Road Trip: Cairns, Australian Coast.

Our road trip was complete; we made it to Cairns! We ended our time with Kill Bunny by spending the night at the perfect camp site. Three or four other groups were camped there as well. It was a beach front parking lot with hot showers and all of the amenities.

People were curious as to why we had driven so far. We only met one other person that drove from Melbourne. He arrived in Cairns around the same time that we did but he started his trip four months before us. We hadn’t felt rushed. Actually, we kind of felt slow. CD walked from Mexico to Canada in four months; it would have felt weird to take that long to drive from Melbourne to Cairns but maybe we should have slowed down a bit more. I don’t know.

In any case, we made it! I felt a bit of relief when we dropped off Kill Bunny in one piece. I also felt a bit sad and lost.

Cairns Lagoon. Road trip Cairns

Daintree Rain Forest

It was windy and overcast so snorkeling and diving boats weren’t expected to sail for a few days. We opted for a guided tour to the Daintree Rainforest and were the only guests and our tour guide, Jim, was pretty straight forward and he opened up with “back when I dropped out of society for bit.” He went on to offer advice on mango wine, lemonade fruit, and commune living. Additionally, he warned us about aggressive eight foot long snakes in the sugar cane fields, cassowaries that disembowel their victims, and crocodiles that leap from rivers. The tour included the site of Steve Irwin’s death and favorite local pubs. His dialogue covered politics, religion, hot sauce, Mexican food, human rights, the environment, and tequila.

The Great Barrier Reef

We spent the next few days drinking cocktails and waiting out the weather. The Great Barrier Reef was worth the wait. It was like snorkeling in an aquarium, as far as I could see. There was an oyster so large that it felt like it was out of a movie.

We flew back to Sydney and spent a day walking a hiking trail around the city. Don’t ask me what it was called.

Here are a few things we learned during our Wicked Camper road trip to Cairns.

  • Speed limits can be aspirations more than limitations
  • Brush turkeys can be aggressive
  • Cassowaries aren’t as prominent as the signage would have you believe
  • Sugar cane fields smell like sweet corn
  • It isn’t easy to see a platypus
  • When in danger in the wild I will throw CD to the wolves and run.
Road Trip Cairns
Road Trip Cairns

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Our First Campervan Adventure: Australia.
https://ramblingfootsteps.com/2020/04/01/throwback-blog-series-our-first-camper-van-part-ii/ https://ramblingfootsteps.com/2020/04/02/throwback-blog-series-kill-bunny-part-iii/
Iceland: The Last Minute Ring Road Adventure

Storage In Our Sprinter: A simple solution

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

We tried suitcases, duffel bags, and plastic tubs but none of these solved our family of four’s Sprinter storage problem.

What Is Our Priority?

Easy and fast access to clothing and daily use items.

Where Did We Find Extra Storage In Our Sprinter?

Under a bed with a hinge.

Our bed has a hinge and folds up from the front.

It is then be held open by two pieces of wood.

Sprinter Storage under our bed. Easy to access, organized. I love it!

What Is Inside The Space?

Typically there are four red bins and two square black bins. We get one red bin each.

Four red bins hold our clothes, everything from socks to sweatshirts.

Two square black bins are there as well. One hold toiletries and the other holds a bag full of dirty laundry.

Past the black bins in an open space that hold our curtains and two blankets. Our curtains go up each night when we put away our toothbrushes and go back to storage each morning after we change our clothes.

Follow our blog for more tips and family Sprinter adventures. Have fun out there!

Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter: Budget Friendly Guide.
Sprinter Van Shopping List For The Minimalist

For more ideas check out this post!

11 Camper Van Bed Designs For Your Next Van Build

Sprinter Conversion: Insulation

CD decided its time to put insulation in our Sprinter. I gladly drove from the Willamette Valley to Hood River, Oregon to pick up Thinsulate at DIY Van.

Here is a short picture documentary of the insulation project.

Removing the head liner.
Putting in the insulation and getting into every crack.
More insulation stuffing.

For our 144 passenger van, we purchased 39 linear feet of insulation. CD is not quite done yet but agrees that we have about the right amount. Our only other expense was a new pair of scissors.

While CD was busy wrestling Thinsulate, the kids and their friends practiced their camping skills. As you can see, they are ready!

Please follow our blog for other updates!

Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter: Budget Friendly Guide.
Suttle Lake, Oregon: Camping Review.

Sprinter under seat storage.

