Yep, pool noodles – who knew they could have so many uses?
If we all just used our noodles (yes, plural) when caravanning and camping, the world would be a nicer, safer and more colourful place.
I’m not talking about using your brain for the more obvious, common-sense type activities, like being courteous to others at camp and caravan sites (and online, of course), cleaning up the campsite before you leave, final checks on vans, regular maintenance and checks when you get home and making sure all weights are correct for both vehicle and van.
No … I’m talking about using your pool noodles; cheap, rubber, plastic, synthetic thingies, which you would normally find in the backyard pool.
I’d heard about these things online and their variety of uses so decided to spend up big and do some research.
A whole four bucks each (I shopped around), I bought a few of each colour available, initially because I thought they would add a bit of brightness to the pics, but realised as my research progressed that colour serves a purpose … it makes them (and the object they’re attached too) highly visible.
Note the big sticker attached to the noodle states “Warning: Aquatic toy, use under supervision. This is not a life-saving device. Use in shallow water under supervision”.
This is obviously a safety regulation (indeed, a sensible one), but I figure the manufacturer hasn’t caught on to the simple caravanning accessory uses of these objects.
It’s important to note that if you buy your noodles online, make sure they have holes in the middle (it helps).
A weekend away at Wirrina in South Australia with some friends was a perfect opportunity to see how people use their noodles … the research continues.
By the way, a sharp blade came in handy as I had to slit the noodles on one side, and in some cases cut them down in size for depending on what I was using it for.
So here’s my list (in no particular order) from research and other contributors
- Around the guy rope and peg – perfect for better visibility of the ropes, particularly at night
- On edge of the door to stop it banging against the van
- On the edge of a fold-out table to stop objects falling off
- Attach to the bottom of wind-out windows – saves the head when bending down to grab a tinny from the esky
- On the awning struts – helps raise the plastic a tad to tighten and stop flapping
- On the awning supports, simply to stop bumping into
- A shin-saver on the tow hitch
- On the fridge, camp fridge or esky to keep the lid or door open when not in use
- On the corner of slide-out campers, once again to stop accidental bumping into
- Around gas or water pipes as protection
- Fun and games for kids; maybe you’ve taken a blow-up pool to the caravan park.
- Makeshift bucket toilet seat edge, for a bit of extra comfort
- Emergency roof rack/roof protector
- Fishing rod holder/support
- Playing card holder
- Mobile phone holder
- Large hoop game.
I’m sure there are a plethora of noodle uses, and I must admit, a bit of fun was had by all as we came up with and implemented some noodle options. Maybe give them to the kids, get them to use their noodle on your next trip to see what they come up with.
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Words and images Andrew Kennedy.