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8 ways to annoy someone packing a 4×4

There’s usually one person responsible for packing a touring 4×4. Don’t upset them.

DO YOU WANT TO make the person packing the car angry? It’s easy, just try these top tips:

1. Is it…?

“Have you packed the…?”
“Yes it’s in the back.”

<5 minutes later>

“What about the …?”
“Yes, it’s in the back!”

2. Repack

“Do you need anything from that bag?”

“No, all done, it can be stowed”

<5 minutes later after four straps, three locks and two tiedowns have been secured>

“Err, I need that bag back…”

3.  Fully packed (1)

When someone puts three small bags in the back of the car and claims “there’s no space”.

4. Fully packed (2)

When someone puts three small items in a big bag and claims “there’s no more space”.

5. One more

“Is that all the bags to be packed?”

“Sure is!”

“Really? ”


<carries out the most perfect packing and storing, all space efficiently used, it’s a work of packing art>

“Oh I forgot I want to take these too….”

6. Where’s the…?

“I need the widget, where is it?”

“I put in in the black bag”

<5 minutes of undoing and retrieval.  Searches black bag>

“Where in this bag?”

“Umm, err…think it was the *other* bag actually!”

7.  Missed it

When everything just slots in perfectly into a bag. You zip it, stow it and slam the boot shut. Job done.

Then you turn around and find the one other item that should be in the bag. And there’s nobody to blame but yourself.

8. You knew it but you did it anyway

When you do a half-arsed job of tying things down and drive off, something comes loose and breaks. And you knew it would happen yet you did it anyway.

Did we miss any?

4×4 Packing Pointers

  1. Use a list – that way you won’t forget anything
  2. Put effort into the setup – spend time on getting exactly the right boxes and bags, tiedowns, storage systems and more.  Time saved in pack/unpack is valuable in the field, especially if it’s raining and cold!
  3. Always leave extra space – packing in the field is never as perfect as the test pack at home
  4. Order is important – not everything needs to be quickly accessible.  You’ll often need basic tools like screwdrivers and knives, but the heavy, rarely used tools can be stowed right at the back.
  5. Use all the space – under seats, attached to the chassis, on the roof, even maybe remove a trim panel and put some spares behind like belts
  6. Remember where it all is – there’s so much kit to carry you tend to forget where it is, and what you have.  Create a little list that shows you where you put that third shackle or set of spare fuses.
  7. Use quality boxes and bags – many items of gear come in plastic wrapping which just doesn’t work for travel.  Strong bags, maybe canvas, or tough boxes are what you need and want.
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