When it comes to summertime adventures, few things are more iconic than the classic American road trip. Every year families from all over the country pile into their vehicles, traveling far homes in search of new activities and places. While road trips may be iconic it isn’t without its share of challenges. Fortunately, you can mitigate many of these challenges simply by having the right packing list.

Here at Killgore Adventures, we’re no strangers to our fair share of road trips. That’s why we’ve assembled this handy guide of the five things you simply can’t forget before your next road trip. Of course, we certainly hope that you make a stop at Hells Canyon in Idaho for one of our famous jet boat tours as part of your next road trip, but that’s neither here nor there. So without further ado, let’s take a look at things you should bring with you on your next road trip.

Number 1: Your Favorite Snacks

Whether you’re traveling a hundred miles or a thousand, you’re going to need something to chow down on along the way. Of course, exactly which snacks you bring will be determined by who’s traveling with you. They say that variety is the spice of life so you should bring a variety of snacks with you.

Make sure some of your snack options are healthy and include fresh fruits and vegetables instead of chips, pretzels, and other salty and sugary snacks. While these might be tasty, you certainly don’t want to get home from your next road trip a few pounds heavier. Stash all of your favorite snacks in a convenient cooler and place it in the center of the car.

For some added fun, and a few extra responsibilities that are sure to keep your kids entertained, assign an official snack guardian for the entire trip. It’s their job to distribute snacks when people request them.

Number 2: A Book of Maps

In an age when nearly every cell phone has a built-in, highly accurate GPS unit, it’s easy to think that you can simply leave your maps at home. After all, paper maps can be cumbersome, aren’t terribly waterproof, and may not tell you exactly where you are when you’ve just simply missed that left turn to Albuquerque. That said, there are a few reasons you should always have a set of paper maps in your car with you when you travel.

Yes, cell phone coverage has dramatically improved across the entire country in the last several years, but there are still some areas of the country where there are dead zones and blank spots. It doesn’t matter if you’re running the latest 4G LTE Wi-Fi enable hotspots in your vehicle if you can’t get a signal. In moments like these, a paper map is invaluable as it is always going to be able to show you which towns are near and how far away you are.

Additionally, a paper map is a great way to keep one of your passengers occupied. Assigning them to be the official navigator is a great way to keep them engaged while you focus on the road so they don’t distract you. Finally, paper maps are a great way to sharpen your navigational skills. Rather than relying on a GPS unit, using paper maps is a great way to add a certain nostalgic and authentic experience to your road trip.

Number 3: Safety Equipment

Like modern cell phone coverage, modern vehicles are incredibly impressive and reliable. You can go hundreds of thousands of miles without a single hiccup in your vehicle. That said things do wear down and break with time, so it’s best to have as a kit of safety equipment with you whenever you travel further than about 60 miles from your home.

Considered  putting together a kit that includes components and parts like:

  • Jumper cables. You can never be sure when your battery will give out, or the battery of a hapless stranger. In moments like these, it’s great to have a set of jumper cables with you so you can get your battery up and running again.
  • Safety vests. Should a you have some car problem while driving in the early hours or late afternoon or late evening, having some safety vests is a great way to ensure that you’re visible while working on the side of the road.
  • A can of Fix-A-Flat. If a tire springs a leak while you’re traveling, having a simple can of Fix-A-Flat can really make a difference. It’s not a permanent fix for a flat tire, but it is often enough to get you to the nearest town where you can get the tire patched or replaced entirely.
  • Spare tire. This should already be in your vehicle but in case it isn’t, consider adding a spare tire to your safety equipment list. Along with that should be a jack and tire iron. Make sure you know how to change your own tires in case you have a flat on the side of the road and need to keep moving quickly.
  • Bottled water. We’re sure your list of snacks will include some of your favorite roadside beverages like sodas, sports drinks, and juices but having a couple of bottles of water is always a good idea. You want to stay hydrated while you drive and water can also be used to help clean up minor scrapes, cuts, and abrasions that might happen while you’re traveling.You can also use it to clean up after a spill in the backseat.

In addition to these items, you may consider including things like space blankets or a first aid kit in your car. It’s very likely that you’ll never use any of these materials, but having them on hand is never a bad thing. Should an unexpected problem arise, you’ll have the tools and resources you need to stay safe while you travel.

Number 4: A Trash Bag

This might seem like a silly addition to this list but it’s perhaps one of the most valuable. A trash bag is a great way to keep your vehicle from getting filled with clutter and debris as you travel. Without one, empty chip bags and soda cans will pile up in seats and compartments throughout your vehicle. This can make it uncomfortable for traveling, even in the largest of SUVs. Place your trash bag in a convenient location where nearly everyone in the vehicle can access it. At your next rest stop, take out the trash bag and throw it away. A simple plastic bag from the grocery store makes a great option for these.

Number 5:  Camping Gear

While some choose to stay in hotels while they road trip, there’s nothing better than camping along the way. There are plenty of affordable campsites at national forests and parks. In fact, you might even find some free camping arrangements as you travel. To get a nice blend of outdoor living with modern amenities, look for improved campsites like those offered by KOA or similar organizations. You’ll want to bring with you a tent large enough for your entire family, sleeping bags and pillows, some headlamps, camp chairs, a cooler, and a camp stove. In addition to these essential items, you can bring anything you feel will enhance your camping experience while you’re traveling.

Book your trip with Idaho’s number one Adventure company today

A road trip is a great way to get out and do something different this summer. You can travel to a part of the country you’ve never seen before or go visit some of your favorite spaces. No matter where you go, you’ll build new memories and develop new skills as you travel.

A great destination for your next summer road trip is Whitebird, Idaho. There you’ll find the river outfitters at the world-famous Killgore Adventures. We offered jet boat tours of Hells Canyon that takes you up and down the most scenic parts of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Book your jet boat tour in Hells Canyon today!