for camping and road tripping
Montana is ripe with variety, whether you consider the landscape, weather, or recreation options available. Take the time to thoughtfully pack for your road trip based on your favorite activities. Here are some basics:
CAMPING GEAR TO SLEEP UNDER THE STARS
3 Season tent, 20 degree sleeping bag, camp pillow, tarp, lantern, headlamp.
HIKING EQUIPMENT TO EXPERIENCE THE WILD
Boots, compass, bear spray, hiking poles, water bottle & reservoir, trail map, rain coat, wind shell, hat & gloves, extra layers.
Camp stove like a Coleman or a JetBoil, coffee press, cutlery, bowls, and pans. A dutch oven is great for cooking over a campfire. Make sure you check that campfires are permitted.
APPAREL TO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
Pack for a range of temperatures, but don’t forget your swimsuit for the lakes, rivers, and hot springs! Bring wicking layers for hikes and long underwear for after dark. If you plan on traveling through a city like Missoula or Helena, bring clothes for an evening out - you’ll want to try the food.
ENTERTAINMENT ON THE ROAD
Besides means to enjoy the scenery and impulse stops, the open road affords time to relax. Load up on your favorite podcasts, playlists, and audiobooks for spaces in between.
A WAY TO RECORD YOUR EXPERIENCE
Whether it’s a camera, journal, or iPhone, you’ll want to remember your time on the road.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with options when planning a road trip, especially in a state like Montana. Consider the length of time you have, how far you want to drive, and what you want to see when determining your route. For some, the fun is in planning ahead, but for others, pulling out the road atlas and playing it by ear is part of the adventure.
There is a lot of wiggle room in a road trip budget. Lodging, food, and gas make up the bulk of the expenses, so when you adjust one, you leave cash on the table for the others. Montana holds so many free experiences that are rich in value: swimming, hiking, birdwatching, and trail running (and on and on).
Laura and I recommend mixing in meals out at restaurants with camp cooking. We ate some of the best pie of our lives at roadside restaurants. It’s fun to splurge on a hotel while camping as well. It’s a great recharge and gives you a feeling on the hospitality of a place.