Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

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Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Fri May 29, 2015 2:40 pm

In July, I'm doing a cross-country trip from North Carolina to Edmonton, Canada then a week in Banff and Jasper, and then home via Montana and Wyoming (Glacier National Park & Grand Teton & Yellowstone).

It will be about 5000 miles round trip. Much of the distance driving will be done in big chunks (I figure 3 12-hour days each way) and on those nights, I don't plan on actually camping as much as simply stopping for a place to sleep.

The Banff portion of the trip is largely planned. I'm driving to Edmonton and back with a friend who will be there for work, and while she's working, my parents are flying into Calgary so I can take them to my favorite place in North America - Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the Canadian Rockies. We have campsites reserved, day hikes planned and a basic schedule of the seven nights in the rockies.

I haven't planned anything else... a lot of it will be "just wing it" probably, but I'm already trying to think of a packing list. Living out of my teardrop for up to four weeks will be a big deal. I only got my camper in November, and have never spent more than four nights in it.

I'm not carrying an extra table for food prep, and may even leave the easy up at home (though it fits in my front storage box without firewood, which I won't be transporting to Canada (or even out of state) for obvious reasons!). I'm not even sure if the Dutch Oven will make the cut, because I haven't yet discovered and mastered it's usefulness and am not sure we will have a lot of leisurely camping and cooking time (the coleman stove will be my workhorse). I will have to have a tent and sleeping bag for the time I'm in Banff... I've told my parents they can sleep on a "real" bed and I will take the forest floor while they are with me.

None of the campsites have electricity. All have running water and bathrooms. I have done mathematical calculations and am confident my battery and solar panel are sufficient to keep my lights and fans and small electronics charged. I will likely use a 100w inverter in my car for my laptop (I don't want to drain 8+ amps per charge off of my camper battery).

What items are must haves for those of you on big trips? What can I leave at home?

I know I need to get a full set of cookware... am seriously considering Magna. I need a new headlamp, but that's more for night hikes to see sunrise at some of my favorite sites. I really want to pack light. I don't want to store anything in the cabin of my camper so it can be used on travel days for mid-day napping. I have an awesome new Yeti cooler, but it's on the smaller side so I'm trying to find recipes with non-perishable ingredients (vegetarian chili, pasta, etc.) and will likely take a second cooler for cold drinks that won't hold ice as long or as well. I need some grab and grow breakfast ideas for my morning photography hikes. I don't eat meat, so that's one less perishable thing to pack!


Thanks for advice in advance!
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby tony.latham » Fri May 29, 2015 7:51 pm

Heck, I'M excited. :D

Take that Dutch and cook up this for your pals. It ain't rocket science and they'll be blown away:



You can leave the eggs at home and use 7 Up or Sprite instead (trust me –add it until your batter is "there"). Also, for it to come out as perfect as the video, the Dutch has to be on a level spot. Otherwise, it'll be thick and thin.

I'd throw a can of bear spray in (you won't need it but you should have it on those hikes). Dunno if the Canadians will let you cross the border with it. :frightened:

Tony :applause:
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Fri May 29, 2015 10:35 pm

tony.latham wrote:Heck, I'M excited. :D

Take that Dutch and cook up this for your pals. It ain't rocket science and they'll be blown away:



You can leave the eggs at home and use 7 Up or Sprite instead (trust me –add it until your batter is "there"). Also, for it to come out as perfect as the video, the Dutch has to be on a level spot. Otherwise, it'll be thick and thin.

I'd throw a can of bear spray in (you won't need it but you should have it on those hikes). Dunno if the Canadians will let you cross the border with it. :frightened:

Tony :applause:



OK... I have to admit, that looks delicious. I'm just concerned about bulk and weight and taking up space on such a long journey. Plus I'd need gloves, a charcoal chimney... I'm a super beginner! I have a lid lifter and that's it! But 7-up or sprite really work to replace the eggs? That's awesome. I love egg dishes when camping (I think when I'm buy myself I exclusively cook out of my pie iron... egg and cheese and veggie sandwiches all the time!) but I'm trying not to have too much perishable stuff.