What is under the kids’ seats?

We removed the second row in our Sprinter but left the third. The kids sit there and we keep our day use items in the under seat storage.

So, what do we keep there?

These are just the right size for under the back seat.

Under Grace’s seat we kept two collapsible canvas bins. The first one pushed back so that the second one would fit as well.

First Bin:

The first one had six swimsuits and two pair of goggles.

This may seem like an odd choice but we have been to splash pads in nearly every State and Province that we have driven through. I even had an idea to make a splash pad locator app for parents traveling with kids. I didn’t follow through when I realized that other parents may not be as excited about having wet kids in the car on and off day after day. In any case, it didn’t take long for us to see the benefits of accessible kids swimwear.

The Sprinter acts as a mobile changing room. When they are motivated by a splash pad, the kids can get their suits on in under two minutes flat. After the fun, they can just slip their clothes back on and hang the wet suits on our make shift Sprinter clothes line.

One of the earlier ones. A good example of why we pack readily accessible swimwear. This was more of a fountain that a splash pad and not too many people in Aspen were into playing there. We liked it! Sprinter DIY
Passing through Salt Lake City on a super hot day. Sprinter DIY. Sprinter under seat storage.

Second Bin:

The second bin contained sunscreen and towels.

Middle Bin:

The middle row held the trash can. CD made it out of re-purposed heavy duty cardboard. It was just the right size and height.

2 Extra Bins of Sprinter Under Seat Storage:

There were also two bins under HB’s seat. The bin farthest back contained playing cards, dice, and travel board games. I added Racko to the mix last year but the kids lost interest once they found out that it was my favorite.

The second bin had a mix of drawing pads, notebooks, pencils, and pens. These got a fair amount of use both on the road and when we were stopped. HB made a fairly elaborate picture journal on our way out of Yellowstone last year.

In true CD style, all of the bins and the garbage can were held in place by a bungee cord and 3 mm accessory cord. They never slid forward when we braked so I guess this technique worked.

We will definitely continue to use the bins and garbage can but I imagine that the contents will evolve over time. I hope we stick with swimsuits and towels. Prioritizing such non-practical items just seems like a sign of a family that is out for a spontaneous and carefree good time!

Since my splash pad app never took off, here is non-comprehensive list of great splash pads we have found.

  • North Carolina (Ashville)
  • Florida (Marco Island)
  • Minnesota (Sauk Centre)
  • Ontario (Wiarton, Grand Bend, Bayfield, Port Elgin)
  • Michigan (Millennium Park; Sparta)
  • Colorado (Aspen)
  • Oregon (Corvallis)
  • British Columbia (Kelowna)
  • Alberta
  • Utah (Salt Lake City)

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Please follow our blog to share our adventures.

Christmas Break Finale: Willamette Valley, Oregon

The past three days have been a blur. The neighborhood kids descended on the street and yards. They played outside together through lunch and well past sunset. Some of us finally got in on the action with dinner and Euchre last night.

In a last ditch effort to have a productive Christmas break, I tore apart our master bathroom. The wall paper is mostly down and our tooth brushes are on my night stand.

Despite this, we hopped in the Sprinter for “Sunday Fun-Day”. We headed to the only hike we could think of that was on the way to Home Depot but far enough to justify driving the Sprinter and close enough that we usually don’t go there.

Jackson Frazier Wetlands. Sprinter DIY

I hadn’t been there in three years. It had changed. Much of it looked more like a farmer’s field than a wetland. There were signs explaining that a “emergency restoration” was in progress. Apparently this includes removing invasive species and modifying water drainage.

It was a nice day in Oregon for a hike on a boardwalk. We found two geo-caches, got plenty of mud on our boots, and had snacks in our van.

While I am on the topic of invasive species, I will pause to mention my current least favorite invasive species.

Have you heard of Phragmites? Have you seen the videos on our media page? Of all the invasive species that I have battled, these are by far the most impressive. Here is a quick video from Lake Huron. This was part of the lake but now it is a field of Phragmite.

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Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter: Budget Friendly Guide.

Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter 144 is our challenge. I knew that it could be done but we wondered if we could do within our budget.

Starting points:

  1. We need two beds.
  2. Our budget is a consideration.
  3. We can’t sleep on the van floor because then we have to move everything.
  4. Sprinter camping should be fun!

Our Plan for Sleeping 4 in our Sprinter

CD came up with a plan. I didn’t see his vision. He resorted to talking with neighbors. A short time later, and to my surprise, we had storage boxes and two beds!

The Final Product: High Roof Sprinter 144 with 2 Beds.

  1. The first bed is a fixed structure behind the third seat. It has storage underneath.
  2. Two mattresses are stored on the first bed during the day. One mattress was custom cut. The mattress measurements are as follows.

Bed #1: 54 x 72

Bed #2: 48 x 68

3. We remove the second and fourth rows and leave the third row in place.

4. Bed #2 gets built in front of the third row as needed.

5. Wooden storage cabinets are secured behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats. These are constructed in such a way as to support bed #2.

6. Bed #2’s platform pieces are stored next to the third seat. Directions to construct are below.

7. The second mattress gets pulled down from the first bed and placed on the newly constructed second bed.

To construct the Bed #2, follow these steps:

  1. Piece 1 goes under our cooler to add height to the cooler and allow it to be part of the support system.
  2. The next piece is a bridge between the two fixed storage boxes.
  3. Piece 3 is a 2 x 4 that pulls forward and attaches on the passenger side storage box.
  4. The final piece is a hinged piece that opens and covers the remaining space. It is supported by the storage box edges and the 2 x 4.

10 Reasons We Love Our Two Beds

  1. The total price tag was under $500. This includes two mattress, one of which was custom cut.
  2. Bed #2 is elevated off of the floor so that shoes and other items can be stored underneath.
  3. There was a steep but short assembly learning curve. We are quite proficient at assembly and can even assemble with the kids asleep in their seats.
  4. We can sleep two people per bed and not feel crowded.
  5. The mattresses are comfortable.
  6. Our “>luggable loo is easy to access.
  7. Our cooler is helpful rather than in the way.
  8. I can sleep head to toe or side to side. CD is a bit more limited in his choices, however.
  9. We can assemble the second bed in under 10 minutes and without stepping foot outside the van or opening the door. This is amazing news during a downpour.
  10. We wake up well rested!

Our Inaugural Sprinter Van, Sleeping 4 Conversion

We drove 8528 miles with a trip timer of 190 hours, 55 minutes and we slept at campgrounds, friends’ driveways, gas stations, Walmart, rest areas, and parks. No matter where we slept, we woke up well rested and ready to go!

CD’s second bed conversion is pure genius as far as I am concerned.

Sleeping 4 in a 144 and how it can be done! Sprinter van conversions can be fun, too

Please follow our blog for other Sprinter family adventures!

Sprinter Van Shopping List For The Minimalist
Sleeping Bear Dunes: Bike, Swim, Repeat

We don’t give our kids electronics when we travel.

We don’t give our kids electronics when we travel and sometimes I wonder what we are thinking.

I didn’t watch movies or have fancy electronics in the car when I was a kid. It was okay. I also didn’t have a car seat so I am not sure that the “good ole days” philosophy is really the way to go.

In any case, our Sprinter trip timer total from last summer was over 190 hours. That is 190 hours of sitting in a van. I find that number a bit alarming. At the very least, it can’t be healthy.

They also don’t sleep in the car. Their refusal to sleep in the car may be an entirely different blog someday.

Two days ago we drove a mere 600 miles from Corvallis, Oregon to Vernon, BC. We left in the dark and we arrived in the dark. They didn’t sleep.

What did they do?

  • Talked
  • Asked questions
  • Argued
  • Ate snacks
  • Kicked my seat
  • Sang songs
  • Argued
  • Invented a new version of the “Florida or Bust” signs that I used to see in car window’s on I-75 South Bound during spring break. HB used most of a pad of sticky notes writing messages to passing cars. The notes included “Merry Christmas”, “Big White, here we come”, “We the North”, and “I love adventure.” The notes are still there.
  • Engineered a pulley system to lift HB’s “toy box” from the floor to his lap. Grace was involved in pulling the rope when he needed both hands to secure the box on his lap
  • Reviewed their license plate list from last summer. (60 license plates, spanning 4 countries)
  • Ate snacks
  • Listened to audiobooks
  • Talked
HB’s window notes! Sprinter DIY. #vanlife
The pulley system. Sprinter DIY. #vanlife

It is unlikely that there was a consecutive sixty seconds of silence at any point during that 600 miles. There may have not even been thirty seconds of silence. At least they still talk to us I guess. Until they find out that other cars have DVD players, I think we will continue to travel the more old fashioned way.

Please follow our blog for more adventures!

Suttle Lake, Oregon: Camping Review.

