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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer traveling essentials

Summer is approaching and what better way to get away before it gets too hot than to go camping up North. That’s exactly what my friends and I did on a recent overnight trip to Payson.  Before we left Phoenix, we made sure that we not only had the necessary items to camp, but also had the necessary items to travel.

Along with packing our sleeping bags, extra clothes, tents, lanterns, flashlights, food, water jugs, beverages and cooking supplies, we planned for the unexpected. We traveled in two trucks.  Before we left Phoenix, we made sure the trucks were mechanically sound, maintenance issues taken care of and the tires had the proper amount of air and tread to handle the roads. When I travel up North, I take a shovel and an axe. Depending on the weather, I can use the shovel to put out the campfire  and dig out soil and/or snow from under the vehicle wheels if they get stuck. The axe can be used to chop up wood for the campfire.

When I go camping, I always return with everything I bring. Not just my camping gear, but also the trash from the campsite. I take plenty of trash bags because nobody likes camping in a litter-filled campsite. Not only that, but it is disrespectful to the land that we enjoy so much. Clearing trash also helps avoid wildfires and clears materials that can easily ignite.

Preparing for our trip also included a just-in-case roadside safety bag that I, along with the other driver, kept handy in our vehicles.  The bag is equipped with many safety items, including reflective hazard triangles, a 14-piece tool kit, a first aid kit, an extra flashlight, tow straps, an air compressor and a 24-hour roadside assistance telephone number. Even though I have not had to use it for an emergency, it feels good knowing it is in the vehicle “just in case.”

While living and playing in the desert, it is crucial to stay hydrated in the summer months.  I take an ice chest filled with ice and cold water for the road.  Whether I am travelling 80 miles north to camp in Payson or 350 miles west to go to Los Angeles, it is important to stay hydrated if the vehicle breaks down or if you need any other type of assistance in the middle of the desert.

Blog by Michael Abalos 

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