The Best Way to Ship Your Camping Gear

You wouldn’t think that camping gear is a popular thing to ship, but it actually is.  It sounds a little counter-intuitive, right?  Sending camping gear on ahead to the campsite?  Turns out that it makes sense for a lot of people to do this.  There are hiking and biking trails that stretch across most of the United States, and no one is going to be able to carry all of their gear for that entire time.

This is when the hikers and bikers send boxes to themselves at certain checkpoints along the way.  Or maybe, quite simply, you want to go camping in the mountains of California but you live in the suburbs of Ohio.  You are obviously going to take a flight to Cali, but you are just as obviously not going to be lugging all that gear along with you.  So you ship it!  Before you start buying random shipping supplies and throwing your camping gear in boxes, read these helpful tips and hints:

Choosing the Best Carrier

Usually airline shipping has incredibly high rates, and you won’t be able to send certain items that you might find crucial for camping (things like matches and hatchets).  Parcel shipping through the regular postal service makes sense for packages weighing less than a hundred pounds, but it starts to get a little complicated when you take into consideration the sizes of things.

Are you shipping a large tent or a camping stove?  Due to size restrictions you’re going to have to send things in separate parcels, which means that you are going to be spending more on shipping supplies, and also that your stuff runs the risk of getting separated.  LTL shipping carriers are generally the best option.  Look for one that specializes in shipping awkward items, that they will ship prohibited items, and that they have a nationwide network.

Preparing Your Gear

When purchasing your shipping supplies, choose heavy duty cardboard boxes, lots of bubble wrap, and heavy duty sealing tape.  Wrap each item in bubble wrap and put them in shipping boxes meant for up to twenty to thirty pounds.  Label each box on the outside with the final destination.  As for restricted items, double check with the carrier as to how they will want those packaged.  If possible, wrap and box all of the large items as well.  You may want to consider putting all of the smaller packages into a large box, or even on a pallet if your carrier is outfitted for that.