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A Better Camper

How can I do things better than before? That is the main question as I tool up for traveling again. Essentially, my answer is to push harder in the camping direction, as opposed to stereotypical RV travel or windshield tourism. Of course an RVer need not adopt a "camping" orientation at all, and most of them don't. But let's not talk about that.

There are some bicycle touring blogs who interrupt their routine descriptions of ride statistics or camping details with perspectives about the real benefits of what they are doing: what satisfactions are they getting that couldn't be gotten by a more conventional lifestyle. They enjoy consciously dwelling on the things that a person with a conventional lifestyle takes for granted. And they like being inventive.

Last time I was attempting to break out of the standard RVer mold with refrigerators. I forgot to mention how much fun I once had with "natural" refrigeration. People who are new to arid, high altitude locations are amazed by the 35-40 F temperature difference between dawn and mid-day. In fact you would die of exposure if stranded outdoors overnight, all but four months of the year at my 6000 foot altitude. As a mountain biker I had to dutifully bring arm warmers and an emergency blanket, just in case.

The violence contrast of cold nights and Dry Heat in mid-day was a ritual that nature acted out for me. It seemed only fitting and proper that I should incorporate it into my life, by turning it to advantage. So I got into the habit of putting half gallon jugs of water outdoors at night, in order to chill or partly freeze them. It amazed me when they weren't frozen solid in the morning; that's a graphic illustration of the heat content in water. I imagined myself an ice farmer, with a serious and professional attitude about it; my boasting about last night's crop amused a friend in camp.

This is just one small illustration of what I like about RV camping, with the emphasis on camping rather than tricking out the RV into a little bourgeois palace on wheels, all to enable a sedentary and passive indoor lifestyle centered around satellite television.