Archive for the ‘foldable favorite’ Category
I was outside at a Utah Starbucks when a man arrived with his two chocolate labs. He left them unleashed near a table, and without a word, went inside to fetch his latte. The dogs watched him disappear, then sat politely to wait for his return. “That,” I said to my friend, “is the difference between a lab and a dachshund.” Ralston would lie down to wait. Ripley and Raven would cry, “Yay, she’s gone! Let’s play in traffic!” and I’d never see them again.
Thus the need for Invisible Fence at home and a new camping must-have: “The Rock” portable electronic fence system. It works like a charm and the concept is fiendishly simple.
My friend Karla—a spectacular cook—sells high-end kitchen tools as a Demarle At Home instructor and host. Recently she suggested the obvious that I’d overlooked: wouldn’t Flexipans be perfect for your Airstream?
Of course! Yes! If the DWR had an oven.
I made Halloween brownie bites in a mini muffin tray at home (using a low cal version of a box mix, with applesauce instead of oil), but YOUR trailer or RV certainly has an oven and you’ll want this rubbery cookware for your galley.
It doesn’t fold but for Christmas I received the MyPressi TWIST Easy Elegant espresso maker, which claimed to change how and where I will enjoy my delicious espresso and espresso-based beverages, as it is “perfect for home and office”. Somehow they overlooked its most obvious application: for use in the Airstream.
Producing “perfect crema every time”—I suspect that’s the beige foam at the top of the coffee—the unit uses pressurized cartridges (the ones that make carbonated water from a seltzer bottle) in lieu of external power, and dispenses single or double shot extractions. A separate “frother” turns hot milk into a fake-steamed latte lather.
Dinnertime in western Oregon and Washington while camping with the DWR means huddling inside, out of the wretched weather, preparing meager, unobtrusive meals in the tiny galley, and smelling wet dogs drying by the floor heater. Roll east of the Cascades though, where skies are clear, and the great outdoors becomes your dining room. Time to barbeque.
Storage within the trailer remains on a miniature scale, so we ‘stream with the HotSpot Notebook Portable Charcoal Grill.
Ripley required only minor first aid after stepping on the cactus but Ralston, age ten, inconveniently fell ill with some kind of undiagnosable ailment the day we left and appeared to be at death’s door during the entire first week of our trip. After consulting vets in three states he was eventually back to what passes for normal. We kept him hydrated and cool along the way with the help of this special mat and bandana.
Soak the mat in water to activate the “cooling crystals”, then plop it down as a place to ride in the car or rest in the shade.
Ralph ordered a new bike to arrive just in time to take on the road trip. He chose a Tikit from the many Bike Friday models because it folded down the smallest and quickest.
Back up. Why a folding bike? Commuters ride them into work and park them under their office desks. Cycle tourists stuff them into a special suitcase (that converts to a luggage trailer), check them on airplanes, and ride around Europe. Ralph slips his into the pouch it comes with and the Tikit travels from campsite to campsite on the bed of the DWR or on the backseat of the tow vehicle. He pops it out whenever the scenery or the mood strikes him to ride.
With his Kestrel 3500 Portable Weather Station, Ralph can gauge temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, current and average wind speed, maximum wind gust, heat stress index, altitude, dewpoint, wind chill, time of day and something called “wet bulb temperature” wherever we camp.
Why does he need these readings? “It’s fun.”
When he pulls the weather gear from his fetish bag and observes my eyeroll, Ralph reminds me that I created this monster three years ago when I purchased a home weather station for him from Costco.
Ralph’s inflatable pontoon weighs about 40 pounds, fits in the trunk of his tiny Audi TT, and requires only a few minutes to inflate, affix the oars, and put in.
You can outfit it with a motor but “it’s fun to row and good exercise,” says Ralph. “Though it’s a bitch to fish out of.”
The delux package includes the boat, inflatable seat, foot pump (though a pump that runs off your vehicle cigarette lighter makes life much easier), set of oars, stow pouch and storage bag.
“We’re off the grid honey!”
Ralph’s expensive, portable, foldable solar panel charges all the small devices that we now find essential: MacBook, cell phone, weather station and satellite services like X-M radio.
Not like we ever do, but theoretically with this device the DWR can venture beyond hookup sites without a lapse in service from the electronics we need to call our lives fulfilling. It even charges the full size Airstream battery in 12 to 24 hours.
“Leatherman is cool, first of all, because they’re made in Portland down by the airport,” said Ralph when asked to discuss his mini Leatherman.
“It’s a good summer pocket tool. Uh…” he tried to explain, at a loss for words to describe why he wears it permanently attached by a lanyard on his belt and went into a panic disorder when he misplaced it for a day. “What I like is that it’s got a big scissors. And it’s smaller than a Swiss Army knife.”