As Tyler mentioned yesterday, the final step of our preparations was “packing”. While this was technically the last step, it was actually something that we had been thinking about for a while About a year ago, we went to Utah with a couple of friends of ours. While there, we rented a car and threw our various packs, sleeping bags, clothes, tent, etc. in the back of the car. To our credit, the car started out neatly packed; everything with in a specific place and purpose. Unfortunately, this system of organization did not last long, proving too amorphous for Tyler. Thus, as previously stated, packing became a major concern in Tyler’s mind. Neither of us wanted to recreate the chaos that was the back of Utah car.
Ever wise, Tyler came up with what we’ve affectionally come to the “The Bin System”. It pretty much just sounds like what it is a bunch of bins to contain all our stuff! In theory each bin would contain a particular group of items, thereby keeping everything in its proper place. While I eventually came to embrace “The Bin System”, I was initially quite hesitant, feeling that I could effectively organize my belongings in the traditional bag or suitcase. Therefore, “Bin #1” is really Bag #1, because I held firm, at least with my own belongings, refusing to put my clothing/shoes/outwear into a plastic bin.
For everything else, I acquiesced, helping Tyler to put it all into bins. As with every other step of the planning process though, we had to do more thinking before actually executing our vision. So, before purchasing the bins, we sketched out a rough idea of the number of bins we’d need. We came up with the following categories: sleeping gear, hiking gear, entertainment, food, Tyler’s climbing gear and Tyler’s clothing. Fortunately, that was rather easy.
Then, we headed to our local Home Depot to determine what bins were available, what sizes would be most appropriate and what would actually fit in the back of Tyler’s Prius. Admittedly, putty colored bins were not my first choice. However, Tyler and I both quickly ruled out clear containers for safety reasons (don’t want everyone seeing what we got!), and bins in other, prettier colors (like navy or purple) just didn’t exist or weren’t the right size. Fortunately, these bins stacked easily atop one another and had an easy closing mechanism, allowing us to make three neat stacks (2 or 3 bins high for a total of 8 bins) in the back of Tyler’s car.
In total, the eight bins came out to be about $70. At the time, that seemed like an exorbitant amount of money to spend on plastic, but most of the other stores I researched had comparable or more expensive prices, which meant we felt as if we’d made a relatively good buy.
While getting all of our stuff in the bins was not as easy as I had initially thought, and we did have to tuck a few items around the bins, ultimately, we were able to store the vast majority of our belongings inside the following eight bins:
We’re less than a week into our road trip and so far “The Bin System” has proven successful. Our car is clean and we know where to find everything. Huzzah!! Success! Therefore, fellow travelers and soon-to-be road trippers, I definitely recommend giving this system a shot. Don’t tell Tyler though – I still strongly believe that you can keep a car just as organized with bags and suitcases!! This will be our little secret. =)