Car packed, Map marked...can we leave yet?

After days and days of prep, we are finally packed and ready to hit the road!  We have spent many nights and weekends learning about recommended gear, safety precautions in bear country, packing techniques, and how to feed yourself for 3 consecutive days on dehydrated food.  Who knew that getting back to nature could be so technical, not me!

 Mr. Oliver Wicke in his least favorite spot - the backseat   

Mr. Oliver Wicke in his least favorite spot - the backseat   

The process included making a really long shopping list, and researching the options for each required item.  Everyday I learned something new about what is needed, and how to accomplish something in an efficient, lightweight way.  

The hardest part so far was saying goodbye to Oliver!  We so wish that he could join us in camping, but dogs are not allowed in National Parks.  wah wah.  Now that we have all the gear, I'm sure we'll be heading out more frequently and we can find some other places to bring him :) 

We are so thankful to have great friends and family around to watch him while we are gone.  Dannys cousin Ali and her fiancé Dave are in for a surprise when the see him full speed at 6am!  

GEAR

REI has been our home away from home the past few weeks ... I want to tell you all about our new things, but I'm afraid there isn't enough time or space on this blog!  Let's just say it's a lot.  (sleeping bag, sleeping mat, inflatable pillow, dishes/cook wear, pack, shoes, socks, water purifier, binoculars...) Maybe following the trial run of the new purchase I will do a short review on each.  I know when we were shopping, reviews played a big part in making our final decision.   

 REI - soooo many supplies!

REI - soooo many supplies!

 Laying out the contents of my pack - Not too bad! 

Laying out the contents of my pack - Not too bad! 

FOOD

Now this is the part that I undertook and things got a little out of hand - haha.  I think after hours of research, meal scheduling, and 3 trips to the store, Danny must have thought I was crazy!  Truth is, he told me he loved how much I was getting into it. xoxo 

So I quickly caught on to the main idea - what can be cooked by only adding boiling water?  I did my research and created a menu of noodle, rice, quinoa meals.  While the dinners are all different, Every morning will start with homemade instant oatmeal with either freeze dried peaches or blueberries.  Every lunch is hard salami, soft cheese and crackers.  Will we have 2-3 snack bars and plenty of water throughout the day. 

Danny and I thought we should test out our cookware, bowls, and utensils before hitting the trail - so we made one of my pre-packed meals.  It was pretty good!  We did have some comments though so I'm glad we tried it.  Also we learned that the silicone bowls get very hot, so a bandana around the outside is a must.  Can't wait to use them in the wild!  I'm sure everything will taste delicious when we're really REALLY hungry :)

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So we head out tonight!  We are leaving this evening and driving to Omaha, NE.  This is further than we had planned at the beginning, but now that it's go-time and we're so excited to get there, we think we can handle a more intense driving schedule.  Time will tell!  

Wish us luck!!