My brother-in-law has wryly observed on many of our mutual family camping occassions that I seem able to fit more into a vehicle than others he knows. He jokingly suggested that I launch a Web-based service for tips and advice for those less able than I. *
I don't think I'll ever do that... But here is a tribute to his suggestion, resulting from our recent trip to Brule, WI. With gas prices hovering around $3.00/gallon (seemed high at the time) we decided to take the little car: a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. Even loaded down with the four of us and all our gear for the weekend, we got 55 mpg for the whole trip, so it was a good choice—especially compared to the 20 mpg our van was getting. (Our previous best with the Civic was 65 mpg on a round trip to Chicago, with four suitcases and four people.)
I (humbly) amazed myself that everything fit. Packed into the 12.9 cubic feet of trunk space are (click image for larger view):
- 2 extra-large duffel bags
- 2 internal frame backpacks
- 1 medium duffel bag: swim gear for four, including suits, beach towels and water shoes
- 1 small duffel bag: rain gear for four (ponchos and pants)
- 4 sleeping bags
- 6-pack of paper towels
- 12-pack of .5 liter water bottles
- 2 first aid kits
- 1 large hip-sack with hiking necessities
- 2 grocery bags of food and cooking supplies
- 1 hat (squishable)
- Several miscellaneous ditties
- Jumper cables
- Windshield squeegie
Sadly, some items were relegated to the cabin space: a small cooler (back seat between the girls); DVD player and selection of movies (floor of back seat); shoulder satchel with crafts, games and books (under Anna's feet); snacks; two non-squishable hats (rear deck, avoiding the battery vent) and three pillows (atop the cooler). Even so, we were all reasonably comfortable, and nobody complained (much) about being cramped. :-)
Perhaps someday I'll get around to formalizing my "tips for packing"as if anybody would be interested.
Matt Fits Right In
In the mean time, I won't actually claim to have discovered a protégé, nor do I suggest that I have had any influence on him, but Elise's boyfriend Matt has exhibited a similar packing propensity. Preparing for early-morning departure from Bloomington, he boldly faced the challenge to pack the Prius with: a dining room table, a refrigerator, two boxed studio monitors (speakers), holiday luggage for two climates, recording equipment, two computers, Christmas gifts from the family, AND miscellaneous driving supplies, including food. He did very well, in spite of the "cold" (what a wimp: it was at least +34° F!) and he got everything to fit. Way to go Matt!
The Saga Continues
Elise lived at home during the summer of 2018. She was transitioning from her previous home in Texas, to her hoped-for home in Chicago.
She got the job she sought, and found an apartment all in the course of a whirlwind weekend visit. The day quickly arrived for her move to the windy city, and she skillfully loaded her Subaru. She proudly posted this photo to Instagram announcing her achievement.
Her words say it all. Way to go, Elise!
I'll let you be the judge: some have said this was mean; others have enjoyed it mirthfully; some identify with Judy; others with me. Which side do come down on? Enquiring minds want to know...