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Old 07-21-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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In Praise Of Traveling Light

We're just back from a six night trip to the Lake Simcoe area here in Ontario and it occurred to me how lightly we'd travelled compared to some.

We were without kids and dog, which makes a difference, of course, but in the back of the van, all I had was a folding table, four lawn chairs and two plastic totes with things like fairy lights and bug repellants in them. Our clothes were stowed in the Airstream as was the food and drink, albeit that it was mostly drink

We travel with only a nominal amount of water in the tank, preferring to fill on arrival at the campground, and our waste systems contain only that required to keep them from drying out.

My tool kit comes along, as does some meaty 30 amp cables, chocks, mats and the like, but they live in the Airstream's storage compartment "below decks" and they're just part of the camping overhead.

Certainly we're not boondocking; if I wanted to go rustic then I'd throw some tents into the back of the car rather than drag an expensive cottage on wheels out into the bush. But unlike many, we don't have a generator or the gas that goes with it, we don't carry firewood as we prefer to buy locally at our destination (and there's the small issue of the Emerald Ash Borer of course). We stopped carrying a grill and its attendant propane because we rarely used it and we don't carry bikes, boats or canoes.

This paring down hasn't come about as deliberate weight saving exercise but has developed over time as we've learned what we really need to take and what we don't.

Does anyone else travel light?
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Less stuff, more space, an equivalent to a larger truck and trailer that costs less to buy and feed.

Our annual trip runs about six months away from home. It is something of a discovery to see how little we need and how efficient our Airstream is without the clutter.

doug k
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Hi Steve,

The only thing we camp with in addition to what you describe is a small Coleman propane stove as my wife likes to cook outside whenever possible.

John S.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
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We also travel light prefering to buy food near our destination but we still boondock a lot and take the genny for battery recharge.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Instead of skimping on what we can take, I just went ahead and bought a totally adequate tow vehicle so we can take whatever we want.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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I think there's a difference between people who look at the Airstream as more comfortable camping vs. people who look at it as a less comfortable house.

I come from a background of backpack and tent camping, where everything you need is carried by human power. It's amazing how quickly you learn to do with less if you have to schlep it around with you 24/7.

I don't look at it as skimping either, I look at it as living a simple life, closer to nature. Whenever we see a setup consisting of a huge truck, a genny (or two) belching fumes and an enormous propane BBQ doing the same we make sure to camp as far away as we possibly can. Not debating people's right to camp in such a manner, it's just not for us.

We're just back from a long weekend in Muskoka. It was hot and humid during the day, but instead of running the AC we stayed next to a lake, underneath tall pines with the breeze wafting through open windows.

The crystal clear lake provided all the cooling down opportunities we could ask for, in the evening we sat on a dock with a cold beer and our feet in the water with not a single engine sound anywhere to be heard. It was heaven.

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Old 07-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
We're just back from a long weekend in Muskoka. It was hot and humid during the day, but instead of running the AC we stayed next to a lake, underneath tall pines with the breeze wafting through open windows.

The crystal clear lake provided all the cooling down opportunities we could ask for, in the evening we sat on a dock with a cold beer and our feet in the water with not a single engine sound anywhere to be heard. It was heaven.
Toronto Canada! Pfissst! You guys don't have a clue what HOT is.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Instead of skimping on what we can take, I just went ahead and bought a totally adequate tow vehicle so we can take whatever we want.
Ah ha ha ha... As you know, Steve, I'd rather have a minimal camping inventory than drive around in a gas guzzling monster

Anyway, I am taking what I want, which clearly isn't very much. That's just as well, of course, because if I take too much stuff then my feeble little TV will likely expire at the side of the road in a pall of oily smoke, wheels splayed beneath it and audibly groaning.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #9
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I think there's a difference between people who look at the Airstream as more comfortable camping vs. people who look at it as a less comfortable house.
I like that - I'm definitely the first of the two.

We were at Mara and Emily PPs, not as far north as you. It was very humid though, eh?

Great photo btw.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Less stuff + less setup time = more time relaxing

That is a formula that works for me....

Now to convince my DW....
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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Toronto Canada! Pfissst! You guys don't have a clue what HOT is.
Kinda yes, kinda no, surprisingly enough. I've experienced Texas heat and it's something to tell your kids about, for sure. But even up here the thermometer hits 110 and above in summer with the humidity.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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Interesting concept, this travelling light. Same as the coastline paradox. It all depends on what you start with. When my teeth were a little shorter, I dragged my family around on bicycles with the panniers loaded with all the necessities of life jammed in. We were constantly overtaken by really tuned individuals on road bikes traveling at four times our rate of speed with a water bottle and a banana. Now, our bikes ride on the roof of the Jeep, the Airstream has room for 500 pounds of junk. The guy with the Prevost thinks we are suffering. Jim
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