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Windy road in the mountains

Road Trip Essentials

the good life Sep 20, 2020

While COVID-19 has thrown quite a curveball in our travel plans for 2020, we haven’t let that stop us.  In fact, by the end of October, we will have traveled to 11 states since June.  And 10 the states were visited by our truck pulling our camper.  When life gives you a pandemic, go on a road trip!

Camper Road Trip

Our first road trip of 2020 took us to Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. We encountered many challenges as we struggled to understand exactly how our camper should work.  (We later discovered that we had a faulty solar panel controller that thankfully was covered by our warranty).  There were many times on that trip that our camper battery was completely dead but at least we had a bear-proof tent to sleep in at night!  

Our second road trip of 2020 took us back to our stomping grounds - Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota - to see family.  Now we had 3 months of camper ownership under our belt plus camper repairs completed making this trip way less challenging.  While we didn’t need to be cautious about bears on this trip, we had plenty of cow bellows to lull us asleep and wake us up in the morning.  

Having a few long road trips under my belt, I’ve compiled a list of items that I feel are road trip essentials. Whether you are camping or staying in an Airbnb, this list will help make your next trip enjoyable!

Road Trip Essentials

  • Energy Fizz Sticks - These are a LIFESAVER!  You know when those afternoon sleepies hit and you’re struggling to stay awake?  Fizz to the rescue!  Reduce fatigue with botanicals like ginseng, B vitamins, CoQ10, and chromium.  Naturally derived guarana and green tea provide 55 mg of caffeine that boosts alertness without a jittery feeling.  Just add to 12-16 ounces of water and give it a GENTLE shake.  Be careful though!  As their name suggests, THEY WILL FIZZ UP!  Even after 6 years of drinking fizz sticks, I can still manage to make a giant mess by not heeding that warning.

  • Paper Maps - Technology is wonderful! We can type in a destination and you can get turn-by-turn directions.  But when you’re deep in the woods of Oregon, cell service may be lacking, and/or it may not know exactly your location.  Having a paper map also helps you plan where future stops may need to take place as well.  If you have a recreation map, you can explore other outdoor activities like potential campsites, hiking opportunities, parks, monuments, etc. I like to map out our route with a hi-liter as well.

  • Podcasts - There are only so many songs you can listen to and conversations you can have when you’re on a road trip with someone else.  It’s even more limited if you’re on the road by yourself and cell coverage is sparse.  So why not throw on a podcast and let someone else do the talking for a minute!?  Not only will you maybe learn something new but now you have new topics to discuss with those in the car with you or people you meet along the way.  Our road trip in a camper van to Montana was where we first learned about podcasts and quickly burned through hours of Serial, In the Dark, and S-Town.  We’re fans of any murder or crime-based podcasts and have been listening to a lot of My Favorite Murder and Behind the BastardsWe’re always looking for new ones so send your recommendations my way!

  • Water - This wouldn’t be a blog by a nutritionist if I didn’t tell you to pack water along for your adventure.  We pack a cube of water to refill our water bottles.  This cuts down on plastic waste in our landfills as well as a hit to your wallet. Buying water on a long road trip can really start to add up.  You should be drinking half of your weight in ounces of water  Road trips are no exception.

  • Food - Nothing is more uninspiring than the food at a gas station.  And if your adventure takes you to a location that is a little more remote or a food desert, your options become even more limited.  Plan ahead and pack your snacks, just as your mom did for you when you were a kid. Here are some of my favorites.

    • Jerky - try to find ones with lower sugar content.

    • Popcorn

    • Trail mix - I like to buy my own nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and occasionally a little chocolate to mix up my own combinations

    • Hummus and veggies - cut up the veggies beforehand

    • Rice cakes and hummus or almond butter

    • Protein or granola bars

    • Deli meat and bread - make your own sandwiches to avoid fast food drive-thrus

    • Mason jar salads - an easy way to get fresh veggies in while adventuring

It was while making a grocery store run in Boise, Idaho, I struck up a conversation with the cashier about replenishing our groceries for our road trip.  She commented that I was eating way healthier than she has ever eaten on a road trip.  And that is where the idea for the eBook - Off the Grid Provisions - was born.  If you’re looking for a little more inspiration for the meals you are making while on the road you will definitely want to check it out.  Off the Grid Provisions features 5 breakfast, 2 lunch, and 9 dinner options that can easily be made on your portable gas burner or over your campfire.  Oh and they can also be created in your home kitchen, with no campfire or road trip required.

I am only affiliated with Arbonne in this blog post. I do not profit from any of the other products or items recommended in this post


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