When I studied in Cuba during college, I documented my time there on this same blog. However, rather than report on day-to-day life, I wrote topical posts – food, clothing, holidays, etc. I’ve been wanting to do the same for this trip, since there are many aspects I’ve yet to touch upon but could add more color and dimension to the weekly updates. The first I’d really like to write about it our car set-up.
As mentioned previously, Ryan and I spent pretty much all of July perfecting how the car was arranged to make it optimally organized. There is really only one way to fit everything as nicely as we have it, and we both have this memorized.
Behind the driver’s seat, in the foot well, are two stacked bins. The first is the “tech bin,” which includes headlamps, a lantern, chargers, and the like. The other bin is the toiletry bin, which is pretty self-explanatory. These two bins are easily pulled out of the left back door. Behind the passenger’s seat, also in the foot well, we have a car bin (jumper cables and other useful repair tools) and first aid items, on top of which sits our 5-gallon water jug. This jug can be tipped down and angled so that you can pour yourself water when the door is open, using the floor of the car like a ledge.
The backseats are naturally folded down, and on top of them, we set a large plank of wood. The wood not only protects the backseats, but also creates a shelf over the foot wells to allow for more storage. On top of this, behind the driver’s seat, is Ryan’s clothes bin, his backpack, and our sleeping bags; in the middle, my backpack, easy-to-access snacks, and a camp bag with our chairs and a hammock; behind the passenger’s seat, the Yeti cooler, atop which my clothes bag sits. Once again, the cooler is placed in a spot that makes it easy to retrieve what you need, only moving my duffel bag to access it.
The trunk is a bit more a game of Tetris. There are two large bins, side-by-side. The left one has all our dry food in it – canned goods, oatmeal, cereal, protein bars, peanut butter and jelly, tortillas. The right bin has all our kitchen supplies as well as Starlink (even organizing the inside of these bins has taken some work). We’ve snuggled my backpacking pack between these two bins, while Ryan’s is in front of the left bin. Then the climbing rope is tucked to the left of the left bin, and our personal climbing bags are stacked on top of Ryan’s backpacking bag. To add even more detail, to the far right of the back, where there’s a little indent in the trunk, Ryan has tucked two rolls of toilet paper and the trowel. On the left, we have tucked our bug and bear sprays.
Once all of that is loaded up, we stack our two crash pads and place them atop the large bins. We shut the trunk, then swing the hitch back into place, which holds our generator and gas can. Last but not least is the rooftop tent, which takes us around 5 minutes at this point to break down and cover.
Some other little hacks we’ve added include saving our ice bags to use as trash bags and tucking them into the right side back door; tucking reusable grocery bags under the passenger seat; and placing the speaker in the left side back door.
Perhaps this whole description is rather boring, but I feel decently proud of how we’ve engineered it. And now that we’ve shipped back some items, we have extra space, if you can believe it. It will be interesting to see how items get eliminated or introduced to the equation going forward 😊.