Make A Camping Trip Checklist
Making a checklist of all the necessary equipment, medication, food, and clothes are part of pre-planning a camping trip. Forgetting what you need the most can be a hassle when going camping, and while as much as we claim to be essentialists when were headed for the outdoors, most of the time it doesnt seem to be the case for unprepared amateur campers.
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Day : The Black Hills Devils Bathtub Deadwood And The Broken Boot
We traversed Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway en route to Rapid City and detoured to the secret Devils Bathtub hike. This unmarked trail is tricky to find, and we spotted the Cleopatra Road turnoff just in time. The path follows alongside, and occasionally crosses, a stream. My teen happily hopped from rock to fallen branch to rock at every opportunity. The bathtub pool at the end is suitable for a small group of people with a large tolerance for very cold water. Theres even a natural slide for those who choose to dare the plunge.
The town of Deadwood was a disappointmenttacky and touristy. The main historic drag is full of casinos and tzotchke shops. For lunch, we each ordered a variation of an Italian Beef sandwich at the Mineral Palace casino. As one does in the west, the meals were made with bison instead of beef. Perhaps were used to a moist, tender, Chicago-style Italian beef. None of us finished our meals, finding the bison too rubbery to chew. Our waiter discounted the meals and assured us the food is normally high quality, but Id be hesitant to send anyone there. Take your meal at the chocolate shop just outside of town instead. I wish we had.
We drove until we reached our destination, the Baymont Inn in Rapid City, which boasts not a single stuffed beast on its walls. Theres a nearby hotel with a large water park. If you have youngish kids, that might be the place to stay.
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Learn How To Quickly Scramble Eggs
Eggs are a staple of breakfast that most people love. They can be a little tricky to cook when youre on the go but you dont want to miss the benefits they provide.
The trick is to make sure that you are preparing the eggs before you travel. To do this, you can break the egg yolks into a water bottle or waterproof container. A container is more ideal because otherwise, this is going to be messy.
Pro Tip: Add milk or seasoning to ensure theres plenty of flavors packed in.
Once youve done this, shake the bottle well and pack it in your camping supplies.
Now you have a container filled with eggs. You just need to pour the liquid into the pan when youre ready for breakfast.
QUICK SCRAMBLED EGGS:
Sequoia + Kings Canyon National Parks
Experience the wonder and awe of standing beneath the worlds largest trees at Sequoia National Park, or head over to a national park that John Muir said Rivals the beauty of Yosemite, Kings Canyon. With trees that seem to touch the sky, massive rock faces, and the deepest canyon in the United States, youre going to want a few days to explore both parks.
Be sure to check out the General Grant Tree and Redwood Canyon in Kings Canyon. If you like backpacking, there are some epic trails that start in both these parks. We have our eye on doing Rae Lakes Loop and Glacier Pass to Sawtooth Pass.
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How To Plan A Cross Country Car Camping Road Trip
If you told me a year ago, Id be planning a cross-country car-camping road trip I wouldnt have believed you, but now all I seem to be planning are car-camping road trips.
If you are new here, you might not know I lost my corporate job in early 2020 and decided to take some time off to travel a bit. Unfortunately, after booking 6 months of international solo travel, the COVID pandemic happened, which forced me into plan B, laying low in upstate NY for half the year.
At the end of 2020, my wanderlust was still burning bright, so I decided I had to get back out there in the safest and most convenient way possible. I always wanted to take an RV across the US, visit all 63 National Parks, and explore all 50 US states, and I thought now is the time. I still wasnt convinced I would be car camping in my 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, but once I realized car camping was the only way to travel cross country on the budget I had, I was committed to planning my first cross-country car-camping road trip. I will have gone 18,000 miles, drove through 32 states and countless cities by the time I make it back home to Miami, FL, at the end of 2021.
Ice Chest With Ice Or Ice Packs
The need for an ice chest is contingent on your meal planning. If you plan on cooking with fresh ingredients youll need one large enough to store everything that has to be refrigerated.
Helpful Tip: To simplify your packing list and cooking and clean-up responsibilities while camping, consider packing dehydrated meal options, cured meats, and soup mixes.
It is possible to meal plan without the need of lugging along an ice chest.
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How Difficult Is The West Highland Way
The beginning of the walk is relatively easy, as regards to the terrain and fresh legs as youre at the start of your walk!
During the first few days, depending on how youve split the walk up, the highest youll ascend to is Conic Hill on day 1 or 2. Then from here, its pretty much flat until you reach Inverarnan.
The hike then noticeably changes as regards to the ascent on the walk and youll notice the terrain is tougher in places too. The climb up Devils Staircase is known to be the toughest, its a long slow climb but not technical, its just a bit of a slog, especially if you do this at the start of your day.
Discover The Kit You Need For A Camping Road Trip
Before getting on the road, ensure you have the right kit.
You need to pack all the equipment to ensure that you are comfortable.
Sleeping pads will be a great choice if youre planning on sleeping in your car. With this kit, youll be comfortable even if the seats dont go down completely.
There are plenty of options on the market, but the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is our favorite as its SO comfortable. Its also inflatable so when not in use, youll save a lot of space!
A good sleeping bag is also essential.
Mummy style sleeping bags are best for keeping warm. If youre expecting the temperature to drop or planning a winter camping road trip, this is a must.
Entertainment is another crucial element and there are lots of options these days. If youre traveling with family, I definitely recommend a TV that plugs into the car.
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Stop 2: Mount Rainier National Park
A beautiful place, Mount Rainier National Park is a must-see for anyone taking a west coast road trip. Unfortunately, because of snow in the winter and fog on certain days throughout the year, it can be difficult to see the mountain. Still, it is worth a try, as the mountain and the park are magnificent.
In addition to seeing Mount Rainier, we also recommend taking a day trip to see Mount St. Helens and learning all about the relatively recent eruption of this volcano. We especially enjoyed exploring the lava tubes in this park.
If you choose to do both parks, we recommend allowing two to three days for this stop.
How Long To Walk The West Highland Way
As mentioned this guide is focused on hiking the West Highland Way in 5 days, but the length of the hike can be whatever you want.
Consider how far you want to walk each day and roughly plan your hike around your maximum mileage. If youre camping then you have complete flexibility to stop and rest where you want .
Heres a rough guide on the number of days versus average mileage each day that might help you. I recommend to go on training hikes with your full pack and see whats comfortable for you.
- 5 days = 19 miles per day
- 6 days = 16 miles per day
- 7 days = 14 miles per day
- 8 day = 12 miles per day
- 9 days = 11 miles per day
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Road Trip Route & Details
Once we made the decision on the big stops, it was time to fill in the details and find additional sites to visit. National Park sites fuel many of our road trip routes. We try to string together several sites to make an interesting route, both on the way out and on the way back.
Suggestions for planning your route:
- Use to search for interesting ideas.
- Ask coworkers and friends for suggestions.
- Visit family or friends in the area.
- Retrace the steps of a memorable childhood vacation.
Our first real stop after leaving Woodstock is in the Flagstaff, AZ area . A work colleague told us about Meteor Crater and, with a few Google searches, we were sold!
There are several National Park sites nearby as well, which is always a plus for us. We, of course, will also spend some time standin on a corner in Winslow, Arizona while we are in the area!
Another big stop, after Yosemite, is Great Basin National Park. We have considered Great Basin for a few years. Since it is more-or-less between Yosemite and Yellowstone, this works out perfectly for this trip!
After a trip I took with my dad and sister many years ago, I knew driving the Extraterrestrial Highway across Nevada would be interesting. My research with Google and Pinterest searches also brought up information about Cathedral Gorge State Park. And, just like that, we have an interesting route across Nevada from Yosemite to Great Basin!
West Coasts National Parks 21 Days
One look at the map for this itinerary and you will probably exclaim how random it looks. Given that we will be visiting every national park between California and Washington, its pretty clear that there will be a great deal of driving.
But theres going to be equal, if not a greater amount of majesty. The nationals parks of the Western USA are famous and arguably form the finest collection in all of North America. Youre going to see deserts, valleys, giant redwoods, lakes, mountains if you can think of a landscape, its going to be featured here.
Luckily, there will be plenty of breaks on this West Coast road trip. Well see many of the West Coasts major cities, including Portland and Bellingham, and have the chance to take a brief road trip on Highway 101. So even if you are itching to go camping and get a little dirty, there will still be some showers along the way.
Highlights: Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon, Channel Islands, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Olympic, Mt Rainier, North Cascades
Notable bars and restaurants: Stonefly Restaurant , Austins Restaurant , Aaron Schats Roadhouse , Johns Pizza Works , La Vecchia , Pegs Glorified Ham n Eggs ,
Where to Sleep:
All scenic drives that we mentioned above can be visited on this road trip too, but wed recommend checking out the Cascade Loop and Lassen Volcanic Scenic Byway.
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When Is The Best Time To Take A Southwest Road Trip
One question I’ve gotten pretty frequently since originally publishing this post is about when to take a Southwest road trip.
Well, technically you could plan a version of this trip for any time of year. Most of the spots included here are open year-round, so it depends more on your schedule, and your tolerance for crowds and extreme temperatures.
Summer is usually the busiest time for travel in the US , and it gets VERY HOT in this part of the country in July and August especially.
In winter, certain places in the Southwest at higher elevation DO get snow and experience colder temperatures , but you definitely can visit the Southwest in winter!
But as far as the best time for a Southwest road trip? I’d say the shoulder seasons are best. April/May is good, as is September/October. You may run into some wet weather during these seasons, but the crowds will be thinner and you’ll be able to fully enjoy everything in this itinerary.
What Do You Need For Camping
Planning is an essential component of a successful, fun family campout. It doesnt matter if its just a weekend or longer planning will make everything go more smoothly.
During your planning process, create a checklist for everything that you want to bring with you so that you can pack everything a lot easier.
Once you have the checklist, you can start packing for your trip, marking off the things youve packed.
If you have toddlers, be sure to check out my post with a toddler camping checklist! It specifically lists things that are important to consider when camping with a toddler, but many of the suggestions are helpful for older children, too.
Allowing your children to do some of their own packing and check things off the list can help make the experience positive and memorable. (Just make sure to look behind them and ensure nothing has been forgotten!
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Stop 2: Northern Oregon Coast
After Portland, youll return once again to the coast. This time youll be exploring the northern part of the coast, and you should plan a stay of three or four days at least.
While youre on the northern coast, we highly recommend seeing the town of Tillamook and trying the ice cream and cheese at Tillamook Cheese Factory. Visits to the adorable towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach are also in order. The tide pools at Indian Beach are fantastic, and Ecola State Park offers lovely views of the pacific ocean and sea stacks. Finally, make sure to visit the Goonies house in Astoria.
More great Oregon coast info can be found in our post: 26 Oregon Coast Road Trip Stops You Dont Want to Miss.
General Tips For The Trip:
- Buy a National Park pass for the trip that is also good for National Monument .
- Booked hotels in advance, especially for Yellowstone NP.
- Find information online, from bloggers, magazines, and friends whod been to those places or live around the area.
- AND, make sure you really know the members of your traveling mate.
So, whether you go West, Southwest, Midwest, South, or East Coast for your National Park road trip this coming vacation, make sure you read this 10 Best National Parks Vacation. It has complete information on what activities to do in the parks and where to stay in or near the parks.
on March 20, 2020.
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Camping Or Bush Knife
It is impossible to overstate the importance of including a good knife in a camping checklist for families!
From bush crafting, gear repair, first aid administration to food preparation, a durable sharp blade is the quintessential campers companion!
Check out our post on the Best Camping Knives if youre in the market for a solid dependable camping knife!
Stop 1: Redwoods National Park
For more redwoods fun, be sure to take the time to visit Redwoods National Park to view the redwood forest. It should be noted that this park is not like most other national parks in that it is spread out with multiple sections along the coast. If you want to see the entire park, you will need several days to do so, but even just seeing one section is worthwhile.
Really, any section you choose to visit will be fantastic. We especially enjoyed the Fern Canyon trail because this is where scenes from one of the Jurassic Park movies were filmed.
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