I thought I would take a few paragraphs and let you know how some camping and travel equipment fared.
Water storage – don’t bother. I bought two different 5 gallon collapsables from Texsport and Coleman – they both were unweildy, leaky messes that turned green with algae after just a few uses. Better to buy those handy 2.5 gallon jugs with spouts from the grocery store, refill them a couple times and then recycle them and buy new ones.
Sleeping mattress – this surprised the heck out of me. I bought a really nice air mattress that was extra thick and also my Exped synmat which I use for backpacking. The backpacking mattress won by a long shot. Easier to blow up, took much, much less room and was way more comfortable to boot. My back ached after a few days on the thick air mattress and cleared up after a few days on the smaller synmat.
Fishing gear – each state charges a license fee and they can be pricey. I left my rod and tackle box with my sister in San Francisco along with the air mattress. This was disappointing, there should be a national license for travelers.
Texsport stove – this was an A+ buy – look for a stove with a flexible hose for the gas canister.
Yeti Cooler – the best cooler ever. I left two beers, yogurt and jam in the cooler for two weeks in the heat in Pittsburgh, when I opened it I expected it to be super stinky – to my surprise, the water was still cool and I salvaged the beer and jam. I love this cooler!
Towels – I have no idea where they go, but they must decide they like it where they are and stay without even saying goodbye.