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Packing for a solo-trip to the PNW the dead of Winter. 

I know it might not seem like an opportune time to be heading to the Pacific Northwest. However, I’ve always wanted to visit certain locations in Washington and Oregon while they are covered in snow. 

With that being said, it requires a certain degree of planning and preparation to be able to successfully embark on a trip like this during the Winter months where snow can reach up to 4 feet and temperatures below 20°.

Traveling may be advised against with the outbreak of COVID. However, this year I have been able to manage domestic road trips while social distancing and practicing safe measures by taking the proper precautions. That is why I decided to rent a camper van instead of staying in hotels. I’ve always been a fan of camping and I’ve been able to hack it in some inclement weather situations before. So I figured with the proper preparation and items, this would be a manageable endeavor.

After much research I decided to rent the camper van from Escape Campervans. They have various locations, one of them being Seattle. The van comes equipped with a bed and a small kitchenette Which saves money from me having to order food, having to stay in a hotel, renting a car, or attempting to tent camp in freezing cold conditions in the mountains alone.

Being that most of my belongings, including my camping gear, are still in storage in Los Angeles while I was traversing the world, I had to invest in some new gear. My first stop was of course REI. I like going to their website because they also have a very informative blog and packing tips for particular locations as well as tips for activities and weather. Most importantly, they rent gear! So I alleviated the pressure, not to mention freed up space, by renting trekking poles and snowshoes. 

For some of my other supplies, I headed over to Amazon, mainly because of the fast delivery, to purchase more “essentials” for the trip. Keeping in mind the weather and activities I had planned. I also visited a few blogs and forums to get an idea on what to bring/pack, which I found extremely helpful as well as using my previous experiences to ensure a level of comfort let alone survival.

I’ve decided to share my packing list with you below, where I purchased them and how they are useful:

  • Moment Lens Set- Upgraded my iPhone to the 12 Pro so I can get 5G (crucial for when you are in the wilderness) This lens set is perfect for capturing high quality wide angle landscape shots on your iPhone.
  • GoPro Hero 9- not only does it have a front and rear facing screen (so you can actually see what your pointing at) the video quality and stability are amazing on this new model. Right now, they have a bundle deal too!
  • REI Fleece pull-over & Northface Snow Pants- Goes without explaining. But I can easily wear a base layer underneath for skiing and snow shoeing.
  • Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
  • Military Compass & Fire Starter Kit - better safe than sorry
  • Waterproof Matches- great because they are compact and have the striker on the small tube, so it's easy to bring with you.
  • Trekking Poles
  • Coleman 2-Burner Stove- As I mentioned, the camper van comes equip with one already but I do own this and highly suggest it.
  • Rain Coat- Especially for the PNW in January as it is one of the coldest and rainiest months.
  • CamelBak HydroBak- This model is compact so it's perfect for hiking and placing under layers.
  • Water resistant fanny pack - I use this for short hikes, skiing and runs.
  • Storage Jars - Perfect for my JOYA elixirs! I am bringing the Tumeric Blend as well as the Matcha Blend. I drink matcha everyday, so just because I am on the road, doesn't mean I have to sacrifice my routines. Especially the healthy ones!
  • Stanley Travel Mug/Coffee Press- all-in-one, just add coffee and hot water!
  • First Aid Kit
  • BareBones Beacon, work gloves and field knife- Hands down one of the best companies I have worked with. Talk about essential products! The field knife I have used to cook my vegan camping dishes as well as cut small branches. I use the work gloves for gardening when at home and handling firewood while camping.
  • Sorel Waterproof Boots - cozy!
  • Danner hiking boots- I wore these on the last road trip as well.
  • Tesalate Sand Free Towel- doesn't hold dirt or sand and it comes in a packable pouch! My pattern is called 'Into the Wild' 
  • Paracord & Carabiners- I use these for everything from creating a clothes line to securing luggage and repelling down a tree if need be!
  • Clothes pins- for synching pouches and hanging things (especially in a camper van)
  • Bear Belljust went to Hobby Lobby and tied twine to it. It'll get the job done!
  • Tarp- I use a tarp as a tent base but also to put under my yoga mat to keep it from getting dirty. You can also use it to manufacture a shelter if need be! (with the paracord and carabiners)
  • Petzl Headlamp- hands free and bright as heck!
  • Packing Cubes- I have used these for years and they help me stay organized while traveling so I am not digging my suitcase apart to find one item.
  • WetDry BagI use these a ton when I am in tropical settings but this will come in handy while in the snow too! Especially to keep the camera gear dry. 
  • TP Kits- for when nature calls. 
  • AAA Road Map & Printed itinerary including hiking trails-  You will not always have cell service (even with 5G) So, I have mapped my trip out physically old-school style as well as digitally using some really cool apps and Google Maps. I am listing them in the next blog post!
Tune in for my next post on what apps I have used to plan this trip and more!