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Summer 2015, Road Trip – Itinerary

http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

The itinerary and budget really went hand-in-hand. This might be a good time to bring up the fact that I don’t camp … except that I do …. but not really, it was really an accident, I didn’t mean to start camping but I’m not good at staying at home and until I make my millions it seems to be my best (only?) available travel option …. but don’t tell my husband, we don’t need him knowing I’m willing to camp he’ll have me eating tree bark in the wilderness after a 12 mile hike uphill I just know it! – eak!
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Summer 2015, Road Trip – The Challenge

The better title should be “The First Challenge.” I started with the calendar. How long does it take to drive cross country? Do we have time in our four week window between the family reunion and wedding? As it turns out, with the time we wanted to have on the East Coast (at least a week), it’s possible. It really comes down to how long you want to spend in the car each day. First hurdle – Check!
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Summer 2015, Road Trip – Here we come!

150 hours in the car, just me and my 4 years old, and it’s all my fault. I can’t wait!

As I was gearing up for this summer’s adventure I was talking to my mother and she asked me, “Are you excited about this?” My first thought was – why wouldn’t someone be super excited about the summer vacation they planned? Then I thought – who in their right mind would be excited about spending 150 hours in a car with a 4 year old? I quickly realized these were the conflicting thoughts going through her head when she asked about our trip. Despite those contradictions I am absolutely excited. Part of my excitement is the sheer challenge this trip proposes. Does that make me crazy? I don’t think so, but it might be up for debate.
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Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag

After finding a tent I moved onto researching sleeping bags that would be good as we started camping as a family. I didn’t want to spend money on a sleeping bag that we would feel we needed to upgrade right away. And again I wasn’t looking to spend too much in case these were immediately put to the back of the closet, for when we had overflowing guest, if the first camping trip was a disaster. What I landed on was the Coleman North Rim 0-Degree Mummy Bag. These are great all around sleeping bags. I’m not sure I would use them in the snow, but they are a solid 3-season sleeping bag.
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Travel Snacks

I usually save doing snacks like this just for flying, but since I’ve had to bring my little one to a couple grown up functions recently, I’ve been using this to both entertain and feed her, so I thought I would share it.

When it comes to travel I don’t have my little one help with everything even though I am normally all about including her and having her do as much as possible on her own. When it comes to travel I much prefer taking advantage of the element of surprise! Then the action of just finding out and unpacking what has been packed becomes part of the experience and creates it’s own entertainment (and of course takes more time).
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Expanded Camping Items

Not knowing if this whole camping thing was going to stick we made as few purchases as possible to get me started. Once we knew there would be more camping in our future, we expanded a bit. We still tried to take baby steps in expanding our camping gear. The goal of camping was to save money but with all the gear options out there it could be very easy to spend far more than you ever expected, if you aren’t careful. Below you’ll find what we added to our gear before our next trip; and we have loved every piece!
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Product Review – Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Tent

When I started looking into what we would need to start camping as a family, one thing we desperately needed became obvious – A tent! What I found was a whole lot more than just a tent; I found more categories and types of tents then I had any idea about. The type of tent that I decided was for us (at least starting out) was called a cabin tent. I then narrowed down all the options looking for the right balance of features, quality, and price. In the end I came down to the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Tent and my thoughts about camping would never be the same!
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