Outfitted: On the Road Again
Stocking up for your offseason exodus
Road trips can be trickier than you think.
They can have the wonderful nature of being spontaneous and free spirited, but a little planning goes a long way for comfort and peace of mind. The open road has enough uncertainty as it is. For instance, just last week a woman fell head first into a national park outhouse and was stuck for about 30 minutes in the toilet vault. Since she fell in trying to retrieve her cell phone, thankfully she was able to call for help after failing to get herself out on her own. Although none of these items will save you from such bad decisions, they are a few great additions to your cache for any adventure past the roundabout.
1. Thermarest Juno Blanket and Compressible Pillow
Just like when you were a kid, you should never leave home without your pillow and blankie. These packable ones from Thermarest are new favs. Lightweight, warm and silky-soft to the touch, the Juno blanket can easily transition from the car to the campfire or picnic and it has snaps if you want to turn it into a cozy cape. I especially appreciate its portability since it fits into its own pocket making it easy to throw into a backpack no matter where you’re headed. The pillow packs relatively small with a cinch cord design and comes in matching patterns and colors to the blanket. The cord also acts as a way to adjust your desired firmness of the upcycled foam filler. Blanket: $70, Pillow in small/medium/large: $30, 35, 45 thermarest.com
2. Otterbox Venture 45 Cooler with Side Table
Otterbox tested their Venture coolers by letting some grizzlies have their way with them, so you know they’re tough (although you need to purchase the locking kit to officially certify it against bears). What makes the Venture coolers stand out are the accessories. Available are all terrain wheels, separators, a side table with a cutting board and clips to attach your Otterbox dryboxes. I personally like the side table for road trips. It has three deep cup holders and a removable cutting board for additional surface area. It’s great to be able to just pull out your cooler from the back of the car and create a hangout space with a couple of chairs. Venture 45: $300, Side Table: $70, otterbox.com
3. Klean Kanteen Insulated Bottle with Chug Cap
Even though you don’t want to have to keep stopping to use the bathroom (apparently they are more dangerous than we think!), I’m still a believer that hydration is key on any roadtrip. It’ll make you sleep better, feel refreshed and clearheaded. This 32 oz. stainless steel vacuum insulated bottle from Klean Kanteen is a new favorite. The chug cap design is perfect for quick sips while driving, and the wide cap easily comes off for filling and cleaning. A well-thought-out feature is that the chug cap clicks into the side handle so it doesn’t slap you in the face while you’re taking a drink. Perhaps the most impressive is its insulation. I used this bottle on an cross-country road trip last winter and ice stayed intact for around 3 days even when it was inside a heated environment. $45, kleankanteen.com
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.