Gift Ideas? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2019, 07:46 PM   #1
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Gift Ideas?

It's that time of year when family members ask what I'd like as a holiday gift. My standby answer is nothing. When that inevitably gets protested, I generally list:
  • a donation to charity.
  • black or navy-blue T-shirts with graphics.
  • any kind of fruit jam.
Well, I was lurking here the other day and saw mention of an LED headlamp and thought ah, that's a great idea as the best gifts are generally those I never think of.

What other ideas do folks have for gifts that are not-too-expensive, but which are useful for traveling?

I'll even go first with a few things that I really like having along on my travels:
  • silk long underwear; they are lightweight, compact and very useful on wet and cool days.
  • lightweight, small binoculars which don't take the space or weight of "serious" binoculars. I bought a pair of ultra-compact Carson 7x18 Mini Scout and find them to be of more-than-acceptable quality.
  • quick-dry microfiber towels; they are lightweight, compact and dry well in the confines of a trailer.
I guess these came to mind as they reflect my long-time interest in traveling light while being warm and comfortable under any conditions.

What simple, relatively inexpensive things do you really like having along on your travels?
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:25 PM   #2
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Fire starters for campfires!
This is a great, homemade, budget friendly gift you can make for others. It is a simple and useful gift for someone who goes camping and likes to have a campfire. Only two ingredients, wax and sawdust.My neighbors taught me about them and they would have various friend who saved candle stubs for them or sometimes they bought blocks of wax from craft stores and hardware stores if they found it on sale. They collected the saw dust from me as I am a wood worker.


Muffin tins were the molds. The mini sized ones are perfect. I myself like the silicone muffin tins because it is so easy to remove the contents. You can even make tiny sized ones using the silicone ice cube trays. Those come in 1 inch and 2 inch sized cubes. I see those silicone ice cube trays quite often in the thrift store. Sometimes you even see low cost bags of old candles or boxes of was in the thrift stores.

Just melt a pot of wax over low heat, stir in the sawdust and then spoon into the muffin tin. More wood than wax is the trick plus the wood is easier to obtain than the wax.

I like to use the "saw dust" my wood planer make. The debris it creates is the perfect size for making a premium quality fire starter that is easy to light.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:27 AM   #3
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Anybody can buy a "firelog" at Safeway. Chop a chunk off and light a core fire. I've been dragging half of one around for years, but I'm not into camp fires so it will likely last forever.
It's a lot easier and cheaper than buying a wood planer.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:04 AM   #4
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Harbor Freight free item LED work light flash light. Who doesn't need another flashlight? Three modes, its pretty decent for the price.

Purchase required, but you can always use something there. Right now, a trailer dolly can be had (with another coupon) for $39.95, or a folding step/stool for $7.99.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas!

Wouldn't anybody else like to list some of the coolest things that they travel with that cost less than $25?
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Anybody can buy a "firelog" at Safeway. Chop a chunk off and light a core fire. I've been dragging half of one around for years, but I'm not into camp fires so it will likely last forever.
It's a lot easier and cheaper than buying a wood planer.
You missed the point entirely...people making gifts for friends rather than buying stuff that is made in identical millions. When you light a fire with something a friend has made for you then you think about your friend and that warms your heat. It also warms their hearts to make something special for you. Remember it is the thought and that does count for more than $$.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
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Smile

Karin---you are 100% correct! It IS heartwarming to know that someone cared enough about you to take the time--regardless of how long--to make a special something for you.


It isn't the dollar value. In fact, alot of handmade things sell in craft markets for one helluva lot more than mass-produced items.



For me, firestarters are a must-have. I make them and share them with other camping neighbours. Unlike your method, I use dryer lint, wax and cardboard egg cartons. A bit more bulk, perhaps, but easy, definitely effective and a way to use up something (lint), like your sawdust, that would otherwise be disposed of.


Great suggestion!!
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:46 PM   #8
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I am making something for my best friend for Christmas. Something he can't buy. It is a custom, soft fleece pillow case. What is special about it is that attached to the main pillow case is an extra flap that folds up and over the top to form a little blanket that covers his bald head to keep it warm at night. He lives on a sailboat and much like a travel trailer they do get cool at night.

He has always had to put another pillow over his head but they do tend to slide off during the night as does wearing a hat. Pulling the covers up over your head gets rather stuffy for having fresh air to breathe. This should work out just fine. Plus he appreciates it when someone takes the time to design and make something unique as well as useful and does not take up a lot of space to store.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:18 PM   #9
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A hooded-pillow; I like it!

I remember cinching down on the drawstrings in my mummy bag a great deal of time when I backpacked in the Sierras so my nose would just peek out.

