Tag Archives: road trip

Packing for a camping trip: Your ultimate guide

When we had our giveaway a few weeks ago one of the most mentioned camping tips was to make some sort of camping box. A large waterproof tote that holds the majority of your camping supplies. The idea behind such a box is that you always have the bulk of your gear packed and ready to go. I could not agree more.

The problem is that it’s hard to keep ALL your camping gear together all the time (because a lot of stuff gets used for day adventures as well).  Some stuff gets put away between adventures, but some stuff we’ve bought two of; it’s worth it to buy an extra set of supplies and make a kit that ALWAYS stays together.

I’ve already done posts that list out all the items needed to make:

  1. A Mobile kitchen: a bin that houses all our cooking essentials and a few other odds and ends.
  2. Mini Survival kit:  a go-everywhere kit with random survival and medical supplies (although we still also bring a larger first aid kit).

You can also easily make dedicated camping kits for personal hygiene and dog supplies (see lists below).

To make packing the rest of the gear easier, we try to keep most if it together. We turned a corner of our garage, and a corner of our guest room closet into ‘gear closets’.  They house the aforementioned camping kits, as well as our sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tent, tarp, climbing/kayaking gear, backpacks etc. When it’s time to pack, everything is easy to find.

When preparing for a camping trip we throw our mobile kitchen and survival kit in the van and use the checklist below (download a PDF of this Ultimate Camping Checklist here) to gather/remember everything else. (more…)

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

We took a trip to the Redwoods over Memorial Day. It was beautiful, not as crowded and rainy as I thought it would be, but a little on the cold and windy side. Still, a wonderful trip with my sister and her family. Ari and his cousin had a blast! As I was previewing photos from the trip there were two that made me laugh out loud, so I had to share.

#1 My first thought when I saw this photo was “wow, what a great shot!” Then I looked closer. Can you tell what’s wrong here? (FYI, click on the photo, it should get bigger).

I know! I had no idea they were playing with lighters until I saw this photo! It’s a good thing they don’t know how to use them for anything other than swords. Learn from my mistake on this one…


My Birthday Camp Out. At Best Western?

Last week was my Birthday.

When I turned 30 I started the tradition of spending my birthday camped in a really cool spot. Just about every year we HAPPEN to choose a location within a 100 mile radius of where my best pal Olivia is doing field work. This years destination was the southern portion of Death Valley. The plan was to camp, hike, hang out, cook my birthday cake in a dutch oven, share the recipe with you… It was going to be great.

Then it got cold. And windy. And my kids got sick.

We did make it to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge to check out the pupfish. We thought that maybe we could find a pocket of calm somewhere around there. Nope. After returning to the van in 60mph winds and with dirt in our eyeballs putting up a tent was deemed impossible. Could we sleep an extra adult in the van? No.

Doesn’t this look like great camping weather? Even K-So (our dog) is squinting!Note: The following galleries are full of cell phone pictures. Pretty sure I jinxed the trip by leaving my camera home. Thankfully I discovered Instagram, the coolest photo app ever.


We ended up in a hotel in Pahrump Nevada. I know. I know! At 33 years old am I finally growing soft? (more…)

Never Give Up Spring Break

I’ve been taking a spring break for as long as I can remember, it’s something I’m pretty sure I’ll never give up. March is always the most stir crazy moth for us; it’s when it SHOULD be warm but it isn’t. Skipping spring break just isn’t an option.  Some of our favorite places to camp with our kids in March are: Anza-Borrego, Mojave National Preserve, Superstition Mountains and Parashant National Monument. This year, because it was 1/2 way between me and my sister (and her husband and two boys) we settled on another long time favorite, the Death Valley area. We didn’t have much of a plan beyond meeting up in the Alabama Hills (west of Lone Pine, CA), we just too things day by day.

Here’s the visual description of our trip.


And the physical description.

Day 1: Spend all day packing. Drive from Reno, NV to Lone Pine, CA at night while the kids are asleep (a good call in every respect aside from the fact that we drove past Mono Lake in the dark, so I’ve still never seen it). Listen to the audio version of Animal Farm. Find our campground/meeting spot. Sleep in the van. (more…)


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia