Six Days and Counting: Release the Planning Kraken!

I woke up this morning and realized it’s our last Saturday at home until after St. Patrick’s Day. By the time this post is published, next week we’ll have already had an early breakfast, visited the Trail of Tears Memorial, toured the 1903 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop, explored Waynesville on foot, and will be on our way to Eureka Springs and their Mardi Gras parade.

A day of lounging and comfort on our last Saturday at home would be lovely, but we’re leaving in SIX DAYS, so today we organize. The last thing I want to do is race around on Thursday trying to get everything done, completely stressing out and ending up with two hours of sleep before leaving at 8 a.m. on Friday. This is a marathon and today is our carbo-loading.

Time to release the planning Kraken!

I’ve been planning for awhile of course, but this is when I bring out the beast. Today’s three foci are camping equipment, clothing, and prepping our home.

Why am I sharing this? Back in November I asked if anybody would be interested in following along as we plan this adventure, and the answer was a resounding YES

Camping Equipment

Although we just started camping three and a half years ago, it quickly became one of our favorite things to do together. It’s our chance to unplug and share quality time, and we love hiking and the great outdoors. We love it so much we went camping on both our honeymoon and our one-year anniversary! Camping on a road trip this epic is a must.

However, it’s going to be a different type of camping than we’re used to. Instead of spending three or four nights in one place, we’re going to be at each campsite for one night only. Our set up and breakdown needs to be minimal.

This may come as a shock, but I tend to go overboard with the kitchen equipment. Not this time. It’s back to basics. I also can’t minutely plan the menu since we won’t be sleeping under the stars until the fourth night of the trip. Our cooler is pretty amazing, but I don’t want to take any chances on spoiled food when we’re in the middle of a canyon.

Today’s Task #1: Pare camping equipment down to the bare minimum. (Put away the lime squeezer, Theresa.)

Clothing for an Epic Road Trip

One night we’ll be in the dessert. The next in the mountains. One day it will be 92 and the next 37. AND we’re going to be gone for a month. How do you pack for that?

I’ve put some thought into this. Some serious thought. Probably more thought than necessary, but that’s what I do…Anyway, the answer is…

Packing Cubes! I love these things. My mom has used them for awhile and I never saw the point – until I started traveling more myself. These babies are so simple, yet make a huge difference. You can pack types of clothing items together or you can pack whole outfits. It really depends on your own personal preference.

For this trip, we’re using them to pack our climate-appropriate clothing items together. Turtlenecks and long johns will go in one, shorts and tank tops in another.

We’ll keep the ones we’re using with our toiletries in a smaller suitcase, and the rest will be stored in plastic drawers in the car. When we switch climates, we’ll switch packing cubes!

(This should tell you how obsessive I am. Before getting out of bed this morning I thought “oooh! We should use the bright green packing cubes for the warmer weather because it’ll be greener there!” Jim just sighed. He does that a lot.)

Even with the cubes, we still have to watch how much we’re packing. Fortunately we’ll be able to do laundry once we get to Oceanside (thanks Mom & Dad!) but we’ll still be on the road for nearly two weeks each way. We’ll minimize the bulk by planning on layers and clothes that roll well without wrinkling. We do have to dress up a few nights, and because wrinkles happen we’re also bringing Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I love this stuff.

But what about shoes?!!! We’re packing the least possible number: hiking boots, hiking sandals, walking shoes, and one pair of dress shoes. We’ll still have to do some last minute clothes packing since we’re not leaving for SIX DAYS (just wanted to make sure you knew how many were left, in case you missed it), but we’ll be able to get most of it done today.

Today’s Task #2: Pack as much clothing as possible

Prepping Our Home

This is the easy one. My wonderful son is going to stay here while we’re gone so we don’t have to worry about stopping mail or boarding our kitty. We just have to take care of things like emptying the trash, cleaning out the refrigerator, planning meals to make sure nothing will spoil, making sure he’s got clean linens and whatever else he may need. I’m making a schedule of stuff like watering the plants and when to change the litter (told you he was wonderful), but other than that it’s just basic housekeeping. Whew!

Today’s Task #3: Meal planning, linen-cleaning, and trash removal


Once today’s organization is done I’ll focus on scheduling content for The Local Tourist, finalizing plans for the Travel & Adventure Show in San Diego, and scheduling our destinations for the return trip. I’ll be posting daily from here on out and will include what made the cut in our camping essentials kit and more!

Learn more about our trip and pre-order Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1!

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