Minimizing breakdown time for camp

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Sep 17, 2003
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Sunnyvale, CA
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Based on what I wrote previously in this thread. Here's my typical camp. Nearly 2 weeks camping out the back of our 80. On my own, so a platform on the right (pulled out rear passenger side seat) and thermarest/sleeping bag on the platform. Super comfy and ready to go every night, nothing to 'prep'. Pull out low totes from under the platform (food, cooking gear, snacks, desserts etc). Easy to access. Cooking on the tailgate. Clothing duffle on the hood. Chair to sit, shovel for calls of nature. Washing basin for rinsing plates etc. Took 2 containers for water, 7 gallon hard side (that will be retired) and 5 gallon soft bag. Also another 8 gallon soft bag, but never had to use it. Shower bag for showers and also just to hold water for washing stuff - a few gallons, refilled at various springs along the way. Soft water storage is nice - no sloshing sounds off road when the containers aren't 100% full.

Very quick make/break setup. I moved every day and it was a trivial to do and left more time to explore and enjoy versus not wanting to move to often knowing that 4 hours of that day was wasted in the make/break time. This trip was in March, so shorter days and any make/break time would steal a significant portion of the daylight. I do NOT make camp or cook after the sun has set - that is the time for sitting and staring at the night sky and enjoying some serenity. I also follow a fairly minimalist camp lighting regime, if I want lots of light I can have that while at home :)

cheers,
george.

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MoJ

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For some people setting up and playing with all the gear is half the fun. I’m not one of those people. 20 minutes max for me. While on your trip make a list of what you actually use and leave all the other at home next time. Create a place for everything else.
 

alia176

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I have my setup/teardown to less than ten minutes but it took some years to get there! For me, having a kitchen drawer that holds all cookwear/flatwear and non perishables was the key. I don't have to unload and load plastic totes any longer. A DIY 2'x4' alum table lives under the RTT storage that I made and that made a huge difference in ergonomics as well as camp setup. The table is alum so it can handle hot pan, easy to clean, got few dents here and there.

There's a 10g water bladder (seen in the first pic) under the second row platform as well as a dish/hand washing station. Washing hands quickly before preparing lunch on the trail is a breeze now and enjoyable under a deployed Busch company 270 awning that uses no poles. Two folding chairs and a small folding short height table are strapped to the Milford cargo barrier. Also two hydration packs and a first kid are also secured to the barrier so this leaves the second row floor empty for a open top snack box and our duffle bags.

In one of the pic you can make out a 5 gal Scepter potable water can to the right of the kitchen and behind it is a 10# alum propane tank.

The shower setup is a simple solar shower bag with DIY hanging system. I had a Helton heat exchanger system but got tired of the complexity and the crap that took up too much space. The shower bag gets one jetboil of hot water mixed with room temp water and this makes a great shower for two people. The shower walls are double as awning walls and the shower mat doubles as the ladder footprint.

Being able to access utensils quickly is also a key. My daughter and I made this utensil holder which eliminates all rattling. The kitchen drawer is deep and holds all cook wear, some non perishables, extra drinks, condiments, drying towels, Everest stove, area rug and the RTT ladder. Storing the ladder here with muddy feet is a non-issue and it doesn't rattle due to extra foam in this compartment.

Everything in the 80 gets used and all dishes get washed and put away. I don't come home and wash my dishes because they're washed properly and I carry plenty of water on board. Unlike a 100, an 80 is rather tight inside but you can make it work. My ex GF has a 100 and it has so much more room than my 80.

I always have dogs traveling with me so they have a dedicated space in the cargo, behind the Milford barrier.

As I stated in the beginning, it took years to dial this in and to some degree, I'm still tweaking it. My lady loves it and prefers the 80 over the off- road camper which has couple of more amenities. She likes the compactness and efficiency of this setup. Mind you, I have a 16yo daughter so the 80 only sees one passenger on any given trips. If my daughter wants to bring her friends, then we use the V8 4runner towing an Adrenaline camper for basecamp setup. We haul bikes/SUPs/kayaks, etc. on those trip and we also don't move daily.

I travel heavy and I'm ok with it. I want to be comfy when I'm moving daily and my 80 clocks in at 7400#.

Good luck with dialing in your setup.

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Last edited:
Joined
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Also two hydration packs and a first kid are also secured to the barrier so this leaves the second row floor empty for a open top snack box and our duffle bags.

How do you secure your first kid to the barrier? I didn't see photos. Looking for ideas on how to do this because I would love to reclaim the second row.

J/K, sort of.....I am guessing it meant to say "first aid kit" but really would be interested in finding out more about this option if you have successfully done so with a kid :) Nice set up.
 

alia176

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[=
How do you secure your first kid to the barrier? I didn't see photos. Looking for ideas on how to do this because I would love to reclaim the second row.

J/K, sort of.....I am guessing it meant to say "first aid kit" but really would be interested in finding out more about this option if you have successfully done so with a kid :) Nice set up.

My ex and I are older parents and when there was even an inkling of wanting a second kid by my ex, I flatly refused and said there is no room in the second row for the fridge AND a second child. 🤣

Anyway, here is a picture of the cargo barrier looking from the passenger front seat. There is a bag that holds all handheld radios and their accessories. Below that is the first date kit that's designed to be ripped away in case of a quick access.

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Joined
Mar 6, 2014
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I love gear, but I hate setting up/tearing down camp. I always find the most simple trips are always the most enjoyable for me. I like to be the last one to set up and the first one out of camp. my setup has dramatically changed over the years and I have tried just about everything...

Just like others have said, backpacking gear and a minimalist mindset are the best for reducing the amount of gear and complexity of setup.

The #1 most difficult thing was always kitchen stuff. This is a 30 second kitchen from Piranha that has lived in the back of my 80 for 5 or so years and has been the best addition I have made to my setup.

