Author: Scott and Ariane

Scott and Ariane March 14, 2018 0

How To Renovate An Airstream Argosy

Bringing back a 40 year old camper is not an easy task. There are some things we wish we would have known before we dove into the deep.  Let’s start with a little history on a Airstream Argosy

History: Argosy trailers were made by Airstream Company starting 1971 in Versailles, OH. near Jackson Center, and are usually recognized as “Painted Airstreams”. Many features were first tried out on the Argosy models, and then incorporated into the more traditional Airstreams if they were a success. A good example is the large front wrap windows. These painted trailers were able to utilize steel end caps and aluminum panels that were damaged or blemished. Argosy created a series of diminutive trailers in the ’70’s called the “Minuet”. There was the 6.0 Metre (20?), the 6.7 Metre (22?), and a 7.4 Metre (24?) Minuet.

Beginning in 1974 Airstream began manufacturing a Class A motorhome, badged “Argosy”. These began as painted aluminum 20- and 24-foot models, and were followed in 1979 by the first of their Classic model motorhomes, with an unpainted aluminum body, much like the trailers they are known for. In actuality, these were modified trailers, mounted on a step van chassis also modified for the motorhome.

The first Argosy trailer was put on the market April 1971. (1972 Model)

The first Argosy motorhome introduced December 1973.

The Rehab Project:  What do you do first? It can be overwhelming. More than likely, you have pulled your Argosy to a location where the renovation will take place. You probably did an initial inspection and did due diligence to pull it. Or maybe you had it lifted and towed to your designated area. Either way, you are dealing with a 40+ year old frame.

Step 1 the frame:  Inspect the Frame! Crucial to the future of your travel experience. Your frame is going to have rust and perhaps some corrosion. The faster you deal with the frame, the more you can renovate. There are 3 crucial areas of the frame. 1. Axle  2. Outriggers (the camper sits on these) 3. the under frame.  These have to be looked at and or fixed. renovating an airstream argosy frame

How do you fix or repair a frame? That’s a good question. It’s either going to be repairable, or you are buying a new frame. If the frame has corrosion which means there are holes in it, it has cancer. That cancer is spreading and will break down  your frame to where it’s unusable.  If your frame has rust and little corrosion, you can save it and even repair it. We sanded, scraped, and removed ALL the rust on the frame, and then used POR-15 to paint the entire frame to rust proof it.

Step 2 the tear down: You have to ask yourself one question: How far are you willing to go? Renovating a 40 year old Airstream Argosy is going to take on a long journey. Buckle up!!!  It’s one thing to remove all the old interior. It’s another to gut it. I mean floor, walls, insulation, wiring. How far do you want to go? If your answer is: “I just want a remodel”. Then you are probably only going to live it in and have it parked. If your answer is; “I want to travel the country”. Gut it, and go to Step 3

Step 3 rivets, lots of rivets: Learn how to remove bucket rivets. Hint, automatic spring hole punch and a 5/32 drill bit is the key. We also bought a Air Pop Rivet Gun for cheap at Tractor Supply.  When re riveting the Belly Pan, we used Large Flange Rivets – 5/32″ Diameter to help secure the belly pan to the frame. We did not need a  new Belly Pan.

Step 4 panels: Or inner walls are long. 2 of the side panels will be at least 22 feet long. It will take two people to remove them from the Argosy. This is where you will get a feeling of…Oh crap! The top ceiling panel is in between two grooved moldings. The moldings are also riveted in. You will notice that most renovated Argosy’s that you see don’t have the center ceiling panel. There’s a reason why. It’s not easy to come off. Once you bend it, it’s over.

Step 5 the banana wraps: You probably noticed we haven’t said the sub-floor yet. There is a reason. The banana wraps are the key to successfully taking off and putting back in the sub-floorhow to remove a sub-floor in an Argosy

Step 6 the sub-floor: This is where the rubber meets the road in your rehab project. This is also where you will probably find dead things, mice, snakes, etc. that have nested in the insulation under the sub-floor. Our sub-floor was rotted mainly in the front, back, and by the door. The rest of the subfloor wasn’t that bad. But we took out the entire floor nonetheless. Read, How to Remove a Airstream Subfloor.

Tip: The entire camper sits on the sub-floor. You are NOT taking the sub-floor out without removing the bolts that are holding the camper on the frame. Everything in an Airstream Argosy is inter connected with each other. This is  how your Argosy has lasted 40 years. They are built well. 

