First month of full-time travel: Hiking and Dust!

40 thoughts on “First month of full-time travel: Hiking and Dust!”

  1. Thanks for the write up and the excellent pictures Steve. It appears to be going very well. The water thing is concerning. I’ll be interested to see how you fare there over longer periods. The important question you didn’t answer though… Are you having fun? πŸ™‚

    1. Hey FTF – we are definitely having fun! A ball, in fact. Lots of hiking. Lots of controlling our own schedule. So far, we couldn’t be happier.

  2. Awesome report – both the good and the bad! I’m wondering if you’ll always have to deal with the dirt though. There will be plenty of places with “normal” levels of dirt (and hopefully a hell of a lot less wind!) It’s good to get used to it though! How did the Airstream hold up in those winds in terms of blowing around? Sounds like it could have been scary – 70 mph wind can wreak havoc on houses with foundations!

    1. That’s a very good point, Vicki. We’re basically in the desert out here, so the dust will be a more common problem where we happen to be. But we also plan to spend the majority of the summer months up in Oregon, so we’ll get a bit of a reprieve then. But yeah, strong winds are no Bueno!

  3. Hard to believe it’s been a month already. Congratulations and love the report. That red rocks picture above – with those colors – gorgeous shot! I’m enjoying the YouTube vids too. Hope the winds die down for you. Looking forward to coming reports. Take care out there!

    1. Thanks, Amy! The winds have finally died down for us now, but we’re also a hundred miles north in the Bryce Canyon area. We escaped! πŸ™‚

  4. Looks awesome! Glad to hear that solar setup is working so well – have to keep you two online!

    I will take too cold, too hot, even a sprinkle over wind!

    1. Yeah, I will take almost anything over strong winds. I’ve always hated the wind, and it looks like I’m not the only one! πŸ˜‰

  5. Kudos man! Living the dream for the rest of us. Hope we can join you in the future…but the dust. Wooh, I did not even think of that but I can imagine it is brutal. You should make a pop out change station on the outside of the airstream that you can switch clothes and shoes for the indoors!

    I spent the weekend cleaning out (spring cleaning style) our home. Despite moving in 6 months ago and doing a thorough donation run then, I was still able to get together another 5 bags worth of clothes and toys….not to mention books. Craziness but it is part of my goal of clearing out items so that when we make the lunge it will be easier to leave the brick and mortar world behind.

    1. Thanks Dads! Hehe, the pop out changing station sounds totally usable…if only it doesn’t get blown away in the gusts!

      And yeah, it’s amazing how quickly we begin to build up clutter. We’ve seen the same thing over here as well. It’s just way, way too easy to accumulate stuff without evening knowing it.

  6. Wow! Looks like y’all are having a blast on that Airstream traveling gig! I do miss watching Arizona desert sunsets. πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear it’s dirty, but it still sounds better than sitting in a cubicle. Mm.

    1. We definitely are, Mrs. Picky Pincher! You’re absolutely right…dusty, but loads better than sitting in a cubicle for eight to 10 hours a day. πŸ™‚

  7. LOVE the updates, Steve. It’s great how your expanding other social media channels for the video/photography stuff. The only downside, I’m spending all of my time looking at your pics (Instagram/Facebook) and videos (YouTube). You DO know I’m still supposed to be working, right? Can’t wait to join you, I’m FIRE Minus 13 Months!! Can’t wait to eat some dust.

    1. Thanks Fritz! Working is very subjective, you know…the things you do to clear and relax your mind will often assist you in your other J.O.B.-type activities. Consider it…a mental exercise in productivity-boosting relaxation? πŸ˜‰

  8. Sitting in my RV reading this right now… Can’t wait to travel even more than we do. Your posts are inspiring!

    In the post you mention “pounds” of water – I guess you likely mean gallons. Seven pounds of water is only about one gallon.

    I’m curious how your gray tank is holding up. We’ve found so far that gray seems to be the main challenge for us. We can go 3+ days without running out of water, electric, black tank space, etc… but gray fills up after about three days. Maybe we shower too long, or need to figure a more efficient way to wash dishes. Would love to hear tips you’ve discovered so far on this point.

