December 10, 2011

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming (yeah, I'm not ready either) and I keep getting emails asking what I want this year. Most people have figured out that a holiday candle isn't really going to work for me, but they can't bring themselves to gift wrap a traffic cone. Personally I've told everyone to make a donation to their favorite charity instead of buying me stuff, but if you're looking to get the vehicle dweller in your life a physical present this holiday season, here are some ideas.

A good watch can be a great investment, especially with all the cool things they can do these days. For vehicle dwellers it's all about convenience and versatility. "Sporty and surprisingly elegant, Casio watches offer the precision of dual analog and digital quartz movement, as well as a 10-year battery life for longterm wear. Packed with innovative and helpful features--from a 30-page databank to world time for 30 cities (29 time zones)--this high-performance timepiece has an LED light with afterglow, three daily alarms, and an hourly time signal to keep your day on-track. There's also a 1/100 second digital stopwatch, auto calendar pre-programmed until the year 2099, and easy-to-use black polyurethane selector buttons." - Product Description 

Highly recommended by many vehicle dwellers, this lightweight cooking option is great if you don't have room for a stove in your rig. "Our ultracompact 1 liter unit is ideal for dehydrated meals, coffee or tea on the go, remote worksites, and emergency kits. Travel light and prep easy. The Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a complete food and beverage multi-tool you can hold in your hand and weighs about a pound. Lights with the click of a button, and within two minutes you’ve got two cups of boiling water ready for coffee or a quick meal. Pack components, fuel and accessories into the Nalgene-sized cup for convenient transport." - Product Description

Some vehicle dwellers have a full kitchen while others (like me) cook on a tin can. Whatever your cooking needs remember that weight is an issue so go with something light, like this aluminum mess kit. Super cheap and very compact, it works great on my tin can or in an apartment.

Wireless Dehumidifier - $25
Condensation is something that I constantly battle with on cooler nights even if you're parked around fifty other cars, those foggy windows can give you away to a security guard. This portable option was recommended to me.

Leatherman - $20 to $100
A Leatherman is like a Swiss army knife for big kids. There are so many shapes and sizes, something for everyone and they will be used daily. 

GPS - $70 and Up
A lot of us are of the mind that the journey is more important that the destination. That journey, however, often includes lots of wrong turns, back roads, and that moment when the gas needle dips below the empty line. I've never owned a GPS but those who have tell me they wouldn't be without it. The new ones tell you the nearest gas stations, road closures, even traffic.

Road Atlas - $11
It might not sound like much, but maps come in handy and we like them for planning almost as much as for actual travel. If your vehicle dweller is on the road a lot or planning to be, get them something to feed their imagination.

Kindle - $75
I have spoken many times about how much I love my Kindle. Getting a vehicle dweller a Kindle is like giving us a portable library. 
AAA Membership - $54
The AAA card gets you roadside assistance and discounts on lodging, insurance, food, etc. Not a bad thing to have if you're out and about in the world.

These are some suggestions but talk to your vehicle dweller (hmm, that makes us sound like pets or loan agents...) about what they need. Most of us will tell you that space is more important to us than the stuff to fill it. The fact that we live like we do means that the "things" are really not at the top of our list unless they can make our lives dramatically easier. Family and friends, especially non judgmental ones, are very much appreciated during the holiday season. Less than two weeks to Christmas, Happy Holidays!
I would also suggest you check out the "Helpful Books" page on this blog.


  1. Hi Ash,

    I hope Santa gets you what you want this year. Hmmm, that read like I'm talking to a kid. Ignore that. Anyways I saw your wish list and the mess kit reminded me that I meant to tell you about these.

    Great when there's not much living space

    or if you've got room


  2. Hi Ash,

    I wanted to let you know how much I like your blog. I really like the suggestions such as the Kindle. A couple of months ago mine was broken and I did a "second day air" and got a new one right away.

    I love the Kindle. It does what it does so simply and elegantly. There are fancier models but I use the least expensive one and it's paid for itself if you think of the number of hours of entertainment.


  3. Some good ideas Ash. I have asked for 2 r15 travel trailer tires, greased bearings and a brake contoller.

  4. I LOVE my kindle too.
    More ideas:
    * gift certificates for the person's favorite auto parts store. (we all need oil and antifreeze!)
    * iPod - is to music what kindle is to books.
    * LED lights that run on batteries. Right now you can get strings of them for Christmas in white and colors. I have 2 strings of white ones in the living room of my rig, and 2 strings of coleman lantern looking awning lights in the bedroom that run on AA batteries.


I love mail so leave a message, ask a question, or give me some advice. You can also email me at