Step 7  Remove the Pink Stuff:Removing the pink insulation is a good idea. Why? It get’s wet and will keep everything moist. Ants, bugs, and creatures (especially mice) love this stuff to nest in. Please wear gloves and a mask to remove all the insulation. We removed ours from underneath the sub-floor and did NOT replace it. However we did replace the inner skin insulation, this is how we did it.

After all of this, then you are finally able to start planning your design and plot how you will re-build.

Scott and Ariane March 9, 2018 0

Restoring a 40 year old Airstream Shower Pan

When we first bought our Argosy is was apparent that things were old, and needed desperate repair. Of course there is always the option to buy “new”. What is the fun in that? We decided early, that we were (to the best of our ability) to try and restore, refurbish, any of the original Argosy interior, while implementing our own style. Our Airstream Argosy’s Shower Pan was one of the pieces we really wanted to save…but it was a mess.

Did I mention, we had a small crack in it also. Yea! As with most Argosy renovation projects, this was going to take patience and understanding.

  1. The first was to clean, clean, clean. We used 409 Degrease Cleaner. Then we had to get those fish stickers off which wasn’t has hard as I thought. We used GOO GONE. Once we got the fishies off it was time to get the dirt and grease off.
  2. This products by far worked the best. SOFT SCRUB W/BLEACH. But the trick here. Do this is direct sunlight and let the bleach whiten the ABS Plastic.
  3. Repeat this process a few times.

How to fix the crack: This was tricky because our tiny crack was in the lower right back corner.

  1. Drill a very tiny hole on both sides of the crack. This will help stop the crack from expanding and getting worse. We used 3mm bit (mostly used for crafts or jewelry)
  2. We used two products to repair the crack.  The first product was  J-B Weld 8277 WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick – 2 oz.  Great for repairing plumbing, fuel tanks, tubs, showers, drains, boats and portable water tanks it also sets in 25 minutes, cures in 1 hour to an off-white color with a tensile strength of 900 PSI. Once cured it forms a permanent bond and can be drilled, tapped, filed, sanded, painted and will withstand temperatures of up to 300ºF.  The next product we used was FLEX SEAL Spray (CLEAR).

Once everything dried and cured, it was time to bring this guy back to life. We used Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint, White, 1-Quart. This paint is used on Boats above the waterline. This is a thicker paint so be prepared. It takes some patience to put this on and it cures quick.

After a few days of working on it and letting it dry. It was time to test. We plugged up the drain and let water sit in the tub for 2 days. Not one drip.

 

This project truly was a labor of love (aren’t they all)? But this turned out to be very worth while project because the end result was saving an original piece of our Airstream Argosy.

As with all of the other projects, we were really proud of this one. To restore something that looked like it would never be used again was really self satisfying and gave us some much needed confidence to move forward.

 

 

Our shower pan is now installed and ready to use. We can’t wait to use our shower on the road with a sense of accomplishment.

If you have a Airstream project that you would love to share, please post below, we would love to see it.

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Scott and Ariane March 8, 2018 0

Episode 48: Do I Drink The Water?

On this episode we discuss water filtration vs water purification and what is best for you. So, what really is the difference between a backpacking water filter and a backpacking water purifier? AND why might you opt for buying one over another? No matter whether you are backpacking or a traveling in a RV, clean water is super important.

Topics we talk about on this Podcast:

  • Don’t drink the water if green ooze is present
  • 95% of US creeks, streams, lakes and rivers are ok to Filter Water
  • Some people are allergic to Iodine
  • Dogs can get Giardia

Water Filtration we use on the trail and we recommend for backpacking:

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

Sawyer 3 way inline Filter – Very easy to make your own gravity system

Top Pick for International Travel

MSR Guardian Purifier

Top Pick for Ultralight Filtration Only

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

Top Pick for Ultralight Purification

MSR Aquatabs

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

https://mailchi.mp/8f01634e3e69/podcast-listener-feedback-wanted

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Scott and Ariane March 1, 2018 0

Episode 47: Backpacking Bootcamp

On this episode we discuss what new backpackers should know and offer you tips on how to get started. In the end we will share with you a practical exercise that will help you plan your next backpacking adventure. New Backpackers often make some common mistakes that we go over them on this podcast.