We live in the Willamette Valley and enjoy camping in Oregon.

The coastal range is to the East and the Cascades to the West. It rains; it is wet. Lichen and fungi are prolific.

CD and I met in the high mountains of Colorado. The high desert is a comfortable climate for us. With that being said, we both enjoy the Willamette Valley. It is not typically until I leave the valley that I realize how much more comfortable I am with brown pine needles than with banana slugs and trees chocked by lichen.

Birthday Weekend Camping: Oregon

It was CD’s birthday weekend. We had been home from our summer trip for less than a month. Our Oregon to Oregon odometer reading for the summer was 8528 miles and our trip timer reading was 190 hours and 55 minutes. Even with just having returned home, we missed the Sprinter life. The kids and I suggested an overnight camping trip for CD’s birthday. It needed to be a quick 1 night get-away.

We all agreed to drive East towards Sisters. CD had eyed up a few places and chose Suttle Lake mostly because we were short on time. It wasn’t as far as Sisters or Bend but was still on the dry side of the pass. There were several National Forest campgrounds and had easy access from the highway. Although he is not a fisherman, CD was kind enough to suggest that the kids and I bring our fishing poles and try our luck. We were sold.

If you have even driven Highway 20 from I-5 to Sisters, you may remember that there is a tipping point were the lichen stops and the high desert begins. I can’t tell you at exactly which mile marker this happens. This time, I didn’t think much of it until we pulled in to the campground. The ground and the air was dry.

The campgrounds were only a few miles from the highway. We drove through Blue Bay campground. It was nice but we kept going and settled on Link Creek.

Link Creek Campground

There were plenty of sites available. We chose a central site so that the kids could fish from the dock and we could see them from the van.
There was a dirt boat launch, fish cleaning stations, and pit toilets. The sites were plenty large and it was generally clean.

It was CD’s birthday so he was calling the shots. CD was happy to sit on the picnic table, strum his guitar, and enjoy the air. The view wasn’t anything spectacular.

Sprinter DIY. #vanlife
Sprinter DIY. #vanlife

I set up the kids fishing poles and started dinner. There were a few boats on the lake. From where we stood, it was shallow and not very inviting for swimming. It may be noted, however, that I was born and raised in Michigan and have high fresh water standards.

The Boats, Oregon Camping at Suttle Lake

In any case, it wasn’t long before we heard a motor revving. Some sort of race boat with two exhaust pipes sticking up launched at the adjacent dock and was driving around the lake. This lake isn’t huge, by the way. The boat would speed around the lake two or three times, then idle for a bit. When it was driving it was so loud that we could barely talk to each other. I am sure other campers were irritated but I was more amazed, interested, and surprised. The whole thing went on for an hour or so and then they loaded the boat on the trailer and drove away.

The second most interesting thing we saw was a good sized cabin cruiser. It was anchored off shore a bit. Again, this is not a huge lake. I assumed they would sleep there but rather than doing so, they pulled into the dock at the campground and slept in a tent.

I guess people really love boating on this lake. Based on our lack of success fishing and the fishing equipment on their boat, it occurred to me that you may need a boat to get to the fish.

Several campers had kayaks pulled up on shore and easily accessed by walking paths from their campsites. This seemed like a nice idea to me.

The Great Awning Experiment

By the time the kids and I got back, CD was fully immersed in his much anticipated awning experiment. Years ago he made an awning for our minivan. He had been wanting to try it out on the Sprinter. Rain was expected over night and I guess he decided this was his chance.

Here it is. Don’t trip over the guylines. Sprinter DIY. Oregon camping
oregon camping

Well, he did it. It was set up and surprisingly solid. I was curious about the sag in the middle but it sounded like he had a plan. The guylines were a bit of a hazard but I was willing to humor him and give the thing a try. It was his birthday after all.

He told me to walk around the van to see how he secured the awning.

This is what I found:

oregon camping

He seemed to know it was ridiculous and not any sort of ground breaking invention. Since we couldn’t open the driver’s side door, it was barely even a short term solution but he was so happy.

HB woke up around dawn. We found a bridge that we had failed to see the night before. There were fish rising and jumping all over the place. We tried every fishing trick I knew but they just didn’t bite. We watched the sun come up, saw trail runners and walked some of the trail. It may be worth mentioning that you can see and hear highway 20 while standing on the shore but we didn’t notice this from our campsite.

Shortly after CD and Grace woke up, the skies opened up. The awning held. We ate oatmeal in the van and broke camp.

