Last year I set out on a 2 month road trip all around the western USA. Here is a list of items I leaned on the most during my time road trippin the west.
1. Rechargeable Backpacking Gear
Whether it's a solar lamp or a usb chargeable item, the wave of lithium batteries and solar has been amazing. Biolite has a rechargeable headlamp, Goal Zero has a giant rechargeable battery, and even my drone can be charged in the backcountry. Ditch batteries and go rechargeable!
2. Window Socks
You thought they were just for babies, but window sox are great for road trips too. Why? Well besides avoiding the one tan arm problem, they are perfect for sleeping in your car. If you are taking a nap or pulling in for the night, put a few window socks on your windows and let your car breathe while you sleep. It will keep it from getting stuffy inside and avoid the humid hotbox, all while keeping mosquitos out and the beautiful noises of nature a close distance.
3. Pour Over Coffee
Of course you wouldn't want to forget some Big Year pour-over coffee for your road trip. All you need is hot water, your favorite big year blend, and a cup. Sunbird blend is a deliciously smooth mix, grown in Indonesia and Brazil, while our Cotinga blend is exclusively South American with notes of delicious chocolate, hazelnut, and a rich, full-bodied experience.
4. Sleeping Pad (for real sleep)
In my opinion, the best car camp/road camp sleep you can have is on the Mondo King from Therm-a rest. It's 4" thick mattress meant all the uncomfortable rocks or bars under me disappeared. Sleeping pads have upped their game recently, and if you are sleeping on something thinner than 3" then you are going to seriously regret your road trip. Be comfortable while you are in your car and get something serious to sleep on! PS- I wouldn't use this while backpacking though!
5. Roof Storage
My final piece of advise is get most of your gear out of your backseat and trunk and up into some roof storage (or a small trailer). It's a great idea for many reasons: bears, thieves, organization, and peace of mind. Keep only vital or day use items below and pack everything else above your car. I went with a big Thule and got it for less than $800 with all the other parts included. It made me feel safe sleeping in my car where no food was exposed for animals and none of my expensive gear in sight for people walking by my car. Only thing to be wary of is the heat, the top can get seriously warm on hot summer days (park in the shade if possible).
Some last minute items you definitely need:
- Water Thermos
Some way to boil water (I use a regular electric kettle with my battery)
A small table
Binoculars (for wildlife!)
Spare tire ;)
Leave a comment