Getting organized, some light construction, and a sewing room

Our place is small, but we make good use of the space here in what we call The Homestead.

Everything placed just so and organized as best we can overall.

Our gear room / guest room in Nov 2018.

But there’s always room for improvement, or rearranging the space for other purposes.

Joan, in particular, wanted an area for sewing. I can barely sew a button, but Joan created a down quilt, such clothing as balaclavas and other gear. A place to sew apparel, and repair existing equipment, makes for something that two outdoors people could make use of overall.

Our landlord and friend told us recently that we are welcome to put up a small shed if we would like. He would level the ground and make an area for us.

Joan would get a sewing area, I’d clean up the clutter and get better organized, and our car camping gear, packrafting gear, and other items could be in the shed.

First, I must say how much Amazon changed living in a smaller town. With a few clicks, we can get items sent to our door without any difficulty encountered even as recently within the past decade.

Our Arrow shed arrived on a pallet one day. And it sat there waiting for a weekend where Joan and I could dedicate to setting up this project.

And that weekend finally arrived. Needless to say, it took longer to put together for various reasons (pouring gravel, leveling the area better, limited daylight, a cold-weather snap, etc.), and I put the last doors on the shed by headlamp.

But it went up in the end, if with a few colorful words at times.

In addition to the anchor kit, we have six parking spaces curbs with rebar on three walls of the shed both inside and out.

In the shed, we have the pulk (gear sled), our always packed car camping tote, propane tank, larger cooler, and the deep winter car camping bags, along with extra gear and clothing in a tote coupled with an organized hardware bin.  The flyers kit bag holds our packrafting gear. The shelf has some climbing gear, bear canisters, an older Coleman white gas stove, and some other items better off in storage rather than actively available.  The car camping gear, pulk, and packrafting gear in the shed make sense since it allows easy loading of the car for trips.

But having a sewing area and a better-organized gear room makes this shed come into its own.

Sleeping bags and the quilts we use for various trips reside in a logical place along with own clothes, sleeping pads, scraps of foam, our main shelter for when we backpack together, and cold weather footwear. We each have one duffle bag and a flyers kit bag we use for packing/traveling as well.

My particular bin in the corner contains hiking pants, socks, long sleeve button-downs, running shorts, BDU-type pants for trail work or similar (and shed building!),  and briefs. All sorted and organized for easy gathering on a trip (i.e., hiking socks are in  a stuff sack, briefs in another, etc.)

A stuff sack full of my “go-to” ski clothes resides behind the ski touring boots, too. Note the blaze orange clothingthe bright yellow duffle contains colder weather clothing always pre-packed for car camping, and the black duffle contains some pieces of winter backpacking clothing.   I like a modular approach so I can mix and match easily and pack quickly too. My Hillsound microspikes hang nearby, also.

Importantly the middle area contains items we use a lot of together. Note the various Ziploc bags, a box with small tubes of sunscreen, lip balm, our favorite sunglasses, the liner gloves we both use, stuff sacks, and a maintenance box with such things as Sno-Seal, bank line, hiking pole maintenance kit, Sail repair tape, etc. Naturally, we have a scale easily accessible, too. We both have swap boxes full of different gear (such as stoves or cookpots) for different trip types, as well.  Hidden behind it all are some trail maintenance gear and the road trip solar panel and Goal Zero. 

Moving to the other side of the room, we have the reason much of this project started: a sewing area.

The Lone Pine photo is of a state park where Joan worked at one point. And also a photo she took.

The room’s door hides the skis and accessories.

The sewing table rolls out and makes an excellent place for sewing and kick-ass place to look over large maps I am finding out! On it live both a serger and a sewing machine.

The cooler protects the serger during transport and currently holds lots of fabric. The plastic bins also contain various sewing items. The small cooler is for anything from a quick overnight camping trip, a day’s outing, or even a BBQ with friends. The plastic tote next to it contains our car camping pantry with various canned food, hot drink mixes, spices, etc. and always packed and ready to go.

The larger tote on top contains various packs and my solo shelter.  A Z-lite clone sits nearby, too. On top of my always-packed day pack resides and whatever backpack I find myself using the most for a particular time or season. Currently, we are getting into colder weather, and I am going on trips with Joan, so the ULA Circuit ends up being my “go-to” pack.

Towards the front of the room resides the “office” with a printer and some other boring, but useful, things like pens, paperwork, cords, electronics, etc.

Our always useful drying rack, since expanded to two since I took this photo, “lives” here, too.

And behind door #1 resides our backcountry puffies, other shelters we do not use as often, Joan’s solo hammock set up, other quilts or sleeping bags, and a blow-up queen bed with linens, towels, etc. We figure the right guests won’t mind being surrounded by our gear. 😉

We keep track of all these various items mainly with Google docs and print out spreadsheets to tape on some totes.

Overall, we find keeping everything organized and accessible makes our time getting outdoors more efficient. And, I, for one, am looking forward to the home-grown repairs. 😉

Between the shed and my 10-day WFR class I am currently taking, the time bank funds available for the website are perhaps a touch thin. But all worth it in the end.

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