Continuing on with where I left off yesterday on my prep-work for the vagabond lifestyle …
Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to eat. Too much! So I’m hoping that along this journey, I’ll be more active … that I’ll spend more time out in the world and less in front of the table! That said, I’m not ready to make a full transition to PB&J sandwiches, hobo stew and hot dogs over an open campfire!
I’ve made a decision to focus primarly on campgrounds that offer electrical hookups. Yeah, I know that means I won’t be spending much time on BLM property, or touring the real rugged parts of the west, but that’s okay. I’m not doing this to emulate Jeremiah Johnson! I can live with the limitation. I’m doing this a bit different from what another vagabond might do.
I’m going to bring along the standard 2-burner propane grill … I’ll need that for whatever cooking I do with pots and pans. Coleman also offers a camp “oven”: an inexpensive metal box that sits over the burners to make biscuits or rolls, and collapses flat when not in use. (I wonder how it would do with english muffin pizzas?)
Depending on how things go with the packing, I would like to bring along my crockpot. I’ve been using it a lot lately, for stew, chili, chicken casseroles, etc, and I think it would make for some good meals (while again being able to cut down on the cost of fuel). If I bring this, I’m going to axe the Coleman dutch oven I have on my Amazon “wish list”. For those occassional 2-week stints where I don’t have electrical hookups (I’ll address standby electricity later), I won’t be craving something that can only be fixed in a dutch oven! I’ll simply wait until I’m back at a site with power!
I’m all set on pots and pans … I called the company that manufactured my current set and found out they’re suitable for use over either a propane stove or an open fire so long as I’m setting them on a grill over the fire! I won’t take all of them … just a couple of pots and the small frying pan. The rest (along with eveything else in my home that isn’t sold off on craigslist) will go to Goodwill.
When I moved to Charleston, I bought a Coleman stand-up grill … looks sort of like a Weber. I even kept the box it came in (maybe subconsciously I knew I wasn’t going to be here for long). That’ll cut down a bit on the propane, firewood or other fuel I’ll need to buy.
Aside from that, the only other luxury I’m going to bring is my coffeemaker. I’ll also buy one of those filter things that you use for individual cups of coffee (for those non-electric campsites), but I hope not to have to use it too much … if that’s not a reason for making electricity a priority, then I don’t know what is!
The remaining items are all pretty much on hand … utensils, hand-crank can opener, bottle opener, potholders, cutting plastic (which I’ve always liked in place of a board), kebab skewers, etc. About the only thing I plan on picking up are a couple of melmac plates. Other than that, I think I’m all set for cooking.
Next topic of discussion – what other campsite needs am I going to have to pack for? And what about Frank? And how am I going to carry all this shit? I’ll continue tomorrow.
Oh yeah, a couple of other things before I close for the day. I spoke to the attorney this morning about setting up “domicile” in Texas. It’ll be easy to “do”. What won’t be easy is addressing any potential legal challenge that might come up. “So who’s going to challenge you, Jeff?” you might ask. Well, think of who the biggest assholes in your life might be (aside from me). You guessed it – the auto and health insurance companies, concerned about liability and jurisdiction for claims; and state governments, wanting to have me pay state income taxes on my measly 401(k) withdrawals (or estate taxes on my measly assets when I die).
The attorney gave me a list of things I need to be able to put together that “tell a story,” which basically comes down to this:
- I have roots in Texas. That’s somewhat easy. I do – lived there for 10 years and have a number of old high-school chums there.
- I’ve established roots in my community (okay, I can transfer my parish records to one in Texas and say that my attorney is there).
- When I can’t be a nomad anymore because of physical limitations and have to light somewhere, I plan on going back to Texas and spend my last days there.
The last one is the toughest. As far as I’m concerned, a more apropos statement would be, “if I can no longer live the vagabond lifestyle and have to go somewhere … and Texas is where it has to be … then I’ll go there and put a gun in my mouth on a beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, so technically, if I have to spend my last days in Texas, I will!”
Does that count?
Seriously though, I have an out. I have to state my intentions. Intentions change. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (*cough*cough*)
Lastly, I’ve made reservations at four of the twelve campsites I’ve lined up to get me through February 2016. It would have been more, but I had a wrinkle thrown in when I discovered that there are NO Federal or state campgroounds available in one of the windows I had initially scoped out in August, so I’m having to scramble a bit on that (here it is the middle of January, and all theiir campsites have been booked – good to know for future travels). And oh yeah – freaking Florida requires that payment be made in full when you make a reservation to camp at one of their state parks. Everywhere else has been accommodating so far. Florida knows it’s a tourist mecca and feels they’ve got you by the balls. I may look for a place along the Alabama gulf coast just to spite them. Asshats!
This plan of mine is becoming reality.