3 month road trip capsule thoughts

We are back from our 3 1/2 month road trip up the east coast of the USA from North Carolina, traveling across Canada, down the west coast and back home across the southern States  —  a total of over 16,000 miles in 105 days. I packed a lot of practical clothes, nothing really special because our plan included wild camping in our camper van with the occasional campground, lots of driving, exploring and hiking which can get dirty. I had some nicer clothes for the cities. 

We absolutely adored Canada but fell head over heels IN LOVE with Newfoundland: the dramatic terrain and the friendly people. We visited old friends, made some new ones along the way and visited both our daughters, one in Cambridge and the other in LA.  

If I had to do it again, I would expand my color selections, because I got really tired of wearing neutrals, blue and green. I would also add more feminine options - a floral blouse and a pretty dress. I started craving that early in the trip. At the last minute before we left I threw in a silky camisole with lace trim.  I did not feel good in the more masculine technical clothing I wore but the minute I added the camisole I felt like myself again. I need to find a way to feel more feminine in hiking gear! Or maybe all it takes is a pretty camisole. I also wished I had more shoes especially of the walking/hiking variety. For that long of a trip, I needed more options. I did not wear any of my graphic tees, but wore everything else. 

I didn’t take a lot of outfit pics but am showing an outfit with a teal velvet jackets I ordered and had sent to my daughters house in LA, so it was nice to have something different after the first month. 

If you want to see our entire trip you can find it here: 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • slim cat replied 1 year ago

    What a fun adventure- so many wonderful places and experiences ( plus seeing family of course)! Gorgeous velvet jacket and all outfit ( love earrings and pretty necklaces )!

  • LJP replied 1 year ago

    What a fabulous trip ! Glad you loved Nfld- it’s a pretty special place indeed :)

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    We’re thinking of a long trip in a camper or RV…. Did you bring a dog with you? That’s what we’re considering…..

  • Lana replied 1 year ago

    Jessikams, we did because we couldn’t imagine being gone from her that long.  It worked out fine, but we were always on high alert every time someone opened a door on the van!  She’s a great traveler.  

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    Cheers Lana!   Big yes to feminine underpinnings under hiking gear :-D
    Looks like you hit Canada at the perfect time for fall colours.  Glad you enjoyed the country and totally understand your love of Newfoundland. That’s a nifty looking camper you have!

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    Good to know it worked out Lana!

  • replied 1 year ago

    What an amazing trip!  Your van looks like a great way to go.  Glad to see you back on the forum, you always post such great outfits.  Welcome back!

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Lana, what an amazing trip! I've only gone through some of the photos but they made me homesick for the Maritimes. (My parents are both from there and their ashes are scattered in PEI (North Rustico) and Cape Breton.) 

    I love that you took your dog. And you look gorgeous in the photos.  Very flattering sunglasses and your hairstyle seems to have worked well for you on the road. The jacket is lovely on you. 

    I sympathize about the hiking situation. When I am at home, I don't mind so much because I change out of the gear after a hike. But when you are on the road it becomes more complicated. Lessons learned, I guess! 

  • Lana replied 1 year ago

    Suz, there’s got to be some company that makes more feminine hiking gear. I’ll keep looking . . . We loved the Maritimes. When we left Canada we were sad and felt like the trip was over. It was quite an experience. 

    Thank you Xtabay, the van was great but took about 2 weeks for us to get used to the small space and where to stow everything. After that it felt like home. 

    Thanks RunCarla!

  • Dee replied 1 year ago

    16,000 miles in 105 days Phew!! Thats a big adventure, and yes, Newfoundland and the Maritimes are lovely places to visit here in Canada.

    Its quite a challenge wearing the same capsule of clothes for an extended period like that, especially if a chunk of it is more functional than your own fashion style. I agree that the hiking/gear companies should consider a slightly more feminine approach with some of their items.
    BTW you look fab in your new teal velvet blazer.

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 1 year ago

    Thanks for reporting back in. Were you entirely offline the whole trip?

    Love that blazer—perfect for you.

    On feminine hiking gear—what about Patagonia’s dresses?

  • RobinF replied 1 year ago

    Looks like a fabulous trip! I have always thought that would be fun, camping across N. Am. but would never get DH to drive a motor home. Maybe a van like yours is the way to do it...

    Love the teal jacket! Glad you're back - I have missed seeing your wonderful wardrobe pics!

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Fab trip! KILLER AMAZING, and well documented. Sweet doggie! I cannot be separated from our doggies for a long period of time. I miss them after half an hour....

    Why do you think you didn't wear your graphic tees? 