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It has enough space for my snow peak flat burner stove, GSI square frying pan, french press, coffee grinder, utensils, soap, spices, MSR 1.5qt pot, jetboil, and 2 500g fuel canisters, soap, etc. I use a nested tableware set that fits in my attic rack and has a full set for 4 people. The GSI square frying pan is awesome, it can fit 4 NY strips easily, has great non stick and replaced the 2 round pans I carried for years.

Setup takes about 30 seconds if you put the legs out and about 10 seconds if not. I put the legs out when cooking

Stupid little things like riveting my kitchen knife sheath to the support strap, adding organizers to the shelves and a paper towel holder has helped a lot as well.

I no longer carry a table, the tailgate and 30 second kitchen cover that.

Since this picture, I ditched the roof rack completely. The RTT took way too long to pack up, was too heavy and the wife hated it. I like the awning, but rarely every used it - so it went.

For sleeping, if the weather is bad and I am by myself, I sleep in the back of the 80. If the weather is good, I bring a cot and sleep on that (my favorite). For longer trips with unknown weather I bring a 2 person backpacking tent and a megamat. I always pack the megamat up, but I just stuff my tent in an action packer when I am out for multiple nights.

Eventually I am going to make a drawer/sleeping platform on the drivers side. I don't like drawers since you cant open them while using the tailgate as a table, so that will be nothing but storage for tools, spare parts, recovery gear etc.

Another thing (living in Northern AZ) I have just about done away with is having a fire while camping. Most of the time there are fire restrictions here, so I got used to not having one. That means I don't have to carry wood, axes/saws, extra water or a grill. I also don't have any worries of starting a fire and never have to wait around until it is 100% out. After 3+ beers I cook a better steak in a frying pan anyways...

I also have a simple setup for when I go camp in my 45. Mostly Backpacking gear. One kitchen tote, one for sleeping gear, one for truck stuff, and waterproof duffels for clothes/chairs/cots etc.

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And then for Long cross country tours and trips with the wife that are not based around wheeling, I have this setup. After the tuck is level it takes less than a minute to fully set up or take down. Not exactly minimalistic, but compared to our friends with travel trailers, motorhomes and sprinter vans - it goes way more places, takes way less setup and cost way less. It is more or less the backpacking edition of motorhome.

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Also, for showering and hand washing I have a nemo pressure shower. It has been great, no issues in the 5 or so years of use. Works great for cleaning fish too. There are a lot of nice shower enclosures out there now, but any place I like to camp is Ok to freeball it. Most of the time we go somewhere to swim every few days, so I don't shower much while camping.


For bulk water storage, I have a few of these.

 

surfpig

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[=


My ex and I are older parents and when there was even an inkling of wanting a second kid by my ex, I flatly refused and said there is no room in the second row for the fridge AND a second child. 🤣

Anyway, here is a picture of the cargo barrier looking from the passenger front seat. There is a bag that holds all handheld radios and their accessories. Below that is the first date kit that's designed to be ripped away in case of a quick access.

View attachment 3092433
"First date kit"...

:hmm: :hmm: :hmm:

:rofl:
 

alia176

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Also, for showering and hand washing I have a nemo pressure shower. It has been great, no issues in the 5 or so years of use. Works great for cleaning fish too. There are a lot of nice shower enclosures out there now, but any place I like to camp is Ok to freeball it. Most of the time we go somewhere to swim every few days, so I don't shower much while camping.


For bulk water storage, I have a few of these.

The Nemo looks awesome, one less hard thing to bounce around in truck👍
 

surfpig

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The Nemo looks awesome, one less hard thing to bounce around in truck👍
I think I’m going to get that. We always bring a sun shower bag, we mostly use it for hand washing and dishes.
 
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I think I’m going to get that. We always bring a sun shower bag, we mostly use it for hand washing and dishes.

I just picked one up that was a return at REI. Works well in the backyard. The one thing it doesn't have is a stick on thermometer. I found some on Amazon. If you go the NEMO route let me know.
 

surfpig

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I just picked one up that was a return at REI. Works well in the backyard. The one thing it doesn't have is a stick on thermometer. I found some on Amazon. If you go the NEMO route let me know.
I did.
 
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I went with the 12 litre yard sprayer with a custom hose & ends so we have kitchen water and shower, you have to pump it mid shower to get really clean, love the pressure and having a drink or washing hands on trail makes a big difference.
 
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Austin, TX
My breakdown time is fairly quick because I don't cook much. We eat cereal and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and backpacker meals for dinner. No pots and pans, no stove, no dishes to wash except a bowl and a spoon, both of which are fine with a quick splash of water and a swipe along your pants leg. Big meals create chores that's part of what I go camping to avoid. I love eating good but I'll do that in the backyard at home.
 
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Every camping trip I take these days includes my girlfriend, 2-5 teenagers, and at least two dogs.
We camp for 10 days in the desert every spring, 10 days in the desert every fall, plus a week in the mountains around July 4th and 3-4 long weekends during summer break.
Dragging a 25’ spring over camper every time, with a CC longbox Ftwofiddy.
Breaking camp takes less than 45 minutes. With hot coffee.
Tables, rugs, chairs, solar panels.
Get a system, get after it.
2 hours? Lol
 
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^^^^^^
This x a thousand. While its handy to bring a bunch of stuff, overlanding has made people lose sight of camping = minimalism.
If you need a sink and tv and and and. Buy an rv or stay home
I started motocamping, and that really makes you shed alot of the unecessary crap. Now I usually just use all my moto camping stuff in the 80. And I can still go more minimalist. Heck I have been avoiding bringing my camera the last few times too. Just took some cell pics. Getting back to just chillin by the campfire and relaxing.
 

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