MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

Getting out of the house and away from home gives you the opportunity to reflect on your life, and what better way to do that than road trips! On today’s podcast, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen talk about the preparation and planning that goes into a road trip with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. From food and supplies to cool, innovative gadgets, discover what you need to bring to make your trip much more pleasurable and comfortable.

Listen to the podcast here:

Going On A Cross Country Road Trip & Pandemic Camping? Here’s What To Bring

I’m a huge fan of road trips. Here on the show, we’ve been talking a lot about the road trip that Whitney took from Los Angeles to the East Coast. We had a few episodes where we talked about the challenges, preparation, anxieties, planning, and everything that goes into a road trip. It’s also a road trip with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which we are still very much in. My curiosity is how you Whitney and Leanne were equipped from a food perspective, supplies perspective, the cool gadgets you had, and the things you ate. One of the things for me that makes a road trip so much more pleasurable is the company you keep, the musical selection, and the podcasts or audiobooks you listen to, but also the food.

If it’s your first time joining us, one of the foundational elements and passions that have led Whitney and myself deeper into the wellness journey is our love of food, food products, and cool innovative inventions and things. Whitney, I want to take this whole episode to dive into some of the things you were most excited about food-wise, the things you experienced, and any kind of the gadgets that made this cross country COVID road trip experience a lot more pleasurable and fun for you. By all means, I’m throwing the baton your way. Take it, baby.

I’m curious to see what things that you’re most intrigued by and also feedback from the readers as well. We hope that you’ll interact with us through social media or the comment section on our website, which is Wellevatr.com where you can not only comment, but you could see a whole list of all these brands. If I can get you any discounts, I will do my best to do so. I think that by the end of this episode, you’re probably going to want to buy most of these things, even if you’re not going on a road trip. Most of these things can be used anytime, anywhere and they’re awesome. It was fun to be able to try out many different things across those ten days, there’s so much time to experience things in a different way than I did at home on an average day in Los Angeles.

Now, that I’m in Massachusetts, it’s also interesting because I’m sharing some of these things with my family and noticing their reactions to them. When I was driving, I was with my friend Leanne and she was experiencing them too. It was neat. I love products. I love trying new things, new foods, new gadgets. As Jason said, it’s a fun little adventure. I should give an update. If you read our episode with Leanne, I said in that episode that I had received the notification that my COVID test results were available. I went and checked. I want to announce to everybody that I did not contract COVID on that trip, which made it feel like a huge success because throughout the whole time I kept thinking like, “What if I did get Coronavirus on this trip?”

Some people thought it was crazy or bold or brave to do a trip during the pandemic. A lot of people are afraid of that. As Jason said, a lot of the precautions I took apparently worked. That doesn’t mean you’re ever guaranteed to be safe. You could do all of the things that I did and still get Coronavirus. I feel like you’re always teetering on the edge of it unless you believe that Coronavirus is a hoax, but that’s a whole other conversation.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

Pandemic Camping: The best way to use the bathroom is to dig a hole six to eight inches underground and it has to be 200-plus feet away from water.

 

We’ve already covered that a little bit in our previous episode about conspiracy theories. There’s a lot. We both watched the documentary, The Social Dilemma, which we’re going to cover in our next episode that also touches upon this whole idea of COVID being a hoax or a conspiracy, but that’s a different subject. I’m curious though, since we are talking about this and I know we’re going to dedicate a huge chunk of this episode to discussing your impressions and your experience with a lot of the favorite brands you had with you. In terms of precautions, were there any specific products that you had? You gave me a package before you left called Combat Wipes. I’m curious if those came in handy for you. Were there any other products specifically that you use to try and increase your precautions against COVID?

I did for sure. The organizer within me is afraid to jump all over the place in this episode but we probably will. I’m trying to put everything into categories so that it’s easy for the readers to understand everything that we use. Combat Wipes were something that Leanne and I used a lot throughout the trip, but before I get to during the trip. I did want to shout out one brand that I used before the trip, which is Gaia Herbs. They had sent me at the beginning or the middle period of quarantine and COVID some of their immune health essential. Gaia Herbs are a wonderful natural herbal brand. I visited their farm in North Carolina. It’s incredible. They make wonderful vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, certified organic in many cases. Amazing products and very eco-minded. I had a great opportunity to try their immune support products because I wanted to boost my immune system as much as possible before we left.

I was taking their Astragalus, which also has some Schisandra berry and Ligustrum. It’s another herb that’s known for supporting your overall well-being. They’re put together in a formula to help with supporting your resistance from occasional physical and emotional stress, and boosting your immune function. I thought that was a good one to take. I also took some of their Elderberry products and they’ve made a number of them. They have a syrup that’s delicious. They have gummies that are vegan and tasty to enjoy. I also brought one of their immune-boosting formulations. It was the Quick Defense and this was great during the trip because at one point Leanne was feeling a little under the weather. She took this formulation and you would take two of the supplements every couple of hours, five times a day to help boost your immune system. I don’t know if it’s the reason, but she did improve over 1 or 2 days after that.

I felt good. It’s peace of mind for me. I’m a big believer in herbal supplements. It was nice to take those before I left for the trip and then had them with me. They have a number of things. I also brought their Calm ASAP formulation, which is one of my all-time favorite products from Gaia Herbs. I have that with me in case I get stressed. If I’m feeling anxious or need some support and calming down, I’ll take that. I also brought a bunch of supplements with me, including a brand that has supported the podcast called BiOptimizers. I took their enzymes with us. I took their probiotics, which are good. There was one moment during the trip that I felt like my gut was getting a little off. I started taking probiotics more frequently and I feel like that helped me. I also brought their ConstiCleanse in case I needed a little help with that. Luckily, I didn’t need to. I brought a lot of supplements with me on this trip because I wanted them for preventative or supportive reasons, as well as if anything went awry during the trip. Gaia and  were a part of my defense.

I want to get personal because this is what we do on this show. You know this because we’ve not only taken multiple long road trips together, but we’ve also done a lot of traveling. You and I have been to different countries and different states for many different reasons. I have a tendency to get constipated and bound up on a road trip. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason when my body knows it’s on a trip, it’s like, “No. We are shutting down for about a day.” Legitimately, it’s at least a 24-hour period. I find when my body’s natural cycle of bowel movements starts up again. TMI or not TMI, were you feeling pretty regular on this trip or did you have some trouble with that too?

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

Pandemic Camping: One of the best campsites, if not the best campsite, we stayed out on the entire trip was at Lone Rock Beach right outside Page, Arizona.

I don’t mind getting into the TMI. Hopefully, our readers don’t mind either, but it’s important to talk about these things because I also want to talk about vaginal care. In terms of bowel care, I did experience it a little in the beginning. The first day we drove from LA to the Sedona area, I didn’t go to the bathroom at all that day. For context, through my research and conversations with people that are concerned about COVID, I was nervous about using public restroom. We’ll get to the vaginal part of that in a moment, but in terms of the bowel side of it, I was like, “I’d want to avoid using the restroom.” I packed a little shovel and some dog waste bags that I had to bring anyway for Evie. What I wanted was these neat camping bags that have enzymes sprinkled in them. They come with wipes or toilet paper like this whole little kit so that you can use the bathroom anywhere, anytime. You can dispose of them in a regular trash bin.

What I didn’t know is you’re not supposed to throw human waste into a trash can. The whole waste management system doesn’t allow that probably because of the way it biodegrades. The best way to use the bathroom is to dig a hole 6 to 8 inches underground. It has to be 200-plus feet away from water. These are all off the top of my head. I’m not even an expert camper after this trip. If anybody knows better, you can let us know in a comment, but I encourage you to research this. Don’t take my word for it because I did minimal of it. I went to the bathroom outside a few times and compromised a little because it was challenging.

To go back in time a little bit, we started off the trip. The first day, we got to Sedona. I didn’t use the bathroom. I didn’t need to. The first campsite we stayed at was neat. It was called Dead Horse Ranch. It was a lovely, highly rated campsite. They had a nice bathroom there. To go back to the vaginal side and the TMI for anybody. I was menstruating at this part of the trip, which was another complicated experience. I decided to use the bathrooms. I could change myself properly, which I was trying to avoid. I got nervous that I was going to get an infection if I was not properly washing myself. We had the Combat Wipes and we also had this brand of wipes called Good Clean Love. I’ll talk about them. Even with the two of those, I got a little nervous. I went into the bathroom.

I used the Combat Wipes to touch surfaces. The Combat Wipes are neat. They’re all antibacterial. There are a couple of different versions of them. They have one specially formulated for women called Gaia. They have another one called Active. That was the second one we had. Leanne and I would take these wipes and hold them whenever we touch door handles or faucets or anything else that other people might have touched. That way we had a barrier in between our hands and something else. I also had a great brand of gloves called Eco Gloves, but we didn’t have that many of them. It felt a little wasteful to use them too much. The wipes felt like they made more sense because they also had the antibacterial properties. You felt like you’re always cleaning something as you touched it. It was like doing somebody else’s service. Every time we touched the handle, we are cleaning it for somebody else. Those wipes are cool because you can put them in a hole and they’ll compost in a couple of months or something. I don’t have all the facts for that brand. I hope I’m getting it all right.

Even when I was talking about the supplements, there are many particular ways that you’re supposed to talk about these brands because of different federal restrictions or recommendations. Long story short, I did not go number two on the first day, but the second day, maybe it was even the morning of the third day. The second day we drove from the Sedona area in Arizona up to the border of Utah and Arizona in this town called Page. The reason we were there is because they had a Tesla Supercharger. If you didn’t read the other episode, we took my Tesla Model 3 on this trip. We had to base a lot of our campsites around where the nearest supercharger was so we always had enough electric power to get to the next place. We found one of the best campsites, if not the best campsite we stayed on the entire trip at Lone Rock Beach right outside Page, Arizona. It was in Utah, right on the border. That was the first time I went number two outside.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

Pandemic Camping: Eco gloves are latex-free and 100% compostable and biodegradable.

It was a little tricky though because I was all prepared. I had the shovel. I had my waste bags. I dug a hole or tried to but because we were on a beach and we’re not talking to traditional beach. We were away from other people, but it’s a beach sand. It was hard to dig because the sand had eroded in this one spot. It got hard. There were like rocks there. It was complicated, but that was the first time that I went number two outside. Leanne kept an eye out to make sure no one was coming and would see me. I remember I waited until the last moment. I couldn’t hold it anymore. That way I would go fast. The last thing I wanted was to be squatting in this public place. No one was super close by, but anybody could have driven by at any moment.

I made it fast. I was impressed with how quickly it all happened and then scooped it up. I wanted to bury it but it wasn’t an option. That’s where I started to learn that we needed to dispose of our human waste down the toilet. That’s when we realized maybe it was defeating the whole point of going outside. Because of the terrains that we are in, because of the crazy weather on this trip, we ultimately started using the restroom because you have to flush your waste down a toilet anyway, unless you have special waste bags. It’s more complicated than I thought. I thought it would be like, “Every campsite is going to have someplace to squat and bury your waste.” It wasn’t that easy.

I’m not even quite sure how to respond because the image of you waiting until the moment that you couldn’t hold your poop anymore and you running to the sand spot, that whole scene is funny to me. I have found it super liberating as an aside in the few times in my life that I have defecated outdoors. The first time I went to Costa Rica was 2005. I was helping an old friend who was building a yoga ashram in the middle of the rainforest and there was no bathroom. We had to take an industrial post hole digger that you’d get at Lowe’s or Home Depot and dig a 5, 6-foot hole into the ground. We built a basic wooden structure around the hole. We would defecate in the hole and put wood scraps over the feces and that was my first ever experience. I was 25 or 26 at that time. This is the first time in my life I’m going to the bathroom outdoors. Taking a shit over a hole in the ground that you dug yourself, there’s something primal and liberating about it. It was awesome.

It’s a nature Squatty Potty. I brought my portable Squatty Potty with me, but then I realized I wouldn’t be able to use it if I was squatting outside. I have been using it at my parents’ house though. I love my Squatty Potty. It was fun. Where we were at this campsite, we didn’t have a ton of privacy. That was also the place where there was this old man who was being very nice watching us from his RV and would come and check on us. I was like, “Is that guy watching me poop outside?” It was these moments like that. In my head I thought, “I’ll just go in the woods.” That’s what I thought camping was like.

Every campsite we went to was different and most of them did not have that luxury. There were all different toilet situations based on where we’re going. We ended up using hotels a few times because a number of the Tesla charging stations are outside the hotels. We would have to wear our masks, go inside. We would always have the Combat Wipes which doubled. You could take two. One for your hands to touch the surfaces and then one to wipe with because you can use them all over your body. We also had the Good Clean Love wipes, which are for vaginal care. They’re a wonderful brand that is made from 95% organic ingredients. They don’t have anything that can be damaging to your body. The wipes are gentle and they don’t irritate you so you can use them for all of those areas down there.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

Pandemic Camping: LifeStraw has these water filters that you can take with you everywhere. A huge part of their branding is getting water from a stream and filtering it out.

I’m sure men would benefit from them too, although the Combat Wipes could work as well. For women being sensitive and it being a delicate area, Leanne and I were grateful for the Good Clean Love wipes. The probably more interesting experience was using a female urination device. I had heard of this a few times, but I remember seeing a TikTok video about them and being curious about how this all worked. These are designed to help women of all different ages to easily urinate standing up, and you can do it fully clothed. It’s great if you have an overactive bladder, if you have knee or back pain, different ailments, or if there is no toilet available, which is exactly why we are using them. Because we were peeing more than we were pooping on average, this was useful.

We got sent some of these devices as they call them from this brand called Tinkle Belle, which is a cute name. I’m going to have it in all my videos. If you go look up Tinkle Belle, it’s an FDA and EU approved medical-grade, biocompatible plastic. It’s nonabsorbent, easy to clean and foldable. It’s got this flexible design with curves specifically for women and urinate through it. Leanne came up with a fun name for it. She called it her Pee-nis because it’s forming that for you as a woman. You can slip it into your pants if you have a zipper just like men would, but instead of pulling something out of your body, you’re like putting something in there and it can stick out.

For me wearing a lot of yoga pants, I was pulling down the front of the yoga pants, but I could keep the back up. That was what’s neat about them. You could discreetly go to the bathroom like a guy could. I don’t know when it was legal for us to go to certain places. I felt like sometimes we were breaking the law a little bit. I want to research this more because we had to be brave and make a split-second decision. Because we’re trying to avoid the public restrooms, sometimes we would need to use the bathroom and it was a game-time decision. It’s like, “Are we going to go here? Are we going to keep driving? Are we going to try to find someplace?” That was the iffy situation. Do you know about that, Jason, where you’re allowed to urinate and where you’re not? I’m curious for you too, Jason, have you peed in weird places? I feel like some guys do and some don’t. What’s the deal with that?

I don’t know the intricacies of the state laws regarding public urination. I have peed in all kinds of places. I’ve peed in alleyways outside of bars and clubs. I’ve peed in 2-liter bottles. I’ve pissed in the woods. I’ve pissed in people’s gas tanks before as a prank. I’ve peed in a lot of bizarre situations and locales. The concern that I have was years ago, I remember reading about public nudity like exposing yourself in public, and how depending on local and state laws are structured that if you were to be caught, you could potentially be put on a registered sex offender list for exposing yourself in public for public nudity. I don’t know that it’s the urination part as much as it is taking out your genitals in public.

That’s what we were wondering too. Leanne tried to look this up. That’s also the question because we are keeping our pants on. It’s a little different because guys are pulling something outside of their pants. Whereas, the only thing outside of our pants was the Tinkle Belle that we were using. We’re not technically exposing ourselves. I don’t think Leanne mentioned this in her episode, but these devices in general, are notorious for being hard to use. Before I went on the trip, I practiced using mine. People would use them in the shower, but I would do it over the toilet. They don’t necessarily have to be used outside. If you have a medical condition, you might not be able to properly sit down on a toilet. This can be helpful for that.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI was practicing and would have accidents because if they’re not properly positioned and you don’t have them aligned correctly, you’ll leak or it will go spraying all over the place. Leanne did not get that figured out during the trip. She gave up on using hers, but I used mine more times than I could count. I went probably 30 times because I urinated at least three times a day over ten days. I started to look forward to it. It was fun. There’s like that adventure side. We’d come up with clever places to go. Sometimes, if we had to go on the side of the road, we knew how to position the car. Sometimes we would have a towel that one of us would hold.

We got used to seeing each other pee. It brought us closer as friends. Leanne was no longer using the device so she was squatting. It was fun in a way because I’m not embarrassed about these things. Once she felt more comfortable with me, it was neat. That freedom to pee in front of each other outside. That also reminds me of our last campsite night. We both had to go to the bathroom. We ended up going into a restroom. I don’t know why we both went in at the same time. I don’t know if there was any logical reason. Maybe we just did. It was super quiet in there. Leanne’s like, “Do you want to turn on some music?” We both played some music to cover up the sounds of us using the bathroom. I’ll never be able to listen to that song again without thinking about that moment.

