We're back from our 1st Annual Company Camp, and let me say, it was awesome! We camped, fished, hiked, and of course hammocked.
Unfortunately, we also made a million mistakes. To help you (and us) avoid those same mistakes, we thought we'd share a few lessons.
Lesson #1: Prepare (More)
Our campsite didn't have running water, so we had to use our drinking water. Fortunately, we brought plenty of that. What we didn't bring was dish soap and basin for cleaning in! Oops.
We couldn't find our two burner stove, so we brought a single. The problem with this was that it didn't have a wind shield, so everything took 30 mins longer to cook/boil.
Another drawback of our campsite was that it had no bear boxes. I don't know much about Colorado, but I'm always concerned with drawing the attention of unwanted animals. Next time, instead of storing our food in the van, I'd like to invest in a Yeti or similar bear-safe ice chest.
Lesson #2: Simplify
We didn't need half the food we brought. Just because you're not backpacking, don't think you should plan for gourmet meals. Here's what we actually needed and ate:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Honey, and Dried Fruit
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
Dinner: Potato, Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Garlic, and Sausage Hash; Ramen w/ Egg; Fresh Trout with Roasted Vegetables and Rice
Snacks: Granola Bars; Apples
Shelter and Gear
Since we were doing a mix of hammock and tent camping, we just brought everything we had. Unfortunately, we had way too much. We ended up with 3 tents too many and a dozen extra tarps. Not only could we have saved van space, we would have made the setup go much quicker if we had less.
Besides that, we had a ton of extra pots, plates, toothbrushes, and emergency gear. We basically just threw everything we had in the van because it was all mixed together. Next time, we'll have only the necessary gear, all ready to go in labelled, modular bins.
We arrived at our campsite just as the sun was setting, which meant we had to do a portion of our setup in the dark.
Next time, we'll arrange our van better, so we can setup easier. Here's how we should have packed (from front to back):
- Fishing and rafting gear (rods, reels, tackle boxes, oars, life vests, etc.)
- Hammocks and chairs
- Ice chests and food
- Sleeping bags and backpacks
- Flashlights and tools (mallets, fire starters, etc)
That would allow us to unload everything in a more orderly fashion, instead of building piles on the ground to get the gear we needed (e.g. flashlights).
Lesson #3: Relax
Definitely the biggest mistake we made was not planning for relaxation. We just assumed that, since we had our hammocks, we would have time to relax. In reality, especially with kids, we had hardly a moment of downtime.
Next year, we're going to get our chairs and hammocks setup on the 1st night as well as plan a half day for reflection and relaxation.
Next year, we're going to plan a lot more. Despite all of this however, we're really happy with the trip. We got a lot of great photos, and more importantly, we had some great time for team building and vision planning.
If you're interested in learning more about our team or joining us on our next camping trip, we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn. We'll post company news there, including articles like this as well as job openings. Thanks for your interest!