If you choose to do a tour in the United States/ Canada through Trek America chances are you’re going to be camping (unless you pay more and opt for the budget lodging option). Talking to our tour leader during our trip apparently, some people turn up on the tours not even knowing they’re camping so they don’t even have a sleeping bag on them. Now I’ve camped loads at festivals over the years’ and although it’s not my favourite thing to do I do feel that these types of tours are made even better by camping. You get to visit more unusual destinations and the costs are driven down as you’re not staying in pricey hotels or hostels.
If you are thinking of doing a Trek America tour, or just fancy camping in the States here are some things to remember.
Be prepared for no showers
Now the company does try and find campsites with facilities but in some areas, this might not be possible, or if like on my trek two of your campsites had to be changed last minute due to temporary closures. You won’t be expected to go a week without a shower but you may find a day or two that you have to deal with it so make sure you have baby wipes, deodorant and dry shampoo to keep yourself as fresh as possible.
Make sure you have a headlamp so you can go to the toilet in the dark
In a lot of camp sites there aren’t lights around the tents, or even in some of the toilets so make sure you have a headlamp so when you need that moonlight pee you can see where you’re going/ if there are bugs around keeping you company, but also so you can keep your hands free and clean.
Get used to the bugs
When camping there’s always going to be bugs whether it’s ants, flies or cockroaches they do happen, especially when you’re camping with Trek America and you’re making your own food so be careful. Always zip up your tent as soon as you’re in or out to prevent things crawling in and make sure all food is packed away to detract company.
Try and keep all your essentials near the top of your bag
This may mean moving around stuff every day so your next days’ clean outfit, PJs and toiletries are at the top but it will be a godsend when you’re sitting in a tent trying to find something to wear and all your clean clothes are at the bottom of your massive rucksack.
Opt for layers when it comes to PJ’s
In some areas, you might find yourself boiling in the subtropic heats, but you may go up in altitude and be camping in a national park and find things take a colder turn. Make sure you pack things you can layer when it comes to sleeping as opposed to only bringing shorts and a tshirt, or full PJ’s. I like to opt for a short sleeve nightie and then leggings and fluffy socks if it gets cold.
Buy a pillow when you arrive on your tour
Having a proper pillow as opposed to an inflatable one or a bag of dirty washing can make the difference between a mediocre sleep and a great sleep, but don’t worry about dragging a pillow in your luggage. On every Trek there will be a trip to a local Walmart right near the beginning where you can pick up any essentials you may have forgotten or not wanted to bring with you. I spent $8 on a pillow and it was the best thing I bought!
You will become a pro at putting up and taking down a tent
Now I like to think I’m pretty good at putting up tents but after you’ve put one up and down constantly in different locations you’ll definitely become a pro. Putting up a tent in minutes due to impending rain?! No problem. Taking down a tent when you’re leaving in ten minutes?! Sure. Packing everything into that tiny bag?! Easy peasy.