Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What good are backups if they don't fit?

Where we live there aren’t any kinds of disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, winter blizzards, tornadoes, or anything major.  Sure we have fog during the winter and heat during the summer but neither of those will cause our supplies to disappear in the blink of an eye.  The one exception I can think of is a fire. 

If the house caught fire and burned to the ground, my mini-Walmart of a garage, the closets, and everywhere else that we have provisions will be gone.  My truck and tractor will also be destroyed.  (Yes, I keep the tractor in the garage.  It’s a four car garage and I have my work truck, the family truck, and the tractor – so no need to keep it in the barn.) I do have important paperwork, money, and weapons in the safe so that will survive a fire.  Sure it’s all insured but life will still be turned upside-down for a long time.

For some unknown reason, today while planting for vegetables in the garden I thought about the clothes in the trailer.    Our travel trailer is set up with food, clothes, sleeping gear, and all the supplies we need to bug-out if need be, or to go camping on the spur of the moment, or to be a back up in case something happens to the house.  It’s my backup if the house burns down.  The grandkids just keep growing and growing.  I think it's the clean air and farm chores. 

Granddaughter started the school year off wearing a size 10 and ended the school year wearing a 12.  Grandson stayed his size 8 the entire year and is just starting to outgrow them.  Lucky me.  Several pairs of shoes but not too many pairs of pants.  Our rule is you change your pants after school if you are going to go outside to play.  The other rule is if you go through the knees in your pants I will patch them.  I don’t care if you have an entire closet full of patched pants.  You get a certain amount each school year and if you ruin them then you get them patched.  And then you just hope you grow so you can get new stuff.

Anyway, the last time I went through the clothes in the trailer was last fall.  If we lost everything in the house there would be nothing in the trailer that would fit the girl.  Maybe underwear and socks.  The boy would be better off except most of the clothes were winter clothes.  That wouldn’t do if our disaster happened now.  I do need to have a supply of winter clothing but a few short sleeve t-shirts are a necessity.

The closet in the trailer was originally set up with a two foot rod going across the top to hang clothes.  There are many cabinets throughout the trailer and during our very first trip I tried hanging things up and also used lots of cabinets for the clothes.  That worked very poorly.  While we were in El Paso we went to a Target and I bought plastic drawers.  They fit perfectly into the closet.  I have five large drawers stacked on each other plus two small drawers set side by side on top of the five stacked drawers.  Each drawer can hold a weeks worth of clothes for each of us.  The two extra large drawers hold generic items such as t-shirts in small, med, and large for children and small and medium in adult sizes, extra socks, elastic waist shorts, and some sweats.  By putting the clothing into the drawers in the closet it’s opened up a lot of space to now be used for food and other supplies. 

Since the kids have outgrown their clothes, I pulled out most of what was in there and put it into storage in the garage.  I went through bins and found some clothing that the kids will be able to fit into.  Unfortunately for me they are in sizes that I don’t have hand-me-downs.  I’m going to have to make a trip to the store to buy pants if I can’t pick some up on Freecycle.  Fortunately, they like home made clothes and I can make them some items or at least customize the store bought stuff. 

Shoes are another issue.  Their feet keep growing so that needs to be updated in the trailer too.  One of the things we do have in the garage and in the trailer is a set of rubber farm boots of all sizes.  They are easy to wear, clean up with a hose, and can be hung upside down in the space between the bed of the pickup and the rear window. 

If you’ve got kids or if you’ve changed sizes…don’t give excuses or pretend that you will lose that five or ten pounds and fit into those pants, make sure your clothing that you’ve got stored will actually fit.  Right now, the grandkids don’t have backup clothing if a disaster hit our home.


  1. I really like your bug out trailer, what a great idea. Our 14year old son grows daily I am sure and shoes are the biggest problem. I really need to go through our bug out bags again and check on the clothes in them. Thanks for the reminder about this :)

  2. Just bought my ten-year-old son a new pair of sneakers as the soles finally fell off his old pair~ he's up to a men's size 11 now! It might well be all the fresh air and cleaning out the chicken coop and chicken run that's doing it!!!