10 Road Trip Essentials from Tracy of Scribble Smudge

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Today’s post is brought to you by Tracy of Scribble Smudge. Tracy was participating in 30 Days of Lists when she left a blog comment announcing a two-month long road trip she is planning with her husband this summer!
As some of you may know, I like to respond to a lot of blog comments via email, in addition to in the comments section. I contacted Tracy right away about doing a guest blog post about her journey…here is the awesome (and hilarious, you seriously need to read this) post she decided to share with us:


When Kam asked me to be a guest blogger on Campfire Chic, I literally arm shimmied and leg shaked all over my classroom (lucky for me, my students had already left for the day). I’ve been working on my own blog, Scribble Smudge, for about a month, and to be asked to share my thoughts on someone else’s Web site was super rad. So, thanks Kam. You are shizzy and nizzy all in one.

Well hello! I am Tracy: Newlywed. High school teacher. Camper. Hiker. Lover of Earth and green and pretty much anything outside. 
I’ve been traveling since I was a baby (rumor has it I could put away some lobster in Jamaica at age 2… that explains the chubby thighs). Not only am I a traveler, but I can list-make up the yin yang. I have lists for my lists (hard. to. explain.), and, also, have lists for camping, hiking, and road tripping. My husband and I are currently preparing for our annual summer road trip (insert fist pump here), and this is where Campfire Chic comes in. 
Below, my list of essentials for preparing your next road trip:

Essentials (Read: You will die if you forget these. notreally.)

1. A camera, in case another passenger (or the driver?) falls asleep. Doug had to learn this one the hard way when we drove from Orlando to Memphis in December. Too bad it backfired because he is the cutest car sleeper ever. 
2. An FM transmitter for your iPhone, so you can stream your Pandora stations and look good doing it. If you can’t spring for a transmitter, download free indie music at Day Trotter and burn a few mix CDs.

3. Your travel journal is key. I am so in love with mine, since it documents the trip Doug and I were on when he proposed last summer. You never know when something you write will mean much more later. A travel journal is also handy for writing down important routes, camp sites that you’d like to revisit, and a list of supplies you don’t want to forget next time. (Note from Kam: Amy of Lemon and Raspberry posted some ideas on how to prep your travel journal before your trip)
4. Games for the road. Travel Scrabble and question games work best, like Chuck Klosterman’s HYPERtheticals: 50 questions for insane conversations. Here is one of my favorite questions:
At long last, someone invents “the dream VCR.” This machine allows you to tape an entire evening’s worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device of you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR.

Would you still do this?
Hecks yes I would! 
If you don’t want to spend your travel money on games, I’ve always been a fan of the Alphabet Game as back up. Here’s how it works: Choose a topic, like athletes or places you’d like to visit. The first person says something related to the topic using the letter A. The second person repeats the first person’s word, plus another using the letter B, and so on through the alphabet. My favorite variation of this game was Doug’s idea: We went for a two-hour hike through Red Wood National Park the day after we got engaged, so he thought it would be fun to talk about people we hadn’t mentioned to each other before. He chose someone with a first or last name beginning with A, then talked about him or her a bit. I continued with B, through the alphabet… and woods. 

5. A sense of adventure. If you see somewhere you want to stop, do it. When else will you have the chance? Do things you wouldn’t normally do at home. Be spontaneous. That’s what road trips are for, anyway.
Crater Lake

San Francisco
6. Packed lunches. Doug and I love to stop in random places, put our lunch in a Camelbak and eat outside. I swear, some of the places we’ve eaten while on the trail have beaten the finest restaurants I’ve been to. You’ll need a few supplies to pull off a radical outdoor lunch:
  • Camelbaks or backpacks
  • Nalgene bottle (only if you aren’t using a Camelbak)
  • Ziploc bags for sandwiches
  • Peanut butter, jelly and bread
  • A knife! Spreading PB&J with your finger is so uncool.
  • Napkins
  • Fruit (try my homemade applesauce recipe!)
  • Garbage bags for the mess, since many places won’t have trash bins
  • Hand sanitizer 
My favorite lunch spot
7. Maps, a compass, an iPhone with navigation, or GPS. Getting lost is the pits. Times three. 
8. A variety of clothing. Sandals may work out when you leave, but your destination may be nippy noodles and not so barefoot-friendly. Socks and shoes are a must. Bring a hat, jacket and scarf, too. I had to borrow my 6-year-old cousin’s dinosaur slippers during an impromptu camping trip in north Florida because it was 80 when we left and I thought I could hang in flippy floppies. not. so. much. 

9. Any vitamins, medication, or motion sickness medicine you might need throughout the trip. It also never hurts to pack a first aid kit, antibacterial soap, ointment, anti-itch cream, sun screen and bug spray. Last summer Doug and I drove up for sea turtle nesting in Sebastian, and the no-see-ums were so bad that we ended up sleeping in the truck. Fail. 
10. A travel partner you adore. While traveling solo can be a great way to find yourself, nothing beats a road trip with friends, family members, or your spouse/significant other/luuvah. I have learned so much about Doug while on the trail or in the car. This is probably due to me asking Chuck Klosterman’s HYPERtheticals and threatening him with incriminating photos if he falls asleep. 

I hope you all venture into the wilderness at least a tad this summer. Even if you don’t have a two-month vacation and no real responsibilities (read: aren’t a slacker). 
If you liked my list, please visit my blog for more tips related to camping, hiking, triathlons, cooking and baking, making other things… erm, being a newlywed, and some other stuff. ish. I’d love to hear what you think of my guest blog and Scribble Smudge! Over and out. 
What do you listen to when you’re road tripping?
Where is your favorite place to camp? 
Let me know what I left off the list!
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Adventure Guest Post

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • jenna ♥ a little blue April 19, 2011, 6:13 am

    haha sooo i love this post! when road tripping i like to let the hubby control the ipod. so i get a good mix of genres.

    and my fave place to camp is back home at crab orchard lake. it was the first place i ever camped (besides my backyard!)

    great guest post!!

  • Tracy April 19, 2011, 7:28 am

    First, thank you Kam for such a fun assignment! I had a blast writing this guest post.

    Jenna, great idea on handing the iPod over to husband. Though, in my case, I am not sure how much Lupe Fiasco and Talib Kwali I could handle :)


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