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TrainChaser

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The problem is that if you've never done this before, you don't know what you need and what you don't. You're going to make a few mistakes. You've done that before and lived through it.
 

DrJean

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Extra coffee is good to trade for something you forgot to bring. :D
 

Ticklebellly

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A long handle shovel/post hole shovel is handy and maybe necessary for Porta Pottie disposal use. Handy around the fire and for levelling one wheel of a van.

I always carry a plastic leaf rake. Gets used lots. Great tool for hearding snakes back to the bush.

A battery powered leaf blower sweeps the van out far faster than any broom!
 

PattySprinter

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I have about 5 unopened 10# cans of Thrive freeze meats ... and about 20 mason jars of Thrive veggies and some grains ... I think that even canned food should not get stored above 80* though - is that correct?
In hot van/car/rv weather, how do you all store your food that is not refrigerated?
 

DrJean

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A straw broom works good on those snakes too... always had the last person in the line on a night hike carry one. (They felt safe even though a snake would have been long gone by then! hahaha But they get to run up to where someone sees a snake during the hike anyway.)
 

waldenbound

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I know I have way too much stuff, and stuff I'll probably never need. I just think sensibly and think "what would be a good idea to take?" Then if I use it, it was worth it. If I don't use it, I suppose I'll be giving a lot away to people.
 

lenny flank

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I always did the "ultralight" thing back when I was backpacking. While a van-camper doesn't have to worry about weight, the ultralight gear is also usually pretty compact to save space. So that may help out.

Since almost all my dwelling is urban and I can get anything I need in the Walmart any time I need it, I have only the most basic necessities in the van--a cot for sleeping, my alcohol stove and kit for cooking, a hand-cranked washing machine for laundry, a Lady Jane bucket for pooping, a sink made from a stainless mixing bowl (soon to be replaced by a plastic "fish-cleaning sink"), a small cooler (with extra styrofoam) for keeping leftovers, a couple of sweater boxes to store odds and ends, my day-pack--and that's about it. Anything else I buy as I need it.

I try to follow the philosophy of the backpacker--"bring what you need, and need what you bring".
 

MrNoodly

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lenny flank said:
Anything else I buy as I need it.

This reminds me of a European vacation with my now-former wife. She was packing a lot of stuff and doing a lot of "what if" worrying.

"Honey," I said, "it's not like we're going to the middle of the Amazon. It's England and Ireland. They have stores there with whatever you might have forgotten or didn't foresee needing. They speak English, which means you can explain whatever it is you need. And we have money."

I shouldn't have been surprised because during normal life she went everywhere with a large purse and a bag about the size of a mailman's filled with things she might need—but never did. Meanwhile I left the house with just my keys and wallet (and later a phone).

I used to participate on a motorcycle forum. Someone asked what tools we took on rides. A lot of guys took a lot of stuff. I answered, "Other than the tool kit that came with the motorcycle and a tire pressure gauge, I take just a phone and a credit card."

My budget is a lot tighter these days so I'm not as cavalier about solving problems with money, but there are a lot of maybe-I'll-need-it things I've decided not to carry because the odds of needing those things are rather slim. I can't be prepared for everything I can possibly imagine, so I prepare for things that are most likely to happen.
 

lenny flank

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Yep. When I went to South Africa with a friend, he packed enough stuff to relocate his house, and all I took was a carry-on backpack with some clothing and my camera. Anything else, I just bought when I got there. (And I did laundry in the hotel sink as necessary.)
 

frater secessus

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lenny flank said:
a sink made from a stainless mixing bowl (soon to be replaced by a plastic "fish-cleaning sink")

When I first read this (pre-coffee) I thought "those aquarium guys are getting out of hand."  

LOL at myself  :D
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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It occurs to me that you could just try living in your van for a month while it was parked in your driveway.  Every time you discover you need something, just go in the house and get it.  That should cover 98% of what you need, and the odd item like a rake or shovel you could discover by a few weekend camping trips.
 

lenny flank

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frater secessus said:
When I first read this (pre-coffee) I thought "those aquarium guys are getting out of hand."  

LOL at myself  :D



Hah!  :)

One thing I do wish I could do, though, is keep a Betta fish with me in the van. But I can't think of any good way to (1) keep him cool in the summertime, and (2) prevent the water from sloshing around as I drive.

I did originally have a colony of Central American Disco Cockroaches with me when I started van-traveling, but alas the "keeping them cool" thingie never worked out well, so I gave them all away. I miss the little dudes.  :(

I have thought about putting a little potted Prayer Plant on my console. They don't need much light, but I'm not sure how they'd take the temperature swings throughout the year either.
 

Cammalu

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Eweeeeeeee. Eeekkkkkkkk cockroaches!!!!! Ahhhhhh. Step on them and run screaming!!!!


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lenny flank

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Now come on... how can anyone NOT love an adorable little face like this:


13310243364_d39fcaffa9.jpg



;)
 

Cammalu

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Lenny that's the stuff my nightmares are made from!!!! I don't even think I'm afraid of anything else!!!


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rvpopeye

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If it looks like it might get really hot in my rig I sometimes put the canned goods in a cooler (no ice) to temper the heat a bit.
 

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