By Amie Engerbretson, Candice Leavitt, and Alana Nason, with an Introduction by Laura Hughes
When we create home while en route—be it on a trail, at a vista, or on the road—two elements can really make or break the experience: storage and comfort.
Having a place for our things brings us grounding and consistency despite an ever-changing landscape. And feelings of warmth and softness remind us that we can rest here, relax our muscles, and breathe a little deeper as we drift to sleep.
Just like there isn’t only one right way to travel, there are also endless ways to find the right fit with storage and comfort. To explore some of those ways, we asked the three female travelers from WOTR Episode 40: Home for the Holidays to share some of their favorite pieces of gear that help with their storage and comfort needs.
Professional skiier Amie Engerbretson loves being out on the mountains and finds a true sense of home there, but she often carries much more than her skis with her.
I love the new Yakima HoldUp EVO Rack for my bikes. It’s a hitch rack, which is really convenient for me. I don’t have to lift my bike up over head, and I’ve actually added the swing arm extension attachment to it, which is really convenient because it makes it so I can keep my bikes in the rack and swing it all the way to the side, allowing completely clear access to the back of my car. That’s super helpful for me because I’m oftentimes taking skis in and out of my car on trips in addition to carrying my bike on the back.
When I’m camping or doing long road trips I have to be a master packer. Everything has to go in its place perfectly, so being able to have that full access to every part of my car is really important to me.
My go-to storage on the road is the Yakima Skybox 21, which is their biggest size of that kind, but with having four kids, there’s a lot of gear involved in our trips so the box is seriously always filled.
For instance, during ski season all the kids’ skis (plus my snowboard and my husband’s skis) are always up there, because for us getting on the road is about making things quick and convenient. Knowing that all of our gear is up there and ready is fantastic because then I have to do is get my kids clothed and we’re headed up the mountain.
When we travel and we go camping, we don’t really always know what the weather’s going to be like. I thought the Slim Shady was going to be useful just for summer and keeping the heat off, but when we’ve been in rainstorms and snowstorms and I’m having to cook, the only thing that’s keeping me covered is the Slim Shady.
It’s what keeps our food from having rain or snow all over it, so I love that. And then of course during the summertime it’s fantastic because it also creates a portion of shade, so when it’s hot outside and we’re in Joshua Tree or Valley of Fire, we use it a lot.
World traveler Alana Nason finds comfort when she’s camping on the road with her Rumpl blanket:
I’m car camping this winter in Northern California, on the coast. It is very cold at night, which you never think about in California, but it is. I always run a cold and so I’ve just come to having it wrapped around my legs permanently when we’re in the car.
The Rumpl Puffy Down Blanket has been really great because the ocean breeze gets pretty chilly when it gets to sunset. Just the other night we were at Goat Rock, which is a little a park near the coast and you can go and sit out and watch the sunrise. The Rumpl came in handy for that moment for sure.
Finding home on the trails is just as important to Alana as when she’s car camping, and her backpacking experience is made better with her Rumpl as well:
It’s extremely light, and it’s great for backpacking because you just can clip it to the outside of your backpack, which is really nice for me because it’s nice to be able to pull in and out if you want to take a break and have a snack or even just putting it on top of my regular sleeping bag when it gets really chilly at night. That’s been my go to lately.
Amie Engerbrenton shared that she takes her Rumpl blanket nearly everywhere because it packs down so easily and makes her feel at home—including when she recently went abroad and took in a moment she’ll never forget:
It’s hard for me to choose a favorite Rumpl because I feel like I need a different one for every occasion, but the down blanket in the twin size is perfect for traveling. It compacts down really small, it comes in darling patterns, and I can throw it in my bag when I’m flying or my car when I’m driving.
It’s really convenient to have something that’s warm to bring with me on the road because it gives me a sense of home and being. Sometimes what I miss when I’m not at home are those little moments, and so I find it to be really nice to have like a little piece of something that’s mine and makes me feel warm and cozy when I’m on the road.
I was just in Patagonia the summer and I brought my Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket and it was so nice because we were in this big beautiful lodge at the base of these gorgeous mountains in Patagonia and it was cold. It was just so nice to have that cozy blanket. I’d wake up in the morning, wrap it around me, go out and get my coffee and watch the sunrise over the Andes mountains. It made the moment comfortable so I could focus on enjoying it—not being cold.
This season, Yakima has teamed up with Rumpl and Bend artist, Stickfort, to celebrate the feeling of home. Together they launched a limited edition Yakima x Stickfort x Rumpl puffy blanket featuring iconic Mount Hood and the Gorge, which feels like home to anyone with some Pacific Northwest roots.
Right now, you can enter to win your own Yakima x Rumpl x Stickfort blanket, in addition to a gift pack with over a dozen other regionally-based brands by entering the My Mountain Home photo contest on Instagram. To enter, post a picture of the land you love, tag @yakimaracks @gorumpl, and use #mymountainhome.
Thank you to Rumpl and Yakima for sponsoring this gear review round-up. While the interviewees featured in this article represent one or both brands as ambassadors, their views are honest and represent how they typically use Rumpl and Yakima products.