces as you load up the big stuff. This space is perfect for jamming small or thin items like folding chairs. If you know you’re going to want to get your grub on when you arrive, pack your camp kitchen and cooler last, so it’s readily accessible.
With precision packing, you can painlessly load up your Jeep, no matter where you’re heading. Hit the trail and enjoy.
Photo by GSEC via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0 | Cropped from original