We’re three weeks in and I’ve decided to take inventory of the items I brought aboard. My list actually came out to be 101, but I feel I stayed very true to what I started with on the original list — only adding a few things here and there like my Hanging Monkey Potato Peeler. I thought I’d give you a rundown of the Top 10 things I’m glad I have, and wouldn’t want to make this journey without.
1. Dyson Hand Vacuum
This is hands-down the best thing on board. It breaks down to fit inside a plastic bin, which neatly fits under the couch. It has 3 attachments that allow me to pick up everything that comes inside — from dirt and grass to dog hair. The carpet attachment allows me to vacuum the furniture too. If you’ve ever had a Dyson, you know what a lifesaver they can be. After three weeks of hard use, I love this item almost as much as Deke loves his Xbox.
Dyson DC31 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner [Amazon Link]
2. Sewing Machine
I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out. Sometimes I wish I’d have picked a hobby with smaller equipment, but I love to sew and I’m going to make it work. The machine itself actually gets stored in the truck, but everyday I bring it in and set it up on the table and get to work. I find that as long as I’m organized, it all works out ok. Also, if you’re lucky enough to stay in a park with a community room, I’ve found that they’re more than happy to let you haul your stuff inside for a day and set up on a table.
SINGER 7469Q Confidence Quilter Sewing Machine [Amazon Link]
I’m a book person. I worked at a bookstore. But I love my nook (that Deke basically had to force me to agree to buy – “But what about the feel of the paper?” I cried). I have 40+ books downloaded and at my disposal for a read anytime outside under the awning. I’m really happy I have it.
Cooking provides its own set of challenges in the Airstream, but I love to cook and this is the one tool I can’t live without. It’s small (which is a bonus) and once you have it, you’d be surprised how much you use it — even not so great meals always taste better with a little freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. And how about some fresh grated lime zest with that gin and tonic? Can’t beat it. And who wouldn’t want to eat my homemade apple crisp with a little fresh nutmeg? See? You need the microplaner.
Microplane Grater/Zester [Amazon Link]
5. Microfiber bath towel
At first, I doubted the effectiveness of the microfiber bath towels we got at Whole Earth Provisions. They’re thin, they don’t come in fun colors and they’re only-kind-of-soft. To me, a bath towel should be huge, fluffy as a cloud and preferably have stripes or polka dots. But, once I realized that while living in a trailer bath towels are utilitarian not decorative, I embraced microfiber. They don’t take up a lot of room and they dry incredibly fast. Enough said.
Eagle Creek Travel Towel [Amazon Link]
6. Ingrid’s crystal bowl
On my 100 items list are 10 things that I don’t have to have a reason for. They aren’t multifunctional, they aren’t light or small, they’re just things I want around me because they’re beautiful. One is a crystal bowl that one of my very best friends, Ingrid, bought for Deke and me when we got married. It’s a heavy, deep red bowl that sits in a place of honor on the table, right in front of the window so everyone can see it. Sometimes its empty, sometimes it holds apples or limes or keys. It’s beautiful and reminds me of great things.
In any park, after it’s been raining all day, you do not want to go out in regular shoes. You’ll ruin them. Bring a pair of wellies. Trust me. I wish they made them for dogs.
8. Black Diamond Lantern
I know, how great can a lantern be? Um, awesome, that’s how great. This little Black Diamond was insanely expensive by my standards, but we had a gift card for REI, so we got it. It works incredibly well, throwing off a ton of light and packs up easily at the end of the day to store. It runs on 4 AA batteries and also has a hanger at the top so you can hang it from a tree or your awning. When all our other cheap things die, I’m going to buy more of these.
Black Diamond Apollo Lantern[Amazon Link]
9. Collapsible Dish Rack
I saw this at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and thought it was the best I’d seen for washing dishes. I’d been to several stores trying to find something that wouldn’t take up a lot of space on the counter and could collapse away, but most were metal and bulky. This is lightweight, has held up to several loads of dishes a day and folds easily to put under the sink. It even has a little drawer that catches extra water — you slide it out when you’re done and dump it in the sink.
10. Simplehuman Automatic Soap Dispenser
This one was a surprise. At first blush, it seems over the top and posh. But the last thing I want is salmonella covered detergent bottles or a dish of bacteria ridden soap water hanging around the kitchen sink. That’s why this auto soap dispenser makes the list. It’s just so easy to hold your hand under the nozzle and wash up in the midst of cooking. No muss, no fuss, no residue, just clean.
Simplehuman Sensor Pump [Amazon Link]
Things I brought and quickly got rid of: second baking pan, husband pillow, big fluffy bath towels.
Things I wish I brought: extra pair of sweatpants.
Silly things we’ll never use because they don’t work well but are fun to have: Space Invader Ice Cube Tray.
How about you? Are there any things you can’t camp without? Let us know!