I really enjoy the way that word sounds. It's like a discount version of decadent, except that it hasn't been soiled by rampant overuse in chocolate commercials. I was curious as to its etymology which, as you'll see above, isn't nearly as exciting as I'd hoped. I had never even heard of the word until a reader, known only to me as "BoscoBob", brought it up in an email.


Let me tell you a little bit about Bob (which he will henceforth be called for brevity), not that I know much about him anyway. Bob also spent quite a bit of time living in a vehicle, five times as much as I have as of this writing in fact. In my eyes, this makes Bob a Wise Truck Elder™. So when Bob came to me with advice, I took notes. Diligent notes.* His advice was this: it's going to get cold out, and human beings do a lot of breathing and sweating. If you can't control that moisture, every eligible surface in the truck will be covered in mold, which is undoubtedly going to make you an unhappy camper.

Luckily for me, as Bob noted, there exists a magical technology that requires neither fire nor electricity to operate, and yet its mere presence can suck the moisture clear out of the air and trap it within, like a genie in a lamp. Bob was talking about desiccants.

The Prophecy

And sure enough, Wise Truck Elder Bob was right. As we creep further and further into Fall, unwaveringly towards Winter, I've found that my mornings are becoming increasingly…moist. Every non-porous surface: ceilings, walls, and even my phone** and battery pack, are uniformly damp, almost like the morning dew on a grassy field. Except this field is me and everything I own. It's gross to think of it as though everything is coated in my own sweat and breath though, it's more like when your windshield fogs up on a cold day. The air in the truck is warmer (because of me) and more moist (yes, also because of me), and this warm, moist air meets up with the cold metal of the truck and subsequently condenses. I mean I'm not a meteorologist or anything, but that's my understanding of it.

So I did what any self-respecting truck person who doesn't like bathing in their own breath would do, and I went to Home Depot, where they sell industrial-sized tubs of this stuff:

DampRid®, which I can only assume is concentrated cat litter

I got a 64 oz tub, which is supposed to be enough for a space far larger than my 128 ft2 truck, but I like to live by the credo "Better Safe Than Sorry" when it's convenient to me. The process for getting it setup was pretty complicated though, and took longer than I'd have liked. I'll painstakingly detail the steps out here, but be warned, it's a pretty arduous process and I wouldn't recommend someone begins it unless they have a substantial amount of time on their hands to see it through:

  1. Take off the lid.

Yeah okay I lied, that's all you have to do. Seems suspiciously simple, I know, but it definitely did fulfill its end of the bargain. The area around my bed was much drier the morning after opening it; my phone and battery pack weren't in any danger of short-circuiting either. The tub of re-branded cat litter DampRid® says it'll last six months, which isn't bad at all for a $10 investment. I suspect it'll have a shorter shelf life because the truck isn't an entirely closed system, but I'll need a bit of empirical evidence before I can say for sure. In the mean time, I'll enjoy being left high and dry thanks to the definitely excellent existence of the desiccant.

*I didn't actually take any notes. This was an email, after all.

**My phone is waterproof, so this isn't as concerning as one would thing. Still definitely not ideal though, thus the desiccants.

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