I was considerate. Sometimes when I’m in a public restroom with other men, the sounds that come out of people’s bodies is a bit much personally. It’s not that I’m offended as much as I am disgusted by other people’s bodily sounds that I don’t know. That’s an aside, but playing music in a public restroom is a good idea. As we veer off from urination, defecation and genitals, are there any other non-hygienic gadgets or things that you brought that you were super stoked about?

I did want to finish mentioning Eco Gloves because that was one of the coolest things that I had. Eco Gloves are 100% compostable, biodegradable and latex-free gloves. They’re new. They started on a crowdfunding website and they had reached out to me when they were doing that. I reached back out to them for this trip. They sent me a bunch of them. At first, I didn’t think they were going to last very long because I was using them mainly at the Tesla charging stations. I went to under 30 superchargers over the drive. It wasn’t that expensive. Guess how much it costs to charge the car and get across the country from LA to Massachusetts?

It’s total $183.45.

Just because you take precautions doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to be safe. Click To Tweet

No, that’s way under. It was about $275.

If you bothered to do some baseline comparison of what it may or may not have cost you in gas, if say you were driving a comparable midsize sedan, have you even thought about that?

I have thought about it. I’m sure there’s an average cost. I want to guess it would be $300 something. I have done that drive in two gas cars. I did one in my Volkswagen Beetle in 2012. I don’t remember how much that cost. We did that trip in the Ford Fiesta, but Ford paid for that because that was part of the program that I was in. I have no idea how much that gas cost, but I remember for our trip to Colorado in 2019, which was about 1,000 miles, I think that was around $80. That seems way too low though because it was a round trip. It might have been $80 one way. That would make more sense.

To me, that doesn’t seem that much money even to go to San Francisco from LA, it was only $40 or something like that. It could be way off. To me, it didn’t seem like a major expense. Our total trip for context was around $700 for two people. We split the Tesla charging. We split the campsites. We ate some meals across the country. We brought some of our own food. I’m going to talk about a lot of the snacks that we ate along the way. We stopped at some restaurants. To me, $350 per person felt like a cheap trip considering that was for ten whole days. That’s $35 a day for us to take this trip. To have an amazing experience, $35 a day feels affordable.

I would need to know exactly how many miles. I didn’t look up exactly how many miles and I also don’t want to eat up precious minutes on the show. If you were to get in a midsize sedan that was getting about 33 miles to the gallon and you had a 14-gallon tank, which is standard for a regular mid-sized car. At about $350 a gallon for gas at a 14-gallon tank, that’s going to be around $49 per fill-up. At $49, depending on how often you stop to fill up, 49 times 6 full fill-ups the tank is $294.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingIt’s about the same price. It’s a little bit more, but it was probably a little over 3,000 miles because we went from LA, we went up a little bit across the country. We went to New York City and then I went up to Massachusetts. A few times we got free charging, maybe only once. I know for sure, we got free charging at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver, Colorado, which was surprising. They didn’t have a supercharger, but they had a regular electric car charger. We went there to eat lunch and hang out and charge the car for a little bit, which was nice. I don’t know if we use any other chargers though. It was almost entirely Tesla Superchargers.

Coming back around to the gloves, I had read online that people were recommending that you use disposable gloves specifically whenever you were touching gas pumps at the gas station. I thought that I should do the same for the Tesla Superchargers. The gloves were great by the way, there are two pairs, but I would only use one. There was a pair of gloves in each pack and they come in a little pack of a pair. You would open them up. They would stay hygienic. I would use one at a time on one hand and use that one hand to touch the supercharger pump to plug into my car.

I would carefully take it off and put that on the floor of my car and then carefully put it back on without touching the outside. That way I could reuse the glove. I would technically be using it twice per pump and being mindful. There were moments like that where I’m thinking, “I hope this is hygienic,” but in between, anytime I would take the glove off, I would put on some hand sanitizer. It seems silly to use a new glove every single time I touch something. Even though these are compostable and biodegradable, it felt wasteful. It was moments like that where you’re thinking, “Am I wasteful? Am I being too risky?” That was a little nerve-wracking. It was also interesting because we started off in California, then we went to Arizona, then we went into Utah. From Utah, we went up through Wyoming and South Dakota.

As soon as we left Utah, we were the only car charging at the Tesla Superchargers, before we left Utah there were usually a bunch of cars. Some of them were even full when we got to the superchargers and for anybody wondering, because I get a lot of questions about having a Tesla. You don’t have to wait more than ten minutes if the superchargers are taken. The only time we got somewhere that was full, there were only four chargers in the station. It was at a hotel that was jam-packed in Moab, Utah. Every other station we went to had at least a few open even when they were busy. I remember pulling up in Moab and thinking, “How long do we have to wait?” I knew from my experience in Los Angeles where it’s common to go to a supercharger that’s full, there’s a quick turnover. Most cars only charged for 30 minutes at a time. The very most you would wait somewhere is 30 minutes. The cars are designed to keep you entertained. You can watch movies in the car. You can listen to music. You can play a game. They have games built into the Teslas. You can scroll on your phone.

A lot of people think it’s going to take so long to do all this charging, but Leanne and I found that the time flew by because we were eating in the car, we were talking, we were organizing things. We were using the bathroom. Even before the pandemic, I would use the restroom at a charging station. I come back to the car and it was almost done charging. It’s amazing how quickly time goes by. To finish out about the Ego Gloves, I loved them. They work well. It’s nice that they’re compostable and biodegradable. I thought that was a good eco-friendly option for touching surfaces like the Tesla Superchargers.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI want to get some of those Eco Gloves for my trip. I’m going to be flying not quite cross country but close, from LA to Detroit to visit my mom and my family. It’s going to be a nice thing to do. I had a short flight from LA to Denver that was less than two hours. I had a lot of precautions with me. With all of the surfaces in the airports and on the plane, I want to get a box of these gloves. With these gloves, they don’t come by the pair. They come with a box. How many are in a box?

They come in like a bag. There are 24 pairs in the bag. They come in a little bag full of individually wrapped. It’s a pair of gloves wrapped in a little paper pouch that you rip open. Each of those pairs is part of a little set that you get of 24.

Each one is hermetically sealed in its own package.

I thought it was a little wasteful because I usually only needed one hand. I would open up the pair, use one of the gloves and then dispose of it. I would use another pair next time.

What else? What other highlights? Let’s go with surprise and delight. That’s something that you and I have had a tick for a few years on like, “I want to be surprised and delighted.”

Surprise and delighted is a term that they use at the Apple store for employees. That’s one of their big mission statements is to surprise and delight people, which I always loved that term. The last hygienic thing I would mention, which I thought was cool, and this is the product I mentioned that everybody wants to buy after I mentioned it so “Get your pocketbooks ready,” that’s a phrase you would say, Jason.

It depends on my mood and which character I’m embodying that day. It would be a catchphrase.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

I always feel so awkward saying things like that, but I feel like you say them with such ease and grace. You have these little voices and stuff. It doesn’t quite fit my personality. Anyways, this product is incredible and useful well and beyond the pandemic. It is called Suds2Go. I do have a discount code for Suds2Go. Suds2Go is a portable hand washing station. It’s brilliant. One of my friends, Laina told me about this after she did a mini road trip with her family. I was asking her how she kept herself and her family clean, safe and hygienic and all that. She said, “You have to get Suds2Go.” I reached out to them. They sent me and Leanne each our own handwashing stations. They look like a stainless-steel water bottle. If you have a hydro flask, it looks like that with this little attachment on it. On one side in the stainless-steel bottle looking side, you fill it up with water. It doesn’t have to be filtered water. Any water you want, as long as it’s clean. On the other side, there’s a little soap dispenser where you’ll put in a soap that can foam. Leanne found that Dr. Bronner’s worked well, the castile soap because that foams up nicely. I use some from the Branch Basics. They make a wonderful foaming hand soap that’s all-natural that I’ve been using at home for a long time.

I put that in one side, the water in the other. It has this little pump that you press. It pumps out hand soap, and then you flip it around and use the water. It has a special dispenser that drips out water for you. If you have something like a regular water bottle, you’d be pouring and wasting all this water. You shake this water bottle upside down and it sprinkles out water under your hands and you can wash your hands wherever you are. Leanne and I each had our own. We had them on either side of the car and then I had a towel in the middle console of the car. Every time we needed to, we could open up the side door, wash, use some soap, and rinse our hands and then use a towel. It was like using the sink. It was awesome. Laina, my friend who told me about this was saying it was a game-changer for having kids too because they get dirty so much. That way we were able to keep our hands super clean. We also had a huge bottle of hand sanitizer. We would double up. We’d wash our hands and then use the hand sanitizer to be safe. That plus the Combat Wipes and the Eco Gloves, I feel like my hands were super clean the entire trip.

Did you share food? Did you have individually packaged food? Before we get into the food side of things, what was the agreement that you and Leanne had in terms of how you were going to interact? You were in close quarters. You were sharing a car together, but what was the agreement you had in terms of sharing food?

We pretty much shared everything on the trip. In terms of keeping it sanitary. We knew that we were going to be together for ten days. She was in a bit of a quarantine situation for five days prior to that. It’s not long enough for the official fourteen days they recommend, but it was the best we could do given the situation. She was able to monitor her health and make sure she was doing okay. It was a matter of trust for us to go on this trip and know that we were in it together. We would do our best to try not to drink out of the same containers or touch each other’s food. We would find ways to split things, various snacks that we had. I’ll break it down into a couple of categories. We’ve got the snacks, the meals, the drinks. Drinks could be split into hydrating drinks, sweet, enjoyable drinks, and then also some alcoholic drinks that we had. Where should I start on that spectrum? What are you curious about?

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingLet’s start with the party and talk about alcoholic drinks first.

This is coming from a guy that doesn’t drink that much. I’m a little surprised.

That’s probably because I’m living vicariously through you too.

It’s fun because two of my favorite adult beverage brands are Bonterra, who makes amazing organic wine. They came out with canned wine, which is becoming a pretty popular category. I got into canned wine during the pandemic. There’s a lot out there. What I found tricky was finding vegan canned wine, and then organic vegan canned wine is on a whole other level. Bonterra takes the cake. Their wines in general are delicious. They have boxed wine. They have your traditional glass bottled wine, but their canned wines are beautiful. They’re cute and portable. They’re lovely. I got into their red wine. It’s called Young Red. That was my favorite. I liked their Sauvignon Blanc and they have a Rosé. They sent me some of each of those. We didn’t drink it as much as I thought we were going to because Leanne found that drinking alcohol before bed made it hard for her to sleep.

We had some sleep challenges on the trip. We didn’t drink that much. I don’t want to drink by myself. I’m not that big of a drinker. I like to socially drink. One night, we drank outside of Denver with her friend who came and did some physical distance camping with us, which was neat. We set up like a picnic table with all of these foods. I brought out Bonterra as well as the other alcoholic hag, which is from Owl’s Brew. It’s amazing. It’s boozy tea. Owl’s Brew has been around for a while. I discovered them at the Natural Products Expo. They’ve always done this botanical herbal tea-based flavors. I love drinks that are unique. Owl’s Brew is definitely one of them. They make these three flavors of boozy tea. They don’t say on their cans what type of alcohol it is. It might be proprietary.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingThey’re beautifully formulated. They use Earl Grey and hibiscus tea. I don’t remember what the third one is. It’s off the top of my head. They have watermelon flavor. They’re cool. They have beautiful colors. Both brands’ designs are amazing. Both of them are canned. They’re super portable and delicious. That was a lovely experience. We had those at the Denver campsite. The second time we had them was when I visited my family in Cleveland, Ohio. We had a physically distanced picnic. They made these huge feasts. We had a potluck style, which was neat. We brought the drinks. That was our contribution to the potluck and my cousins are impressed with Owl’s Brew and Bonterra.

Other beverages that are not caffeinated or alcoholic?

I brought MAD TASTY, which is one of my favorite beverages. I love coffee. We’ll talk about coffee too. MAD TASTY was the un-caffeinated, nonalcoholic drink of choice for this trip. I brought all three flavors of their CBD sparkling water. The grapefruit, watermelon and unicorn tears, which is passion fruit or dragon fruit. MAD TASTY came along for the adventure. I also got the new bottles from LifeStraw. LifeStraw is a brand I’ve been using for a few years that’s neat. They have these water filters that you can take with you everywhere. The huge part of their branding is getting water from a stream and filtering it out.

It filters out parasites and bacteria. It does not filter out viruses. I remember distinctly them saying that. You should go to their website and read off about everything they filter out, but they do a great job. It impacts the taste. I’ve been bringing LifeStraw with me everywhere especially on planes. Jason, I recommend you getting them because when I was flying often, I would always bring a LifeStraw with me. I have four now. They have a couple of different designs. They came out with this new one in a stainless-steel bottle, which is beautiful. It’s a great size. The straw fits right into it. You can also get the Universal LifeStraw and that way you can put it in your existing water bottles. They have a collapsible one that I have too. I love this brand so much because I’m passionate about filtered water. Originally, I wanted a LifeStraw going on flights because I didn’t like using plastic bottles.

When you would go on a flight due to hygiene, they would insist on giving you a plastic bottle, like a mini bottle of water. It was always that struggle between like, “Do I stay hydrated or do I ruin the environment? What do I do?” I should say, you stay hydrated and you ruin the environment or you save the environment, but now you’re dehydrated. The LifeStraw solved that problem. What I would do at the airport is bring my LifeStraw bottle or the Universal Straw. I would fill up the water bottle at one of those drinking fountains that wasn’t filtered. Pop your LifeStraw in there and you can suck through it. As you suck through the straw, it filters it out for you. It completely changed the taste. It gets rid of chlorine, but don’t quote me on that. It’s on their website. The LifeStraw was great for this trip. We did not end up getting any stream water because that made me a little nervous. We would get water anywhere and know that we could always get it filtered. If we had to go into a gas station or something or a random water fountain, we could just fill it up and the LifeStraw saved the day.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI’ve been meaning to have this in my arsenal for a long time. You were the first one years ago when you told me about LifeStraw. I remember meeting them at the Natural Products Expo. Given the fact that who knows, but for the foreseeable future, it seems that our travel precautions are going to be on a higher level, whether that’s road tripping or flights. I want to get hooked up with one of these for sure.

Let’s move into caffeinated beverages. Coffee is a huge one for me. I brought more coffee than I ended up drinking. I surprised myself and barely drank coffee on this trip. Out of lack of convenience, I even brought instant coffee. We did use it once on the camping night we did with Leanne’s friend. He brought a way for us to boil water. That was part of it because the only time we had access to hot water is from gas stations. I wanted to get some system for the car that could boil water, but it was complicated. I couldn’t find anything that had great reviews or was affordable enough. There was one thing that I tried to get, but they had trouble shipping it. I wasn’t able to figure out a simple way to boil water in the car, not while it’s driving, but you could plug it into the car when it’s parked. Leanne and I got hot water from gas stations to make some of our meals.

We felt like it was such a treat this one night we went camping with her friend outside of Denver because he brought one of those propane burners. He brought a little pot and boiled us water, and then we used instant coffee to make some lovely coffee. It’s funny how things taste better when you haven’t had them in a while or when you appreciate something. Even though the instant coffee wasn’t anything special, it tasted incredible because that was the first time I had hot coffee on the trip. However, we did have chilled coffee at the ready, thanks to Elmhurst, which is a brand that both Jason and I love. Jason’s worked with them before. They sent me over a great selection of their products.

They sent some of their lattes and they have four different types. A coffee latte, a cacao coffee latte, like a mocha. That one was my favorite. It was phenomenal. They have a matcha latte and a golden milk latte. We had all of those, but we only had two of each. We use them sparingly and split every bottle. It was never like a huge amount of caffeine, which is probably for the better. Elmhurst also sent over a bunch of their milks and we would use those milks for our breakfast. We would have granola in the morning and mix it with some of the Elmhurst milk. We could have mixed that with the instant coffee. I brought that along just in case, and then we could have made teas.

One day we had Pique Tea, which is another brand Jason and I love. We might have a discount code for them too. If you’re sitting here wanting this tea or coffee, check out the list of brands at Wellevatr.com because any discounts we can get you, we will give you. If not, you can stay tuned. We’ll get you a discount in the future. Elmhurst helped me with satisfying my caffeine needs. Plus, there was Celsius, which I brought with me. Celsius makes a wonderful and natural energizing drink. I brought their little instant packets, which you can put into water and the flavor is a raspberry flavor.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingCelsius tastes amazing. If you’re into energy drinks, I highly recommend them. Beyond the taste, I appreciate that Celsius does not make me feel cracked out. It gives me a nice smooth energy boost and it doesn’t make me feel like I’m crashing, but I’m always mindful to not have too much. You have to monitor how much you have of things like that. I had Celsius a couple of times when I was driving and feeling tired. Jason, I gave you a can of Celsius. Have you tried it yet?

No, but you know what I’m going to do? While you’re riffing, I’m going to walk over to the fridge and crack one of them open and do a real-time taste test. We have not done that on the show yet.

A little behind the scenes, Celsius sent me 24 cans to take on my trip, but they didn’t arrive after I left. I ended up taking their little portable packets that you mix into water and they’re wonderful. It saved a lot of space, but I’m a little bummed because the one that Jason is about to try is my favorite flavor and it’s green tea. That one is unbelievably good. It’s one of the best energy drinks I’ve ever had. I love Celsius in general. Their formulations are good and they have all these different flavors. I was never that into energy drinks, but having them around for those moments where you feel tired and you need something. If you’re driving a long distance, it’s helpful to have those. There were a couple of days on my trip where I was tired. I didn’t feel like coffee was going to do it for me. Even though the Jasmine green tea from Pique gives me a huge boost of energy. Celsius is my go-to if I need some energy.

I like the peach mango flavor profile. It’s too sweet for me though. I know that’s strange coming from me because I have a major sweet tooth, which I’ve discussed here on the show. What is it sweetened with? Let me see, sucralose. I like the flavor of it. I wish the green tea flavor was cranked a little bit higher because I feel like the fruit flavor is so out in front, which I like the peach and mango. Those are two of my favorite fruits. It’s over-sweetened for me. They put too much sucralose in it.

Not everybody loves everything and agrees on everything. I personally think that flavor is outstanding. I do the peach mango and green tea combination. It also might grow on you because I agree, that’s why I don’t like most energy drinks is they tend to crank up the sugar. Isn’t it sugar-free? I thought it was sugar-free. They use stevia and monk. What are the grams of sugar on it?

It is recommended that you use disposable gloves whenever you are touching gas pumps at gas stations. Click To Tweet

It’s no aspartame. It’s no high fructose corn syrup. It says no sugar, but then when I look at the nutrition fact panel on the back, it doesn’t list the grams of sugar at all.

That’s why I thought it was sugar-free. Isn’t it stevia and monk fruit or one of the two?

It says sucralose. I’m not even sure. I need to google sucralose.

I feel like I should know this after writing a book on Keto and all the sugar alternatives out there. I would say that Celsius is worth a try because I enjoy it. That’s the thing is we give our honest opinions on this show. It’s nice when Jason is honest about his experiences with things. I’ll keep talking because there’s one other drink company that I wanted to mention since we were talking about hydration. The last product that I want to shout out in the drink category is Kinderlyte and they make an electrolyte product. It’s like a natural version of Gatorade and also is low in sugar. It’s not sugar-free. Maybe they use stevia or monk fruit. I’m getting some of these brands confused, but they come in little packets like the Celsius does and the Pique Tea. All of them come in these compact packets that you can mix into water, which makes them great for travel.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

I loved Kinderlyte. I’m not a huge electrolytes drinker in terms of a Gatorade or something like that. Coconut water would probably be the closest, but I don’t even drink that often. I got hooked on Kinderlyte for two reasons. One it’s nice to be hydrated, but two, their flavors are good. They have a fruit punch that I love. They have a wild berry, a lemon lime and a lemonade. I thought they were all satisfying. They have a salty flavor to it because that’s part of how electrolytes work. I thought they were great. I’ll drink Kinderlyte on a day where I want something sweet to drink as an alternative to coffee or tea. It hits the spot.

I’m drinking this Celsius. I’m waiting for the guarana, taurine and green tea to kick in to see how it affects my body. I’m trying not to slam it because I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine. We’ve talked about our mutual affinity for matcha green tea. As you’re pontificating about these products, I’m in the background waiting to see how my body responds to this product. If I’m a little bit quiet, it’s because I’m waiting to see what this does to me.

For you, Jason, and anyone reading, I find that half a can of that particular flavor does it for me. I would probably start with 1/4 or 1/3 of the can and then wait a little bit. It also acts fast. I noticed within 30 minutes or less. You should feel it before we wrap up this episode and then you can give your full Celsius review.

I’m going to take it slow because anytime I try a new product, I’m never sure. My body tends to be sensitive in terms of supplementation and because this has guarana, ginger extract, taurine, and caffeine. It’s got a lot of good stuff in here. It’s got a ton of nutrients too, Vitamin B6, Niacin, B12.

That’s what I’m saying. It’s a good formulation.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI’m going to sit back and sip and see what happens.

I will move on to the snacks and meals portion of this. Since I mentioned breakfast, I’m not a big breakfast eater, but Jason and Leanne are. I wanted to be prepared. Jason wasn’t on the trip, but I’m throwing him in for good measure. We ended up eating this incredible breakfast most days from Kip’s Granola Bark. I am a little bit hooked on them. This is an amazing granola. You haven’t tried it yet, have you, Jason?

I have not, which is funny because I would consider myself a granola connoisseur as a category. I love to try new granola. I have it every single morning in my morning smoothie bowl. No, I haven’t tried this one yet. What did you think?

It’s so good. They sent me two flavors. One is a cinnamon and the other is a chocolate. The only downside is that the bags were a little too small, probably because Leanne and I split them. We were trying to save them so that we had enough for the trip. I can’t remember how many bags we got, maybe ten. We split every bag every morning. We would mix it with some Elmhurst milk. The cool thing about this granola is that it’s a bark. You don’t need to mix it with milk. It’s not in small pieces. It’s like medium-sized chunks bark style. It was amazing for breakfast. It hit the spot, great flavors, great crunch. I didn’t feel like it tasted super granola.

It’s great that they call it a bark because it didn’t taste like traditional granola. It tasted like somewhere in between granola and a food bar, but it was crunchy and hard in the best way possible. The chocolate one is outstanding. I felt like Leanne and I were carefully eating it because we didn’t want any of it to go to waste. That was one of the more memorable things that we had. Since I’m not a big breakfast person, I just have coffee in the morning. I would pour myself one of the Elmhurst lattes, have some of the granola and I was good to go. We also had some food bars and some energy bites with us. Going back to energy, the food bars were also a big highlight of the trip.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingWe got sent products from this company called Grab the Gold. I was a little skeptical of them at first. They look like old-school 1970 vegan food. No offense to them, but there’s something about the packaging. They remind me of the old-school Olympics. Maybe it was the name. The product itself looks like hockey pucks. For me, I saw them and thought, “There’s no way these are good,” but they’re good. They sent a peanut butter and jelly flavor, which was peanut butter and oats with raisins in it. I’m not a fan of raisins, but those are satisfying. They sent a chocolate peanut butter, which was phenomenal. They’re thick. Leanne and I found that we could split one of these bars.

Imagine the hockey puck. They’re circular and thick. We would cut them in half and feel super satisfied from them. They sent us a ton of those bars. I still have some leftover. I get to enjoy them now on a day when I want a little snack. In fact, before I even went on the trip, I opened up the bars to try them. I did that a few days before we left for the road trip. I had to contain myself because every time I was low on energy and wanting something in between meals, I’d feel so tempted to have one of these bars. They’re good. I’ll continue to enjoy them. I haven’t seen them in stores. You’ll probably have to order them online.

Nothing I love more than nutritious foods shaped like a sports equipment. You had me at hockey pucks with.

You’d enjoy them, but I don’t know if any will last when I get back to Massachusetts. We’ll see what we can make happen. Speaking of bars too, the other product that I tried. I don’t know if they made their way to you yet, but the brand certainly did want to send you some to try as well. It’s called Mezcla. I was excited about these because they have unique flavors. They have a Japanese matcha bar. They have a Peruvian chocolate. I don’t know if that one is the same. There is a Peruvian like peanut butter chocolate and then the third one was the Mexican hot chocolate. Those are the three flavors. They’re unique because they remind me of crispy rice chocolates. The Nestle’s crunch bar, it’s like that thing.

They use rice and very unique texture, great flavors, not too strong in flavor. It’s a little bit more of a dessert than an energy bar. We would alternate between those and the Grab The Gold bars. It was nice to have that variety. Having a variety of food bars on a road trip is a big key and those are brand new. Their packaging is beautiful. I was pulled into them because of the Japanese matcha bar that they have. I thought that caught my eye. Did they send you any yet, Jason?

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

No. I still have to connect with them. They’ve been on my list. Truth be told, I’m still somewhat backlogged with promoting other brands that have sent me stuff. I’m still 3 or 4 brands deep. We’re still needing to do some shout outs. I’m trying to get those off my plate so I can invite some new brands to try. You and I mentioned this on a previous episode that sometimes we get, and by no means this is not like playing the tiny violin, but brands to send us stuff for review. I’m a bit backlog. I still have to reach out. That’s the long answer.

I totally get it. One of the joys of this road trip is I got to finally try a bunch of products and feature them on this show. I’m going to be doing a lot on social media, sharing the visuals of all these brands. I’ll go through some of the others to share what I felt was helpful on this trip. We also wanted to have some savory snacks. The four savory snacks we had was the mushroom jerky from this brand called Vegky. They’re made with shiitake mushrooms and were super satisfying. It reminded me of like old-school vegan jerky, but soy-free and gluten-free.

They sent us a variety of flavors, plain, spicy, pepper, curry and wasabi. Leanne absolutely loved these. These were a big highlight for her. For me, I’m a little sensitive to soy and they did contain soy sauce. I was only able to have a little bit of them, but what I did have hit the spot. I’m glad that we brought those. We also brought a brand called Crunchsters and they make these little mung beans. They’re great for sprinkling on your salads, but you can also pour them into your hand and eat them. They’re tiny. You have to be careful in the car that they don’t fall into all the cracks. They have some unique flavors, including a smokey bacon flavor and a balsamic vinegar. Have you tried those? I feel like you have.

I’ve tried the smoky one, but I haven’t done the balsamic flavor. I like them. It’s one of those things where I feel like when I got a bag, I was going apeshit eating it all the time. Sometimes I feel like with products, I have a tendency to eat a lot of them in the beginning and then get a little bit burnt out, and then not want to eat them for a while. I need to be careful when I get introduced to a new product to not overdo it because then I’ll be like, “I don’t want that flavor for a while.”

Fair enough and that can easily happen when you’re on a road trip too, but I don’t think I got burnt out on any of these things. It was a good idea that they didn’t send us a ton. I didn’t want to pack the car full of food. As fun as that sounds, we had limited space. I only got a few things. There was one brand that I wish had sent more products. It’s called Eat Makhana. Those are lily seed puffs or lotus seed.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingThey’re used interchangeably because I’ve seen lily seeds, but I’ve also seen lotus seeds.

This company calls them lily seeds. They’re satisfying and allergy-friendly. They sent us one small bag of each of their flavors, the Himalayan pink salt. They do have more flavors. Maybe we’ve got to try a couple of them. The other one was a vegan cheddar. Leanne and I love them. Just thinking about them is making my mouth water and that’s a good sign. I feel like lily seeds have such a unique texture and flavor to them. They’re special. The packaging of the Eat Makhana is sweet. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Lastly, in the savory, but on the border of sweet side, we had some squeezable macadamia nut butters from SuperFat, which is satisfying. These are great for energy. They have a few different varieties.

My favorite and the only one that I can have is the pure macadamia. It comes with probiotics. It’s in the white package and it’s outstanding. If you like macadamia nuts, they nailed the flavor and the texture of it. It’s perfectly creamy. It comes in this tiny little pack, but it’s the right amount. There’s probably a couple of tablespoons of nut butter in there. You can rip off the top of it and squeeze out more nut butter. It’s a well-designed packaging. They have some that are combined with coconut and almonds. I’m sensitive to almonds so I can’t enjoy those. There’s one with coffee. SuperFat is great. They’re high-quality ingredients, pure, simple, full of flavor and portable. They’d be great for any type of trip. I was also going to stay for school or for work. You can throw them in your drawer. They don’t have to be refrigerated. You can put them on bread or crackers, but I like to eat it right out of the tube because it’s in that squeeze tube. You put it in your mouth and squeeze it out. It’s great. It gives you a nice boost of energy from all the fat content. Should I move into the sweet side?

That’s my favorite, personally.

You have a side there. These are a lot of things we brought on this trip. I feel like you’re getting a little burnt out.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

Part of it is I’m also hungry and I wish I had some of those snacks right now.

There were three sweets that we had. They were each so unique. I thought this was a great variety of sweets to have. Number one is Magic Dates Energy Bites. I’m not a big date fan, but these blew me away. I gave you a pack. Did you eat them?

You gave me a few. I like the lemon ones the best. Lemon ones remind me of the flavor to another one of our favorite old school brands Hail Merry. They still do have lemon tartlets. I feel the lemon flavor hearkens back to those lemon tartlets from Hail Merry. I like the lemon the best.

The lemon is the best. There’s also a coconut and cacao. They’re all great. They’re mixed with nuts. They’re well flavored. Dates give you energy because of the sugar content. They hit the spot and a little bit goes a long way. Dates are something that I can get burnt out on easily. I found one of them was plenty for me. There are two brands of chocolates that we had in addition to some other brands I brought from home to have on hand in case we needed it but Undercover Chocolate. They are the chocolate covered crispy quinoa. They’re fantastic.

I will say for any of you vegans reading, they’re not certified vegan because of their sugar sources. They’re working on it, but they can’t call them vegan even though they technically are. Sugar sourcing is a little tricky. I want to give that little factoid for anybody who’s super concerned about vegan certification. These for me are worth the risk of not being vegan certified because they’re satisfying. Like the Kip’s Granola Bark, you don’t get a lot in the bag, but that’s probably for the better. If there was more in the bag, you would eat as much as they gave you. They also have different flavors like blueberry flavor seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. The third one, I want to say it’s pomegranate or something. They have a sea salt chocolate. They hit the spot because the crunchy factor and the sweetness and they’re amazing. Lastly, the other brand that we only had two bags of and wish we had had more of and I’ve been craving since I got back from the trip is Free 2b Foods. That’s another brand you’ve had. They make the sunbutter cups.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

Either way, it is sunflower seed butter but they call it sunbutter.

I know the sweets always get us. The Free 2b Foods, if you have a nut sensitivity or allergy, sunbutter cups are a good alternative to peanut butter cups or almond butter cups. They sent us their little mini cups, which was also great because they gave a little bag of them. I would find like 1 or 2 of those tiny cups would hit the spot. It was nice that we didn’t have too much of anything that kept us from overeating. Leanne and I found that we didn’t have massive appetites during the trip. We were enjoying ourselves so much. Food was a little bit of an afterthought. The main thing I wanted to mention though when it comes to food is how we ate meals.

We did talk about this briefly when Leanne was on the show, but we brought soup cups with us. I brought some Dr. McDougall’s soup cups. Those were a game-changer because not only did they save us money. I bought my soup cups online and they came out to $3 a cup for dinner or for lunch. Sometimes we would have them twice a day, sometimes once a day. Dr. McDougall’s has incredible ingredients. All you need is some hot water. In hindsight, I would have bought and brought one of those little propane burners because it would have been more convenient. We could have used our own water, but because we didn’t have one of those, we ended up going into gas stations and asking for some hot water. Every single time, they refuse to let us pay for it.

We had free water everywhere we went. I know that sounds silly, but you never know what a gas station would want to charge you for. If you go to a cafe like Starbucks or something, they’ll often charge you for hot water or even a restaurant will do that. Oftentimes, you need to use their own cups or I don’t know why they would charge you for water. It seems silly to me as well but it’s standard. At the gas stations though, they never charged us even when we had to use one of their cups. We would bring in our New Wave Enviro stainless steel containers, which was another thing I was grateful for. They’re called the Safe Bowl.

For the foreseeable future, our travel precautions are going to be on a higher level. Click To Tweet

They are these wide mouth bowls that can be used for hot or cold water and you can put meals in them. In their advertising, they have an acai bowl and it will keep the acai bowl from melting, but we use them for soup and we keep the water hot. They’re double-wall insulation. They also have this nice top to them that screws in and seals it. We can bring that into the gas stations, get hot water and then we would mix our soups into these bowls and have delicious hot meals every single night and sometimes for lunch as well. It was super inexpensive and convenient. I have a greater appreciation for Dr. McDougall’s, which Jason knows I’ve gone through a lot of phases over the years that we’ve known each other of being into Dr. McDougall’s soups.

I want to talk about the level of appreciation you mentioned. It’s interesting how context, environment and circumstance play a role in our level of enjoyment and appreciation in life. As an example, I know whether we’re talking about a road trip, one of my favorite things is when I’m at an airport or a new airport and I find a vegan product or a superfood or something organic. I’m like, “They have like a Nola squeeze pack.” As an example, depending on context, I always feel like if something’s unexpected or it’s in an environment or a situation I wouldn’t expect it to be or there’s a scarcity of something, I always appreciate something more in those environments. I feel like what you’re talking about road trips qualifies for that.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingOne of the greatest gifts of doing the road trip was having greater gratitude, awareness and appreciation for the small things. Leanne and I talked about it in our episode with her, but there are times where we were short on water. It was like, “Where are we going to get water from?” We could go into gas stations, those were plentiful, but I don’t like buying bottled water. That’s one of the reasons why I love the LifeStraw so much. Even for filling up our hand washing stations so that we could not only wash our hands, but we use the suds on the handwashing station to wash our face at night. We used it for brushing our teeth. I would take out my toothbrush and sprinkle some water on that to clean it off.

The Suds2Go was great for camping. That leads me to the camping experience too. Speaking of appreciation, talk about saving the best for almost last. I have a couple of other products to talk about, but the most important product I had is food and water. You can buy those easily. They’re available. If we needed to, we could have bought whatever we needed along the way. The thing that I needed from the get-go to make this trip work was, and this is going to sound funny because everyone’s perplexed when I tell them about this, but I camped in my car. This is one of the big inspirations for taking the trip.

Before I started this trip, I was like, “I’m going to camp in my car.” Nobody understood. They’re like, “What do you mean? How are you going to do it?” I have the Tesla Model 3. One of the software updates they did in 2019 is called Camp Mode. Camp Mode keeps the temperature regulated in the car. If it’s hot outside, it will be cool in the car. If it’s cold outside, it will be warm in the car. It always keeps at the perfect temperature, which I determined Jason is 68 degrees for me. That’s like my ideal temperature in the car. It keeps that on. It also allows you to plug in electronics so you could charge your phone. I can charge my Apple watch. I had a noise machine going in the car, USB powered.

The next thing is, “How do you sleep in the car?” The back seats of the Tesla fold forward. There’s about 6-feet of distance between the back of the front seats and the trunk. As long as you’re 6-feet tall or smaller, you’ll be able to comfortably sleep in the car. Even if you’re over 6-feet, you could crawl up into a fetal position if needed. It’s roomy back there. People have compared it to about the size of a twin mattress. It’s somewhere in between a twin and a full size. The product that made this trip work so well for me was the Tesmat. Tesmat makes a mattress for every Tesla. Each Tesla has different dimensions. There are four different Teslas. They make custom-sized mattresses that not only fit the Tesla perfectly, but they fold up into what they call the sub-trunk.

I assume all the Tesla have this. They do on the Model 3. There’s the trunk that you open up like a normal trunk. Within that where most cars would have a spare tire, there’s a whole space that’s about the size or a little bit larger than maybe your average-sized suitcase. That is a good visual for how big the space is. The Tesmat has this memory foam mattress that folds up into the sub-trunk perfectly with a little bit of room leftover for a pillow and a couple of other accessories. The Tesmat comes with nice bedding, a top sheet for it and a pillowcase. The game-changer also is called the privacy screen. Tesmat has got you covered. For $350 approximately, you get this incredible fold up memory foam mattress, sheets and the privacy screen.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI will be documenting all of this in videos. I will embed them into this episode. You’ll be able to see me use them or you can go to Tesmat’s website and see it in action. When I came across Tesmat, I was blown away. I’m like, “I have to have one of these things. This is cool.” You can camp in your car. You roll out the memory foam mattress and then you put up this special screen around the windows, which blocks out light and completely blacks out the window so nobody can see inside. Thus, you have full privacy to sleep in your car, to change, do whatever you need to do as if you were in a tent. It was remarkable. Every night, I was in such deep appreciation for Tesmat. I loved the experience. It was comfortable. It was easy. It was so much fun too.

I had the pleasure of doing the test with you. I didn’t have high expectations. I know you were stoked in receiving the Tesmat. When I saw the construction of it and how it laid out in the back, I was like, “I don’t know if this is going to be that comfortable.” When I laid down with you on that thing before you left, not only do I want to get a Tesla and have been wanting one for a while and especially now that the Model Y is out, I have my eye on that and that even has a hatchback. I’m wondering how much comfort on a road trip, getting a Model Y their new midsize SUV and then whatever Tesmat they’re going to make for that model having the hatchback capability. I was blown away by how comfortable the thing was and I also want one.

As I watched a bunch of videos of other people that have the Tesmat, one guy was like, “Don’t expect it to be that comfortable because it’s meant for portability.” I think that set my expectations low. Hopefully, I’m not overblowing the expectations for our reader, but I’ve done a lot of research on camping and the Tesla and there are a few other brands that make mattresses. One of them is 2 or 3 times the price and then another one is super bulky. It takes up the entire trunk. You can only fold it in half. It did not make any sense for this trip. This Tesmat is affordable for what you get and you could use it in a home too. You could bring it inside and lay on top of this mattress.

It’s thin but because it’s memory foam, it was cushy and it worked perfectly. The privacy screen too, I’ll put this in one of my videos, but I did a test run and I tried to rig up curtains in my car and it was a disaster. It was hard to do. The privacy screen alone is $50. It’s worth it. It folds into this little compact bag and then you unravel or you take it out of the bag and hang it up. I still have it hung up in my car in my parents’ driveway. Anytime I want, I can camp in the car. The second night that I was visiting my parents, I was still quarantining myself before I got my COVID results.

They had a special room set up for me where I slept the first night I was here. The second night, I thought I’m more comfortable sleeping in my car than in that room. The second night with my parents, I camped out in their driveway and I loved every second of it. It’s still set up that way and it blocks out the sun and the light from the car anyway. It keeps it nice and cool in there. Speaking of which, that leads me to the second amazing Tesla product I got, which is from this company called QuikSnap. They make sunshades.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

I did a ton of research on sunshades for the Tesla. The best option is to get window tinting if it’s allowed in your state. There are all different regulations around this. It’s also quite expensive. It’s $500 to get it done. Because I didn’t have a lot of time and I didn’t want to spend $500 in getting my windows tinted, I found this company called QuikSnap. They’re the best option that I’ve found for Teslas. Because the Tesla windows don’t have frames around the top. They’re frameless windows. When you open up the door, there’s no frame at the top. The window itself goes up and down. There are a lot of cheap brands out there that make these lame sunshades and they’ve got horrible reviews. I found QuikSnap and knew they were the best option because they’re designed to fit perfectly in the window. The reason they’re called QuikSnap is you quickly snap them into place in the window.

You press them onto the window. They hold in place as long as the window isn’t down. They recommend keeping your windows up for it. They could pop out because there’s no frame. Those were great for two reasons. One is privacy. They’re amazing. When they’re in place, it’s hard to look through the windows of the car. I use that anytime we were parked during the day. I would put up the sunshades into the windows so people couldn’t see what was inside since we had many things in there from camping. I also use them during hot days. When we were in California, Arizona and Utah, it was 100 degrees. Jason and I learned the hard way when we went on a road trip in 2019. In those states on a hot day, the sun streams directly through the clear Tesla windows and makes it uncomfortable even with the air conditioning on.

You can get a sunburn from that. Plus the UV rays can be harmful to your skin too. Sunshades are good at keeping the temperature down, giving you some more privacy and protecting you from the sun. The QuikSnap shades are easy to put in. They were easy to take out. They came in a little carrying case. I slid them into the carrying case and tuck them in the back when I wasn’t using them. I’m excited because that’s something that I can use all the time. It doesn’t have to be for a road trip.

Did you ever have a moment where you were worried about the sunshade flying out or falling out of the window? Did that ever happen?

When you press them into place, they have some tension. If you open up the door accidentally with the QuikSnap on, they would pop out, but not in like a grasshopper way. They would fall down on the ground, but it wasn’t that bad. There are a few times that Leanne forgot that they were on and open the door. QuikSnap warns you about this. There’s no great way to use a sunshade in the Model 3 because of the lack of frame. The QuikSnap has done the best they can. It’s annoying when you would open up the doors and you’d have to put it back into place.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingI was so grateful for them. Any of the challenges I had were not an issue. You just have to get used to it. Remember it’s there. I found them easy to store away when I wasn’t using them. I loved the extra privacy of it too. That was a huge benefit that I wasn’t expecting. I could cover all the windows when I left the car and not worry versus the privacy screen from Tesmat. That could work too for privacy if you’re leaving your car, but it takes a little bit more work to put it up on. Whereas the QuikSnap is designed to be quick.

I’m glad that it worked without a hitch. I feel like you’re enthusiastic about all these accessories for your car. I know that’s like a sub-genre. You’re the one always encouraging me like, “You should do a YouTube channel about cars,” which is a psychotically saturated market. It’s not an excuse. I feel like Tesla accessories is a very specific genre that you seemed to be stoked about. There is a ton of stuff you haven’t even tried yet. You could do an eighth YouTube channel on Tesla accessories.

I could. Thank you for bringing that up too because I want to shout out Evannex who was the first company I ever worked with Tesla accessories. If you have a Tesla or you’re thinking about getting one, check out Evannex. I remember when I came across their website a couple of years ago, my jaw dropped. I was excited about everything they make. They’re a family-owned company that’s thought of every scenario, every Tesla accessory for the silliest things. A few things that I have from them that I love is I got stickers for my Tesla emblem so that it looks red. It’s a little detail that makes my car stand out. Tesla does make some red emblems, but only for some of their models. I get to fake that my car is a different model, but I love the way it looks.

They also make wheel bands that I put in my car and you can pick different colors so your wheels have a little accent to them. Mine has a red accent on them. It protects it from rubbing up and getting scraped and scratching your rims on the sidewalk when you’re parking. It’s a huge issue with cars that I had never realized before I had my Tesla specifically. I got these products called wheel bands for them. They have this cool cardholder. A lot of it is small details. I did do a YouTube video pointing out some of them. They also make a cool seat cover for dogs. That leads me to talking about Evie briefly because Evie was traveling with me. Evie is my Jack Russell Terrier. She has done a number of cross-country trips or long road trips with me.

I’ve learned a lot about taking care of her. I want to shout out a couple of things that helped. Number one that seat cover I always have in the back seat and that protects it from dirt. Evie can jump around in the back. It’s great for kids too if you had kids in there after playing in the sand. It made it easy to keep the seats clean. I love that from Evannex. I have a special dog water bottle, which is not from a specific brand. It’s called H2O4K9. I do want to shout out one last brand, which is Wild Earth, another brand that both Jason and I love. We both feed our dogs Wild Earth. We’ve both worked with Wild Earth. I’ve been in a Wild Earth Dog Show that Jason hosted. We’ve done a lot with Wild Earth over the years. We love them as a brand. They sent me some of their dog food to take.

MGU 127 | Pandemic CampingThey also have these great collapsible, portable dog bowls that are helpful that you can get a free one when you place an order with them. I have four of them. I brought two of their collapsible bowls, one for water and one for her food. She loves their food so much. She seems satisfied eating it. I have all this cute footage of her eating her dog food while I was eating my McDougall’s soup cup or having a picnic somewhere. I always felt like Evie was part of the food experience. The QuikSnaps helped keep the light from Evie. It kept her cool in the back. That was an ongoing challenge because there’s so much glass in the Tesla keeping the temperature and the sunlight down, but also that water bottle. It’s H2O4K9.

I’ve had this water bottle for almost Evie’s entire life. I don’t even know if this brand is still up and running. It doesn’t look like their website still exists, but the bottles you can still get or other brands have copied them. I bought it on Amazon several years ago. It’s a great bottle. Every time somebody sees this bottle, they’re like, “That’s smart.” It’s a stainless-steel water bottle with a cap that doubles as a little bowl for water.

There are tons of different versions of it, but I got this one because it’s stainless steel. There’s a bunch that is made from plastic and the top will screw on almost any bottle. It’s very versatile like the LifeStraw. I brought that and I would fill up her water. New Wave Enviro makes a big water jug that I brought with me. I would use that water jug to refill my water bottles and Evie’s and it worked out well. The H2O4K9 was great even when I was driving. I could unscrew it and pass it over my shoulder. Evie would lick out of the bottle as I was driving the car. It was convenient so that worked out quite well.

How was Evie’s appetite? How did she do food-wise? Did she beg? What was her demeanor? I have one cross country road trip with Evie and that was several years ago. How was her demeanor, appetite, mood, the whole enchilada?

Don’t forget she came with us to Colorado in 2019, which was a third of the way. She’s done a few trips. My biggest mistake was not bringing any treats with me. Wild Earth was going to send me some treats. It didn’t get there in time, but they sent them to me in Massachusetts, so now she has them. I regretted not having treats because she always seemed a little disappointed if Leanne and I were eating a meal in the car. She didn’t want to eat her kibble. She wanted a treat. That was a mistake, but Wild Earth treats are great. Her appetite in general is a lot lower. She didn’t eat for the first day or so. She was disoriented. I was a little worried, but she’d started to eat after that and it was completely fine.

She was great though. Evie is a phenomenal companion. The other thing that’s been a game-changer for me, and this is a generic dog thing. You can get leashes that tie around your waist so you can walk your dog hands-free. That was helpful if I had to set up something while we were camping. I would clip her to the waist belt and the leash that I have for her is stretchy. She could either be close to me or far away. That always kept her within my sight and attached to me so she couldn’t run away. I got that for flights. I’ve used that at the airport a ton. It comes in handy and now I pretty much do all of her walking with that. I could link to that too. I got that on Amazon years ago. There are tons of brands that you can buy those from.

Thinking back on those past road trips, it sounds like this one was the most comfortable, easy one you’ve yet been on. I remember driving when we were on the Fiesta Movement, when you were part of that program with Ford Motor Company. At a certain point, I remember driving the Fiesta. I was getting grumpy because the seats after six hours were uncomfortable and my shoulders started locking up. I remember at a certain point I was over it. It changed your driving environment in several years. You’re in this Tesla Model 3. Overall, how would you compare this cross-country jaunt in terms of comfort, accoutrement, snacks, the whole experience? How was this one overall compared to all the others you’ve done in the past?

I feel like it will be super interesting because I still have to drive back to Los Angeles at some point. I’m curious to see how that compares to driving here. The Tesla Model 3 is the best car I’ve ever owned. They’ve thought of everything. They’re always developing. It keeps getting better. Having all these accessories, having the right food, knowing how to stay hygienic, all of those things, all my research paid off. I had the support of these incredible brands that sent me products and I learned so much along the way. It was a phenomenal experience. There’s little that I would have changed in hindsight. We talked a little bit about this in the episode with Leanne. I feel satisfied. I’m grateful that some of these products are not one single use like the Tesmat. I want to use it anytime I can.

MGU 127 | Pandemic Camping

 

The Tesmat products are incredible. I’m going to want to camp whenever I have the chance with the car. I’m going to be going up to Maine while I’m on the East Coast and camping in my friend’s driveway simply because it’s COVID. That is empowering. Having the water bottles and the handwashing station and all of those things are things that I’ll continue to use. I always have that at my disposal anytime I want to go camping. I can take better care of myself in the car, I can do it now. I’m grateful for that.

I feel like living vicariously through this experience.

You were invited, you turned me down. This could have been you.

There are other things that happen in life that I’m realizing timing-wise, it was better for me to stay in LA. Even with the wildfires and even with the earthquake we had that woke me up. I ended up throwing my back out a little bit, but that’s a whole other story. We have a giant military helicopter going overhead. We got to take everything with a grain of salt and a lot of laughter. To pontificate spiritually here as we wrap this episode, laughter, joyfulness and having a sense of humor about all of the bad shit fucking craziness that’s happening in the world right now is one of the only things that’s keeping me through.

Getting woken up by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake, it was like, “What’s next? The aliens are going to arrive right before the election. Queue the aliens. They’re up. They are in the queue.” It’s awesome that you have had this chance to do this road trip. Even with the challenges, uncertainty, chaos and madness of life, we’ve got to find the joy. We’ve got to find the happiness. We’ve got to find the humor. That is one of the only ways we can mutually keep each other afloat with society doing what it’s doing right now.

On that note, dear reader, we are in store for another episode. Whitney and I are going to dissect and dive deeper into what is probably the hottest documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. Whitney and I have both had an opportunity to watch it. We have a lot of thoughts. Some of them similar, some of them conflicting that we are going to dissect the mental, societal, spiritual, financial aspects of social media as we have both been content creators and “influencers.”

We both been in the industry since the thing started, since MySpace was in its heyday many years ago. Stay tuned for the next episode where we dive deeper into the documentary called The Social Dilemma. If you want to access all of the resources we mentioned in this episode, all of the great brands, everything that Whitney mentioned, from the Tesla accessories to the ecofriendly products, hygiene products, foods, everything we talked about, you can go to our website, which is Wellevatr.com if you want to read to any of our previous gems. We’re on all the social media networks. We will be back soon with another episode. Thanks for reading.

Important Links:

*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the This Might Get Uncomfortable community today: