Between my full-time job and my “part-time” dedicated hobbies (believe me, when your friends tell you that joining their band “won’t take up too much of your time,” they’re wrong, and you shouldn’t believe a word out of their musical mouths), I don’t have nearly enough time to head out to the mountains as much as I’d like. For me, however, a week without the beautiful vistas and fresh air are likened unto a disaster: it means heading right back into the workweek without taking a much-needed break to refuel my tank.
To make sure that I stay a “happy camper” at work, I have to lose myself in the woods as often as I can—unfortunately, I found that the busier I got at work, the less and less time I’d have on the weekends to set up the fulfilling trips that made the following work week enjoyable. After several years of vacillating over how to achieve the perfect work-woods balance, I decided to invest in a camper trailer to streamline that process. With a custom teardrop camper trailer, I spend way less time setting up my base camp, and way more time getting down to the nitty-gritty of serious relaxation…
Keeping it Regular
For my own peace of mind, my vehicle is ready to hit the road at all times, since there’s nothing that causes me more anxiety than traveling in a less than “seaworthy vessel” when I’m racing down a highway, with my teardrop trailer in tow. I have a pre-owned vehicle, but I make sure to maintain it regularly before I start cranking up “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane and singing along with the windows rolled down. Just a few of the basics include:
- Regular oil changes
- Brake checks
- Tire alignment, balance, and rotation
In Case of Emergency
Apart from these, there’s also the emergency kit that I keep in the trunk at all times. As an avid traveler and camper, it’s absolutely critical to keep a few key items in the car at all times:
- Quality aluminum flashlight: I like to stick with LED lights that I can recharge.
- Emergency tool kits: I just went ahead with a prepackaged emergency kit from a quality manufacturer. I made sure it had wire-cutters, a screwdriver, a wrench, a pocket-knife, and a pair of pliers. After I threw in a roll of mechanic’s wire, some spare fuses, and a roll of electrical tape, I had a kit that could take care of myriad non-emergency roadside incidents.
- First aid kit: Instead of grabbing one from the local pharmacy, I picked up my kit from my local camping store, since most of them offer a wider variety of kits specifically designed to address some ailments in the backcountry.
- Car trouble: Jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a tow strap, a fire extinguisher, and flares are all necessary to keep in your trunk on the off-chance that you run into some road trouble.
One of my favorite things about owning my teardrop trailer—along with all of the above emergency items I keep in the trunk of my car—is that I can easily convert the set-up into a bug out trailer: basically, as long as I stock it full of plenty of provisions, I can survive up in the woods for even a week at a time, if need be. Now, I’m not some “survivalist” conspiracy theorist, but with how difficult these last six months have been on us all, it’s nice to know that I can get away for a while and that I can stay away for a few extra days if roads are ever impassable,
Get Down With the Guitar
Remember how I mentioned that I play in a band? Well, because rehearsal life can be such a harsh mistress, I like to bring my guitar with me whenever I go camping. Not only does the outdoors afford me plenty of alone time to focus, but the environment also inspires some of my best lyrics. However, all that musical innovation would be for naught if I were to let my guitar get stolen—along with any other valuables—or if I were to let it be irreparably damaged. Traveling in the hot Rocky Mountain region means that I also have to protect my instrument from the negative effects of too much heat. That’s why I store my guitar in a high-quality case, with a small humidifier placed inside—you can order a case humidifier in any music store. The case may have required some smart spending to save up for, but it is entirely worth it. When I’m parked at my campsite, I also keep the guitar in my Bean teardrop trailer. The space-aged fiberglass design—with perfectly placed windows and air conditioning—holds a much more temperate climate than the cab of my Honda.
With just a few days’ worths of prep during intermittent points in the year, I can get out of town for a weekend whim (or three) every month. The time away from the city is completely invaluable to my mind, body, and soul. I can’t recommend it enough: visit your local dealer and mechanic and get your towing vehicle and trailer in order; then, get lost in the great outdoors.