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4th Anniversary trip to Estes Park: Packing

By July 26, 2013November 3rd, 2013Backpacking, Camping, Cool Stuff, Featured, Wedding


I don’t know which is more shocking:

a) That I’m blogging (so sorry for the crazy absences — summer has been nuts!)
b) That we somehow managed to take a vacation (refer to above).
c) That we’ve been married for four years.

I think the answer is all of the above. We just got back from a week in Estes Park, Colorado for our fourth anniversary. Yes 4, not 5. We’ve decided to make it an every 4 years trip. Five years just seems too long, and it feels like so much has changed already — for the good of course.


While we typically plan and pack ahead of time, we’ve been so busy this summer that it kind of ended up being embarrassingly last-minute. Our house was a wreck the days leading up, with piles and collections of equipment congregating in different corners of the house.


For those of you who asked how we typically organize our equipment for a trip, we’ve devised a series of lists based off a great one compiled by REI that we’ve adapted for the various types of camping or backpacking trips we go on. We have a version for short backpacking trips, longer camping trips and even one solely for float trips. I highly recommend downloading a copy.

Random scenes from packing:


New Keen hiking boots (similar style) and Teko Merino wool socks, both picked up on The Clymb for a steal!


Neil surprised me with this Fjällräven jacket before one of my business trips earlier this spring. We absolutely love their clothes.


For obvious reasons, my workout gear has been looking pretty ratty lately. Not wanting to do the dance of buying expensive stuff for the trip, I came across these shorts at Target. Having worked at Target throughout high school and college, I’d always written their workout gear off as ill-fitting and cheap (because it was). But this stuff, for the price, is AWESOME. Super light and flattering, fits just like my favorite Lulu shorts — which I ended up not even wearing on the trip!


Reading material is also a must. We’re totally dorky and plan our vacation reads weeks, sometimes even months in advance. Neil opted to start the Game of Thrones series, and I covered Dan Brown’s latest Robert Langdon book, Inferno and a trashy sci-fi novel. Inferno was pretty good, and although the plot structure was fairly predictable, the tone of the ending was somewhat surprising. I won’t give anything away.


We also packed a few of these. Sun Chlorella USA (they sent us the amazing tea last year) sent us a sample a while back, and I liked them so much that I ordered a few for the trip (coffee sometimes upsets my stomach). Think 5 Hour Energy, but not terribly chemically tasting and much healthier.

And some easy games that travel well…



While it’s obvious that there are a lot of things you absolutely need on a camping or backpacking trip, there are a lot of things we’ve found are must-haves as well. Without a doubt, the five things we absolutely can’t live without (not really, but metaphorically speaking) on a trip are:


1. Starbucks Via: While we finally broke down and bought a coffee press attachment for our JetBoils, Starbucks Via packets are the ultimate in convenience and provide you with much-needed coffee.

2. Baby wipes/make-up removing wipes: Not just for baby butts, these are amazingly useful for a variety of needs that arise, like cleaning the mud out of your hiking boots, or washing your face after 2 days without a shower.

3. Head lamps: Long gone are our days of lanterns that you have to drag around camp with you and constantly reposition at night. These especially make late-night bathroom trips so much easier.

4. Lip Balm: I can tell you that 50% of the lip balms I own have been purchased because I forgot to pack them for camping trips.

5. Fast Food Seasoning Packets: Don’t deny it, you know you have a stash as well. Put them to use, they travel amazingly! You can also buy these super convenient multi-spice packs.

6. Cheap-o plastic containers: We absolutely love Gladware. They are super-light and sturdy enough for backpacking. They keep food dry in a cooler, and if you destroy them, who cares!


Chaos right? It’s a wonder we ever made it out of the house.

Anyhow, I have a ridiculous amount of photos to share, so stay tuned for those next!

This post was not sponsored by anything or anyone. While we received a sample of Well Well Wow to try free from the company, the remainder of the products are things we legitimately love and bought ourselves, and wanted to highlight them for their usefulness to us.