Thursday, May 8, 2014

Creating Space

We keep a lot of old OSB and scrap lumber around to tinker with rigging our camping gear each year.
An empty pickup bed is a lot like an artist's blank palette--it's just waiting for YOU to apply your talents to find new and unique ways to pack all your camping stuff.  Instead of creating a painting with your blank palette--you're creating space!

For each year's camping season, we always reinvent our wheel.  We always create new space.  We always come up with a different way to use the same blank palette.  It's been that way for 50+ years and there's every reason to believe it will be that way until we pass on to the Great Campground in The Sky.

This year we wanted to solve a vexing problem with the way we packed our 1984 Nissan short bed last season.  As everyone who camps knows, you get done with certain things last.  It would help if the last things you use in the morning go into the truck last instead of first!

This year, we think we finally got it right.  Of course, we say that EVERY year but, really, we might have it right this year.

As everyone knows, plastic tubs are the mainstay of our camp rigging.  These tubs sell at Wal-Mart for $5 or less.  There are four sizes.  Really small, small, large and really large.  We don't use the really large ones, only the first three sizes.

Anyway, the tubs are tapered so that they can stack easily.  This means they are MUCH wider at the top than they are at the bottom.  If you put a spacer under a tub to elevate it, you can often make the tubs fit nicer in your blank palette.  Generally, we've always used a piece of OSB on top of a 2x2 for a spacer.
POOF, Creating Space!

This year, we finally got decided to actually create space by combining the "Spacer Concept" with a brand new way to rig the back of the truck.

Lo and behold, we created some really fun space.  We can actually place three .30 caliber ammo cans in our newly created space, PLUS our Bug Box.  In addition, four of the small tubs fit perfectly in a space they simply wouldn't fit before. Meanwhile, there's now space for the tarp, groundsheet and trash to go in last.

This is huge because, prior to creating space today, the back of the pickup bed really didn't work all that well.  Now it works like a Swiss watch.

The moral of this story is to look at whatever blank palette you have with "fresh eyes."  Try to see new, unique and different possibilities.  Think in three dimensions.  Don't be afraid to shake it up and reinvent how you store your stuff.  There's almost always a better way of creating space.
 Not only do four small tubs now fit between the cooler and the stove, we have space for 3 ammo cans.
The portable CB radio finally gets stored in a quickly accessible spot.  The fire tools fit on one side and the hiking sticks fit on the other.  A 50 caliber can will go on top of the CB.  The groundsheet will fit in the big space on the right and trash in the middle on top of the Bug Box.  The tarp lays down on top of the two boxes on the right.

So what are in the four tubs?  The two tubs in the middle are Kitchen Stuff.  One is pots and pans and coffee stuff.  The other is food that doesn't need to be in a cooler.  The two tubs at right are our own personal clothing boxes, one for each of us.

All the overnight stuff (tent, sleeping bags, pillows, foam pads, etc.) goes up front on top of the safety gear.

No comments:

Post a Comment