Finding Clean Water to Drink
I drink a lot of water. And that may even be an understatement. I might go through a gallon per day, although I don't really keep track. Water, Green Tea, and Kombucha are all the beverages that I have been drinking. Occasionally I buy some 100% juice, but not very often, since it is so full of sugar. Anyway, water is always my beverage of choice, and it is very important for your water to be clear of bacteria, metals, and other disgusting things. It can get very expensive if you want to keep buying bottled water everywhere you go, plus that creates an excessive amount of waste when you keep throwing away all those bottles. For free, you can fill up your water bottles at many public drinking fountains, but the water quality often isn't very good. I have been quite discouraged many times in the past when I got water from a drinking fountain and it tasted absolutely disgusting. I do have an MSR MiniWorks EX Ceramic Water Filter, and you just screw it onto the top of a Nalgene bottle & hand-pump it in order to purify your drinking water. I don't actually use it that often, though, only really when I'm backpacking, because it can be pretty inconvenient. I usually just don't feel like using it, to be honest. My best friend has a different type of water purifier called a "SteriPen" that works by using UV Light. I haven't tried that method, but it has good reviews, and my friend seems to like hers. Another option, which will definitely kill all the bacteria in your water (although it won't get rid of any metals), is to put a few drops of GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) into your water. If you don't believe in the power of GSE, read this review of a woman who used it to drink from a waterfall on Kauai. There are lots of other positive reviews out there, along with the fact that I've occasionally used drops of GSE and never had any bad results.
THE BEST OPTION that I've found is just to keep a couple of gallon jugs inside your vehicle. You can take those into almost any grocery store or supermarket and fill them up at those purified/filtered water machines. The water that comes out of those machines is excellent quality, tastes great, you get to re-use your containers, and it is very inexpensive. I just walked over to Publix, yesterday, and filled up two of my gallon-jugs with clean water from the machine, and it only cost 60 cents total. It was only .30 per gallon. If you were to throw away your gallon jug and buy a brand new one every time you needed more water, it would cost you closer to 1.30 (instead of .30), and would create un-necessary waste. Those water machines are my favorite way to get fresh drinking water. No question about it. I'm not a big fan, however, of just letting my water hang out inside the plastic jugs for very long, (especially in a hot vehicle), because I don't want my water to absorb any nasty chemicals from the plastic. It might be a wise idea to transfer some of it into an aluminum, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic bottle, which is what I tend to do. Those BPA-free plastic water bottles might be bad for your water, too, I'm not really sure, but I would like to think that they are somehow better than the regular plastic bottles. Here is a site about the BPA-free plastic hype, in case you are curious:
I know that glass isn't a good type of container to keep in your vehicle (since it could easily break & is heavier to lug around), but I believe glass to be the safest container to keep your water in. I actually have a medium-sized glass container inside my van that I do keep water in, despite what I have read. I think the author of the "Living In Cars" book didn't recommend carrying glass containers inside your vehicle, but I haven't had a problem with it yet. If I ever do break a glass bottle in my van, then I will re-consider. My glass bottle stays securely in place within my little refrigerator, so I don't worry about it breaking, and I don't worry about chemicals getting absorbed into the water.
Cheap Entertainment (Movies!!)
I really am quite often a home-body. Especially if I have gotten settled and used to parking somewhere for a while. I do get out and about a lot, but of course I like to stay "home" and hang out in my van some days, too. I don't watch many movies, but they can be pretty relaxing and a good way to get some cheap entertainment. They can also be a good form of evening entertainment when you are traveling.
I'm not talking about going out to the movie theatre, because I think that is just way too expensive. You can buy yourself a movie for the price of sitting inside a theatre. I've got a few different inexpensive ideas when it comes to watching movies... All you need is a laptop or portable DVD player inside your vehicle. I just use my laptop.
1. Rent a movie for free at a public library
2. Check-out a movie from a RedBox machine - You can find RedBox kiosks at many locations, all over the United States. I often see them when I first walk into Walmart. You can rent DVDs from them for 1.00 per night and return them to ANY RedBox kiosk location. Find their locations, movie selections, and read more about it at http://www.redbox.com/. Pretty neat set-up.
3. Garage Sale/Thrift Store - Pick up a cheap DVD there and then donate it to a library or another thrift store when you are done with it.
4. Blockbuster (.99 rentals) - This is my favorite option for renting movies, because as long as you have a Blockbuster Card, you can rent movies at ANY Blockbuster location. We just rented "The Postman" and "The Anchorman," (both Excellent movies) for only 99 cents each. They are due back tomorrow, just right down the road. Very convenient. And we don't even have an "account" at this particular Blockbuster. Isn't it nice to know that your very own Blockbuster card will work for you in any U.S. Blockbuster? Much cheaper than going to the theatre or lugging movies around with you that you have bought.