    Thanks for sharing – good stuff! πŸ™‚

    1. Here’s what works for us when we boondock/dry camp:
      -Low flow Oxygenics shower head with on/off switch for navy showers
      -Water pitcher in shower to collect initial cold water and use for dishes
      -Paper plates (makes a good firestarter)
      -Do dishes once per day and catch water in basin you can pour outside

      1. Yup! We don’t have an Oxygenics shower head yet, but we probably will in the future. We collect the cold-before-warm water in our bathroom sink and wash a few things in it. I would love to use more paper plates, but the wife thinks they are wasteful (of course, that means we go through a little more water). I don’t argue. πŸ™‚

    2. Thanks for your comment, Coach Brad! With our composting toilet, we’ve actually combined our gray and black tank by using a shutoff value at the point where we release the tanks during dumping. We keep both the gray and black tank valves open 100% of the time so the water will essentially auto-level. That has greatly extended the number of days that we can go without a sewer connection. Weeks, now.

      We also take “military showers”, which means we turn the water off while we’re soaping up and then turning it back on just to rinse off. It takes some getting used to at the beginning, but once you have the process down, it’s actually pretty easy.

      But yes, I definitely meant gallons, not pounds. It’s about 50 or so pounds. πŸ™‚

      1. That’s a very interesting idea. Our black tank fills very slowly compared to gray. Good idea to use that “extra” storage space to extend your time between dumps. I’ll need to look into that further.

        1. Totally. I’ll be honest – the composting toilet was BY FAR the best upgrade we’ve done. In fact, I’d say it’s a critical component if you do a lot of boondocking like we do.

  9. Sounds like you’re having a good time. Love your comments about the dust and dirt — it reminds me of when we go tent camping in the summer. It’s nearly impossible to keep dirt out of a tent!

    1. Hehe, yup! The dust definitely got annoying after a while. Luckily, we’re now out in the woods outside Bryce. Much less dirt.

  10. Man, I don’t like dust. I’m allergic to house dust, but not sure about dessert dust. Probably not.
    What do you guys do for internet? Some kind of cell device?
    Great job with side hustle. That’s the great thing about living frugally. A little income goes a long way.

    1. Hey Joe! We use a Verizon unlimited plan for our Internet. We also have a 4g cell booster on top of the Airstream that helps a ton. We can stream Netflix and YouTube a lot based on the help from the booster. It was a nice upgrade for us.

      1. Which booster did you buy? And was it easy to install / make work? The wifi in many places, if it exists at all, seems pretty lame. Thinking we might also upgrade to the unlimited on our Verizon plan.

        1. We got the WeBoost Drive 4G-X – around $480 through Amazon. We also bought a directional antenna instead of using the POS omni-directional that comes with the booster. That means you gotta turn the directional antenna so it points towards a cell tower, but that’s pretty easy to do. We took down our Airstream’s TV antenna and mounted the directional in its place, which means we can lift it up AND turn it 360 degrees from inside the Airstream. Works great.

          Also, we have one of those grandfathered Verizon unlimited plans – so absolutely no restrictions or caps of any kind. I’m glad to see Verizon coming out with a “similar” plan. That will eventually create another competition that hopefully we’ll start seeing ALL carriers begin to embrace unlimited once again.

  11. It reminds me a bit of the beach when gusts of wind pour all over you… But it looks amazing! We were there not too long ago as well (which we loved!) and we know that we will travel much more often to the US in the future. So looking forward to the pictures yet to come!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yup, the dirt that we deal with is definitely worth it. There are way more positives than negatives to this lifestyle so far. Just so much to see!

  12. Glad to hear the RV reality is living up to the dream. My legs hurt just thinking about all the hiking you are getting in! Smart choice going non-anal with the dust. There are two of you and a few billion dust motes. You aren’t going to win that fight.

    1. Ha! Nope, we definitely won’t beat the dust…just gotta manage it in a way that makes the most sense for us. That’s the best we can do. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the comment, PP – so far, it is awesome. Choosing a new place to live at a moment’s notice is incredibly freeing. πŸ™‚

  13. Steve, what a great inside look into RV life. I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling being able to have so much time to invest in your photography and other pastimes. That’s probably my biggest struggle with the 9-5. I enjoy my work, but its tough to carve out time for the real fun stuff!

    1. Thanks MMM – it really is a wonderful feeling. More than I thought it would be, in fact. And, I feel your pain regarding full-time work and fun!

  14. Hi Steve,

    I believe that this will be a nice experience for you. The thought of such experienve is thrilling. There is bound to be trade-off for the rent-free environment. I think that there is one way of enjoying life. Life is not all about comfort. A bit bit of discomfort and inconvenience will make one cherish his/her stress-free retirement lifestyle more valuable. You and your spouse have made the right choice in choosing this route. Kudos to both of you!

    Ben

    1. Thanks Ben! I like getting out of my comfort zone, actually. Forces me to learn new things…to expand my horizons. Works every time!

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