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • The History of the 10 Essentials and what are they
  • Break your Trail Shoes in for heaven’s sake
  • Base weight is a range, not a specific weight
  • Do you even like backpacking? Yes, then test your gear
  • Scott – how to visually prepare for a backpacking trip

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

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Scott and Ariane February 22, 2018 0

Episode 46: Backpacking the Kalalau Trail

On this episode we share with you one of the most dangerous trails in America – The Kalalau Trail, an 11 mile one-one hike that takes you along the rugged Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Though despite all of this, it was the defining confidence I gained in having to make tough calls when Mother Nature’s boundaries were no match for me and over COMING fears when facing questionable footing.

The Kalalah Trail will without doubt remain one of my more empowering hikes to date.

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • I was in no way prepared for the INSANE BEAUTY this trail
  • flash floods, terrain is muddy slippery and dangerous in wet conditions
  • When bathing under a Waterfall always look over your shoulder
  • Do your homework on this trail

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

Scott and Ariane February 21, 2018 0

The Adventure is in the Journey

In a world of Instagram and other Social Media platforms, we often see the best of the best when it comes to “Adventure”. No matter if it’s a epic backpacking trip, or a road trip across the U.S. or even living in a camper van and doing what you love. We all get fixed on the fact that “they are living the life”. But is it what you think?

It wasn’t until I was half way done with my 2003 Appalachian Trail thru-hike did I realize that the adventure started long before I set one foot on the trail itself. I remembered how hard it was to actually get ON the trail. All the research and gear testing (in the rain by the way). All the doubt about actually being out there and living in the woods for five in a  half months. Quitting my job, packing, finding storage, selling my car, finances. I mean, if it were all really easy to plan for a extended backpacking trip, there would be multitudes of multitudes living on the Appalachian Trail and hiking 2000 miles. The fact is: It was freaking hard. 

My Adventure started the day I made the decision to hike it. Plain and simple. I so much appreciate the “hard” in planning and getting on the trail. Back in 2003, there was no Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, there was barely Cell Service, yet we all hiked anyway. No fame, no endorsements, no video production team. We did it, because it was hard.

We feel the same now as we enter into a new journey. The complete renovation of our 1976 Airstream Argosy. In the same way as a long distance hike, we still feel trepidation in our planning because of what we don’t know.  AND just like learning how to live on the trail for months, this journey also has a huge learning curve.

Along with the journey however is the adventure. When we look back now on our renovation process and see how far we have come, we also take time to think back about how much we have learned and laugh about our mistakes.

One time on my Thru-Hike, I thought I hiking with a rain poncho would be easy. I was wrong.

One time while renovating our Argosy, I thought removing 40 year subfloor would be easy. I was wrong.

Would I trade those learning experiences for something easier? NO WAY. This is our adventure. It’s the hard in everything that takes to chase your dream and live it, that’s you have to remember. It’s easy to quit.

Next time you see a beautiful Instagram pic, or a Facebook Post, or a great YouTube vid showing living a minimal life. Just remember, it was the hard that got them there. The adventure isn’t what you are seeing, the adventure is in what happened before the pic, the post, or the vid.

Trust the Trail Podcast
Scott and Ariane February 8, 2018 0

Episode 44: Embrace the Suck

On this episode we discuss “Embrace the Suck” and how that relates to the outdoors. Mother Nature doesn’t always care about your weekend plans, and She certainly doesn’t take note to all the planning, costs and coordination involved in those plans. When the majority of us hermit inside as inclement weather hits, we challenge you to think differently.

These are the time that is actually best to just get up and go! Sometimes you have to simply – and genuinely – embrace the suck to appreciate the one thing you cherish so deeply. The Great Outdoors.

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • Embracing the suck while lost in the Wilderness
  • Embracing the suck on Scott’s 2003 AT Thru-Hike
  • Embracing the suck when Mother Nature doesn’t care about your weekend plans

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

 

Scott and Ariane February 5, 2018 0

How to Hack New LED Lights for your RV

When it came time to start putting together our lighting plan, we knew right away we wanted to go all LED lighting. At the time we gutted our Lucy, we also took apart all of our lighting also, except for lights underneath our front end cap, which still worked.

Our decision to go all LED lighting was because of our Solar set up. LED burns brighter and 1/10th the power usage. Even though most LED lights for RV’s are expensive, they do in time pay for themselves. Unfortunately, they are expensive, and you have a very limited in design. Most LED fixtures you find specifically for RV’s are pretty generic in nature. It limits your ability to be creative.

