Weekend Outdoors

Journey Matters: Tips for Preparing Your Ride for the Weekend Outdoors

With its convenient access to beautiful wilderness areas, it’s no wonder that camping is a popular outdoor activity in Salt Lake City. Whether you’re an experienced camper or just getting your feet wet, here are some tips for making your vehicle part of a more enjoyable experience.

Basic safety

Even if it won’t be a very long ride, roads can get pretty deserted and you don’t want to have a breakdown with no one around for miles. Go over the checklist: brakes, lights, fluids, tires. Make sure to plan your routes and know where to park.

Also, don’t forget to bring extra charging stations for your devices. Even if you’ll be going offline, it’s essential to have power in case of emergencies.

Adding fixtures

If you’re driving a truck, specific accessories can be really helpful and convenient. Bed storage and extenders let you carry more gear and spend less time and effort figuring out how to load and fit everything. You may also want to install a running board or entry steps for convenience. It can be tiring with loading and unloading stuff, and it helps too if you’re bringing the kids along.

At the end of the trip, you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up your vehicle. Use car seat covers and floor mats to keep the interior clean as you and your passengers hop in and out with muddy boots. For the exterior, grille and mudguards help provide similar protection from the elements.

Finally, a truck bed camper or tent lets you camp off the ground and on an air mattress. Although purists might argue that it takes away from the camping experience, you’ll be thankful if it’s raining or windy. You can keep food and water inside where it won’t attract wild animals, and the truck itself provides a ready source of lights and emergency power.


Depending on your exact destination and travel plans, you’ll be spending some time on the road. After all the packing and loading, and managing to wake up earlier than usual, extra comfort in your vehicle can smooth everyone’s mood for the rest of the day.

Bring car pillows and blankets, and have your favorite snacks and water handy in a cooler. Don’t forget to have a trash bag ready to avoid litter.


Sure, going outdoors is about disconnecting from the digital world and spending time with nature. But there’s still the journey to consider – driving along miles of open highway can get monotonous. Kids especially can be grumpy during this time. Bringing some portable entertainment can help. While everyone can play games or watch movies on their phones and tablets, having a board game or a deck of cards can be a subtle way of shifting people from the digital to a more analog experience.

For ambiance, if you’re going solo, playing the right audiobook can really set the mood for a weekend of solitude with nature – and is a great way to catch up on your reading list. Or, you can spend time preparing an awesome playlist for the road.

When we head out to spend a weekend in the outdoors, it’s easy to focus only on the destination. Keep in mind that planning well can forestall emergencies, and giving more thought to the comforts and conveniences of your ride can greatly improve the entire experience for everybody on board.

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