Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default What do you put in your trunk?

    Everyone I have ever traveled with had a different system (or lack thereof) for packing the trunk or, for that matter, the entire car/truck. What kinds of things do you carry? I addressed some of those isssues in my latest MSNBC column called "How to pack the trunk". I would love to know your secrets and ideas too!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-15-2006 at 12:49 PM. Reason: removed the link - due to updated info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Good article!

    I have re-written that original post because I have changed a few things, I think, since that time. Thanks for the "amazing" compliment. Not sure if I'm amazing or a bit paranoid. LOL

    Here are the things that I typically carry all the time, not just for roadtrips:

    Glovebox and door pockets: GPS, 2 FRS radios, flashlight, battery charger that plugs into cigarette lighters with extra rechargeable batteries, small repair kit with thread/scissors/needles, individual packets of Shout for clothing stains (I'm a slob), individual handi-wipe packets for hand cleaning, multi-function knife, small first-aid kit, tape, paper pad/pens, and a few other miscellaneous things for personal care like dental floos, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers, etc.

    I have a little unit that plugs into the cigarette lighter with 4 extra plugs so I can plug my cellphone, my battery charger, and a little rechargeable flashlight that is always plugged in and ready to go, all at the same time with an extra space if I need it for something else.

    I plan on investing in a CB with NOAA warning capabilities or, at least, just a NOAA radio as well.

    In tote bag behind driver's seat (I rarely have passengers in the back except the dog): atlas, any extra maps I need (I add more for longer trips), one of those street-atlas maps for my state, sun shades, a battery-operated fan if I need to leave my dog in the car when it's a tad warmer for her, rainhat, warmer hat, gloves, raincoat that folds down into it's own pocket, teeny umbrella, dog leash, small pillow that crunches down small into it's own little tote bag, fleece blanket, and another rubber-backed type of blanket that the dog sits on in the car (and great for sitting on the ground, especially if it's a bit damp out).

    My back seat is covered with a big beach towel that matches my car's colors. Mainly for the dog to sit on but it has been handy if I've needed a towel for some reason when out and about.

    Trunk: I have a hatchback. The decklid that hides contents from view has 3 pockets underneath it. These carry my car's manual, a plastic tupperware-style container with extra fuses and bulbs, a kite that goes in it's own little totebag and doesn't need a frame for days at the beach, thin nylon backpack that folds into the small outer pocket just in case I need it to carry things. Oh, and a radio that operates on batteries

    On the right side of my trunk I have one of those vinyl multi-pocket things that has a larger flashlight that can also be like a table-lamp and extra batteries, bungie cords, duct tape, flares, a couple of 24-hour emergency candles, a Sierra-style cup/bowl, some packets of cocoa and dried soup, protein bars, tuna packets, can opener, compass, 1 water-bottle filled with water, collapsible cloth water bowl for dog, a fanny-pack with 2 water bottles filled with water for day hikes. A few simple tools. A pair of hiking boots and socks.

    Underneath the trunk space area, in the spare-tire well: full-size spare, tire-changing tools, more tools, and emergency cash.

    Lying flat on the floor of the trunk is a neat cooler I found that is shaped like a large tote bag. It folds flat and takes up virtually no space when not being used. It's very handy. You never know when you might need it. I've used it if I've been out-and-about and we've decided to stop somewhere to put together an impromptu picnic. And for trips to Costco (an hour away) for frozen items.

    Because I live in tsunami-country and, if the tsunami is caused by an earthquake from the Cascadia Fault, the earthquake will be major (they are predicting a 9.0), and the roads will probably not be driveable, I also have a fanny pack with emergency supplies. I started with a backpack with tons of supplies but realized if I need to run to safety over ruined roads that it would be too heavy to carry and run with.