When we bought are 76 Argosy, we had 5 ceiling fixtures (4 lights per fixture), two bedroom lights, one bathroom light, one kitchen light (on the wall), two front end (under the end cap) lights. We also had a porch light above the door. Adding up what it would cost to replace all these with LED lights was sure a jaw dropping reality. At almost 15 bucks a bulb, that would have been a 400.00 expense

We started looking for alternatives, and what we found was amazing. One day while looking at tiny living spaces at IKEA, we found a ton of LED lights. One particular brand was called DIODER. We noticed that all the led lights were strung on 12 volt wires, but had a 110 transformer on it so you could plug it into the wall or a regular household outlet. As we started looking around we found many IKEA lamps, and puck lights that were all 12 volt wired. All we had to do is to cut off the transformer and splice it into our 12 volt system.

Almost ALL RV trailer lights run on 12v DC power – even while connected to shore power.  Of course, when you are using shore power, you have a battery charger/converter charging your battery. However, when boondocking or off the grid you solely use your battery. So we use DC power only. This is why we wanted ALL our lights to be LED.

For 25 dollars, we were able to buy a package of 3 LED Puck lights that were all wired together with one switch. Once we found the Ground wire, and the HOT wire, we were able to splice them into our existing 12 volt wiring system and put on our own switch. We bought a total of 3 packages give us 12 LED Puck lights.

Each light comes with screws to attach to the ceiling or even under a kitchen counter or anyway you want. We used these as a replacement for our ceiling lights.

We also found replacement 1383 LED bulbs for our front end cap under lighting, and LED lights for our porch light. We used Automobile Dash LED lights to use as a porch light.

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Scott and Ariane February 1, 2018 0

Episode 43: A Toast to the FullMoon

This is one outdoor Podcast you don’t want to miss. On this episode we sit under the Super Blood FullMoon with our friends on a LIVE discussion about the outdoors. We raise a glass of champagne to celebrate the Full Moon and share laughs and stories. This is what the outdoors is all about, sharing experiences and adventures with people that inspire and motivate us. Here is to the first Full Moon of 2018 and here is to a great year. (clink)

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • We introduce our friends all under the Full Moon
  • Ina shares her hiking trails and her South Carolina roots
  • Claudette shares her camping adventure
  • Steve shares his “Mr Gadget” persona
  • Jim shares the story of the Oreal Cookie Serial Killer? What?

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

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Scott and Ariane January 18, 2018 0

Episode 42: Taste of the Trail

Many times eating in the backcountry can get mundane with the same ol foods. On this episode we share some of our favorite recipes we have cooked (many times) on the trail. We give you some great tips on what to buy, where to buy, and how to cook it.  Never underestimate just how creative you can get eating the foods you like. They are all found (usually) at your local grocery store.

What we discuss on this Podcast:

  • Bacon! do we need to say anything more?
  • What is Scott’s favorite cooking pot
  • Cooking an entire Thanksgiving Day meal on a Pocket Rocket
  • How to make Blueberry Pie after you pick Blueberries.

BREAKFAST:
biscuits and gravy – biscuits packed frozen, packaged gravy
bagel bacon cream cheese
french toast – powdered eggs mixed in bag, texas toast bread absorbed in baggie, fry in skillet

DINNER:
jubalaya – precooked sausage and mini shrimp
full thanksgiving meal on a pocket rocket – mashed potatoes, powder pack of gravy, indv frozen bags corn , sliced ham, dried cranberries
pizza
coscous mushroom a peas – spices *crushed red pepper and lemon etc

AND TO TOP OFF FOR DESSERT:
blueberry pie – hand picked blueberries/blackberries, keebler mini pie crusts, carnation instant milk, powdered whip cream (no follow rec)

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

Scott and Ariane January 14, 2018 0

Why you should buy the Equinox Tarp Tent

Ok folks, here we go. I totally understand most people will not go out and buy a tarp to sleep under in any weather condition. However, before you say “NO WAY”, let me argue my point.

Let me start off by saying that in over 10 years of sleeping under a Tarp, NOT ONE TIME have I ever regretted it. Being that it’s made out of Sil Nylon (which most lightweight tents are made of) it’s going to keep you dry even in a heavy rain storm (Which both Ariane and I have been in) But that’s not why we use it. It’s also very lightweight. All packed up in your pack, the Equinox 8×10 Tarp weighs in at only 14 ounces. AND, you can pitch the tarp in different ways depending on the terrain, and location. For example, you can hang a rope over a tree limb and pitch like a tee-pee. Or if it’s windy, pitch it lower to block the wind. Having said that, that’s not why we use it.