And that was when I had a full head of hair. Now all I have is a full head of fuzz. ; )
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
I am making something for my best friend for Christmas. Something he can't buy. It is a custom, soft fleece pillow case. What is special about it is that attached to the main pillow case is an extra flap that folds up and over the top to form a little blanket that covers his bald head to keep it warm at night. He lives on a sailboat and much like a travel trailer they do get cool at night.
Most excellent! I don't suppose you have a pattern you'd care to share...
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:16 PM   #11
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Most excellent! I don't suppose you have a pattern you'd care to share...
Not yet but I will have one soon.

I plan on selling patterns for the items I invent as downloads in my Etsy shop.

That is because I do need to supplement my retirement income but living full time in a tiny travel trailer means no room to carry materials or my favorite sewing machine so instead of making things for sale I will be selling my design talents and also my drafting skills for making measured drawings and writing a set of instructions for the DIY folks.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:24 PM   #12
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Cool! I try and support small businesses.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:09 PM   #13
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My wife crochets things as we travel, and I alder-smoke cashews to give to family, friends and neighbors.
+1 on those Harbor Freight lights - we have one in each vehicle. They don't stick to fiberglass, but they sure do to steel.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:07 PM   #14
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Dorcy Flashlight BOGO

I've owned some Dorcy flashlights and been very satisfied. I found they are offering a two-for-one deal today.

This one claims 200 lumens and 17 hours of life, which is both far more light and far more life than the Dorcy's I've got now.

https://www.dorcy.com/200-lumen-led-...ing-flashlight


I found you have to change the quantity to two (or four or six) before you add them to the cart. Then, add the code CYBER in the cart.

I ordered four for $33.98 including tax and shipping. This is much better than the $15.59 + tax price each that I see on Amazon Prime.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:23 PM   #15
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Not to beat a dead horse about the fire starters but, for what it's worth, if you WANT to make them, you can do it very easily out of wax (saved from candles), dryer lint (saved from dryer), and cardboard egg cartons (saved from breakfast). Just put some dryer lint in each egg spot, pour hot wax over it, let dry, and cut apart.

You can Google something like "egg carton dryer lint fire starters" for more details.

** NOTE: this is only if you want to really turn some garbage into something useful. If you want a more polished look, this idea is not for you. **
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Pulling the covers up over your head gets rather stuffy for having fresh air to breathe....
Not breathing fresh air can also cause headaches. They're called "Turtle Headaches".

It's a real thing, believe it or not.

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Old 12-04-2019, 01:31 PM   #17
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For cold heads...

https://countycomm.com/collections/view-all-products/products/wx-warrior-beanie-by-maratac

I have probably bought over a dozen of these. I keep spares for folks complaining about being cold. I have several deployed: by the bed, in the truck, in jacket pockets and with my foul weather gear. They are much thinner than a regular knit watch cap and are easy to keep in a pocket (but also harder to find). The light weight makes them more comfortable for sleeping as well

The next step is a light balaclava which covers the neck but leaves the face open. I don't like to be enclosed completely in a sleeping bag and these two help keep me toasty.

On my list are easy to store snacks to pull out when neighboring campers stop by to visit. Things like nuts, crackers, dried sausage, candy and maybe some smoked oysters...
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:06 PM   #18
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Coolest low cost presents

I often give top end chopsticks. Best so far are hollow Titanium (from Amazon)
Waterproof notebooks from "Rite In The Rain." They come in various sizes and colors
A little online research and the "Best" duct tape is always good to have on hand.
Any good multi tool.
A credit card sized fresnel lens. You can buy bunches for little cash online. Good to magnify and start fires on sunny days.
For folks with a computer, a USB microscope. They're pretty reasonable if you shop around, and fun.

Oh! the cheapest and easiest fire starter I've found so far is old paper towels soaked in used cooking oil. Or fresh if you don't have used. Any vegetable oil works, olive canola, corn, etc. Saturate the paper towel in it and light it. There's a lot of energy in a grease fire! Oh and alcohol based hand sanitizer.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:59 AM   #19
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I use Georgia fatwood for fire starters, natural pine tree with sap which lights easily. Just bundle a bunch with a ribbon and give away. Found at HD, LL Bean and any other camping place....
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:35 PM   #20
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Jim---that fatwood works really well, you are correct! We first tried it when we picked up a small bundle at the registration desk at Myrtle Beach State Park about 10 years ago. Loved how nice it smelled, too.


For us, the homemade firestarters aren't beautiful, by any stretch of the imagination, but they work like a charm. We always have at least 1/2 of a carton with us and simply rip off one to start a fire.

I save old candles and dryer lint all winter and make up dozens in the spring. With us having a recreational property where we spend alot of time each summer, plus having a son who LOVES to have the fire going every waking moment, we go thru dozens each year.



We did see some for sale years ago at Hunting Island state park in SC that they made there----small paper cups filled with wood shavings/sawdust and wax. They were asking $1 each at that time. Ours were free. lol
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