Sunday, December 21, 2014

What If: Bits and Pieces

OK, it's been a while since I've done any What If posts but sometimes life gets in the way, and frankly, life has priority. While I continue crunching numbers in order to come up with weight and center of gravity, I thought I'd 'entertain' you with this post.

There’s a big difference between a shelter and a home.

A shelter provides protection from the environment.

A home is shelter that also provides for the needs, comfort and convenience of the occupants.

No home is perfect but some are better than others.

At this stage of the design process I start virtually living in the space. By that I mean I imagine myself going through the motions of the obvious and the mundane.
Is the bed large enough to be comfortable and will it be claustrophobic or pleasantly cozy??

Is there decent ventilation?

When I come back from a wet and dirty hike is there some place to hang my poncho and park my boots?

In this image you can see coat hooks for hanging wet and dirty stuff, storage space for a broom, towel bars on the door, and the all important fire extinguisher, all handy to the door.

Where do I put my glasses and book when I’m done reading in bed?

Here you can see storage for cutlery (Remember, no drawer.) and a towel bar for dish-towels. These are repeated over on the other counter too so objects such as the fire stick will have a permanent and handy home. Note that the towel bar is located back near the side wall/window where anything hanging on it won't be in the way
Can I turn off the reading light without getting up?

Where will I keep the broom?

Is there a handy place to store the fire stick I'm going to use many times a day to light the stove with?

And since one fire extinguisher might not be enough, or might be in the wrong place when you need it most, another one at the opposite end of the camper. These should be handy, but not in the way and I like to mount them far enough off the floor to get a broom under there so dust bunnies don't set up housekeeping. Here's a case where bigger isn't better. These things will lose their charge over time and the smaller, more economical ones are more likely to get replaced when necessary yet are still adequate for this small space.
Some of these things are addressed in the basic design, others by the details, details that may seem small but have a significant impact on the enjoyment and satisfaction of living in the space, of making it a home.

I call these details the bits and pieces and I've only touched on a few of them here, but you get the idea.


  1. The small details you mention are things I would not have thought about but are very cool. Like the reason for the distance of mounting the extinguisher or the utensil rack instead of pull out drawers. Your "what if" series has been great.

  2. Thanks Steve. I wasn't sure anybody but me would be interested in something like this but then again my post on how to shower while camping has, by far, been the most clicked on post of this blog, so I figured I'd go for it.