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 while standing and staring at the van and drinking a beer.
In the spirit of last minute Christmas shopping, I put together a short list of small and inexpensive items that have withstood the test of time.
- 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. We each bought a plastic spork ten years or so ago and those have long since broken and been sent to the landfill. We typically use plastic camping plates if anticipating a lot of spork on plate scraping and metal plates if we are having finger foods. Everyone is happy!
- 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. We have square storage boxes under each seat and this cord keeps the boxes from sliding forward if we brake hard. It works!
- Plastic Soap Dish: I know, this seems completely out of place. When CD recommended it, I laughed. Then I thought of going to garage sales looking for one but I actually don’t like shopping. I soon realized that I would just have to spend the few dollars and sacrifice the plastic and get one. This was a game changer. We have a convenient hand washing station and our bar of soaps stays nicely in its latched soap dish. No Mess! Clean hands! This was a win!
- 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: 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: 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. I was actually against using it. I just thought it was crazy and the car would be sandy anyway. Well, last summer CD caught me brushing out the van – the floor, the step, the seats. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I keep this next to the sliding door, secured by 3 mm climbing cord. 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: We have traveled 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”.
- 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: An old fashioned lined notebook – there is just something great about it!
- 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
- Portable Solar Panel: We have the Biolite Solar Panel 5 and we like it. It even works on cloudy days.
- Small Wooden Cutting Board: We eat a lot of cheese and crackers. Grace’s 5th birthday menu was a cheese stick for breakfast, cheese and crackers for lunch, and cheese pizza for dinner. We use our cutting board all the time!
The next post will likely be next week from Big White, BC! Cheers!