We use the Equinox Tarp Tent for one single reason. WE LOVE seeing the sunrise in the morning, WITHOUT getting out of our sleeping bags. Just laying there snugged up in our bags and turning over to watch sunrise is a special treat that you just can’t get in a tent. We also love it because when it’s raining, we can still cook under the tarp. Having a 360 panoramic view isn’t bad either.

We both love to connect with nature. What better way to connect with nature than be involved with it. Feeling the breeze, and seeing what’s around us. One time, we even had a Deer come right up to us under the Tarp. Had we been in a tent, we would have missed that.

Practicing Leave No Trace and NOT have food by us, ensures us that unwanted wildlife will stay away. We have never had an issue with any kind of wildlife interfering with us under our Tarp.

We have tarpped in snow, rain, cold, heat, high winds and even hail. Never has it a problem. If you would like to look at it further, visit our GEAR STORE and you can help support us.

A wise man once said “contempt prior to investigation”. Which means, don’t knock til you try it.

Have questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Trust the Trail Podcast
Scott and Ariane January 11, 2018 0

Episode 41: Barefoot Backpacking Bliss or Bust

On this episode we share what it was like when we backpacked 12 miles barefoot. Where we went, and how it felt. Hiking barefoot connects you to the trail in a whole new way and gives you a whole new perspective on just what you are missing when wearing shoes, or boots.  We kept an open mind about it, and what we learned may surprise you. Would we do it again? Find out.

Things we talk about

  • Would we ever do it again?
  • How does hiking in barefeet change the trail?
  • Mud = Sanctuary

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

Trust the Trail Podcast
Scott and Ariane January 4, 2018 2

Episode 40: Trail Blunders Are Real

It doesn’t always come out the way you thought it would. Whether it’s life or the trail. Sometimes things just go wrong. On this episode we have a laugh at our own expense as we list our top 10 Trail Blunders of all time. We did this episode LIVE on Periscope and we had a small technical glitch and we had to do our intro again. But the LIVE version is up and you can watch the replay.

Some things we talk about in this episode:

  • How can we NOT find a 50 mile hole in the ground?
  • Never tarp on a Beach
  • Pouring Rain makes a towel very heavy
  • How many flat tires did we have on one road?
  • Save the Ham!

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

Scott and Ariane January 3, 2018 0

Paddle Back in Time – The Okefenokee Swamp

When we travel to different places around the Country and seek some epic adventures, the one that stands out to us, is a paddle through some of the oldest swamp land in our Country. The Okefenokee Swamp is like going back in time. In fact, when we kayak through the Okefenokee, there is a feeling of pre-historic vibes as we see giant Sanhill Cranes not to mention huge Alligators.  Full grown they may reach twelve to fifteen feet in length and weigh 700 pounds. And there is nothing like Kayaking right over them.

We always plan to do at least 3 nights when we go. Of course our route always depends on water level. You never get to plan your own route unless the water is high enough throughout the swamp. When it’s lower, the Ranger Station will tell you what’s available. So your plan should be flexible when you go. Make sure you Plan Your Visit and talk to a Ranger before you paddle. You need to have a permit for overnight stays. 

The Okefenokee Swamp offers so much beauty and adventure. Depending on when you go, it’s something that we guarantee you will be a high Adrenalin adventure, while at the same time, be somewhat relaxing. What? There are times when it’s so quite and cereal. You are in a swamp with nothing to hear but nature and the sounds of your paddle hitting the water. Other times when you see a multitude of Alligators looking at you by the banks, you heart beats just a little faster.

The best part of doing a overnight is camping on large wooden platforms in the middle of the swamp. They all have portapotties on them and a canopy. You can pitch your tent right on the wooden deck. So bring a campstove and have a gourmet meal in a swamp. Check out our LIVE video we did from one of the platforms.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an impressively vast expanse of wilderness swamplands covering approximately 700 square miles, located within the southeast corner of Georgia.

So what is the Okefenokee Swamp? It’s crisscrossed by over 120 miles of paddle and motor boat water trails. It is a major destination for wetlands, nature lovers and paddlers alike. The swamp has a distinctive and fascinating natural history. Okefenokee means “land of the trembling earth” in Choctaw Indian language, a reference to the quivering ground of boggy areas. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was officially established in 1937 to preserve one of America’s oldest freshwater systems, an important habitat for an abundance of plants and animals that live in its 400,000 acres.

