PACKING & PREPARATION: Packing the Personals

Packing the Personals

There are basically 3 bags that Eddie and I each have for packing the personals.  All 6 bags store in the backseat of our truck. We don’t try and keep them in the trailer at any time, because space is really at a premium.  My supply of clothes is for 10 days.  After that point we do laundry.


There are also some personal things that we do keep in the built-in storage space in the trailer, so we can avoid needing to get into our bags in the evenings or during the night.  Here goes:The 3 bag packing personals set


We each have our own briefcases for our cameras, devises, cords, chargers, etc…I won’t make a list here, as one’s electronic devises are pretty personal.  I will tell you that I choose a ‘Surface’ to travel with.  It’s the small MS laptop that you cannot download off of the internet with. I don’t download programs on the road and therefore I don’t get any viruses from sometimes sketchy sources!  Its is a smart idea to make a list.


This one is a large duffel bag- which I like – because you can jam it down to the floor behind the front seat and save space in the truck.  I pack for 11 days: 10 days’ worth of clothes, plus 1 extra outfit in case I get caught in a rainstorm or fall into a river.  Yep, both have happened.  By the way, I LOVE Packing Cubes, because they make everything fit so nicely!  Here’s my list:

A). All bottoms: I usually pack 4-5 pr of jeans / dockers / skirts (not for the guys hopefully) or warm up pants (which I use for long days in the car).  Each pair gets worn twice, and I spritz them with Fabreeze in between wearings.  They then get folded and put into the bottom of my bag.

B). All Tops: I pack 10 tops as I don’t like to wear tops twice.  (There’s always one that stayed pretty clean if there’s that trip into the river).

 C). 1 Backup Towel: I keep 1 towel in my shower bag. 10 days with the same towel (that is in my shower bag) is, well, just gross. I dig out this one after 5 days.

 D). 1 pr of warm ups: These are to wear when I’m doing laundry, because I wash everything.  They are also backups if my jammies get stinky.

*At the end of 10 days, the BIG BAG has become the laundry bag and is good for transporting the wash to & from the laundry room.  Make sure that you are staying at a campground on day 10 (or whatever day you plan to do the laundry) that has laundry facilities.

*Don’t forget when you are doing laundry, to include anything else that might need washing, such as jammies, pillow cases, dish towels, etc..


In my Shower Bag is everything else. 

I choose a small ‘airline carry-on compliant’ bag to pack my personals, as it’s smart for luggage to do double duty! It has sturdy sides and opens from the top.  A soft-sided duffel type will collapse as you try and use it, and is just a pain-in-the-butt.  Here’s my list – and yes, it all fits nicely.

A). 11 Pr socks + 1 plastic grocery store bag: They are all in the side zipper pouch and the bag keeps the dirty ones separated.

B). 11 Pr undies + plastic grocery bag: Same deal, other side.

C). 1 Pr shower shoes:  I use rubber Crocs. These come in really handy to shower in if the mats are questionable.  I keep them in a grocery bag.  It’s also nice to have these to walk in for a midnight stroll to the restroom or if there is a rainstorm.  DON’T use flip-flops.  They are sponges and stay soggy, and let your feet get dirty.

D). 1 Travel / folding baby changing pad: Yep. Yep. They are cheap and make great shower mats. You don’t have to put your wet feet into socks or muddy up your towel drying off your feet when the floors are not very clean (which happens a lot).  Eddie thinks this is silly….I disagree.

E). 2 pkgs Handiwipes: For drying off your mat, feet, shoes etc… before repacking.  Just toss when finished.

F). 1 Hanging plastic shower bag: This bag I take into the shower with me and contains shampoo, cream rinse, razor, soap, etc…Anything that is needed in the actual shower. I also keep in it a suction cup hook to hang on the wall for when there is no where to put my stuff.

G). Makeup bag and jewelry bag: This usually doesn’t apply to guys, although I don’t judge.  I’ve tried to get Eddie to wear an earring, but no such luck.

