Dave & Kelly’s Favorite Camping Gear
Long-time supporters of Campendium, Dave and Kelly have been living in their Airstream since July 2012. In April 2015 they departed the San Francisco area to begin traveling full-time and have been wandering ever since. Below, they share a mix of items that make living in a trailer full-time almost as comfortable as a traditional home.
Dave and I both keep these clogs by the door so we have something to easily slip into for the outside. They are comfortable and supportive like you would expect from Birkenstocks and bring the added benefit of being waterproof and super easy to clean. Both of us have been wearing our original pair for at least six years and they are still in really good shape – we definitely got our money’s worth. Additionally, the inner cork foot bed is replaceable, ensuring continued comfort as the cork bed breaks down over time.
Living in the trailer full-time, a major priority of ours was to ensure that power needs were as close to possible as our former bricks and sticks house. Our trailer came with two power systems (AC & DC); neither were smartly done from Airstream. Upgrading to a single inverter/charge device affords completely hassle-free power capability throughout the trailer and also brings the bonus of hybrid technology. Effectively, when an external power source is less than 30 amps, the device will pull supplemental power from the trailer batteries as needed, ensuring the trailer is fully powered. The control panel is really easy to operate which is awesome – the whole set-up is super convenient.
Dave hated working many hours a day with his laptop sitting on the table. The Roost laptop stand allowed Dave to raise the laptop to a more comfortable eye level. Completing his set-up, he connects a wireless keyboard and mouse, significantly increasing ergonomic comfort. The Roost stand collapses to a small footprint and easily fits into a laptop bag.
Like many RV’ers we initially used the cheapo $20 filters for our filtrations needs. About two years ago we switched to this multi-canister set-up and been very happy with the results. All incoming water is first filtered for sediments, before passing through a second cartridge for filtration and possible decontamination. We’ve also installed a counter-top drinking spigot, and all drinking water is again filtered out of our fresh water holding tank before landing in our drinking glass. We’re very pleased with this set-up as the water tastes great.
Long ago we effectively surrendered the entire backseat of our truck to our dog, Lilly. We bought a 4Knines seat cover to keep the leather upholstery protected from scratches and debris and have not looked back. The cover materials are highly water resistant and easy to clean. When the rare backseat guest is along for a ride, they have quick access to seatbelt hardware through the included Velcro seam, or simply fully remove the cover in a snap.
Let’s face it, sometimes great locations can come with wet weather (I’m talking about you Oregon coast). Or, maybe the forecast calls for a few days of rain. To ensure we keep the inside of our trailer comfortable, our EcoSeb dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air like a champ. Honestly, we’re shocked how much water this little guy pulls. The only downside – this think pulls a lot of power (~ 2.5 to 3.0 amps continuous) to work its magic.
Be it a few hours or a few days, we regularly venture deep into areas with no cellphone coverage. While it’s nice to be disconnected from the outside world, we prefer to do so knowing that if needed, we can always maintain basic communications. The unit works over satellite networks and will ensure two-way texting virtually anywhere on the world. More, in a worst-case scenario, the emergency SOS function will send the cavalry in for a wilderness rescue. A data subscription is required (we pay $10.99 month), but for us the peace of mind is well worth the cost.
For many people, their smartphone camera will suffice – but not Dave. He insists on carrying a “proper” camera just about everywhere he goes. His go-to camera is the Fuji X20. It’s small and easily fits into a coat pocket, or more commonly – a side pocket in one of his many backpacks. He routinely slows our hikes to a crawl taking wonderful pictures.
The overhead lighting in our trailer is blindingly awful; we absolutely hate it. Add to that fact, we’ve always preferred table and floor lighting, we were in love with the Fatboy lamp at first sight. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s an awesome little lamp and it being cordless (micro USB rechargeable) allows us to use it in/outside.
Dave and I love these clogs for indoors; we’ve both owned two pairs of since moving into the Airstream seven years ago. The cork soles are very supportive (getting old sucks!) and they help to keep our feet warm. Don’t be like Dave and settle for a solid (i.e. – boring) color and design; Haflinger has a ton of fun and funky designs so it is easy to find something you love.
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