The season of hectic holiday travel is upon us, and you probably have some gear in the closet that can make your trip to visit family or friends more comfortable and safe.

For those of you driving to your holiday destination, it is a good idea to keep warm clothes and bedding in the car in case you get stuck in bad weather. A down sleeping bag in a compression sack doesn’t take up much room and leave lots of space for pies and casseroles! A few extra bottles filled with water are always a good idea to avoid both dehydration and spending extra money on bottled water at the rest stop.

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Having a sleeping bag and sleeping pad on hand can also be handy if you are expecting a crowded sleeping situation- anything that can make you comfortable on the forest floor will probably be comfortable on Gran’s living room floor as well. Toss a few extra camp chairs in the trunk to be sure that everyone has a comfortable seat around the table or tree.

Do you have some heavy duty gloves, or old ski gloves that are past their prime? These can be great for handling logs to toss in the fireplace, or to avoid blisters if you need to shovel snow.

If you are traveling by plane, avoid using a backpacking img_5599-1pack as your luggage. Straps and buckles can easily get caught in conveyor belts or automatic doors, causing expensive damage. See if you can borrow wheeled luggage if you are worried about getting held up
in the airport with bulky luggage.

Winter can be a great time to explore the outdoors- if you have the chance, tack on an extra vacation day to check out a local park or natural area near the place you are visiting. A hike or even a scenic drive can be a great way to bond with family and escape the holiday stress. Safe travels and happy holidays!

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