Heading out on your next road trip adventure soon? Use this as your fuel planning guide so you can go into the trip prepared and leave feeling well fed.
There is no time like the present to start planning your meals and snacks before road trips! Planning can help you figure out what foods to buy ahead of time, which supplies to pack, how many food stores you will want to find along your journey, and when you will need to stock up. Don’t end up hangry in a traffic jam on the interstate – pack snacks now to get you to your final destination safely, and with a full belly.
Getting clear on the details of your trip takes away some of the spontaneity of hitting the road, but you will be grateful for your past planning. Important details that will support the planning step include where you are going, who you are going with, how long you will be on the trip, and which food stores/restaurants you want to eat at along the way or at your final destination.
Where are you going?
Going to a big city or heading into the backcountry? Both locations require different planning strategies. For example, if you are planning to camp in a remote area, you’ll want to make sure your packing list includes foods you can bring with you and prepare at camp.
Who’s joining you?
Are you going with friends, family, or acquaintances? Will you all be eating and preparing foods together, or are you on your own? Figure this out beforehand so you aren’t the fifth-wheel wondering if you can eat the scraps of someone else’s well-planned meal!
What’s along the way?
Search for gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, and restaurants that are on your path. Maybe there’s something you want to try, or you want a backup plan in case your cooler stops working and you lose all your prepped sandwiches.
In addition to planning for your next big trip, prepping gear and supplies ahead of time will minimize the likelihood that you will forget a critical item when you’re throwing everything into your car after work on Friday! Things to consider in this step should include the supplies you plan to bring, what kind of storage you will have available, and which food items will help you stay energized.
Now that you know where you’re going, you can prep the supplies you will need on the trip. If you’re camping, you’ll want to consider which type of cooking materials you’ll need, along with utensils, fuel canisters, lighters, etc. If you aren’t camping, you will still want to make sure that where you are going has what you need or decide if you’ll want to bring it with you.
Storage & Food Items:
It should go without saying that perishable items will need to be kept cold. Figure out if you or someone else should bring a cooler and how you’ll keep it cold (plug-in, battery pack, ice, ice packs). Additionally, consider packing a box of non-perishable items. I always suggest packing some protein powder, such as Gnarly Whey or Vegan, just in case you need an extra boost for recovery. In addition, Gnarly Performance Greens can help fill the gaps on an otherwise vegetable-deficient road trip. Pack more than you think you’ll eat – just in case! Don’t forget storage bags, bins, and shaker bottles, too. How useful is a pre-made sandwich or protein powder if you only have your pocket for storage?
As with any trip, expect for something to go differently than you had planned. Bring more food and supplies than you think you’ll need. This is especially true for water, fuel canisters, lighters, and non-perishable foods. The more planning and prepping you can do ahead of time, the more prepared you will be for the unexpected.
Are you a climber or outdoor enthusiast heading out on some road trips? Check out this episode on The Average Climber Podcast that answers your top trip planning questions!