We travel down to Folkston GA every year to do a 3 day 3 night paddle. If you are interested in going with us, keep checking our events page or sign up for our Newsletter to get up to date info. In the meantime, here is our YouTube Video about our trip last year. Or listen to our Podcast straight from the Swamp

Trust the Trail Podcast
Scott and Ariane December 28, 2017 0

Episode 39: The Tale of Two Trails Interview with Leigh Rothermel

We interview Leigh Rothermel (shortstack) from Mountain Crossings of what it took to Thru-Hike 2 of the longest national trails in the Country. The Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Leigh highlights exactly what it took her to spend nearly a year of her life on the trail and what both trails taught her about the outdoors, and life.

Some things we talk about in this episode:

Thru-Hiking is definitely a lifestyle change

The reason she tackled the Appalachian Trail and her perspective

Leigh’s experience on the Pacific Crest Trail

How she went from being afraid, to trusting the trail

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Please help support us on Patreon so we can keep up the weekly Podcast’s. We promise you won’t be disappointing

Scott and Ariane December 28, 2017 0

How to convert a Vintage Airstream to Ecco Friendly

When we bought a vintage Airstream from the 70’s, both of us knew that it would be a huge project to completely update our Lucy to one that fits our lifestyle. Let’s face it, the 70’s decade wasn’t known for environmentally friendly products. We knew right off the bat that our Airstream was going to undertake a huge renovation. Which meant floor, walls, electrical, and plumbing all had to be completely redone.

Since we are both Leave No Trace Trainers, we thought it was important to leave less of a footprint by converting our Airstream to  Ecoo friendly RV. First we had to make some decisions based on our lifestyle.

Boondocking was a priority for us. We are outdoors people and wanted to be remote so we could explore.

How could Solar power our needs while boondocking?

How much Solar would we need?

Save energy by going all LED lights and limit “luxury appliances”

How to save on Propane needs.

Could we use a composting toilet instead of a black water tank?

These were all questions based on our needs versus wants.  Of course, when renovating a 1976 Airstream, there are

steps you need to take first, to get to the project you want to complete. On our post “How to remove a subfloor”, we found that the Black Tank was secured underneath the Airstream in a steel pan that was bolted to the frame. This was a perfect time to get some plumbing done, and take out the black water tank without removing the steel pan underneath.  So that’s exactly what we did. We cut the black water tank out. (it’s abs plastic) and left the steel pan bolted to the frame. (more about that later) We removed the plumbing that connected the black and grey tanks so that we just had 1 drain pipe for the grey water tank.  We could now buy a composting toilet which meant NO DUMPING our black water tank.

The next step was to move and build a new battery compartment. This was tricky since we decided that Deep Cycle 6 Volt batteries were the way to go. We needed (4) 6 Volt batteries to give us what we needed. That of course meant we needed to build a battery box and put the batteries where they could vent. We decided to place the battery box underneath our kitchen cabinets and utilize the old furnace vent on the side of the Airstream. This also meant we had to re-wire our 12 volt wiring so that the wires ended up near the battery box and the new fuse box. 

Using (4) 6 Volt batteries, we could make (1) 12 volt battery and have 250 amp hours of charge before we would be out of power. 25watt 12V light bulb, for example, use the equation A=W/V or (25/12=2.1Amps per hour) That was our decision to go LED lights. Which meant just 1 LED light used .5 amps per hour.  As of now, every single light we have in the Airsteam is LED. (detailed post coming)

Converting your vintage Airstream to Solar isn’t hard if you have gutted your Airstream like we did. When the inner walls our down, it’s a good time to determine where the solar wires will run. This is why the battery placement is important. We decided to purchase (4) 100 Watt Solar Panels from Renogy.

Now we were on to HEAT. How to heat the Airstream during Winter months and provide HOT WATER.  This was an important decision since we removed the old water heater and furnace.

Since condensation seems to be a nagging problem in a lot of RV’s and Campers we looked at Wood Burning Stoves. We went back and forth about the safety and how we would incorporate that in our design. After much debate and hundreds of YouTube videos, we were convinced that a Wood Burning Stove not only would work, but eliminate the need for a extra propane line and help with the condensation.

