So, you’ve traded coasts, the Pacific for the Atlantic. Coming to North Carolina from California isn’t as much of a culture shock as one might expect. Beach towns (and bases) are populated by more or less the same groups of people. Thankfully, you’re not the first whose PCS orders have taken them to the other side of the country and our friends who have made this trip before shared with us a few items that made the move that much easier. Whether here in Eastern NC for a lifetime or half a year, these items are going to make that time a touch more pleasant.
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A PCS can be as stressful for your pet as it is for you. When transporting an animal across the country its comfort is as important as its safety. The crate that we like best is the 2PET Foldable Dog Crate. It has a steel frame, washable fabric, and once you’ve arrived at your destination the crate can be folded up and easily set aside until next time.
If you move a lot (and we have a feeling you do) then you know how much of a hassle it is packing books. Not wanting to ship a library doesn’t mean that you have to give up reading though. E-Readers offer all the books for a fraction of the lugging around. Some e-Readers tend to be fragile and easily made unusable by the elements. We like the Kindle Paperwhite because it doesn’t reflect the glare of the sun, has a long battery life, and -best of all- it’s waterproof. Whether beaching, boating, floating, or in the occasional downpour, there’s the risk is might get wet.
Prepare to spend a lot of time outside. Beach trips, pool parties, cookouts, and camping all deserve a great soundtrack but the right speaker needs to be powerful. Even better if it’s portable. We like the Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. It has great sound, 24 hours of battery life, wireless stereo pairing, and is also waterproof. Plus, we like the $39.95 price tag.
One of the biggest surprises to transplants from the West Coast is how spread out Eastern NC is. Road trips become half the fun of getting to some of our favorite destinations. It is important to pack smart. With an e-Reader and portable speaker in tow, don’t forget to have a means to keep them charged. A portable charger can be a lifesaver when you’re far from home. We really like the Anker PowerCore 10000. It’s small, light, and a must-have before you set out.
The right backpack can make or break an outing. It needs to hold enough without taking up enough space on its own. It needs to be comfortable to wear. Finally, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the theme you might have noticed regarding Eastern NC, it had better keep its contents dry. We’re glad we found the Outlander Ultra Lightweight Packable Water-Resistant Travel Hiking Backpack. It meets all our needs and more.This handy backpack can be taken anywhere and then folded up and tucked away when you’re done.
Sand gets everywhere. Even the most casual beach goer knows this. One key characteristic of the Eastern NC terrain is that sand doesn’t originate from the beach alone. It is woven into nearly every landscape. Picnics and cookouts with terry cloth towels can be a problem. The sand gets woven into the fibers, so every wash afterwards comes out with freshly laundered beach dirt. We prefer beach blankets made with nylon because the sand can just be brushed off instead of being brought home. The OCOOPA Sandfree Beach Blanket 10’X 9′ Extra Large, Soft Pocket Picnic Blanket is one of our favorites. And it’s machine washable.
Drinking glasses that can make a cross country move and survive a summer of playing outside are rare things. We do have a few pointers on what to look for in good glassware. Through copious trial, error, and common sense we’ve learned that stemless wine glasses last longer than their counterparts. Sleeves and cozies won’t only help you figure out whose drink is whose, but they can act as their own little life jackets by protecting against cracks and sliding around. We like the Ello Cru 17 Oz Stemless Wine Glass Set with Silicone Sleeves. Although not unbreakable, they’ll survive many toasts to come.
Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid heat exhaustion and a cold sip of anything can help to alleviate the heavy summer heat. By using fewer disposably cups and bringing one of your own you are also helping the environment. For road and day trips we especially need a cup that holds enough and keeps cold for hours. There are lots of great products out there, but we really like the YETI Rambler 30 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler. It’ll keep ice in it all day for what will surely become your new favorite beverage, sweet tea.
Although cast iron skillets are the great favorite in Southern kitchens, it’s growing popularity across the country is for good reason. Cast iron can get and stay very hot without being damaged, making it great for frying and baking. Once a skillet is seasoned it becomes stick resistant. Some cast iron cookware is incredibly heavy, but there are a range of sizes available with some perfectly suited for camping. We like the Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Just please, don’t clean it with soap.
Because it rains fairly frequently in Eastern NC, having a good umbrella makes carrying on with life easier despite the next imminent downpour. There isn’t any bad weather, after all, only missing gear. Umbrellas are also useful in the summer as portable shade. The Reverse Inverted Inside Out Umbrella stands out to us as a product that has upgraded the traditional umbrella design. There are a variety of colors and prints, it has proven to be very sturdy, so now we don’t have to mind at all when it rains.
An umbrella will keep your head dry, but now the pressing matter is preventing your feet from getting soaked. Rainboots are crucial during rainstorms not just because of the downpour. Most places on the coast are prone to flooding and water pools everywhere when it rains. In order to not squish around in wet socks all day, we like the Crocs Freesail Rainboot (or ShortyRainboot style). They’re not going to win you a fashion award anytime soon, but they definitely do the job.
Read more on PCS moves:
No matter how many times I have moved I can say it is never really an easy process. But these simple tips have helped me get it done more quickly and not lose my mind along the way over the years. I hope they will also help you stay organized and easier for your next PCS move. Good luck!