Four Days, three nights
Camping in Leavenworth, Washington,
a small Bavarian-themed town nestled in the Cascade Mountains along Highway 2.
After a week of planning (and months of excitement), we have finally gotten to try out our camping kit. It took a bit more orchestrating than most trips because of my dietary restrictions, our zero waste goals, and our (happy) lack of a car. But you know? It proved to be far easier than I had hoped and actually made for smoother travel.
The restrictions we set ourselves proved to (as usual) boost our creativity and enjoyment of the experience. Each step forced us to slow down and enjoy where we were from riding the train as it twisted and turned through the mountains to taking time over breakfast to walking to and from town each day.
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We snagged Seattle's lightrail to the train station and boarded the Empire Builder, an Amtrak train route that goes all the way to Chicago (and yes, that trip is absolutely on my future travel list). We got off the train at Leavenworth's station and walked about a mile to our campsite which was about another mile from town.
It proved to be the perfect testing ground for our gear. With a grocery store across the street from our campsite and town close at hand, all manner of things could have gone wrong without any love lost.
Sure the RV set looked at us funny as we arrived with our packs filled and shoes dirty but we generally get odd looks...something I happen to take to mean that we're doing things just different enough to be right.
I have also never been more pleased with what I've taken on a trip. I would pare down on clothes if I knew what the weather would be like but other than that it felt spot on. Here's what we had with us:
two packs | the same ones we use around the city
two sleeping bags | tiny pack size, tiny price, oh so very warm
two sleeping pads | a must with rocks and cold ground
one tent | because this one has everything you need for two people and their packs
toiletries | I brought this kit as always
wool blanket | not necessary, but so nice for warmth and for make-shift pillows
a classic mess kit | a pot with lid, clamp handle, bowl, and frying pan all in a lovely compact package...sturdy and still pristine after my grandfather used them for decades.
two napkins | also perfect for "table" clothes, makeshift food bags, and drying dishes
salt and pepper shaker | a vintage hand-me-down
a wooden spoon | don't get caught anywhere without one and thrift it if you can
pocket knife | because they're good for everything
spatula pan scraper | it makes cleaning up after fried eggs ever so much easier
compact stove | this one is a vintage brass svea stove passed down to me from my father who used it in junior high and beyond. It still works like the first day it was lite.
lighter | because a long-necked lighter is far easier than a match for reaching into the depths of a stove
priming alcohol | warms the stove and improves fuel efficiency
fuel | whatever your stove calls for
THE COFFEE AND TEA
whole bean coffee | local beans all the way
coffee grinder | we chose this one for its ceramic burr, stainless exterior, and adjustable grind
coffee brew method of choice | currently a hand-me-down french press
tea | pg tips is my go-to right now
THE FIRST AID
bug repellent | leftover from a previous trip pre-zero waste efforts. I'll be snagging some citronella essential oil when it runs out.
pain meds and charcoal | for headaches, scratches, hives, and food slip-ups
bandaids | because I'm still working on using up a pack I got a while back
one pair of pants and one pair of shorts
one pair of leggings
one short sleeve shirt and one long sleeve shirt
two sets of underthings
one rain jacket
one windproof hat
two pairs of socks
THE CREATIVE EXTRAS
watercolors and a note pad | for when you can sit in front of those stunning views for a while
camera | for when you can't sit in front of that stunning view for a while
notebook | perfect for travel plans and future dream listing
Posts on the food we took are in the works.
Find our itinerary right over here at Train Camping in Leavenworth, Washington.