H). Large Ziplock or zipper bag: This is for everything else that you’ll use at the sink. Tooth brush / paste, manicure set, hair stuff, Fabreeze, lotion, deodorant, etc….

I). Hair Dryer: I obviously throw this in loose, and if I take a curling iron, I keep a dry washcloth handy to wrap it in when it’s still warm.

J). Clothes for 2 days: Every other day I get into the BIG BAG and transfer 1 bottom and 2 tops to my shower bag. I then put the used ones in the bottom of the ‘big bag’.  This way I don’t have to  mess up my Big Big as much or have to re-pack the back seat of the truck as often.

K). 1 Towel: After I shower, I generally lay this over the tops of the bags in the truck and then repack when dry. I like the ‘Camp Towel’ from the camping store as it like a chamois and dries quickly.  Eddie says it doesn’t get him dry enough.

*It’s a good idea for at least a week before you leave on your first trip to make a list of everything that you need and use on a daily basis.  You can make your packing list from this.

*Don’t forget towels, pillow cases, dishrags, socks & undies on Laundry Day!

The Shower Bags for packing personals

In addition to the 3 bags each that we keep stored in the truck (be careful to keep your vehicle locked when you’re not using it), we also have things that we keep stored in the trailer.  Even our first ‘Little Guy’ had storage so this has never been a problem.  Here’s the List:


This little Tupperware box gets packed and unpacked with each trip as medicine can become stale.  Spend some time before you leave thinking through the things you might need:

                A). Diarrhea Meds

                B). Constipation Meds

                C). Cold Meds

                D). Cough/sore throat lozenges

                E). Sinus Meds

                F). Allergy Meds

                G). Pain Killers


This might sound silly, but when I get up in the middle of the night I don’t want to traipse out to the truck and rummage through my bags.  Eddie and I each made a list of everything we need if we get up at night, packed those things  and keep our bags within reach of lying in bed:

               A). Small filled water bottle

                B). Saline if it’s a dry climate

                C). A bottle of pain killers

                D). Flashlight

               E). Battery-operated alarm clock: (sounds silly, but my phone is usually charging overnight somewhere out of reach)

               F). Vitamins: We separate our vitamins and supplements into tiny zipper bags (you can find them at the pharmacy).  We have labeled the packets AM & PM and I take them first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

                G). Anything else that you typically need at night


Here are a few of the others things that stay permanently in the storage area of our trailer.  This is where it’s handy to take a ‘pre-trip’ trip and make notes of the things you’ll wish you had along.

 Playing Cards

 Badminton Rackets


 Several extra rolls of toilet paper

Don’t hesitate to pack duplicates of things you’ll need to use in different places.  I keep pain killers in my nightstand bag as well as my shower bag, eye drops in the truck as well as my purse…etc……..

Here you can print and use the checklist HERE

Oh…and one other thing:



I realize that this is not a packing list, but I wanted to throw in the list that I check off the day before, or the morning we leave.  By the time we take off, I am as excited as I am overwhelmed!  This list helps me not to forget some improtant things.  You may print the PDF at the bottom of the list.

Who is watering the plants? Do they have instructions?

Who is taking care of the pets?  Do they have instructions?

Do we need to change the message on answering devices?

Have we taken care of mail hold?

Have we notified Credit Card / Bank Card companies of our travel plans?

Do we need to turn off the water?

What about lawn care?

Have we adjusted the heat/air conditioning?

What are we doing about the trash?

Have we charged all devices?

Have we stopped at the bank and got a few rolls of quarters (for laundry and the occasional coin-operated shower) and some small bills for misc expenses?

Have we packed a backup credit card & I.D. that is stored somewhere safe, and not in the same place as the others?

Have we packed all the refrigerated / frozen food?  (I do this at the very last minute possible…usually as Eddie is pulling the truck down the driveway).


Here you can print and use the checklist HERE:






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