    Anyway, I've pared it down to this: It has two outside pockets for water bottles. One is a plain water bottle filled with water and the other is a water bottle with a built-in filter that will filter out things like giardia (a major problem where I live). It's filled with water and then, when that clean water runs out, I can fill it with dirty water and drink it with reasonable chance that it will filter out anything unsafe to drink. Within the fanny pack: 1st aid kit, collapsible dog bowl and a few packets of dog food, small leash, protein bars, flashlight that doesn't need batteries (shake it for light), signal mirror, 2 foil-type emergency blankets, small duct tape, poncho, Sierra cup/bowl, two 24-hour emergency candles, protein bars, soup-packets, tuna packets, paper/pencil, small backpacker's style can opener, gloves. And a whistle that has a compass on the lid, and the lid screws off to store matches. I have wind/water-proof matches inside.

    BTW, my husband and two kids have the tsunami-ready fanny packs in their vehicles as well.

    I think that's it. The major stuff anyway.

    ETA: Oh, and XM Radio Roady2 and case with CDs. Gotta have the right tunes for a roadtrip. Even a short one, you know! LOL
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-02-2006 at 11:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default New stuff and detail

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I have a little unit that plugs into the cigarette lighter with 4 extra plugs so I can plug my cellphone, my battery charger, and a little rechargeable flashlight that is always plugged in and ready to go,
    Interesting -- I have multiple doo-dads, but not a central unit.
    My back seat is covered with a big beach towel that matches my car's colors.
    In a future article (2-3 weeks) I am going to introduce an "essential" element of road trip gear: The Personal Cabana Towel (PCT) that I think you will get a kick out of.
    a kite that goes in it's own little totebag and doesn't need a frame for days at the beach,
    Good point, I forgot to mention this little ball-thingy that has streamers and is great for a game of toss.
    A pair of hiking boots and socks.
    Hmmmm, I ought to do that too -- for years on the road, I carried my HAZ-MAT response gear -- but I am too old and creaky to ever dream of doing that again....
    Underneath the trunk space area, in the spare-tire well: full-size spare, tire-changing tools, more tools, and emergency cash.
    Great place for cash. I have some stashed elsewhere -- but that is a good idea.
    Anyway, I've pared it down to this:
    Great list!
    ETA: Oh, and XM Radio Roady2 and case with CDs. Gotta have the right tunes for a roadtrip. Even a short one, you know!
    Yep, an impressive list as always!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-13-2007 at 11:11 AM. Reason: added navigational link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Thanks...

    And, what's really amazing to me is really how little space most of this takes. As some of you know, I drive a New Beetle. Not known for huge trunks. Yet, all this stuff takes little space. I can easily get a weeks worth of groceries for 4 people in my trunk on most shopping trips. Once in awhile I do need to put some things in the backseat or passenger seat, but not often. Those of you with cars with more storage space should easily be able to carry all of this and more without hardly noticing it's there.

    I guess I should been a Boy Scout! LOL

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Supplies

    Mark,

    Great article! It's funny you mention stuffed animals. I've got one bear that's always buckled into the back seat of my car. The rest of the items you mention are either "must haves" or "you should have if you can afford it". I know I carry two tool boxes, with everything I might need to make a minor repair or adjustment on the side of the road. I also (since an unfortunate encounter with a over-heating Uhaul truck) carry several gallons of Coolant in my car. I also try to carry at least one quart of oil and one quart of transmission fluid. Just in case.

    I also carry my Red Cross Disaster Team gear, which has come to include hard hats, thick soled boots, vests (and a reflective vest and a Red Cross vest), and on my on-call weeks a change of pants and a shirt (driping water from a burned out house is really nasty and stains very easily).

    Lately I also carry my mini-mobil CB radio, and my cell phone car charger (which a lot of people seem to forget... or don't want to expend the extra money on, but belive me, it's worth it!). A three-way splitter allows me to run my CD Player, charge my cell, and scan channel 9 at the same time.

