I’ve mentioned the term “perma-camping kit” on and off on various posts over the years.
So what does that term mean?
In essence, the “perma-camping” kit is merely the gear I have permanently packed in my vehicle for quick camping or road trips.
We tend to use Joan’s efficient Honda for in-town or backpacking trips that are accessible via pavement or otherwise 2WD passenger-friendly roads.
But we use our 4WD vehicle for any other trip. Esp. here in Utah where access to many of the areas does involve travel along a rutted dirt road where 4WD and good ground clearance makes life a lot more pleasant.
As such, we find it efficient to keep the vehicle packed with some essentials more or less permanently. We see we can pack for a trip with ease when any free time presents itself.
The first part of the perma-camping kit is the cargo shelf built a few years ago. This shelf, frankly, won’t win any carpentry accolades but has served me well for a few years now. And I made extensive use of it when I lived out of my car for about a year on a road trip. I can, have, slept on it when solo. Useful for a quick overnight trip or camping out near the trailhead before a backpacking trip.
I have some typical auto repair type tools (socket set, jump starter, compressor) for emergencies in addition to duct tape, cord, a utility knife, and bungee cords for both emergencies and general camping supplies. In winter, I keep my trusty avalanche shovel in the car.
For all-purpose use, I have an immensely useful 8×10 tarp and an equally helpful scrap of blue foam I use when taking off shoes without getting my feet muddy or snowy.
Under the shelf, I have the following camping items:
- Lightspeed sleeping pads (2)
- Alps Mountaineering camping table
- A small folding table that holds a larger water container well.
- Two poncho liners such as found on eBay surplus stores and two fleece blankets
- Camp chairs
- Our car camping tent
The cook kit is Wally World special I purchased at the last oil change just before I put my belongings into temporary storage for a year. A last-minute purchase I made good use of over the months. With my 20+-year-old propane stove, I quickly brewed up a hot drink at multiple trailheads and parking lots, made hot lunches after a morning hike, and continue to use it often.
Instead of taking a large stove for just one night, we had everything we needed this past weekend on a quick camping trip mostly ready to go. We quickly packed up the car camping winter bags, our winter gear, and some food and water. Being winter, and a relatively short drive, no cooler needed. If we do take a cooler, and it is a quick weekend, we’ll take our trusty and beat up sub-$20 Coleman cooler.
In well less than an hour, we packed everything up needed to enjoy the Colorado Plateau during winter. And had another memorable weekend.
Time is an outdoor person’s most precious commodity. And the perma-camping kit helps make efficient use of that time. Being able to take off quickly and efficiently is, and will always be, a priority in helping to get in many outdoor trips. And the perma-camping kit reflects that priority.