Roadtripping 101

Whether you are a committed weekend warrior or just looking for a quick break from everyday life, a road trip can be what you’re looking for.

In today’s technology-oriented consumer society, weekend warriors are rebels that still attach value to the concept that wilderness and adventure are necessities in one’s life.

Getting the motivation to go on a weekend warrior trip can seem a daunting and time-consuming exercise. Unless you’re a truly experienced road tripper, you are bound to over pack. Even worse, you might forget the essential items that can make or break your trip. Here are some basic tips that will help you plan a successful road trip.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE AND STOPS BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Whether you decide to catch some waves or hike through the mountains, it’s imperative that you have a workable plan for the route with your possible stops factored in. It’s also important to make sure everyone is on the same page before you leave.

You don’t want to be stuck in a car with people second-guessing you all the way to your destination. There are some planning apps that can help here. Take a look at “Roadtrippers.”

You need to investigate the weather beforehand too. It will help you determine what you should pack and what you can afford to leave behind.

It's also a good idea to keep loose plans. You never know when fun and interesting opportunities will arise. Try including "free time" in your itinerary.

HAVE A SOLID BUDGET

Even the best-laid plans don’t survive implementation. That means that you will often be confronted with hidden costs along the way. Try to give yourself some wiggle room. Add some “what if” cash when planning your trip.

That said, here are some cost saving tips you may find useful:

Fill up your car before you leave, because you know where to find the best prices for gas locally. This will give you a solid start.

Keep the weight of your cargo down. Choosing your equipment is of paramount importance. You need to strike a balance between functionality and weight. But don’t forget quality. You can’t afford to go back home because your outdoors tent isn’t up to scratch.

Drive economically by keeping to the speed limit. Along with your lightweight equipment, you can decrease costs up to 33% this way.  

Your second biggest cost is food. Buy what you need beforehand. The best options are things that can be pre-cooked and keep well, or food that doesn't require cooking at all. As well as being cheaper, bringing your own food means you can eat whenever you want and your stops can be much more efficient.

MAKE SURE YOUR RIDE IS READY

Checking your ride is important for you and your passengers’ safety. You really want to make sure your ride is up to scratch before embarking on your trip. Car trouble is not fun at the best of times. Having your ride break down during a remote vacation can ruin a potentially perfect trip.

PACK YOUR CAR LIKE A PRO

Okay. Your route is checked, the budget is set, and your car is ready to roll. Now it's time to pack it.

Make sure you have all of the important stuff first. You need the basics for any decent trip into the outdoors:

  • A lightweight, wind proofed solid tent.
  • A functional, multi-tool knife like a Leatherman - very useful for any eventualities.
  • A thermos, especially for those chilly nights. We recommend Stanley, a solid performing classic.
  • A warm blanket. In fact, take a couple, just in case. We recommend Tribe & True.
  • Also, any type of sleeping mat for some basic sleeping comfort. Just because you commune with nature doesn’t mean you have to return to the stone age.
  • Take a Herschel Passport Holder to protect all important papers you might have. It will also be great for protecting any maps you might have with you. It’s always a good idea to have a real map rather than relying on a smart device that might let you down.
  • Think about some entertainment to wile away the outdoor evenings. To listen to music, we recommend a Nixon Blaster – solid, with a long lasting charge of 15 hours.

Consolidate and pack your bags to maximum capacity. Just remember where you put everything. Pack clothing efficiently. Try to use all the space available, and put the clothes you'll need first on top. Have emergency clothing ready for easy access.

And remember - only take what you think you'll need. If you pack light, you'll save on gas and have room to bring stuff back. A road trip can be a fantastic experience for everyone involved. You will all have stories for a lifetime. Make the stories happy ones by taking the time to plan and get the right equipment.

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