Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I'm feeling a bit less rushed and pressed for time before the trip now. Sunday Paul and I did the complete RV inventory. I took out the list I had prepared of stuff I thought we needed and stuff I remembered being in the RV, as well as the things that needed to be done to it before leaving. Then we compared that to our on-site inspection. What we found was interesting.

There was a lot more stuff in there than I had remembered. Some of it came out. (There's no way we're going to cram in, or use, an electric space heater. I doubt we can use more than one roll of duct tape, and now we had an explanation for the continuously disappearing rolls from the basement, the storage shed....)

Some stuff was replaced. Plastic picnic dishes are fine if all you need to eat are cold items and you can forever keep them away from hot stove burners, but there's no need to have seventeen of something. We have 5 of each kind of dishes now, in graniteware. The folding-handled frying pan is a cheap piece of camping crap, replaced by a good teflon one from the kitchen. Two-year-old spices turned out to be both flavorless and caked, and got replaced with fresh(er) ones.

Some things were re-engineered, if you will. Small like things were combined into large ziploc bags, such as the drink mixes. This aids in both locating and eyeball inventorying them. The bathroom is almost too small to pee in, much less shower in, so the shower curtain was tossed. A piece of rope strung through 7 rolls of toilet paper and hooked on the shower curtain holders now decorate the doorway: duck as you enter!

Some things vanished into the ether. We used to have a hatchet, not only for reducing firewood but doubling as a hammer for tent stakes, etc. I had to purchase a new sleeping bag because my perfectly good 30-degree bag no longer appears to exist. Anywhere! But while expensive to replace, my new Eddie Bauer bag has two layers, and will be more comfortable in hot weather.

I corrected our list, first by adding items we left in the RV from before and had forgotten but were good ideas to have along, saving that expanded list for future trips. Second, I deleted all the items already packed or taken care of, and have a new "still-to-do" list. It looks and feels much more manageable. Computers can be great!

There is a tremendous amount of shopping left. Since I'm one of those people who on principle hates shopping, even when there is an electric cart in the store to ride, I can only tolerate shopping for so long before it's time to get out of the store and go home. So there will be a whole bunch of days ahead knocking items off the list and drawing it down. I may not get the whole 15 gallons of distilled H2O in a single trip, just because it seems ridiculous to do so. (While the RV carries a supply of water, the fact of adding antifreeze every winter after draining just means we prefer to use it for washing and flushing, not drinking. Even though it's safe after flushing the system. Whatever "safe" means. ) But each shopping trip means shorter lists, not just for camping but stocking up the house for while we are gone for things like supplies and food for my dad and brother, who'll be here taking care of him. And the dog.

It's progress.

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