    YAY! More pretty camisoles! 

    We LOVE Whidbey Island, and stay over with the doggies a few times a year. I hope you waved to Seattle across the Sound :) 

  • Lana replied 1 year ago

    Thank you Dee!

    Angie, we loved Whidbey Island too!  So peaceful and quaint and with bunnies everywhere!  I think I avoided my graphic tees because I need something feminine or refined to balance them plus since they are cotton they tend to retain scent more, a nice way of saying they stink LOL.  I stuck with smartwool and cashmere on colder days most of the time. 

    Robin, thank you so much, these Class B vans are so easy to drive and park anywhere.  We fit in a regular parking space too.  My husband is the same way and hates big RVs or trailers. 

    Stag, we had trouble with connecting in quite a few places, but we’re able to update our travelogue as we went along and when we got connection it all uploaded. We were pretty busy so didn’t spend much time online. I’ll check out those dresses you mention, although I prefer to wear trousers, jeans or joggers when hiking. 

  • replied 1 year ago

    Love the velvet jacket outfit!
    Your trip looks fun! My dad has been wanting a class B motorhome for a looooong time.
    I like Athleta for gear, and just wear skorts in summer for hiking. Wish they made longer ones though.

  • replied 1 year ago

    Cool trip! Glad it went well. You look great in velvet :)

  • Jaime replied 1 year ago

    Amazing trip! Interesting about the hiking clothes situation. The velvet jacket look fabulous on you!

  • Karie replied 1 year ago

    You are live my dream life! Since DH and I retired last June, we bought a camper and have done several short road trips - the longest was for two weeks (our two pups do our road trips with us). We help care for DH’s 86 year old mother so it will be difficult to be gone for extremely long periods of time, but we are planning a trip to the National Parks out west and we’ll be gone probably 3 - 4 weeks.
    I love your thoughtful planning of your wardrobe capsule! I see your point about wanting to change out of hiking clothes and put on something more girly. I try to buy colorful hiking clothes so I won’t mind wearing them. It’s the boots that get me. On our last road trip we brought several pairs each, which took up way too much valuable space in the car.
    Your post will be very helpful when planning our next road trip, thank you!

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    The jacket is gorgeous!! Super styin’!

    I have actually largely given up pants when I’m camping: I wear dresses. I am just happiest not in pants. Makes it easy to pull on leggings when it’s cold and get out of them when it’s hot.

  • Isabel replied 1 year ago

    That’s sounds like such a wonderful adventure !!!!! The outfit you posted I magnificent !

    I love hiking also and , like you , I like to be a bit more feminine. I always wear earrings and long wear liquid lipstick ( I put Vaseline over it to keep lips from drying out ). And if you don’t need a technical back pack , Jansport has some awesome floral and fun pattered ones. I have one as a day pack. I also a beautiful floral one from years ago from Buxton that’s more technical. When it’s chilly , I bring a nice neckerchief. And you can always swap out your hiking boots / shoes’ laces for something fun. I LOVE socks with designs or flowers too. Little details.

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    Lana - you look amazing, even when camping! What a trip, your photos are stunning. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Three and a half months is a long time to live with a capsule wardrobe, you did a wonderful job of being practical and stylish. 

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    Oh, this is so fantastic! I am bookmarking your travel site to explore more later. It already looks like you almost visited my back yard early in the trip, and I saw lots of familiar and beloved places (Longwood gardens is one of my fave spots and I try to go at least a couple of times a year).

    My hubs and I have a 27’ Aistream that we pull with a Ford 250, so we travel kind of big (we determined long ago that we need a larger camper — he’s 6’6” and we have two large dogs, so space is important). I absolutely love this compact option though (I did a three month trip towing a tiny teardrop trailer with a Toyota Prius a dozen years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life!).

    When I travel like you’ve done here, I get thoroughly sick of the clothes I bring. Heck, I just got home from a two week trip and can’t wait to wear something I didn’t take with me! Proof that I will never be a wardrobe minimalist. My style standards go way down when I’m road tripping. I live in gear. I make a nod to my fashion sense with a small selection of patterned scarves and a couple of cool jackets, and call it a day. I also rely on black pants that can function as gear or go to dinner at a bit-fancy restaurant (I have a pair of wide leg Athleta pants that does the trick). I take my favorite handbag, which happens to be my Bao Bao, which can go almost anywhere and looks right dressed up a little or way down. I think you did an amazing job with your travel style!

  • LJP replied 1 year ago

    I’ve never done a driving trip of that magnitude or length , but one thing I read recently keeps coming back to me , and in fact again while reading your post . