Last evening we hosted an outdoor movie night for our fellow Xscapers friends camped with us at the after-convergence here in Quartzsite.
(The main convergence was a huge success, and several of us have retreated further into the desert to continue the bonding – only away from the freeway and much more spread out.)
The story behind the movie itself is an inspiration.
Fans requested it on Kindle, so in response to the demand he published it on Amazon as well -for the minimum price of 99-cents.
The book became a huge success as word spread – and almost overnight this initially self-published author had an agent, a publisher, a New York Times best-seller, and legendary director Ridley Scott working on a movie adaption starring Matt Damon.
If you’ve not read or seen it yet – do it! Both the book and the movie are awesome.
If you haven’t seen it yet, the quick synopsis is astronaut Mark Watney gets left alone on Mars when his crewmates have to abort the mission. The story follows him learning to survive on his own for well over a year until a rescue mission can reach him.
As space buffs and geeks, it’s totally our thing.
And as RVers who love getting out into the boonies, in the wilds, living off grid – the movie holds a special place in our hearts.
While RVers typically don’t have to deal with loss of breathable air, rendezvouses in space and such extreme conditions (at least not yet – we have hope for RVing in space!) – here’s some quick lessons every RVer might be able to pick up from Mark Watney:
- Communication: Some days, getting a good signal for communication just doesn’t happen. Sometimes you might just have to dig up an old antenna to get your message out. Don’t be afraid to be inventive, and sometimes accept you’re not going to get better than dial-up speeds. More Info: Mobile Internet Overview
- Water: Every drop counts when out dry camping. While you hopefully won’t need to resort to creating water out of thin air, you will need to think differently about your water source. Where will you fill up? And how will you reduce your usage to extend your time before the next fill? More Info: Extending Your Holding Tanks
- Keeping Warm: Every RVer who has ever boondocked off battery on a chilly night has to laugh when our stranded astronaut realizes that running the default rover heater will drain his batteries. Boondocking generally benefits by having an electrically frugal heat source – whether it be Mr. Buddy propane heater, a Catalytic heater, or a hydronics system. You probably do want to skip the plutonium however. More Info: Keeping Warm while Chilly Camping
- Solar: Solar panels get dusty – clean them! Tilt them for maximum sun collection. And sometimes, you might just have to sit and twiddle your thumbs while you wait for your batteries to recharge. More Info: RV Solar Info
- Long Driving Days: If anything Mark taught us while driving a rover on Mars for days on end, mix up the music collection! Good tunes can make the kilometers fly by.
- Waste Management: When boondocking, the waste piles up. Our holding tanks get full, composting toilets need changing, and trash bags fill up. You have to do something with it. And most of us RVers aren’t likely to be using our poop to grow potatoes. It’s probably ok to leave a mess behind if your life depends on it and you’re trapped on Mars a billion miles from the nearest dumpster – but otherwise, please leave your campsite cleaner than you found it!
- Be Resourceful: Stuff is gonna break. It’s inevitable in a house under constant earthquake conditions. Give yourself a moment to curse like a space pirate, and then science the shit out of it. And bring duct tape!
- A Good Sense of Humor: Being flexible, adaptable and trusting in your ability to solve one problem at a time will take you further than most anything else. But the ability to laugh at yourself sure doesn’t hurt.
It’s so good to be out in the boonies again, camped with a wonderful community of like minds. We’re having a blast, and hope you are too!
Outdoor movie setup:
Since someone will ask anyway, I’m sharing our current outdoor movie setup pro-actively: