We’ve just returned from a two week trip from Toronto, through Kingston and on to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, following the route of the Optimist Dinghy Fleet from CORK to their Canadian Championships. You would think our car would be the most organized in the lot given my credentials. Sadly, with boat gear, swim gear, overnight gear, a boat and a few extra boat pieces which we carried for another sailor, our van look liked a barely controled wilderness of gear.
We managed the obvious strategies: keep what you are using in the order you use it, take the time to repack the gear when stopped for several days to keep the order efficient, use laundry hampers for the wet (and salty) stuff to keep it open and airing.
By far though, the best strategy, was keeping two coolers: one for the lunch and one for the rest of the parishables. Each day we were on the road, we prepacked the lunch cooler with not only lunch, but a full complement of snacks to keep ourselves and our two children happy for the 8 – 10 hour days. Having the rest of the parishable food in another cooler meant the second cooler kept cold longer and the food less likely to parish. Having a lunch bag cooler at the handy in the car meant less money spent at convenience stores and better snacks for everyone.
And if you have not yet been to Nova Scotia, I highly recommend it!