Those that spend a lot of time in the; bush, wilderness, woods or whatever you want to call the wild. We all end up spending a lot of time traveling to these destinations. Over the past year I have traveled from Montana, to Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, back into Montana, over to Washington state, back to Idaho, and then Utah to North Carolina, and then back again to Idaho. Now we are living in Montana which is our home but all those miles on the road has taught me a thing or two that might help you out on your road warrior adventures. Traveling to the places we enjoy or going to places we have never been instill within us a sense of adventure but sometimes the trip can really zap a lot of that out of you. So I have come up with some tips for the road that will keep things interesting and get you where you actually want to be and in the right state of mind to enjoy where you arrived. You need to have plenty of rest, you need to make sure you eat well, and you need to keep yourself entertained.
The whole reason we are heading out into the wild is for us to relax and unwind from out daily lives, so we can be recharged when we return home. So the first thing we need to do before traveling is make sure that we get plenty of rest. Go to be early because you are going to need to get up early. You cannot get sleep back, once its gone it is gone so do yourself a favor and get to bed early. Without that rest you are going to make your drive more stressful. You may be more agitated, and grumpy so the entire point you are going out there, do get away from stress, ends up causing you more stress. You also need to be resting from your travels, which seems silly considering you are just sitting in a car. However you are doing a lot more than that, you are behind the wheel of several tons of killing machine. So you are alert, aware, and you are constantly doing things without knowing due to muscle memory. All that added up makes you tired, so take breaks and rest. Stop at a rest stop, use the rest room, drink some water and walk around a bit. Stretch those legs out and then hit the road again. This you will find to be very beneficial to you and make the entire experience just that much better.
Eating is also a very important part of the this equation. When you are on the road the temptation to eat easy, quick, and down right disgusting meals will be hard to beat. After all you just want to get where you are going so you rush to get out the door, and fail to bring food. “I will just stop at the gas station and grab something”. That “something” is most likely going to be some sort of processed food that is basically garbage, and a soda. So you give yourself a surge of refined sugars and corn syrup, which feels good for little bit until we start to get that sour feeling in our guts and later on we crash when we need energy the most. So do yourself a favor and plan ahead with food. The night before make up some breakfast and lunch or dinner (depending on how long you are gone) it will not only save you money but you will be controlling what goes in your body. So meats, veggies, fruits and water. Giving ourselves what our body craves. This makes us safer drivers and better travelers, plus the added bonus of feeling better. We are going out in the wild for a myriad of reasons but all of them involve us being better and feeling better so start it off right by eating right. If you are driving and are hungry, you are going to be thinking about that when you should be thinking about the idiot ahead of you merging without a signal.
Now before we get into the being entertained by saying that there is a big difference between being entertained, and being distracted. Distracted drivers get people killed, entertained drivers don’t. An entertained driver/passenger is happier, more alert, and does not notice the span of time so the trip seems just that much better. Listen to music and sing songs, as long as you can keep driving safely go ahead and crank up the volume a little bit. You are going to psych yourself up and get those endorphins flowing sooner rather than later. Have good conversations, this is an opportunity to sit with someone or some people alone and in the quiet. We still have a lot of modern distractions in the form of our cellphones, but if you can get a good conversation going its not only going to pass the time it is going to make you feel a lot better. Hell even playing a simple driving game will keep you awake and alert, one of my favorites is for me and my lady to see how many times we can go around the Alphabet saying movies that start with the letters. A for “All Quiet on the Western Front” B for “Babe” and so on and so forth. Its simple, silly, but it keeps us both talking and entertained. We don’t notice the span of time and we exercised our minds a little bit. After all sitting in a car for hours is mind numbingly boring, even for the driver, so why not make it stink just a little bit less by looking for ways to keep us going.
Heading out into the woods often requires us to travel great distances in order or us to get far enough away from civilization so we can feel relaxed and accomplish our goals. Getting there is half the battle, so why not do yourself a favor and make that battle an easy one. Make sure you take the time to get plenty of rest and to pack some food. You also need to stay awake and alert so keeping yourself entertained while not distracted, is also important. These three simple and easy to follow tips will make your long road trips so much more enjoyable. Take it from someone, that has traveled over 6 thousand miles in in the span of 4 months. There is a lot to see and do out there, so hit the road!
Born in North Carolina, raised all over the world and currently living in the Rocky Mountains above Montana. I have spent most of my life fishing, hunting, exploring and adventuring. While the adventure continues I have started to jot a few of them down and write. I Love Fly Fishing and sharing what I know with others. Fish on!