RIMBY Van Life: The Pros & Cons of Organization


"It’s one of those weird facts of life that a new opportunity will most often present itself when there is already a plan in motion."   

I started my road trip by building a bed in the back of my truck, stashing a bunch of boxes in the corner of a friend’s garage, and hitting the road. Living out of a truck is both weird and wonderful, so here are a few tips for anybody out there considering taking the plunge.


Make a plan – but don’t necessarily stick to it.

It’s one of those weird facts of life that opportunities most often present themselves when there is already a plan in motion. For example, for my drive from Colorado to Idaho I had mapped out a route, and even found a good looking spot to camp and a few short leg-stretching hikes along the route. But when a new friend hollered out his window as he drove away, “God Almighty, go to that hot spring!” I decided I had better alter my plan and go to that hot spring.

Entropy is real.


Organization is an ongoing task.

You know how the first time you pack a suitcase, at home, you can fold everything just so, and if you do fold everything just so, you can fit way more stuff in your bag? Don’t do this!! When you pack at home, leave a little room so you can just shove your jacket in a bin and get on with things.

Find time for micro-organization. Life on the road is full of short bursts of down time. Pumping gas, waiting for the coffee to brew, drinking a beer while your buddy gets dinner going. Use these spare minutes to corral some of the floating odds and ends.

Don’t sweat it. Organization is great, but fishing, mountain biking, and beers with friends are all better. As long as you can find your car keys, and head lamp, and have room to sleep, you are doing just fine. Which brings me to my next tip…….


Think like a Squirrel.

For me it’s hair ties and lighters. These are things that I consider necessities, but have a hard time keeping track of. They’re small and they’re cheap, so I buy a bunch and stash them all over the place. If I can’t find the lighter that’s supposed to be in the kitchen bin, I can check the center console and there is usually one in there, or else in the pocket of my backpack. Maybe for you it's nail clippers and Chapstick, or Advil and gum. If you squirrel these things away in a bunch of locations, you don’t have to worry about being caught without them.

PRO TIP: This does not apply to car keys and head lamps, find a safe spot for these and always return them to this spot when not in use.




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Photos & wisdom from Mountain Standard Field Agent, Ashley Hillard, who's currently ripping whitewater in Idaho on the coolest summer vacation ever. 

Curious about starting on your own extended road trip? Learn about more Pro Tips on the @mountainstandard Instagram, and our Adventures section

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