Travel Hacks: the three C’s of Travel
2 years and 9 months ago we left the Netherlands behind and started our great overland journey! You can prepare all you want before the start of your journey, but what you really need or how to make things easy while being on the road, you will only find out when you are already traveling. We’ve decided to give you the chance to get a little head start! Below you will find our 3C’s (Car, Cooking and Camping hacks). Some of our tips, tricks and camping hacks you’ll probably want to steal from us for your next trip!
Stay Organized: You’re dealing with a tonne of crap when you’re camping. We found out that it’s really easy to lose stuff, which is really hard to replace once you’re on the road. Having a well thought-out system for where you put stuff in the car means you don’t risk losing things. You want to think of some kind of method where things are accessible but not in the way.
We found that the key for us is strong, foldable plastic crates. We use a cabinet holding 4 crates in the shape of a block and our drawer system holds another 4. We have one crate extra, stored in a folded position which makes the system dynamic. Someone invites you inside for a night? load some clothing, your pillow, toothbrush and favorite shampoo in the spare crate and you’re ready to go. Not needing the spare crate? use it as stepladder, table, workout bench or quick seat if it’s getting too crowded around the campfire that you just made with your newly learned fire starters (find below). It happend to us that we needed to do a 4wd recovery, or that the car needed to go to the workshop but the mechanical bridge could not carry the car’s weight. No worries, just quickly stack the crates next to the car and you pull out an easy 300kg of weight in supplies, spares, tools and kitchen stuff in no time.
Clothespins/clothes-pegs: forgetting things is quite human right? fresh cup-a-coffee on the bonnet in the morning, fuel caps on top of the fuel pump where you just got gas, your favorite pair of thongs at your previous camping spot on the beach? It will help if you stay organized but you can not see everything. For the things that we keep on forgetting and can’t directly see we’ve marked clothespins with a permanent marker. 3 Plastic, bright colored pegs you’ll find marked with; “tires low”, “hubs on”, and “Benzine for stove”. In normal conditions they’ll stay hidden behind the sun visor but when one of these 3 is active you’ll find it on a central place in the middle of the dashboard.
Plastic sealable containers: To: Save leftovers, pack the fridge efficiently, keep food from uninvited quests, keep products fresh, cook and prep food for a couple of days. store nuts and bolts, store electronics, make omelets in, prepare pancake mix (shaking with the lid on). We’ve tested quite a couple before investing in a load of different sizes of containers. The brand ClipFresh is by far our favorite!
Foldable water bladders: We are using good quality 10L foldable water bladders for fresh water. Amazing, but even better because we don’t only use them for storage of drinking water! They are black so put them in the sun for a little and transfer it in to a warm outdoor shower, fill them to a certain level and use them in the fridge to fill the empty space and get the fridge to run more efficient & have cold water to drink and then there are those born with cold feet. Fill one of the bladders with hot water and throw it in the bottom of your sleeping bag before bedtime. Awesome!
Cooking efficiency trick: What for; Using one stove for preparing a multi dish meal, trying to save gas, or seeing the sunset before dinner while everything is ready and cooked? How: After preparation roll your hot pots and pans in a towel or wool blanket before putting them in your down sleeping bag! For instance, we cook chicken curry on the stove, but we want to make rice to go with it. Using one stove, the rice will be cold by the time the rest of the dish is ready. A good way to keep the rice warm is to wrap a towel around your hot pan before stuffing it in your sleeping bag, blanket or swag. This way your sleeping bag will work as a insulator, it will keep on simmering while you cook the curry on the stove or enjoy this wonderful sunset. Even uncooked rice, potatoes or pasta will finish cooking in a blanket after it has been cooked for a short while on a stove.In South Africa we even saw a sort of cushion in the camping stores, especially made for slow cooking dishes after cooking! see: www.wonderbagworld.com
Fresh bread: Fresh bread is hard to find and fresh brown bread is definitely one of my personal favorites. This is why we make it ourselves: Make a small campfire, Mix flower with water and yeast, let it rise, turn it in to a ball and put it in a Dutch oven(heavy metal pan), put some hot burning coals on and underneath the oven, wait 45 minutes and your fresh bread is ready! Interested? find the full recipe here
Cup-A-Tea: nice to keep you hydrated and warm, even better if you throw a couple of washed unboiled eggs to boil with it. Makes a nice in between snack.
Eggs: Having a problem keeping eggs unbroken or simply not having place in the fridge? why not storing them broken? A small empty water bottle will hold 8 eggs for the perfect omelet!
Looking for a snack? Popcorn works great on the campfire and pizza is easy to make in a dutch oven. Find the recipes in our blog
Fire starters: reduce, reduce and recycle! Our used cooking oil goes, cooled down in a plastic container which is filled with toilet paper, napkins, or small pieces of cotton. It will soak up the oil and once soaked it will work as a great firestarter.
Ducktape: Wrap ducktape from the roll thickly around your water, fuel or whatever bottle. instead of having to use the roll this way saves space and might save your life one time.
Saltwater: Do you never really feel clean after washing with salt water? Helga says; “After washing in salt water I know I’m clean but my hair feels like rope and the salt still clings to my body” “When travelling in WA I met an old Australian couple that had been travelling along the coast for years and were still catching the occasional wave. They taught us that you don’t have to leave your wild camp spot to feel fresh. Just buy a bottle of Selsun, anti-dandruff shampoo. Wash yourself with this and then dry yourself. You’ll find out when you are dry almost all of the salt has somehow washed off” Selsun is a product sold at your local Chemist. Chemist Warehouse sells a bottle for $5. We can’t explain the magic behind this but we do know that Selsun contains Selenium Sulphide 1%. Other antidandruff shampoos like Head & Shoulders for example does not contain this and so won’t work.