The Cubic Grizzly Wood Burning Stove was our choice. After a lot of YouTube reviews of RV’ers using this stove, this was definitely for us. We utilized the old refrigerator vent in the ceiling (that was propane) to run the 3 inch double stove pipe through. Of course we had to patch the old hole first. At 34 lbs and the ability to heat 400 square feet, this would work great.

The Hot water was another great use of new technology. We decided on a Excel TANKLESS GAS WATER HEATER (LOW PRESSURE STARTUP) 1.6 GPM LPG VENT FREE (PROPANE). It works on a single propane line and the best part, it starts on (2) D Batteries that are rechargeable.

This is just a start on how we converted our vintage Airstream to a Ecco friendly Airstream. The key to all of this was planning on where each piece of equipment, wires, plumbing, and access goes before you start. It’s important to understand what your lifestyle is. How much power do you need. Work backwards. We will do a much more on solar in a later post. If you have any questions, please post them here, we are happy to answer.

 

 

Trust the Trail Podcast
Scott and Ariane December 21, 2017 0

Episode 38: Hiking with Heat Miser VS Snow Miser

Our Holiday Podcast is all about some fun. Driving in the car the other day we debated who we would rather go hiking with. Heat Miser or Snow Miser from the animated show “The Year Without Christmas”.  We laughed so hard we wanted to do a Podcast about it. So with some Egg Nog and Rum, we share our craziness with you. There is a little buzz during the recording. We totally apologize for that. Damn battery charger

Some things we talk about in this episode:

  • Who would you rather spend the weekend with?
  • Does Heat Miser where a Hat?
  • Snow Miser may give you the “Cold” shoulder
  • Heat Miser maybe a “Hot” head
  • The reveal – Who is the number 1 Outdoors man?

Thanks for listening! We absolutely love connecting with our community and appreciate all the e-mails and messages. We had a blast doing this podcast.

Huge thank you! It’s because of people like you that inspire us to keep podcasting our passion. If you’ve been enjoying the show and want to help others find it, We’d love a review from you in iTunes. Each and every review helps more people find the show (each one counts and we are super grateful).

To leave a review, click here and then go to “ratings and reviews”. It takes one minute and we read every one?

Scott and Ariane December 21, 2017 0

3 Hot Drinks You Can Make Around the Campfire

With National Hot Toddy Day coming around the corner, we thought this would be the perfect time to share our favorite hot drinks (with a little somethin somethin) to keep you feeling good around the campfire on a cold night.

Of course we always consider weight, and how easy it is to carry with us while on the trail. They are great for a celebration or a birthday or even a toast.

  1. HOT TODDY 

This is really easy to make and it’s always a favorite. We usually bring a small plastic bottle of Bourbon which you can typically buy at the counter of most liquor stores. You can also order the online. They cost only a few bucks and easily packable.  

Start by heating water just below boiling. Add 16 ounces of hot water, or 2 cups in your pot.  A 50ML Nip of Jim Beam Bourbon should be enough to share. Spike your drinking cup with the bourbon, a little honey, and a squeeze of lemon.  Add the cinnamon– which doubles as a stirring stick– and stir until honey is dissolved. Enjoy!

2.  RUM APPLE CIDER  

This is probably our favorite drink on a cold night. In fact, we bring this weather we put a little libation in or not. You can find these packets of Cider at any local grocery store. Put a little spiced rum in it, and it’s really good.

Start by bringing 2 cups of water to a near boil. Pour one bag of Alpine Original Spiced Apple Cider Instant Drink Mix, 10 Ct/7.4 Oz.  in each of your cups. Pack along a 50ML tiny plastic bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and share evenly. You should have enough to make 4 cups. Or 2 cups each.

3.  MORNING MIMOSA

Instead of brewing a cup of coffee, maybe celebrate the New Year or a beautiful Sunrise by making a Morning Mimosa. This is pretty easy to make, but takes some planning and well worth it. It’s surprisingly tasty also.

Start by buying American Logger Beer Concentrate  and a Emergen-C Packet or Airborne Tablet Orange and finally a 50ML Sobieski Vodka 

Fill your pat with 2 cups of water, add the Airborne or Emergen-C next and let it rest for a few seconds, then add the beer packet and the vodka, carbonate it all and enjoy. Now, sit back and enjoy that sunrise.  

Do you have a drink that you absolutely love to bring on the trail or around the campfire? We would love for you to share. Please post your recipe and we will add it to our upcoming Podcast on Trust the Trail