The Suttle Lodge

CD was curious about the Suttle Lake Lodge. It was near Highway 20 and not far off the road. We walked into the main lodge and were greeted by a crowded room of happy lodge guests. There was shelf after shelf of board games. The dining area was community style with big long tables next to sofas and coffee tables. Dogs were welcome and everyone was smiling. Big windows and glass doors offered a lake view. A large patio and lawn were beyond. There were docks with row boats and fishing boats for rent.

I am quite sure that CD didn’t intend to spend time or money here but it was just too tempting. I ordered fresh squeezed orange juice, grapefruit juice, and an egg sandwich with aged cheddar.

We already had breakfast at camp but the opportunity to drink fresh squeezed juice while playing board games by a hot fire with tons of happy people just seemed like the right thing to do. The kitchen was slow but for good reason. The place was packed and they were obviously making every order one by one. We didn’t mind the wait.

In Summary,Oregon Camping Review:

Would I camp at Suttle Lake again? Probably not.

What would I do differently if camped there again? Walk, boat, or bike to breakfast at the Suttle Lake Lodge. Spend time playing corn hole and drinking fresh juice. I may consider happy hour at the lodge too. I may consider just staying at the lodge if I need an easy to get to lodging location for a few people that like that kind of thing.

Please follow our blog for more adventures!

Cape Perpetua, Oregon Coast Day-Trip.
Oregon winter day trips

Sprinter Low Roof vs High Roof

As you know, our first Sprinter didn’t work out. It was a low roof. We have since sold it and bought a high roof.

What did we learn and how did we learn it?

We bought our Sprinter in May and were on the road by mid-June. Our inaugural trip was 3062.1 miles from Oregon to Michigan via British Columbia and Montana.

Our first stop was an hour from home. CD thru hiked the PCT using a homemade beer can stove. Car camping isn’t something that comes to him naturally. Sprinter camping is obviously even a step beyond that.

In any case, he agreed to let me buy a camping stove. We parked at an REI just South of Portland and bought our stove. Since we were already parked, I ducked into Whole Foods. I must have been in the store for only 15 minutes. The kids were standing in the van making lunch when I came out.

Then HB decided to take a rest for bit. Sprinter DIY

A couple of hours later we were back on the road. It seemed like we were off to a slow but good start.

Now on to the cruel realities of the low roof Sprinter.

  • My head bent 45 degrees when I stood up. CD’s was even worse. My back and neck were sore
  • I could prop up on an elbow when laying on the bed but couldn’t sit up beyond that. This was less than ideal
  • The kid’s bike laid down in the back under the bed. This meant that everytime we got the coat box, shoe box, suitcases, or anything else out of the back, the bikes had to be removed. This usually meant untangling a peddle from tire spokes or something along those lines

Was the low roof a mistake? YES. Is the high roof really that much better? Yes.

Interestingly, prior to buying our first Sprinter, I read a blog written by a family that traveled by Sprinter. They had bought and sold a low roof and recommended not buying a low roof in the first place. I appreciate that they were trying to help me and I wish I had listened!

Why is the high roof better than the low roof?

  • I can sit straight up when on the bed. The kids can sit up fully on their knees
  • CD and I can both stand up fully on the floor. My neck and back no longer hurt
  • The kids bikes slide under the bed and stay upright. CD built a fancy bike rack to make this even easier
  • The vertical space offers many more options for storage
  • The high roof allows us the stack 2 mattresses on the back bed and storing the mattresses this way is key to our 2 bed conversion. Even with 2 mattress there, I can still lay and sit up on them.

Is cross – wind assist worth it?

We are not sure but we think so. We drove our high roof during some strong wind across the plains and think it really helped.

Do I recommend rear AC? Yes, Yes, Yes.

The windows in the back don’t open. The rear AC works better than the front AC. I have walked to the back seat more than once to find that it is too cold back there. One of the main complaints we heard from other Sprinter owner’s prior to buying our own was that the back was too hot in the summer. We have not had that problem.

It should be noted that if you have passengers, the AC is great. If you don’t have passengers, it may not be needed.

It is also worth noting that the AC takes up room on the roof. This is a consideration when looking at racks or solar panels but we don’t consider it to be a barrier at this point.

What about lane change alerts and back up cameras?

Our low roof version did not have these and it was possible to drive around without these but life is way better with these accessories. I recommend these!

Is an electric sliding step worth it?

