Monday, May 10, 2010

Reminds me of sardines

Every time we rig the truck for a new camping season or a special trip, I always think of sardines. How do they pack those little fish so tightly in those small cans? I've been wondering about that for years and years. Do humans pack the sardines? Or does some strange machine pack them? How do they do that?

People probably wonder that about our truck. How do they pack all that camping gear so tightly into that truck bed? My Dad taught me how to pack stuff like sardines. He was a Master Sardine Packer. Without his inspiration and Role Model, I would definitely not be as good of a sardine packer.

It's funny. You'd think that we'd pack the truck the same way for every trip. We've learned over decades that it simply doesn't work that way. Every packing rig is different. Every year is different. Each trip calls for its own unique rigging.

We're always curious as to how much "personal space" we have in any given rigging episode. All of our stuff is containerized. We live out of plastic tubs. The big question each trip is "How many tubs do we get?" The other question is "What size tubs do we pack?" We have four tub styles: Large New Style, Small New Style, Large Old Style and Small Old Style.  We often have to do a dry run packing the truck just to see how many tubs we get.

This trip we each get two Large New Style tubs. That's adequate but by no means spacious. It would be nice to have a small tub, too. What's complicating this trip is the large quantity of wood we're carrying. We caught Slim Chance on his cell phone yesterday and Slim said, "Don't bother trying to start your chain saw and don't even think about taking it to Stanley." That's why we've simply loaded a huge amount of wood in the truck. You can't see it in the photos but it's there--at least 3 days worth of wood. The wood is packed like, well....sardines...what did you expect?

We're putting these photos up here not to blather on and on about our rigging style(s). Nope, there's a much more mundane reason--we don't want to forget how we put it together yesterday. These photos are here to help us pack it the same way on Thursday before we leave Friday. We've learned that if we don't draw diagrams and take photos, we can't remember how we packed it. We've also learned that we have to put the photos someplace we can find them. Hence here they are on the blog. The diagram is hanging on a clipboard in the workshop.

Everything has to be packed "just so" to make a rig like this feng shui. Some people say, "How can you possibly travel with all that stuff? Actually, it's easy. Everything's containerized and we both know where everything is located. We don't pay hardly any attention to the actual mass of stuff--we only focus on whatever we might need at the time we need it.

When we get to camp, some stuff gets setup right away like a tent and a kitchen and so forth. Other stuff gets put in a readily accessible gear pile and still other stuff stays in the truck. It generally doesn't look or feel too cluttered and it functions quite well for us. It just looks horrendous when it's all packed like sardines inside a truck bed.

Lots more to tweak this week. Cheers! jp

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