I'm not sure about bear spray at the border. But my good friend in Edmonton works for an airline and they confiscate it out of bags so she has access to lots of confiscated bear spray. Hahahaha.

This is going to be the trip of a lifetime for me!!! My camper has never left North Carolina... and this summer... it's going to Alberta!
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby tony.latham » Fri May 29, 2015 11:35 pm

Forget the charcoal chimney. We old farts use match-light charcoal.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby S. Heisley » Sat May 30, 2015 3:40 am

dreamofcolors wrote:In July, I'm doing a cross-country trip from North Carolina to Edmonton, Canada then a week in Banff and Jasper, and then home via Montana and Wyoming (Glacier National Park & Grand Teton & Yellowstone).

It will be about 5000 miles round trip. Much of the distance driving will be done in big chunks (I figure 3 12-hour days each way) and on those nights, I don't plan on actually camping as much as simply stopping for a place to sleep.

The Banff portion of the trip is largely planned. I'm driving to Edmonton and back with a friend who will be there for work, and while she's working, my parents are flying into Calgary so I can take them to my favorite place in North America - Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the Canadian Rockies. We have campsites reserved, day hikes planned and a basic schedule of the seven nights in the rockies.

I haven't planned anything else... a lot of it will be "just wing it" probably, but I'm already trying to think of a packing list. Living out of my teardrop for up to four weeks will be a big deal. I only got my camper in November, and have never spent more than four nights in it.

I'm not carrying an extra table for food prep, and may even leave the easy up at home (though it fits in my front storage box without firewood, which I won't be transporting to Canada (or even out of state) for obvious reasons!). I'm not even sure if the Dutch Oven will make the cut, because I haven't yet discovered and mastered it's usefulness and am not sure we will have a lot of leisurely camping and cooking time (the coleman stove will be my workhorse). I will have to have a tent and sleeping bag for the time I'm in Banff... I've told my parents they can sleep on a "real" bed and I will take the forest floor while they are with me.

None of the campsites have electricity. All have running water and bathrooms. I have done mathematical calculations and am confident my battery and solar panel are sufficient to keep my lights and fans and small electronics charged. I will likely use a 100w inverter in my car for my laptop (I don't want to drain 8+ amps per charge off of my camper battery).

What items are must haves for those of you on big trips? What can I leave at home?

I know I need to get a full set of cookware... am seriously considering Magna. I need a new headlamp, but that's more for night hikes to see sunrise at some of my favorite sites. I really want to pack light. I don't want to store anything in the cabin of my camper so it can be used on travel days for mid-day napping. I have an awesome new Yeti cooler, but it's on the smaller side so I'm trying to find recipes with non-perishable ingredients (vegetarian chili, pasta, etc.) and will likely take a second cooler for cold drinks that won't hold ice as long or as well. I need some grab and grow breakfast ideas for my morning photography hikes. I don't eat meat, so that's one less perishable thing to pack!


Thanks for advice in advance!


That sounds like a blast!!!! Advice?

First of all, you don't need a full set of cookware. You need a medium to large pot with a lid and a fry pan that can share the same lid. Chances are, you only have two burners on your stove and the one pot and one pan should be able to do just about everything you need. Make sure that the two can be nested inside each other, to save space. If you like tea or coffee, you may want a small tea kettle or coffee pot. Again, be certain that it will nest inside the pot, to save space. You can usually go to a thrift store and find some still very nice copper bottom stainless steel ware that will work great without spending a lot.

Easy, canned meatless meals? Whenever you can, make one pot meals.
This list is off the top of my head (Assumes cheese/eggs okay-adjust accordingly) :

Dinner ideas
- Canned Hunts spaghetti sauce, warmed and poured over a package of cooked up & drained spaghetti noodles.* Buy the smallest packages of Parmesan cheese & use in one meal.
- Canned Chili, your choice of brands or make your own with one can each chili beans, Mexican style tomatoes, and one drained can of either kidney beans or black beans**
- Cook up some Uncle Ben's instant rice (12 minutes) with a pkg of cashews, peas & carrots, broth or bouillon and seasonings of your choice (garlic, curry, turmeric, S & P)
- Canned Soups and grilled cheese or bean spread sandwiches
- Dehydrated foods....Go to the local Sportsman/REI/Walmart to buy. These are nice to have if you are really tired, alone, and don't want a lot of fuss. Follow pkg directions.
- Or, try on-line places like this: http://www.wildernessdining.com/vegen.html

* Most people don't know that spaghetti tomato sauce and whole wheat noodles combine to make a complete protein.
** Black beans not only cause less flatulence but also contain more iron than kidney beans. If chili is meatless, serve with whole grain bread or corn bread for complete protein.

Lunches
- Sandwiches, such as Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Cheese or bean spread and crackers
- Eggs, hard boiled the night before and eaten plain or in a sandwich
- Any saved leftovers from the night before
- Food from Roadside stands

Breakfasts
- Oatmeal packets mixed with raisins, a little peanut butter, and hot water; or, just with milk, if you have it.
- Eggs, hard boiled the night before and eaten plain or in a sandwich
- Dehydrated scrambled eggs, reconstituted
- Pancakes, the just add water kind, cooked for a leisurely morning breakfast

In some places, they may insist that you store your food in the bear boxes. I had a hard time finding the size; but I found that the metal ones are usually:
36”D x 43”W x 28”H

This is what could be stored in that much space: Image

This is 3 weeks food for me and my dog plus we had some left that we brought home.
Image
(Notice that the ice chest wasn’t filled when the pic was taken; but, it’s a small ice chest.)
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby KennethW » Sat May 30, 2015 6:04 am

Don't weary about forgetting anything If you are missing anything just find a store and buy it. Only carry about 5 days of food then stop at a store when traveling. In that way you can adjust to what you do use and not carry a lot of food back home. :roll: If you like to cook don't forget a cutting board :? Home fry's are always good. I found corn bread hard to make on a stove top, so I when to corn bread pancakes instead. When packing your clothes sweatshirt and a jacket for the cool mornings and if you stop at the Canadian glacier park.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Sat May 30, 2015 1:28 pm

S. Heisley wrote:
That sounds like a blast!!!! Advice?

First of all, you don't need a full set of cookware. You need a medium to large pot with a lid and a fry pan that can share the same lid. Chances are, you only have two burners on your stove and the one pot and one pan should be able to do just about everything you need. Make sure that the two can be nested inside each other, to save space. If you like tea or coffee, you may want a small tea kettle or coffee pot. Again, be certain that it will nest inside the pot, to save space. You can usually go to a thrift store and find some still very nice copper bottom stainless steel ware that will work great without spending a lot.

Easy, canned meatless meals? Whenever you can, make one pot meals.
This list is off the top of my head (Assumes cheese/eggs okay-adjust accordingly) :

Dinner ideas
- Canned Hunts spaghetti sauce, warmed and poured over a package of cooked up & drained spaghetti noodles.* Buy the smallest packages of Parmesan cheese & use in one meal.
- Canned Chili, your choice of brands or make your own with one can each chili beans, Mexican style tomatoes, and one drained can of either kidney beans or black beans**
- Cook up some Uncle Ben's instant rice (12 minutes) with a pkg of cashews, peas & carrots, broth or bouillon and seasonings of your choice (garlic, curry, turmeric, S & P)
- Canned Soups and grilled cheese or bean spread sandwiches
- Dehydrated foods....Go to the local Sportsman/REI/Walmart to buy. These are nice to have if you are really tired, alone, and don't want a lot of fuss. Follow pkg directions.
- Or, try on-line places like this: http://www.wildernessdining.com/vegen.html

* Most people don't know that spaghetti tomato sauce and whole wheat noodles combine to make a complete protein.
** Black beans not only cause less flatulence but also contain more iron than kidney beans. If chili is meatless, serve with whole grain bread or corn bread for complete protein.

Lunches
- Sandwiches, such as Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Cheese or bean spread and crackers
- Eggs, hard boiled the night before and eaten plain or in a sandwich
- Any saved leftovers from the night before
- Food from Roadside stands

Breakfasts
- Oatmeal packets mixed with raisins, a little peanut butter, and hot water; or, just with milk, if you have it.
- Eggs, hard boiled the night before and eaten plain or in a sandwich
- Dehydrated scrambled eggs, reconstituted
- Pancakes, the just add water kind, cooked for a leisurely morning breakfast

In some places, they may insist that you store your food in the bear boxes. I had a hard time finding the size; but I found that the metal ones are usually:
36”D x 43”W x 28”H

This is what could be stored in that much space: Image

This is 3 weeks food for me and my dog plus we had some left that we brought home.
Image
(Notice that the ice chest wasn’t filled when the pic was taken; but, it’s a small ice chest.)


This is such a great list! Thank you so much. I especially love that a lot of them don't require fresh ingredients. Last camping trip I had too many perishables, and most of the recipes I've been finding include canned meat of some kind. I'm adding this to my recipe book.

I like your idea of a rice dish... I often do rice, black beans and rotel (with some cheese on top!), but peas, carrots and cashews would be a nice change!

I'm considering a small nesting pot and pan with two small pots and two small frying pans where the pans double as lids to the pots. Small and compact and easy to store.

My ice chest is about the same size as yours. I will probably have a second one just for beer and soft drinks. Then I'll get into it less, and it won't matter if the ice doesn't last as long.

I want it to be mid July already so I can be on my way!
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sat May 30, 2015 2:08 pm

Be prepared for rain. I followed that route (Banff - Waterton Lakes - Glacier - Yellowstone - Grand Tetons) in June last year and had 5 consecutive days of hard rain from Banff through Glacier.

It's beautiful country, with truly majestic mountain views, and well worth the trip.

Have a great time.

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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby razorback » Sat May 30, 2015 3:11 pm

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/omelet-in-a-bag/
Macy and I have been to several tdrop gatherings where we did omlets in a freezer bag. Just leave out meat in the attached recipe. Just boil some water and add your eggs, and veggies, and cheese, and salsa. Simple but good.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Sat May 30, 2015 11:01 pm

razorback wrote:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/omelet-in-a-bag/
Macy and I have been to several tdrop gatherings where we did omlets in a freezer bag. Just leave out meat in the attached recipe. Just boil some water and add your eggs, and veggies, and cheese, and salsa. Simple but good.
Larry


Oh, good call! I learned about scrambled eggs in a ziplock, but never an omelet! Egg dishes are my favorite (good, healthy protein for a vegetarian like me!)
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby deleted » Sun May 31, 2015 7:55 am

Sounds like a really fun trip! Having driven cross country from CA to MI more than once in a year and living full time out of my trailer for 6 months a few tips I can offer are:

1. Be prepared for colder nights than you would expect even in the summer time. One night in June I stopped in Bozeman, Montana and was surprised the temperature dipped to 40º that night. To stay lightweight you could pack one of those silver emergency blankets just in case you need a little more warmth than your standard bedding offers unless you're sleeping bag is for low temps. If not you could tuck it into your sleeping bag or under your blankets for extra warmth. I also keep a soft hat on hand for cold nights. It helps.

2. All season tires. Same trip in June I ran into a brief but heavy white-out large hail storm in Wyoming. Got stuck in 3" of ice on I-90 and had to call a tow truck to pull me off the side of the interstate. I didn't realize I could run into such inclement weather in the summertime. Now I know better.

3. Just discovered some great cookware that collapses down. I posted about it in the general forum but if you're starting from scratch it may be a great space saver for you. The fry pan isn't available yet but sounds like it might be by the time you need it. http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=X-Pot&o1=0&o2=0&o3=100-22 The pot, fry pan, bowls, and mugs nest inside each other. It's pretty amazing.

4. I haven't yet but have thought it would be easy to visit a grocery store with a salad bar, pick up the right veggies, throw them in the cooler, and use them for a stir fry for dinner that evening. That way you don't have to buy veggies in bulk but could have some fresh food without a lot of hassle.

5. When driving those long days you describe I first stayed at rv parks or KOA's just to sleep but quickly discovered the Flying J/Pilot truck stops were a better choice when driving till dinner time and leaving at dawn. They're free. There's a 24 hour restaurant, the parking lots are well lit, bathroom and showers, and they have an RV club you can join if you have a Good Sam membership that gives you discounts on gas and anything you purchase inside. When checking in at the counter I always make sure they prefer that I park out front instead of in the back with the truckers. Better to save the big spaces for the professional drivers though I have parked back with them a couple of times.

6. If you're a worry wart (like me) you might want to look into two cell phones if you're on AT&T. I found their coverage to be pretty awful on I-80 and I-90 outside of any major city. Verizon hands down had much better coverage. So, I bought a cheap pay as you go Verizon phone in case I ever needed to call AAA from the side of a desolate highway.

7. Speaking of which, if you have AAA be sure you have the premier membership. It costs a bit more but includes towing your trailer at no additional charge and an extended towing distance of 200 miles among other benefits http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/benefits.htm. Had I not had it when I called towing my car out of the ice would have been covered but I would have had to pay an additional fee out of pocket because of the trailer.

8. For healthy (more gourmet) instant food I recently discovered Great Grub Camp food. So far have tried the tortellini soup and lemon blueberry pancakes. Both were great. They are a new start-up company from the Bay Area in California and use lots of healthy ingredients. http://greatgrubcampfood.com/

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Sun May 31, 2015 11:55 am

GuitarPhotog wrote:Be prepared for rain. I followed that route (Banff - Waterton Lakes - Glacier - Yellowstone - Grand Tetons) in June last year and had 5 consecutive days of hard rain from Banff through Glacier.

It's beautiful country, with truly majestic mountain views, and well worth the trip.

Have a great time.

<Chas>
:beer:


I am so excited about my trip! Last two times I went to Banff, it was in August and only one day of rain out of 10... but I know the weather is anything but predictable.

Did you run into any issues at the border crossings? I need to research what is and isn't allowed there. I've never driven across with a camper.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby dreamofcolors » Sun May 31, 2015 12:28 pm

Stacie Tamaki wrote:Sounds like a really fun trip! Having driven cross country from CA to MI more than once in a year and living full time out of my trailer for 6 months a few tips I can offer are:


Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.


These are fantastic suggestions. I'm already planning on truck stop overnighting. Because there are many days I don't plan to sight see or camp... I just want to get there! I also love mid-day naps and plan to take advantage of truck stops for those.

I've done the grocery store salad bar trick when making a "gourmet" salad at home and being too lazy to cut up all the veggies. And so convenient instead of having half a pepper, etc. leftover when camping. Great idea!

And I'm very intrigued by those pots. I have a regular two-burner coleman stove, and know I really only need two pots. I have a regular (old) one from home but it doesn't pack easily. I've found I need something small for boiling water and another for preparing meals, and the sea to summit are intriguing, even at the $50 each price tag. That seems about par for nice camping cookware though.

I have AAA+ but had never thought of the RV option... I'll have to look into that. Another good suggestion.

I think I'm packing an extra down comforter. I'm going to make a drawsting bag to stuff it into so it stores small. I'm a bit worried about the weather in Banff, especially since I'll be in a tent and my parents will be in my camper.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby deleted » Sun May 31, 2015 2:22 pm

dreamofcolors wrote:I have AAA+ but had never thought of the RV option... I'll have to look into that. Another good suggestion.


I believe AAA+ and Premier both offer an RV option but Premier offers a longer towing distance of 200 miles vs. Plus' 100 miles. I thought the RV option was included but you may have to ask for it and pay a bit more.
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Re: Planning for a long (3+ weeks) trip

Postby bobhenry » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:41 am

Speaking of insurance has anyone else seen the new Geico Motorcycle insurance spot.

I nice vintage motorcycle with side car towing a very small teardrop. I thought it was soo neat when I saw it !
Growing older but not up !
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