Thursday, February 4, 2021

Camping Dreams, Camping Plans

Wren house, painted by a local artist

Perhaps I should add wheels to our birdhouse so the wren can tow it south. Oh, that's right, the wren has already traveled south for the winter, having decided to fly rather than drive.

My wife and I have been busy buying items to make our new home on wheels more liveable; unfortunately, unlike our friendly neighborhood wren, we haven't moved south to warmer weather, and the next week will be temperatures in SE Iowa with highs in the single digits and lows below zero. Therefore, this is an update of my camping dreams and camping plans for the next week.

Current iteration of the book cover

I'm in the process of putting together a book about Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers, which will include articles I've written about RTTC owners and their travels--and also including some of my own travels with the Green Goddess, which I believe is now somewhere in Oregon with its new owner. I haven't published a book in several years, and the adventures of RTTC owners and their trailers have been a real pleasure for me to research and write for the Green Goddess Glamping blog, not to mention my own adventures. I expect the book, which will include color photographs, will be out around spring.

Snow, ice, and below zero temperatures

Right now, our Airstream Basecamp is surrounded by snow and ice in the driveway. I believe there's a good chance I could hook up and leave, but I'm not sure. The snow in front of the trailer has accumulated, so when I backed up to the unit just to get a feel for the surface, there was a lot of three-dimensional movement--slippage, mounds, gulleys, and the front jack frozen in. I was thinking of heading to Greers Ferry Reservoir in northern Arkansas, around 450 miles from home, but I really don't want to travel in sub-zero temperatures. There was a small window of time that I could have departed in warmer weather (although the warmth had brought freezing fog), but I would have had to rush our preparations. My main precaution dates back to one of my first articles on camping in the time of the coronavirus--what are the risks if something happens, something unexpected? Although risks are a part of travel, adverse conditions do increase risks, and for myself, my family, and others, I'm willing to wait a bit before hitting the road. Anyway, I'm home now and enjoying moving into the camper, and the weather in about a week and a half doesn't look too bad.

Food storage containers for the cabinet space below

Food storage area being filled

My wife Sandy and I discuss modifications, we order a few items, and then I go out and make adjustments. One addition for the camper we've bought is a dozen nine-inch-tall food-grade plastic storage containers. Four inches wide at the top, the containers are for our grains, beans, flours, nuts, dried fruit, and sundry. We are trying to achieve two goals: 1) to get beyond having to stock the trailer for every trip, and 2) having some emergency supplies if an unexpected, longer stay somewhere is necessary. I'll write more about these containers in a later, more detailed post.

Two plastic bins and three cube bags

Another task has been for us to make the passenger-side storage space beneath the seat hatches more useable. I have added opening struts, as  mentioned in an earlier post, and now we are trying our storage options for our clothes. What we've found are two plastic bins for clothes that are bulky and then three soft storage cube bags (REI and Northface) for other clothes ( two bins and three cubes each, for my wife and for me). I wanted to see how much I could pack in my cache-- the photo shows, four pairs of pants, four shirts, and plenty of underwear (cotton and wool), wool baselayer long underwear, and socks. I could have stuffed a bit more in if necessary. So even if we were heading out on a long trip and didn't want to frequent laundromats, we could pack enough clothes. Probably, though, for long-term trips we would find ways to take fewer clothes and to wash them.

Muesli cookies

We're still enjoying the planning and packing stage, and I even managed yesterday to bake cookies on my birthday. I'm not planning on sleeping in the trailer during the sub-zero temperatures . . . I'm curious, but not that curious--I think!

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