Tuesday, October 6, 2015

D is for Driving

I did most of the driving on our 12,360-mile road trip, which freed Joel up to take pictures. For the most part, this worked out well since I’m not much of a photographer but don’t mind driving except in cities or heavy traffic, neither of which was much of a problem in Alaska and Canada. The problem I did have in the far north, however, was driving too far and for too long.

For those who haven’t experienced it firsthand, the long daylight hours in the far north during late May and early June can cause you to totally lose track of time, which in turn can lead to extremely long days behind the wheel. Many mornings we started out around 4-5 am and didn’t call it quits until 10-11 pm. After a few days like that, the lack of sleep starts taking a toll!

But the beauty of car camping is that you have everything you need with you at all times so you can stop anywhere safe that doesn’t prohibit overnight parking and/or camping. We just didn’t manage to stop at a reasonable time more than once or twice during the whole seven weeks…

Anyway, here are my Top 5 car-camping driving tips:
  • Dress comfortably for distance driving (stretchy clothes, slip-on shoes)
  • Limit your daily distance/drive time and pull off the road to nap if you become sleepy while driving
  • Look for a camp spot early, and when traveling in bear country, stop and cook dinner at a location other than where you’ll sleep
  • Keep unshelled sunflower seeds handy for a little pick-me-up while driving and chewing gum on hand to keep your ears clear during elevation changes
  • If you don’t need prescription glasses to drive, you might want to wear Sunreaders (magnified sunglasses) instead of regular sunglasses anyway - I find that the magnification compensates for the reduced vision due to darkened lenses

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