For this first installment I am going tackle the big stuff and then later down the road we’ll talk more about the smaller things that make a road trip great!
To take a road trip like the one we’re attempting (over 10,000 miles) you need to make sure your equipment does three things.
- Size -space is at a premium so you have to decide what’s the most important and go from there.
- Comfort -a road trip is a marathon, not a race. It’s days of long driving interrupted by hiking or sightseeing and at the end of the day you are going to need a comfortable night’s sleep or you are not going to be a happy traveler.
- Use -is it something that you are truly going to use. Will it make things a little easier on the road?
When taking a road trip you will more than likely spend part of your time camping and part of the time in hotels. The hotels are easy. You just show up, check-in and you’re done.
Camping requires 2 things: work and equipment, but if your trip revolves around nature you want to spend as much time outside as possible and sleeping under the stars is an experience in itself. The things that will affect your camping is the weather, wildlife & time.
It’s all fun and games when you’re camping is beautiful weather, but what happens when that storm pops up and everything is wet.
Tents – Today’s tents are very well built and can withstand moderate to heavy rain without leaking. The one thing to remember is:
WHEN IT IS RAINING DO NOT TOUCH THE FABRIC OF YOUR TENT.
These tents are made with a rain repellent already on it and if you touch the fabric while it is raining it will leak in that spot. The less you can touch the fabric of your tent the better off you will be.
We’ll be traveling to Alaska during the month of June and at the time Alaska enjoys 24-hour daylight so anything that will help you sleep is a must-have. The number one piece of equipment you will need is a tent. You can find well-made tents for under $100 (I trust Coleman because I’ve used them for over 25 years and have never been disappointed), but we chose this one for the dark-out feature. It’s supposed to block out 90% of daylight and also heat.
Those days where it’s raining or even when we’ve traveled late and just want to sleep we’re planning on car camping. This is so much easier today than it was years ago. I’d love to have a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, but in reality, I have a Hyundai Santa Fe. The back seat lay down “almost flat” but there’s still that uncomfortable hump between the seat and the back.
Introducing the CAR AIR MATTRESS! These were such a shock to me. My mind was blown. These air mattresses are built to fit into that spot and are made just for SUVs although I’m sure there are some that will fit anywhere. The one we purchased was the:
goldhik SUV Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Camping Air Bed Dedicated Mobile Cushion Extended Outdoor for SUV Back Seat. What do you think? could you sleep on this?
The next big things are bags or luggage but remember space extremely limited. We chose these duffle-type bags that still have the rollers by American Tourister. I found these at Target for less than $70 a piece. I checked Amazon, but I couldn’t find the same size as Target had.
Next week I’ll cover kitchen type equipment that will keep you full and happy on your next road trip!
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It takes a lot to plan a road trip of this size and knowing what to take and what to leave behind is the first big step!