What to Pack for a Seven Week Road Trip – Part 1

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Packing for a seven week road trip is a daunting task. What will I wear when we visit the Grand Canyon in July? I don’t think they’ll let me in the visitors center in just a swimsuit. What about Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks in the Rainy Pacific Northwest?  How will I fit all of those layers into one backpack?

Since we’re living out of our truck, we’ve adopted a backpacker mentality. Each family member gets one backpack for all of the clothes they will need for the entire National Park to Park Highway Trip. Those of you who have thru-hiked the Appalachian trail may think that one backpack just for clothes is a luxury, but for a mom with dirt loving children, it’s not much space.

I will be wearing my outdoor essentials, and plan to bring those for my tots too.

Comfortable Cotton
I believe in layers for me and my kids. Leggings, wool socks, shorts, t shirts, fleece sweatshirts, jackets and hats will all be along for the ride, but my go to outfit will be a comfy cotton dress.

I wrote about this in my 6 Tips for Style in the Wild post, so you may already know that I’m a fan of the outdoors skirt. That’s why I approached Synergy Organic Clothing to be a trip sponsor. They have a wide variety of soft, easy to wear skirts and dresses that look great.

The Leaf Flame Boatneck Dress from Synergy Organic Clothing is my favorite. The leaf pattern on the sleeves makes me feel classy while the cotton spandex blend fabric moves when I do. I love the ease of movement while still feeling stylish.

Looking at their website you may think you need to be a supermodel to wear their clothes, but take it from me the clothes are as comfy as they are chic. They also have great womens leggings, tops and jackets and all of their applique is done by women in Nepal for a living wage. I like that my clothing choice can do some good in the world.

Foot support
Hiking outdoors requires a good set of shoes. And we’ll be doing a lot of hiking. We’ll be packing waterproof sandals and comfortable tennis shoes for each of us (except Baby L who isn’t quite walking yet).

I’ve always been a fan of regular tennis shoes or trail runners for hiking instead of clunky hiking boots. That’s why I approached Vionic to sponsor our National Park to Park Highway Trip. They have well designed shoes and sandals that help with body alignment and the ones I’ve tried are all light and comfortable.

What’s unique about Vionic is their orthaheel technology. With arch support designed into every sandal, your feet are working for you for proper body alignment. It took a while to get used to, but after a few days of wearing Vionics it felt like my back and legs were creaking into the places they’re meant to be.

I really like their Muir Sandal (love the name!) as an outdoor water hiking option. With the Vibram outsole for traction I’ll be set to go. I also like the orange and pink pair Sunset Mary Janes they sent. No surprise. I’m not shy of color.

Outer Wear 
The big question in packing clothes for the family is how warm we will need to be. It is summer on this trip, but we’ll be sleeping in the mountains in several places. I’m bringing a winter hat and mittens for each of us – these are essential, but should I also bring winter jackets?

Next week on Stage 1 of our National Park to Park Highway Tour we’ll be camping at 10,000 feet in Cedar Breaks National Monument. We’ll be there the very first day the campground opens. A local ranger said there’s still snow on the ground. For that trip I will bring winter coats, but for the rest of the trip I’m hoping rain jackets and warm fleece sweatshirts will suffice.

My jacket of choice is thisOutdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Hoody . It’s lightweight, water resistant, stretchy, comfortable and such a great color! I’m a fan of color in the wild and pink is such a better choice than blaze orange. Plus the Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Hoody won Outdoor Gear Lab’s Best Buy Award for Fall of 2015. They agree it’s a great jacket.

Head Games
I’ve already mentioned that I’ll bring a winter cap and mittens for each of us, but what about when the weather is beat down hot and sunny? For that we also have hats.

Little G got a Kid’s Rambler Sombrero Hat from Outdoor Research that’s UPF 50. I like the wide brim for shade protection and the strap to keep the hat from flying away. Plus the brim floats in case she drops it in the water. Pretty cool.

I’ll be wearing this Maldives Hat from Outdoor Research. Not only is it stylish, it’ll protect me from the sun, hides unwashed and uncombed hair, and it doubled as an umbrella for Little G when we were caught hiking in the rain.

Sierra Trading Post
Last week I was invited to a blogger party celebrating the grand opening of Sierra Trading Post in Salt Lake City. I’d never been in one before so it was fun to see what all the fuss was about.

Sierra Trading Post is known for having awesome prices on quality outdoor gear and I saw that for myself. Clothes, shoes, packs, camping gear, even pet supplies were all available at 30% off the regular retail price. Pretty good deal. If we end up needing an extra fleece on this trip hopefully we can pick one up at a Sierra Trading Post along the way.

We’ll obviously be doing laundry on this trip too, but I’m wondering if I’m missing something. If every piece of clothing you’d wear for the next seven weeks had to fit inside a backpack, what would you put in? Leave a comment or contact me on twitterinstagram and facebook. I really do want to know!

Thank you to Synergy Organic Clothing, Vionic Shoes and Outdoor Research for sponsoring our National Park to Park Highway Tour. Check out all our sponsors on our sponsor page. This post includes affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase something by clicking through these links. 

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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