    I also cary quite the extensive first aid kit (again, another thing picked up from service in the Red Cross). Not only do I carry a first aid kit, but I also picked up the Disaster Kit that was (and may still be) being sold by Target bearing the American Red Cross logo, and it contains flashlights, battries, a small radio, emergency blankets, amongst other things. Unfortunately, I can't yet afford an AED unit, but if you have the cash, and the certification, its not a bad thing to get!

    I did carry fire extinguishers (until they discharged on me in a explosion of powder), and have yet to replace them).

    After reading your article, Mark, there are a few things I definately need to add. My next major purchase though is going to be a spotlight that plugs into my Cigarette-lighter plug. It will be mainly used for Red Cross service (its VERY hard to find addresses late at night without one).

    Thanks for the ideas!
    -Brad

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Million+ candlepower spot-lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad
    My next major purchase though is going to be a spotlight that plugs into my Cigarette-lighter plug.
    The one I use has capability of re-charging with either DC or AC. It is very handy when changing a tire at night.
    It will be mainly used for Red Cross service (its VERY hard to find addresses late at night without one).
    I was a DAT coordinator for a while -- and my Red Cross DAT response duffle is still packed and sitting by the door. Old habits die slowly (I haven't been on a response since 1997)..

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Oh my!

    I never realized what a haphazard packer I am. I usually have a mental list of what I'm going to take and have done the shopping a few days before. But, it never fails. 7:00 the night before the trip it suddenly strikes me that I haven't washed any clothes nor have I packed anything and oh crud, I'm leaving in 9 hours! I then pull all of the suitcases out of my closet and run around the house tossing stuff into the appropriate case.

    I usually carry a wheeled carry-on suitcase, a very large duffle bag that goes behind the drivers' seat for easy access to the passenger, and a large tupperware bin into which goes all the food and whatever won't fit into the other cases. Then at 4:00 am I usually wander through the house one last time tossing stuff into a grocery sack that I really need, like my prescription medicine. I get in the car and almost pull out of the driveway when I remember that I've left F.P., my stuffed rabbit that has been on every trip with me since I was eleven. I then pick up my sister who puts her wad of stuff that looks eerily similar to mine in the car, along with a bear named Euripedes. And we hit the road.

    Around the second day of the trip I'll usually utter an unmentionable expletive and have to run to a Walmart or drug store for oh... shampoo, headache medicine, sandals,...well you get the drift.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Travels with F.P. & Euripedes -- A new documentary?

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff
    I never realized what a haphazard packer I am.
    I rarely, (read never) pack anything in a suitcase until about 45 minutes from departure. The usual deal for me is: 1) Over-sleep the alarm, 2) Jump into the shower 3) Pack an odd collection of clothes and personal essentials 4)Carefully pack the computer and web gear, 5) Carefully pack the rest of the gear and... hit the road. So, yes, I have been known to need to do some shopping on the way. Of course, I hit the road every couple of weeks and so this is seemingly-out-of-control-mayhem actually looks pretty smooth.

    I don't tend to name my on-board-comfort-animals since they often leave my employ and go on to serve their next comfortees-in-need. But I like the notion of a road-saavy rabbit and his Greek sidekick teddy bear!

    Mark

  9. Default Packing

    I usually pack fairly organized.. starting with a check list about a week before the trip, where I can jot down those things you're going to need but since you don't think of them every day, you tend to forget about them...

    I've got a reasonably sized SUV (Toyota Sequoia), with removable back row seats. On a road trip, the 2 back seats come out and the room is used for "stuff"

    I usually pack in "file boxes" if I can (actually plastic storage boxes I picked up at a office supply store with transparent sides and use around the house for storing stuff).

    One box is "car stuff": extra quart of oil, tool kit, folding shovel, car repair manual, pair of work gloves, jumper cables, spare pair of running/ walking shoes, extra socks, fire extinguisher, small compressor, etc. The tool kit has a bunch of extra stuff in it including electrical connectors and wire, a small hack saw, and "zip" type wire ties. It's always in the back of the car, and having everything in the box keeps the back of the car neat when not road tripping.

