Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Being Prepared

One of my favorite hobbies is exploring our great nation on foot aka backpacking. This link includes things to pack in a backpack and has some great resources for finding those out of the way trails. In addition, this packing list is great for when the van needs a tow or something happens in the RV and you need to stay in a tent for the night. There is a major difference between a disaster and a very bad day: whether you are prepared or not. The first time the van was towed for repairs, I had to stay with family and had almost nothing with me. Needless to say, I had no wheels, no washing powder, ect, not a fun experience. Enter the second time, had a too go bag which doubles as my hiking pack as well as a 2nd bag for additional clothes and the cats stuff, it was like camping. And of course the second time I had a tent, camped in the back yard with my bug spray, portable pet tents for the cats and battery operated fans, quite comfortable. http://www.backpacker.com/backpacking101/  

I always carry baking soda and powder with me. Baking soda because its good for cleaning, cooking, and washing. Baking powder in case there is a wound on me or the cats, it can be filled in too create a barrier. Baby powder is also great for staying dry, putting on wounds and hygienic reasons. 

Communication is important and at one time I had a bundle of office supplies. Now my purse is a 3rd bag and 1st bag. I carry my phone, camera, chargers, spare batteries, Dr Bronners peppermint travel size, baby powder travel size and wipes, gum, pens, small paper pad, small makeup kit and small nail kit as well as TP and spare baggies. I keep items separated via waterproof clear zip lock baggies.  I also carry a few snack items like granola bars, a small bottle of water, a pop top of tuna and a small instant oatmeal pack. Yes all that fits in my black hobo bag. My co workers call it Mary Poppins bag lol, because what you wish comes out.

In the van and with me I got a small tote from wal mart that holds: my pen, marker, pencil ect in a zip container, a pad of paper on a zip baggy, envelopes, duct and regular scotch tape, cards for thank yous, stamps, and sharpeners, scissors, and finally my art pad sketch book. 

Books we have pocket translation books, my dan brown book collection, the bell jar, Wasted, religious reference materials and my atlas. Then a binder of CDs and DVDs. I used to have almost an entire room of books. 

Blankets, I am a blanket a holic. The more the merrier. I have the fleece throws, 4 comforters, the sleeping bag, 3 sheet sets, 4 pillows, 2 foam sleeping pads and a egg crate on top. Takes a lot of room but the mats, sleeping bag and sheet set can be rolled up and taken in a garbage bag if needed. I want a tri fold bed now as well to double as a couch.

Other items that are good to have: water, lots of it, I carry about 20 gallons between water jugs, bottles and the slimline container. A 5 day cooler helps as well for fridge items.  The dish set from ozark trail at wal mart has been great, a coleman camp stove, and small cat litter pans for washing self and dishes. 

I don't use plastic silverware or disposable anything if I can help it as plastic takes 100 years or so to break down. Clothes that I am going to throw away get laundered and turned into washing rags via strips. I use Dr Bronners now as I found shampoo bottles were a waste.

For the cats, I use yesterdays mews as its recycled paper pellets. 

I do use lots of plastic for storage to keep weight down. I would love a larger rig but what good is the extra space if I can't afford to go anywhere. I get around 20 mpg currently and can get 23 with just the to go bags, the sleeping mats, blankets, cooler and bucket. 

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