Working as a tour leader for TrekAmerica, I often end up hearing of things that my Trekkers wished they'd brought along on their trips. Sometimes you don't even think something will be useful until you're actually out there on the road. I thought I would share some of those things with you, in case you might want to bring them along for your Trek!
Number one is a headlamp, or small torch. These are super helpful when on our camping tours. Often the places we camp are pretty dark at night. We might be in a National Park, or just a bit off the beaten path. Wherever we are, you will find a light useful for things such as those early morning sunrise hikes or even just as simple as getting up to use the toilet in the middle of the night. Plus is doesn't even take up that much space in your bag!
We care a lot about the environment over here. A big thing that is so easy to do and has such an impact is to bring, and use, a reusable water bottle. It can be one of those one-liter Nalgene bottles or a metal canteen-type. I'm in love with my purple Klean Kanteen insulated bottle. This baby keeps ice inside for a whole 24 hours! That makes a big difference when out on those long, hot summer days. Being able to reach for my bottle while on a hike, or in the van, and enjoy a cold sip of water is incredible. A water bottle is also the perfect thing to slap all those sweet stickers you collect along your trip on to! Talk about a great souvenir!
TrekAmerica provides sleeping mats while on tour with us, but I find that I really enjoy having my own small, inflatable mattress for my tent. It keeps me warmer on those cold early and late season nights, as well as giving me just a little bit of extra padding. On the same page, bringing along an inflatable pillow is also awesome. Sure, you can buy a cheap pillow over here, but its bulky and gets dirty so fast. The benefit of having your own inflatable one is that is packs down easily and you can keep it in the van with you during those long drive days.
A deck of cards is something so small and often overlooked. You can chuck it in your day pack and you'll be ready for on the go impromptu card games with your group or anyone! It always seems like everyone has a unique game from their home country that they are happy to teach the group and that's always a blast!
The last thing I, as a leader, wish people always brought is a good playlist! I can't tell you how many hours behind the wheel I've driven for this job, but having some epic tunes makes those miles fly by! It's a great idea to gather a wide variety of music and it's a sure bet that there will be something on there for everyone. I love getting to hear music I have not heard before. Check out our all-American road trip playlist for some inspiration!
I hope this small list helps you in better deciding what to pack before your own Trek America tour! Happy trekking!