As full-time camper life on the road month #2 comes to a close, we have traveled cross-country and settled in Southwest Colorado for a while. Southwest landscapes always make me feel peaceful and inspired, and aside from below-freezing overnight temperatures, this leg of the journey is off to a great start!
I recently connected with Louise Brown, the founder of The Adventure Land, an outdoor resource for travel tips, gear, and food. Since Utah is up next on our route, I asked Louise for any advice she might have to offer. This is her guest post that I hope you find useful!
10 Amazing Tips for New Adventure in Utah
(A Guest Post by Louise Brown of The Adventure Land)
Utah is one of those states that is perfect for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. It has an alpine forest, deserts, canyons, and the Great Salt Lakes. That’s barely scratching the surface! Utah is perfect for all sorts of travelers including families, couples, friends, and solo backpackers.
You could spend a whole year around Utah but still not scratch the surface. Are you planning to go camping, river trekking or hiking? Maybe you want to go hiking, biking, or kayaking. Whatever it is you’re planning to do, the key for traveling Utah is to be prepared. Here are some tips for new adventure in Utah.
1. PLAN YOUR ITINERARY
To make the most of your time and visit, an itinerary will get you a long way. You might want to plan your trip weeks or months in advance. For instance, if you plan on visiting all the National Parks, you might need at least 8 days. Each park is unique, so visiting every park is already an adventure.
You should also consider the time of the year you go. Winters are cold but serene. Spring and autumn are about the same in temperature. However, spring is a good time to see wildflowers. Summer is ideal for desserts and autumn for the foliage change. It’s all a matter of preference.
2. GAS UP
You might go through long stretches of remote roads without any services available. Therefore, always gas up when you’re in town. Before starting the long drive, check your gas, engine, tires, etc. Bring spare tires just in case. Worst case is you’ll be stuck in the middle of nowhere and rescue won’t come as soon as you hope.
3. STORE UP ON WATER AND FOOD
Adventuring in Utah is going to take some energy. Be good to your body by hydrating well and eating enough food. Lower your risk of getting dehydration or heatstroke. You’ll better enjoy your trip when you’re healthy and energetic.
When you’re in town, get your stock of water and food. Fortunately, some parks might have some water refill stations. You can also bring a water filter or chlorine dioxide tablets to purify water from streams, lakes, or other bodies of water.
For food, bring energy rich food like trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, etc. For light meals, bring sandwiches, canned tuna or tuna pouches.
4. DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
In the summer, temperatures are between 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and Autumn are quite beautiful with temperatures between 75-85 degrees.
Wear comfortable clothes with good insulation. During summer, you can wear a shirt and pants. However, night times get chilly so bring some extra layers. You may also want to bring a rain poncho or jacket.
During the day, you might want to put on some sun protection. Sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses make a big difference.
Shoes will also greatly affect your adventure. Blisters and sores will dampen the fun. You will also want to protect your feet from thorns, animals, and hard rocks because Utah’s trails are full of surprises. Wear closed-toed, sturdy shoes with soles that can grip on rocks, mud, sand, gravel, etc. It’s also better if you test out the shoes for a few days before your adventure to see if they work for you.
At the end of the day, a pair of flip flops feels fantastic. It’s not necessary, but you can pack those if you want.
5. INFORM SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR ADVENTURE
Whether you’re going solo, as a pair or with a group, telling someone might save you. Remember that guy from the movie, 127 hours? No one knew he was missing or where to find him. After that experience, he always left a note or told someone if he was going on an adventure.
6. CAMPING OR OVERNIGHT ADVENTURES
Bring a light, preferably a headlamp, so your hands are free. Although the stars are so clear at night, it might not be enough to illuminate your way. That way, you’re also keeping yourself safe by not tripping on a rock or something.
Keep yourself warm. As we said earlier, nights can get chilly.
7. BRING A RESCUE AID
You can bring along your cellphone, but be ready for it not to work in some areas. Save your battery by putting it in airplane mode. You might want to bring extra batteries or an external battery charger.
You can also bring signaling tools like a mirror and a whistle in case you need people to find you. A handy tool like a Swiss knife or a Leatherman-style tool kit to help you cut or repair things.
8. FIRST AID KIT
This is something you wish you don’t have to use. However, having it might just save you from unnecessary infections from a small cut, or from losing blood. Let’s hope you won’t get insect bites. If you do, calamine lotion or antihistamines might do the trick to make it comfortable.
9. BRING A CAMERA
Utah is so picturesque. Bring a camera to document your adventure and share with your friends or future visitors. After your adventure, people will ask you about it. Tell your story better with some photos.
10. PACK YOUR BACK WELL
The way you pack can have an effect on your back, shoulders and your hike greatly. It’s best to pack light. Only bring what is necessary. That’s why it’s also important to plan your itinerary well.
Utah is one of the ultimate outdoors destinations. Rich in wildlife, geology, and scenic trails, it brings adventure to a whole new level. Follow these guidelines to help you enjoy it and to keep you safe. Your Utah adventures will be an unforgettable experience!
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand, where she and her associates blog about outdoor experiences and tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of a travel company where she learned many things about the wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”