What I’m Packing For Trek America
One of the most hotly discussed Trek America topics is ‘What to pack’, with just over 2 weeks to go until I hit the roads across America’s Great East I thought it was about time I blogged what I plan to pack! I’ve seen a few blog posts about this already and I thought it was about time I threw my 2 cents into the pot!
I’ve been approaching this topic over the last few months, carefully thinking about what I need to take, and what I have room for. This post is aimed at those going on a camping tour like the Best Of The East, or Westerner 2, and not the BLT tours. BLT Tours stay in hostels and hotels so the camping gear isn’t required! I finally think I’ve got all the essentials and now feel I’m in the position where I can make this post.
I’ve opted to take a duffel bag. This type of bag is similar in style to a holdall, but can also be worn as a backpack. The bag I’ve chosen is from The North Face, and is the Base Camp Duffel Travel Bag in the large size. Although any type of luggage will do, I felt that this was the most appropriate bag as it is extremely durable – infact it is claimed that the bag is both ‘bomb proof’ and water proof! This I see as a bonus when when the bag may be potentially squashed underneath several others at the bottom of the trailer or in the hold of the plane. It is really roomy inside and has several interior mesh pockets for storing random bits. As a bonus it is bright red and should be easy to spot in the airport!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m planning on taking my SLR and a couple of lenses to make sure I get some brilliant pictures of the trip, which I’ll be posting here on this blog. I decided I needed to be able to carry my camera in my day pack as I certainly didn’t want to risk damaging it in the hold of a plane or trailer. For this reason I’m taking the extremely awesome Tuff-Luv Expedition Rucksack. This is no ordinary rucksack! This rucksack is specially designed for carrying SLR cameras, and the front section of the bag flips out to reveal an awesome camera compartment which can be separated of using the supplied velcro separators. This will easily hold an SLR plus up to 3 lenses! Its also super comfy and well padded, with additional compartments for a laptop, raincoat/ snacks and water bottle. I’ll probably take an iPad instead of a laptop – I’m definitely not taking a laptop!
On a Trek America camping trip the most important piece of equipment you need to take is the sleeping bag. I wanted a sleeping bag with plenty of room but which would also pack small enough to fit in my bag without taking up much room. Trek America also recommend that you take a 3 season sleeping bag as these should keep you comfortable in most weathers. I ended up opting for a Salewa Spirit 3D Flex sleeping bag. This is a 3 season sleeping bag, which from my experience so far is really compressible, and takes up very little room! It was a bit more expensive than some sleeping bags, but space saving was a big priority and it should last a long time! As you can hopefully see in the picture below, the bag does get really small! This is in a Pod Sac Spider Compression Sac which helps compress the sleeping bag, I highly recommend this when you are trying to manage space.
The next essential I decided to purchase was a couple of large Trek Towels. These pack really small and are very light compared to normal bath towels. Another benefit is that they dry really quickly. I can’t give much of my opinion on how well these work as I haven’t used them yet, but I’m sure they’ll be great!
Salomon Eskape GTX Hiking Trainers
One of the many things we do on a Trek America trip is take some awesome hikes in Americas National Parks. On the Best Of The East we get to go on some awesome hikes through Shenandoah & the Great Smoky Mountains. As I’m packing lightly, and it will be summer time, I decided that boots were not appropriate and decided to get some hiking trainers. I settled on the Salomon Eskape GTX. These are light weight with a really strong grip and are also protected with Goretex giving them a waterproof coating. Along with these I’m also taking flip-flops for at the beach and for showering, along with a pair of plimsolls for casual wear.
In terms of clothing I’m packing a good selection of basics. Mainly casual chino shorts and t-shirts, swim shorts, along with some jeans and a hoodie for cooler nights. I didn’t see the point in buying expensive clothes for this, so just packed essentials. One thing I did pick up for this is a pack-away rain jacket which I can easily carry in my day back when out and about. Here’s hoping I wont need it!
Accessories and Other Bits and Bobs
I did pick up a couple of other bits which I thought might come in handy recently, notably a flat packing water bottle and fold away travel pillow which pack really small. I had read a few other blogs saying that a water bottle was handy and that tap water in the USA is generally safe to drink. With snacks and drinks and big money eater, I thought this was a good idea. I also decided to take a small fold away travel pillow for those long van journeys and camping!
Well there you have it, my run down of the essentials for Trek America packing! I hope you found it useful! If you have any tips or recommendations, leave them in the comments! 15 days to go until I fly!