GEAR REVIEW

North Face Storm Break 3 – Tent Review

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8/10 Would recommend this tent, now let me tell you why-

And believe me!

This tent has seen a lot!!

 

This particular tent has been through snow, rain, freezing temperatures, warmer than usual days, high winds, and all the in-between while camping!

Never once have we seen a zipper or seam leak any water and it has always served us well in rain! I would also say that this tent is very spacious for two people (three would be a tight fit but still possible in a bind)!

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North Face Stormbreak 3 Tent! You can see a vestibule that is folded to the side and the large mesh side doors!

Features we love:

  • This tent has two VERY good sized vestibules (vestibules = a fancy word for basically a mudroom that extends outside of your tent to store gear, shoes, and even backpacks when it’s not raining).
  • It is sooooo easy to pitch this tent. Takes us 3 mins probably and that is great for when you are in awful weather and just for ease!
  •  It’s a backpacking tent and is very compact!
  • This is a 3 season tent and has never leaked in multiple storms, it has with stood winter weather of below 20 degrees, 20-45 mph wind gusts, and you can stay cozy inside while all this incliment weather is happening.
  • We love the gear storage canopy on top, as well as, the pockets on the sides for even more organization.
  • The price point! For an entry-mid level tent this is a great value! We don’t plan on purchasing another tent of this size any time soon!

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Features we would change:

  • The stakes the tent came with lasted one trip and that is all! So I recommend purchasing some higher quality stakes before your trip!
  • Some small condensation during colder nights pools at the top of the rainfly and can/does drip on you occasionally in the morning hours.
  • A lot of people have said that it is too cramped for 3 people, I will second that like I said above. It would be difficult and probably a tight squeeze but possible doable with 3 smaller people.

 

Overall, I did a ton of research on tents before I decided this was the one for us! Of course it might not work for everyone. I recommend taking what I said into consideration and taking the time to look at what is right for you!

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My first night in the tent, freezing rain all nigh long, but we survived!

Happy Camping!
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MY COMPLETE CAR CAMPING PACKING LIST

 

Hello fellow adventurers!

I’m writing this at 8am central time! Will and I are on our way to meet up with friends and family in Colorado for a long weekend of camping. We are currently listening to Bertha’s Road Songs on Spotify (everyone seriously needs to checkout this road tripping playlist made by Brainna Madia for some amazing 35 hour+ tunes). We are heading out on our first camping trip of the year. I am beyond thrilled to be going to Colorado when most of the campgrounds are just opening this weekend! I figured I would share with you a comprehensive list of whats in my car right now, some of my favorite gear, and must have items I would recommend you bring with you!

Now obviously you don’t have to take all of this gear with you. This is just what works for us and each time we find that it is evolving. You will always find yourself saying, “I wish I would have brought this or that”. That I why you make a note on your phone or write it down for easier packing next time!

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Here is my complete car camping gear list:
In and Around Camp-
  • Tent
  • Tarp: we use this instead of a tent footprint for under tent (for now).
  • Sleeping Bag(s)
  • Pillows
  • Blankets: A bunch of old blankets we don’t care about getting dirty, smelling like a campfire, and ideally don’t hold a lot of moisture.
  • Sleeping Pad(s)
  • Hammock
  • Camping Chairs : We have one found in the link by REI and another by Big Agnes.
  • Lamp : We LOVE this little lamp for inside the tent. It dims and is so compact!
  • Headlamps
  • Cooler(s): We are currently using a small Yeti Roadie cooler for drinks and a very old and beat up large Coleman Cooler for Food. Similar found here.
  • Rubber Mallet: for staking down tent, without damaging stakes.
  • Multi-tool or knife.
  • Axe
  • Daypack
  • Extra Batteries
  • Fire Stater
Kitchen Supplies –

My personal gear changes with the season and with what I am planning on cooking! Pick and choose what is important and necessary for yourself!

  • Heat-proof Cooking Utensils
  • Enameled Cooking Pots
  • Cast Iron Pan
  • Heavy Duty Tin Foil
  • Water Bottles / Ice Packs: for cooler
  • Heavy Duty Garbage Bags
  • Washing Bucket
  • Biodegradable Dish Soap
  • Microfiber Towels/ Old Rags
  • Fuel
  • Stove
  • Matches / Lighters
  • Grill Rack
  • Pot Graber
  • Enameled coffee cups
  • Plastic Bowls / Plates / Silverware
  • Gallon Storage Bags
  • Large Plastic Mixing Bowl
  • Utensils : Pairing Knife, Large Knife, Metal Spatula, Whisk, Cutting Board
  • Sponge
  • Food: I plan on doing a detailed camping food blog post very soon!
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Clothing and Footwear –

If cold nights are possible come prepared!

  • Rain Jacket
  • Quick-dry long sleeves and t-shirts
  • Quick-dry pants or shorts.
  • Long underwear layers: I have a few different brands. I always look at the material and the weight of the fabric (usually sticking to mid-weight pants and shirts).
  • Heavy sweatshirts: Patagonia makes my favorite. I have this version and this version.
  • Socks: Merino wool socks are best. I always bring double the socks per the days to be able to change pairs after a hike or if it is raining!
  • Sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Insulated Jacket/ Vest : They don’t make my jacket anymore but this one is similar.
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Scarves/ Neck-warmers
  • Hats / Bandanas
  • Sandals : Chaco’s are great for around camp, in the rain, and even on short hikes.
  • Boots : These boots are great in rain, snow, and cooler temperatures.
  • Hiking Shoes: similar here.
  • Packing Cubes: Great for keeping all these items organized. I use these and these by Eagle Creek!
Personal Items –
  • Toiletry Bag:  So everything we need in the mornings is located in one spot. Plus- I love that it has a small mirror (it’s the little things).
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Face Moisturizer
  • Face Wash
  • Cosmetics
  • Prescription Medications
  • Brush/Comb
  • Baby Wipes: On day 4 of a camping trip nothing is better than a baby wipe bath!
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Anti-Bacterial Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses

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Other Items To Bring –
  • Camera and Lenses
  • Camera Batteries
  • SD Cards
  • Tripod
  • Charger
  • Power Bank: I bring 4, all for charging my camera and multiple phones.
  • Bungee Cords and extra ropes: to tie down tent
  • Rope with carabiners
  • Bug Spray
  • Citronella Candle
  • Cards
  • Books
  • Portable Speaker
  • Cell Phone and Charger

What are some of your essentials you bring with you on your camping adventures?! Happy Camping!

 

PIN THIS!

 

WHY YOU SHOULD STUDY ABROAD IN COLLEGE

 

Studying abroad in college led to one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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Exploring Athens, Greece

If this is something you are thinking about too, I highly encourage it. I wanted to take a little time to talk with you about why studying abroad is so important to your education and your development. Whether you are going for a week trip to Italy, a month long in South Africa, or a semester in the UK you will have a great adventure. The classes are exciting, the food and the people are amazing, and the sights are unforgettable.

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We Definitely Hiked To The Top On The Windiest Day Ever

A day doesn’t go by without me thinking about my experiences and how they have helped me grow as a person. My month long trip to Greece taught me more about traveling than any of my other trips beforehand. I experienced what it was like to live in a country rather than be a tourist. Yes we had free time to experience the tourist spots in Athens and on the Island of Crete, but we also got to get to know the local spots near our hotels and experience washing our laundry in bath tubs.

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The Gang – Athens, Greece

I developed a deeper understanding of another culture.

In Greece we learned about their history in class everyday and got to experience living and emerging ourselves in their culture. Everyone has a perceived notion of what another country could be like, by studying abroad you get to broaden your perspective by being there firsthand. Your perception changes because you get a deeper understanding of the world.

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Not A Bad View From The Hotel – Nafplio, Greece

Traveling with other people is very intense.

The friendships you make on your trip are unforgettable. You will always have those shared experiences to remember together even if you grow apart after the trip ends. You can share in the memory of that time you ate margarita pizza from down the street everyday in Athens because you were tired of gyros or encouraged each other when you just didn’t want to climb that 27th mountain to see one more ancient ruin or castle. Those friendships will get you through the real-life moments of your study-abroad trip and are an amazing part of the adventure.

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Pizza & Wine … Couldn’t Get Better – Nafplio, Greece

Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary.

I remember getting out of the airport and not seeing a single work of english. For me that is exciting, but for others that can seem daunting. I don’t speak Greek, the few words I still remember are skylaki (puppy), efharisto (thank you), and kalimera (good morning). It’s been a bit since I studied abroad but I still remember feeling nervous about not being able to communicate with anyone for a month. Yes, most countries speak English, but we were traveling to small, I mean small towns on our greek odyssey and not every person we met spoke English. Ask your trip leader or your professors for some basic words and how to pronounce them. This will help you feel more at home. Stepping out of your comfort zone will empower you as a person! When your comfort zone is pushed, you discover so much more about yourself and how you are capable of so much more than you would have originally thought. That power that you feel will not fade when you get home. Use it, continue growing.

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This Pink Toned Monastery Was Magical Even Though It Rained All Day

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention the best part about studying abroad… you get to travel! There is nothing like seeing a country you have never been too for the first time. Everything is new, the simple things like walking down a street are more exciting, the coffee is soooo much better (trust me), and the food is so much better than what you can get in the states.

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A View From The Acropolis – Athens, Greece

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity, go for it! It can seem daunting planning for a large trip, leaving your friends and family behind, and traveling to a place you are not familiar with, but the benefits exceed the negatives, I promise you! Explore the world every chance you get!

Have you studied abroad? If so, where?