Roadside Camping: The Glenn Highway

For some, home is where you park it. Having a vehicle that can support an adventurous lifestyle is what many look for when traveling around. Your vehicle can be your form of transportation, home, garage, kitchen, or just a place to relax. Working and living out of a van is hard enough. However, when you throw the Alaskan wilderness into the picture, it suddenly becomes more intense. Let’s explore how to be prepared for your road trip dreams, vehicle camping on the Glenn Highway.

Traveling by Road in Alaska

Traveling around Alaska in a car or van for a road trip is something to take very seriously. Simultaneously, also something to have a great time doing. The Glenn Highway is a popular choice and for rightful reasons. Many people travel along paramount views and enjoy camping in their car along the way as they travel to and from the hallmarks of Alaska. 

road trip though Matanuska Valley

The Glenn Highway has many places to stop and admire the many beauties of the Matanuska Valley

The Essentials

When car camping for a road trip in Alaska you should have a few things prepared in the vehicle before the trip even begins. Starting with the essentials, you will need things to keep you warm. Pack warm layers; a sleeping bag, ground pad, and maybe some extra blankets. These are always good to have because you never know when the weather will  change.

Being prepared for cold weather will keep you from being miserable in the long run. Having multiple changes of clothing that you can change in and out of will be super helpful. Especially if you plan on doing anything outside where you may need a clean or dry pair of clothing to put on after the activity. 

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

Further, things that would be helpful when car or van camping would be cooking utensils. Have one designated tote or plastic container for all your cooking stuff, silverware, cups, plates, propane, etc. This helps to organize and consolidate these items for easy storage and accessibility for use. You can always resupply or get to a place where these items are accessible. Having a water jug is also very crucial. Along the Glenn highway there are not a ton of spots you can just stop and fill up water, so bring plenty. 

In addition to the items you will need for everyday van living, you should also have an emergency kit for when things do not go as planned. In the kit there should be a signaling device, in case you are stranded on the side of the road. It will alert cars that you are pulled to the side and hopefully someone can stop and help. Having a first aid kit that stays in the emergency kit at all times is essential.

Be prepared in the case of an emergency. Having a small selection of tools handy can be the deciding factor of whether or not you can get back on the road if your vehicle breaks down. Small mechanical issues such as a loose battery bolt, or a flat tire, can easily be repaired if you come prepared with the right tools. Otherwise, you may be stuck for a lot longer than you anticipated, and with extra fees.

Be Prepared

If something does go wrong that you aren’t prepared for, you can often receive help from other travelers on this highly trafficked highway. Be aware that you are traveling in an area with few gas stations or medical facilities for this road trip. Take note of your mileage, how far you are going, when service stations are open, and how to meet your needs if there is no cell service. Car or van camping on the Glenn Highway is very rewarding and can be a lot of fun. Being prepared for that trip will make it even more enjoyable of an experience.

Author: Alec Mercier