    Another box is "dry food stuff": roll of paper towels, crackers, fruit, etc. and potentially including paper plates, bowls, breakfast ceral in the little boxes, plastic eating utensils, etc.

    Depending on where I'm going and what I'm going, another box is "Camping stuff"; propane stove with extra bottle of fuel, pan, etc.

    And sometimes another storage box is loaded with "miscellaneous stuff", depending on the trip (presents, not urgent camera equipment, etc).

    Ice chest of course -- sometimes put behind the front seat on the passenger side (where the driver can reach for it), but usually in the back cargo area -- but where a back seat passenger can get into it.

    The ice chest and storage boxes pretty much tile in the back of the SUV behind the back seat. but this leaves a nice flat surface to put other things on. (The ice chest sticks up, so it usually doesn't get covered)

    Clothes go in a couple of rolling duffels, and get loaded on top. Clothes & toiletries will get pulled out at every night time stop so you might as well put them on top since they're going to be pulled out.

    Camping chairs and a small folding collapsable table go in between the boxes. in the gaps This fills everything in so it doesnt shift, but the camp chairs are easily accessable. One or two tents go on top of the boxes, in their storage cases (say 18" by 4" each) .

    At least one 2.5 gallon container of water (fits against the tail gate), plus usually a flat of water bottles.

    On top of the boxes go sleeping bags and any camping sleeping pads (big fluffy and soft, so they don't need to be tied down). For winter trips, coats and sweaters go on top too... For summer time trips, this may be sun hats.

    There's other stuff scatted around the car -- maps and a small first aid kit in a pocket on the back of the driver's seat. A couple of books and magazines in a pocket behind the passenger seat. A larger first aid kit in a compartment in the back. Several flashlights scattered around the car-- at least one small one in the driver's door compartment. Hand wipes and paper towels accessable from the front seat. A voltage/ reistance meter in a compartment in the back, plus a small 12VDC to 115VAC converter. A small GPS unit in the between front seats compartment, along with hard candy, batteries, power cables (GPS and cell phone), cell phone, GMRS walkie talkies, pad of paper, and pens. At least 2 trash bags in a side compartment in the back, reachable from the 2nd row of seats. Usual set of tools and a small jack under one seat, plus a "star" or "x" lug nut wrench under the other seat. At least 100 feet of rope in the back, and a bunch of bungee tie downs. A full roll of duct tape. A half dozen or more CD's in a case in the front comparment. A plastic tarp or two, usually under the boxes. A rock hammer or two (used for rock hounding, or pounding tent stakes -- nothing better!). At least 2 bottles or tubes of high SPF sun screen in a zip lock bag.

    And strangest of all... I have a cheap, old pair of swim trunks stashed in the side compartment in the back with the jumper cables. Why? At different times they've been used as swim trunks, a rag to wipe my hands, and a replacement when a pair of pants ripped horribly in the wrong place. Besides, it keeps stuff from rattling around....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Nothing Strange in this topic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison
    I usually pack fairly organized.
    Did you know Moderator Judy in a past life? (All kidding aside) great list and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    And strangest of all... I have a cheap, old pair of swim trunks stashed in the side compartment in the back with the jumper cables.
    Well, I also carry a swimming pool thermometer-- so I will know EXACTLY how hot those natural hotsprings are when I find them! -- That is pretty specialized!
    Besides, it keeps stuff from rattling around....
    Yeah, I have been known to stop and search for those annoying rattles -- never thought to use a pair of swim trunks though!

    Mark

Similar Threads

  1. Packing with No Wrinkles???
    By Syv in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 09-06-2008, 10:22 PM
  2. advice on trunk size please
    By RoadTripper 407 in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-29-2005, 11:19 AM
  3. Phase One: Gathering Info for 4+ Month Solo Trip
    By ChiTownLinda in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-09-2003, 04:09 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES