I always feel that TrekAmerica season starts around this time of year. Once Winter is over, we’re thinking about our next adventure and what we are going to accomplish in the summer. Trek America are offering £5 deposits to secure your adventure of a life time – so why not go ahead and book it?
I remember months before I went on my TrekAmerica tour I had no idea what to take. I took to good old Google and tried frantically searching for ideas and I sadly, didn’t find a lot out there. When I landed, I realised I bought far too much stuff and forgot many of the essential items that I really did need. So to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did; here’s my complete packing guide.
- Suitcase or Rucksack
There were a mix of bags on my Trek America tour. A few people had spent the past year travelling and by some witchcraft managed to fit their whole life in a rucksack. To this day, it still really puzzles me how they did it. But, I’ll tell you one thing: if something was at the bottom of their rucksack it was a nightmare. I borrowed The Geek’s Dad’s suitcase and it was the right choice for a camping newbie like me (Thank you JT). I found that I could access my belongings easily and it was huge. With the rolling technique, I could fit so much stuff in it
- Camping Essentials
TrekAmerica provided everything except your sleeping bag. I took mine with me but I’d recommend buying on when you are over there instead. Walmart and Target do them for ridiculous cheap prices. I’d also get a pillow whilst you’re over there too! You can get a really comfy standard pillow for around $3-4 dollars!
However, I would say bring either a head torch or a normal torch. I’ve been there: drunk as a skunk needing the loo at 4am and falling on people’s tents, it’s easy to say people were mad. I’d recommend getting a camping towel too. The one I bought was around £15 and they save so much space in your suitcase and dry really quickly which is essential when you need to be on the road at 8am. Trust me, you don’t want to put a damp towel in your bag.
Flipflops would be my next must have camping item. I didn’t bring these with me and I ended up picking a pair up on the road. They are essential for going to camp site toilets and showers. They dry really easily and if you’re a fussy bugger like me about bathrooms, it puts your mind at rest. I strangely miss my mens camo flipflops from time to time!
Finally, a good old fave of mine; a deck of cards. Whether you travel on your own or with a mate you are going to meet some new people and spend multiple nights around the campfire and having a few drinks. Playing a cheeky drinking game is a fabulous way to break the ice and the cards can cure boredom on long drives in the van.
Electronics are pretty vital on the road, especially when you want to keep in touch with everyone back home. The Trek America vans have a few USB ports to charge up people’s phones and it’s worth investing in one a multi charging port. They can charge multiple devices at once which is great and means you’re not taking up all the sockets!
I didn’t take this on my tour but it’s something I can’t live without now. My brother got me a portable phone charger last year and I get so much juice out of it! It can also charge up my camera and anything that uses a USB port.
Is it worth taking your iPad or tablet? Seriously, on my tour I didn’t see anyone use them. They can be great for watching movies whilst on the road but we ended up playing loads of car games and chatting instead. Car journeys are also the perfect opportunity to catch up on some sleep as believe me, sleeping in a tent does catch up on you.
I found that I bought far too many clothes with me. I ended up literally living in either vest tops and shorts or day dresses. I’d prepared for all sorts but I found that I just stuck to what was comfy most days.
if I could go again, I’d take an array of vest tops, a couple of nice day tops and evening tops, some dresses, a scarf, a pair of leggings, shorts, swimwear and a nice dress for a night out or two in Vegas or any of the other big cities. Don’t forget to take a few accessories either as they can always dress up an outfit! I’d also take my converse, flip flops and a few pairs of sandals. I wouldn’t take any heels because, being totally honest, there is only one winner in Vegas and it’s not you.
I would take a few bags though. I’d take a rucksack for day to day exploring. It’s easy to pop in your purse, phone, a bottle of water and a packed lunch. Also, if you’re hiking, you’ll have full use of your arms. I also took a smaller bag for going out in where I could just pop in my purse and phone.
I wouldn’t have been anywhere without a hat either. Some mornings require a super early start and there’s just no time to do your hair, so, whack a hat on. Because I went in the autumn months, I was wearing my beanie hat but if I was heading over for summer, I’d be getting one of these bad boys!
My best clothing recommendation is a fleece. My Mum bought me the best fleece ever for my trip and I won’t lie; it was the envy of the trip. It was not the most glamorous of things but, the desert gets cold at night and I was so toasty. Seriously, get yourself down to M&S and buy one of them bad boys.
Take everything you need; shampoo, conditioners, skin care products, cleanser and anything that you would deem that you use for your skin. I kept all my bits together for the shower in one of these that I had from my University days. It’s super handy for just hanging up in the shower and the plastic makes it waterproof. There’s plenty of room for all your toiletries too
Things like shower gel, insect repellant and toothpaste, I would buy when you get over to America. It’s so easy to overpack your case and buying things like this over in America can save you a lot on weight in your case!
I’d always keep my make up separate and would take a small travel mirror too. I am short sighted so have difficulty doing my make up on non glasses days without my face being right up in the mirror. Also, you can quickly do your make up in the tent if need be!
I cannot recommend doing a Trek America trip enough. If I wasn’t saving up for a house and everything else I’d be on the next flight to America and be travelling on one of their tours.