Food, and it’s storage bear country, is critical. Yes, we saw a HUGE brown bear and boy was I glad that we weren’t having dinner out of the back if my Jucy!
A cheap cooler like this worked just fine for storing refrigerated items overnight with a bag of ice from the campground store.
At night, you’ll need to store ALL of you food and smellables in the bear box, including your refrigerated items. We bought a small cooler and ice most days. Repurposing a six-pack carrier worked well to easily move condiments back and forth from the van kitchen. During the day, I used the dry sink to hold our crushable picnic supplies. At night, it all went in a bag in the bear box.
My final bear box tip is to put your “smell-ables” in an empty firewood box. People often leave an empty box for the next person using the bear box, maybe even with some newspaper fire starter. We love people who pay it forward! The box is a good way to gather your sunscreen, medications, shower items, etc. and it protects them from exploding food. Yes, you read it right. We brought a 12 pack of pop up to the mountains and one of the seams broke. A minor, but very sticky, mess since we had the woodbox to protect our stuff. We’ve also had mustard explode in the mountains. Lesson learned – cover your stuff!
How do you camp in bear country? Leave a comment with your tips, or questions, and don’t forget to follow my blog. Happy camping!
Over the past seven days, the kids have counted 26 people or families that have stopped to ask us about the Jucy. Since there is so much interest, I thought we’d write a series of reviews.
There are as many ways to camp as there are places to camp. If you are like us, we were a bit nervous about rentingaJucy camper van without seeing one, or even knowing someone who recommended it. Fear not, this is an awesome set-up! With a little advanced planning, you’ll have a great family vacation.
Warm campers sleep well all night and wake up happy the next day.TheJucy comes with bedding, but maybe not enough depending on the altitude you’ll be staying at. For instance, it’s the middle of June, and look at the low, morning temperatures:
This morning I woke up at 8:00 and it was still cold at 55*. Two hours later, the temperature had risen 30*, I kid you not, and I needed shorts. We read someone else’s review about the bedding and packed two red blankets that people pack for the plane, and two fleece sleeping bag liners for the kids.
The red zippered bags hold the travel blankets, free from a conference. On the left and right are two sleeping bag liners, purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
We also packed long-sleeved pajamas/base layers to sleep in. Nathaniel did pack his summer, mummy sleeping bag because it’s light (and he loves it), but I don’t think he really needed it. With all the windows closed, we are quite warm and comfortable at 6,000 feet. Upstairs, the penthouse stayed warm, too. If it were earlier in the year, or higher altitude, a knit hat and gloves might be warranted.
Finally, make sure you park each night in an area that is level, or with your head up hill. As this photo shows, we have our bed reversed from what the company shows in their photos. During the day, we simply “jelly roll” everything and put it in the penthouse with the pillows and camp chairs while we are driving.
If you have questions about renting a camper van, or tales to tell about your experience, please comment to keep the conversation going. As always, we hope you’ll follow our blog either here or on Facebook. Happy Camping!
Before leaving the San Francisco area, we took some iconic photos of Lombard Street in bloom (ahhhhh) and the Golden Gate Bridge from Sterling Park. They were just beautiful! I still can’t get over the grade of the streets. I think my ankles now have muscles.
Uncle Rob was a jem and drive us to the Juicy rental. Given all the other colorful murals we’ve seen on the outside of the rental RV’s, we’re pretty lucky. We got the full tour of our nearly new van, and she even threw in some partial fuel tanks upon request. We stopped at a bakery outlet about two blocks away, and away we drive toward Yosemite.