The List: 2013 Edition

For my inaugural post on this site, I published a list I had compiled for road trips and car camping that had stood by me for quite a while. While the whole point of a list is to not forget anything, the list itself is not exempt from this and has grown some, as well as expanded on a couple areas. Still largely focused on car camping, most of the items do however translate well into a backpacking checklist, usually just depending on the size of the gear. This stuff on hand, I usually feel prepared to go just about anywhere.

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Ben’s Energy Wrap


Of all my friends, I count Ben as one of the more valuable sources of field-tested information for hiking. Ben has hiked across the desert in Israel, walked the entire PCT in a summer (with dog in tow), and tramped around the backwoods of Washington and Oregon doing forest surveys.

The guy has done some walking.

And when it comes to food, he knows what packs well and what’ll keep you going, so naturally on one of our climbing trips, he turned me on to a recipe for a wrap that’s easy to throw in a pack, gives you tons of energy, and tastes great.

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The List

About four years ago, I started to get the travel bug in a serious way. I’d taken my share of trips to various parts of the country by plane, seen a thing or two, but I always wondered what lay between point A and point B. What made up all those miles between airports? I’d taken a few road trips, but nothing much beyond the five hour drive to Seattle. I don’t even really remember what flipped the switch in me, but one day in the summer of 2005, I decided to spend two weeks driving across a significant portion of the northwest US.

The idea of planning for this kind of trip was daunting, especially since I intended to spend as many nights as possible camping out of my car on national forest land to save money and to experience more than just a roadside Motel 6 every night. By this point I’d spent quite a few nights sleeping in my 4-year-old Isuzu Rodeo while climbing at Smith Rock in central Oregon, so I had a pretty good system established for living out of a car, but a weekend away didn’t quite stack up to two weeks of calling my driver’s seat home.  Ultimately I planned for as many eventualities as I could think of, packed up my car, hoped for the best, and spent an amazing two weeks seeing parts of the US I’d only heard of, and many I hadn’t.

Since then, I’ve always made sure I had a copy of this list to reference for any trip I’m planning, regardless of how I get there. Some parts I leave out, some I add to, but it’s changed little over the years. There’s nothing revolutionary about the contents, nothing groundbreaking. It just works.

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