I don’t know what this cost or if it is worth it. We bought our van used and this was included but I find it to be handy. It has been a shelf for cooking supplies when I am cooking next to the van with the door open, a door mat to scrape off mud and sand, a bench to take off shoes and socks or just rest a bit, or as an alert to let me know that I haven’t shut the door all the way. Would I get this feature again? Sure

Our current van is a 2015 Mercedes Sprinter 144 passenger van. It has cross wind assist, back up camera, lane change alerts, and rear AC. If you haven’t spend much time in Sprinter’s yet, please know that the most fancy feature we have found is the giant Mercedes symbol on the front. The inside of the van has been quite underwhelming. If they made the Sprinter with even a fraction the features of my Toyota Sienna, it would be a traveling family’s dream!

Please comment or contact us if you would like more specific details about space in the low roof vs high. CD handles measurements and that sort of thing and is happy to share what he has learned.

Please follow our blog and our adventures!

Storage In Our Sprinter: A simple solution
Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter: Budget Friendly Guide.

Sprinter Van Shopping List For The Minimalist

I could write dozens of blogs about products we use and love in our Sprinter. Each time we change the layout of the van or try a new design, we end up with new products. Some last the test of time; others are quickly proven ineffective and re-purposed or passed on to the next person. The most important products are best discussed in detail with friends on a Friday afternoon. In any case, here is a minimalist’s Sprinter shopping list.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Light My Fire Titanium Spork

Light My Fire Titanium Spork: We stand by the titanium model but please beware that if you pair stainless steel plates with a titanium spork, you may have to tolerate the metal on metal scraping noise.

For those of you that are not quite ready to commit to titanium, there is a plastic model as well.

3 mm Accessory Cord

3 mm accessory cord: CD’s exact words are: “3 mm cord is handy“. It may be because CD knows every knot and when exactly to use every knot but I actually am starting to believe that string is an important travel accessory. Regarding everyday use, we have a piece approximately 6 inches off the floor of the van, extending from one end of the kids seat to the other. This cord keeps the storage boxes under each seat from sliding across the floor and it is quite effective!

Plastic Soap Dish

Plastic Soap Dish: When CD recommended this, I laughed. It reminded me of going to the community pool in 1985. That led me to consider going to garage sales looking for one. I don’t really like shopping, however.

I soon admitted that the best option was to just spend a few dollars, sacrifice a little plastic, and buy a soap dish. Wow, what a game changer. Our Sprinter has a hand washing station and now our bar of soap stays nicely in its soap dish.

No Mess! Clean hands! This was a win!

National Park Passport Books

National Parks Passport Book: Pick up at any National Park. Warning: May be habit forming.

CD has commented that he is glad we didn’t have one of these before we had kids or else we may have doubled the length of all of our trips by just driving around to get our stamps.

Hydroflask

Hydroflask: We live in Oregon. This is standard equipment. It really keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. It doesn’t leak. Try it!

Dustpan and Brush

Dustpan and Brush: This is another one that I thought I would never use. CD had this in his Honda Civic when we met. I never used it and was actually against using it. I just thought it was crazy and the car would be sandy anyway.

My opinion has since changed. Last summer CD caught me brushing out the van floor, step, and seats. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I keep this next to the sliding door, secured by 3 mm climbing cord, of course.

A quick brush of sand or dirt off the step or floor is super satisfying. It may be the mom in me speaking but I just can’t see traveling without it!

All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon.

We travel with the smallest version of this book. We love it. It inspires us. The full size edition is great for a baby shower, grandparents gifts, or just anyone that appreciates a pick me up.

“Hope and Peace and Love and Trust, All the World is All of US”.

Headlamp

Head Lamp: The kids and CD love their headlamps. I prefer to use my “night vision”. Ha! I am sure we couldn’t travel without these!

Notebook

  • Notebook: An old fashioned lined notebook . There is just something great about it!

Portable Charger

Portable Charger: We charge this each day using our portable solar panel. Then we charge our cell phones or whatever else. It has saved us tons of times. We have the Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh

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Portable Solar Panel

Portable Solar Panel: We have the Biolite Solar Panel 5 and we like it. It even works on cloudy days.

Small Wooden Cutting Board

When you eat cheese and crackers everyday you need a good cutting board!

Have fun out there!

Please follow our blog for more tips and adventures!

Hiking Pack List: PCT Northern California.
Sleeping 4 in a Sprinter 144. Sprinter DIY camping conversion.