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Old 01-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
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everyday stuff to carry

I'm outfitting a sportsmobile that is completely devoid of anything but the furniture. There are threads here about the 'best things you've purchased for your van, but what about the everyday stuff? What lives in the van and comes along on every trip? There are some obvious things, and then there are the things that'll become obvious as soon as I actually camp in it, but it's always interesting to see what other folks have.

The obvious stuff:

towels - I travel with 2 dogs, so lots of towels.
sleeping bag for penthouse
chairs (yes, I saw the chair thread)
small external table
plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery - I bought 4 of each - cheap and light plastic stuff except cutlery
pots and pans - saw the cookset thread, too
2 headlamps

That's about all I've purchased so far (actually, no chairs or table yet, and I already had sleeping bag and headlamps). I'm outfitting for basic basecamp - a comfy place to come back to after a day of hiking or mountain biking. I don't want to be huddled up inside the van.

Things that seem like they'd be useful if permanently in van.
tarp + poles for awning
lantern
stove for outdoor cooking, or butane chefs burners
small charcoal bbq - could be overkill, but much more consistent than wood fire for cooking
rug for outside side doors - keep van interior cleaner
hand vacuum - 2 dogs, remember
rain gear
warm layers
gloves, hat
hammock and tree straps
extra leashes, harnesses, collars, tags, pre-printed 'lost dog' posters with pictures
daypack
camera gear

What am I missing? What should I skip? So long as it is just the dogs and I, I seem to have an abundance of storage, even without a rooftop cargo box, though I'm tempted to go that route just so I can keep all of the large furniture items out of the van and keep the aisle in the van free of clutter. Pull into site, climb on top and toss table, chairs, tarp, poles to the ground, then pop penthouse up and make camp.

I know I should have normal clothing stored in the van, but I know I'll wind up raiding the stash in the van whenever I neglect to do laundry at home, so I may as well just get in the habit of throwing clothes in the van before I leave since it'll happen that way, regardless.

what do folks recommend for a lantern? I haven't car camped in a long while and I make do without a lantern when backpacking. There are some rechargeable electric options. I have solar. Is this a worthwhile combination or should I stick with traditional mantle lantern? What are the thoughts on small charcoal grill - unnecessary? I quite enjoy cooking while camping and with the availability of the fridge, and I can certainly see doing up a steak or burgers on occasion if the grill is available.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

and perhaps most importantly - what tools do you carry? I've got my motorcycle toolkit well dialed in, but I've never been one to wrench on my 4-wheeled vehicles. And I've never owned a 16 year old van, even if it does only have 100K miles on it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

A table is what I have been missing most of all and will need to pick up one.

I found a mat that is for a baby chair to help keep the floor clean that I use for a entry mat. It has a heavy rubber back that helps it stay in the wind yet its thin and fits behind the drivers seat (RB30) when rolled up. Found it a Ross or marshalls.

I have a tool kit that folds up and fits in the closet but Im looking for a better made kit thats more complete. Was looking at the one Costco has.


I keep 2 types of paper towels. one is the blue automotive type and the other is in a tub with cleaner.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

If your rig is a diesel (don't know - add a signature line with info) carry fuel filters, winter fuel additive to stop gelling.

Chains for winter.

Hose to refill water tank. Another hose to empty gray water.

TP. When you need it, you need it.

Paper towels

LED flashlights - batteries last forever

Campground guide book

AAA Card

Tea kettle to heat water and COFFEE

Laundry soap

A roll of Quarters for laundry/showers

$20 in small bills for forest campgrounds (or a checkbook)

Trash bags

Hiking stick

Passport - in case you 'need' to cross that border

Door hanger for your towel/clothes in campground showers

Mike
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

A few more items...

A small shovel for when you have to use that roll of TP or tend a camp fire.

A light single bit axe for breaking up squaw wood. ( And for when you drive up a dead-end road, camp, next day discover that a tree fell across the road behind you. Been there, done that.)

A good jack and jack stands.

For a table - A roll top camp table works great for us and packs down to about the size of a collapsible camp chair.

Any new lamp, lantern, flashlight should be LED.

With all these suggestions, remember that camping styles vary a lot and one mans useless crap is another mans must-have treasure.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

heh - it's always funny to see how much energy people put into ensuring they have access to coffee when camping. I don't drink coffee or tea. It's amazing how much hassle that saves me.

Some good suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming.

What a pain in the ass to have to cut up a fallen tree with an axe just to get back down a road!
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

I have a couple things in the van always and I will try and not repeat what has been said so far.

We like to have a foam mattress pad to sleep on. We got one from Costco for the main bed downstairs and I find it more comfortable than my bed at home sometimes. No problem sleeping on it. We usually make the bed with sheets and down comforter.

I keep reflectix panels that I can insert in the windows and PH for insulation on those cold nights or hot sunny days. Store them under the sleeping pad behind the bench seat.

games.... like cards or mexican train, dominoes, yahtzee, etc

you need a battery voltage meter to keep track of your house battery and to see how much you have used. I always check it before bed and first thing in the AM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornercarver
What a pain in the ass to have to cut up a fallen tree with an axe just to get back down a road!
Also been there, done that, except we used the winch instead of the axe. Much easier.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

I am carrying a chainsaw along for those pesky trees.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:42 AM   #10
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Re: everyday stuff to carry

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxacceleration
I am carrying a chainsaw along for those pesky trees.
good idea but having oil and gas around the van is kind of messy.
I think a stick or two of dynamite or equivalent should easily handle the situation.
That's how Fiona would handle it
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