Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year for traveling and going on adventures. Mostly because camping becomes much easier for us. I can pack less clothes, blankets, etc. because it doesn’t get very cold. Don’t get me wrong though, I also love traveling to different ski resorts in the winter because my significant other and I are avid snowboarders. Traveling in the winter just calls for more packing. Those of you who have been keeping up with my blog already know that I do not like to feel cluttered by things and I like everything to stay organized. Especially on road trips because your vehicle can become absolute chaos if you do not keep cleaning and organizing. The less you bring the less you have to take care of. In the winter you need more layers and those layers like coats, snow boots, sweaters, scarfs, blankets, snowboards, and much more take up lots of space. You also need to prepare for the worst because there are many more risks when you travel during the winter than in the summer. It is important to bring sand in case your vehicle gets stuck, snow shoes, extra food and water, head lamps and lanterns, etc. Needless to say camping in the summer is a breeze. My significant other and I also have a very simple set up as we usually prefer backpacking. This time however, we took a seven day road trip in my nice big SUV so we were able to pack a little more since a majority of our items could just stay in the car when we were not using them. We drove from Idaho to Washington to Oregon to California and back to Oregon and then to Washington. It was an awesome trip! We ended up going through Mt. Hood on the way to California pretty much following the 97 all the way there and then we took the 101 back to Washington so we could go up the coast. We decided to keep this trip very simple and affordable by camping and only bringing the essentials so we could focus on our next adventures and really living in the moment. I figured the best way to simplify our trip would be to not worry about bring our own food and cooking. This way we didn’t need to bring a big camp stove, propane, or a huge cooler filled with food because then you also have to worry keeping the food cold so it doesn’t go bad and we were not always near a gas station to buy ice. All we decided to bring was a back packing stove which is basically pocket sized, one pan that folds up, a pot for hot water, a small cooler for drinks, ketchup, and mustard, a french press, and a 6 gallon jug of water which is refillable. It was very easy to take care and we didn’t have to do many dishes. We just had to wash our utensils and coffee cups. We also carry roasting sticks in our “kitchen stuff” too because then we were able to roast brats the first night and buy a few buns. I always thought that I was the master of organization until I met my boyfriend. You should see his work! He can fit a thing inside of a thing inside of a bag and inside of another bag. It is incredible. I am thinking about writing a blog post next on how he has our “kitchen stuff” for camping and backpacking organized because you would be amazed. It might give you some organizational inspiration too. We also brought our mountain bikes plus gear, skateboards, sleeping pads, a tent, a double sleeping bag, two camp chairs that fold up very small, a fold up table, and other small things like toilet paper, a fold up saw and hatchet for fire wood, bear spray, head lamps, a lantern, a few towels, our water bottles that we could refill, a few clothes, swimsuits, a first aid kit, and a some snacks like granola bars, trail mix, coffee, and homemade cookies. Our goal was to keep everything as simple and minimal as possible. However, we did stumble across one problem on this trip, FAST FOOD. I gave up fast food completely about a year ago because yes I always knew that it was unhealthy, we all know this, but I never stopped to think about the horrific impact that trash from fast food restaurants has on our environment. It is absolutely disgusting and a huge waste of our natural resources. I will also be writing a blog post on this topic because I am very passionate about it. I never ate at fast food places consistently before I completely gave it up, but I would stop for lunch maybe once a week. If you think about it though that really adds up! I was also guilty of buying a coffee at least once a day which in my opinion is still considered fast food because you are still drinking coffee out of trash. I decided to completely give these habits up because I do not want to support fast food and I want to reduce the amount of trash I leave behind. This was a challenge during our trip because although we were able to bring less food and items for cooking in our vehicle; we ended up having to eat more fast food in exchange. This was not the plan at first. We talked about going out to breakfast in the morning and trying new restaurants for dinner, but once we were on this trip we realized how fast time was going by. We drove at least 8 hours every day usually with multiple stops in between, but fast food could keep us on the road longer. I was stressing and feeling so guilty about all of the paper and plastic we were throwing away. We both agreed that we would plan a little better for our next trip by making sandwiches, salad, pasta, etc. ahead of time and just bringing a bigger cooler. This way we are eating healthier, we can put everything in reusable to go containers instead of plastic, and I think we could have saved more money this way. My significant other and I are passionate about traveling and seeing new places, but we want to do it in an environmentally friendly way so that our kids and our grand kids can see the same beautiful mountains and rivers we have. We look at our mistakes on these trips, learn from them, and make the next trip even better. If you have any recipes to share or if you have certain foods that you usually bring on your trips please comment below or send us an email because we could use some advice on this. I am sure many other people from the minimalist community could as well. Thank you for reading and as always I would love to hear your comments, opinions, and questions on the subjects mentioned in this post.
I hope you find joy in my expression of words.