What do you need to eat, sleep and live somewhat comfortably while traveling for a month or so? Thanks to a few camping trips over the past couple years, I think I have a pretty good idea. The packing list I created contains over 190 items and with that I should have most if not all I need to have an enjoyable and safe time next month.

I have been amazed at the huge amount of information available on YouTube.com. Videos ranging from suggested camping supplies to reviews of specific campgrounds have been extremely helpful. Its really nice to actually see and get a feel for the types of terrain we’ll run into.

Unfortunately, this lousy government partial shutdown is beginning to affect our national parks. Reports of trashed restrooms and waste containers overflowing are a sad commentary on the childish behavior of many visitors—visitors who get into the parks free right now! Thankfully, my plans do not include national parks on this trip. So far, most of the places I’ll be visiting have not been affected. Who knows though…perhaps the childish behavior in D.C. will come to an end in a few more weeks.

Anyway, I’ll just keep packing and organizing, knowing that I’ll be heading west in a few short weeks. Shutdown or not, I cannot wait!