Sunday afternoon or Monday morning I leave on my road trip to Ohio, so it is time to start packing. As you will see I am not one of those who throws a few clothes into a bag and heads out. I am the empress of “stuff”. That was not true when I backpacked and tent-camped, but I have earned the right to take just about every comfort you can imagine. Gear manufacturers must LOVE me.

Anyway, right before the snow storms, I completely emptied out my van. It didn’t look bad in there, but after 3 previous camping seasons I figured there must be microscopic things thriving in the cracks and crevices. The van was smelling a bit sour, too. After a good high pressure wash inside and out at the car wash, it was ready for loading.

empty 1

Looking into empty van from back doors

empty 2

Looking in from side doors

Only one problem! It snowed, and drifts accumulated around the van. It was too cold and too snowy to reload. So….all the stuff has been in two piles in my kitchen. I have tripped over it now for weeks. I have rummaged through it looking for stuff I need, like the dog leash. With the spring weather, and daily highs in the 70s, it’s time to quit complaining about snow and get packing!

van crap 1

So in the early hours I started repacking. When I use the bed frame, it brings the mattress up and over the wheel well, giving me much more floor space (and storage underneath). I don’t have to use a winch to get out of bed either. However, I am not putting the whole bed frame back because I am returning with some family heirlooms and will need the space on the “rebound”.  So, even though I prefer my raised bed frame, sleeping on the floor is the only way this trip will work. Of course, Tango will try to hog the whole thing, but I will be able to eke out a sliver of sleeping space each night.

Below are photos of the bed set up.


First layer for bed: 2 thick cotton blankets, and Mylar blanket


Memory foam mattress in thrifted duvet cover, on top of Mylar layer


Three fitted sheets added next. over duvet cover (nifty way to change sheets)

open mummy

Unzipped mummy bag (I slide my toes into the snug bottom end)


Zero degree sleeping bag on top- unzipped- so warm

So, that is step one…getting the bed in place.Looks nice and sparse in there, eh?  By the time I finish these “packing posts” it will look like a gypsy trailer furnished by REI, L.L. Bean, Amazon, Walmart and the thrift store. Trust me on this! I don’t have any storage under the bed on this trip but am taking everything +

You probably noticed that I never finished the inside of the van. At one time I planned on this, but the van is destined to become a tow vehicle in the near future. Now, I am saving money for solar panels and other stuff.

Check out sleeping bag and mylar stuff ideas here

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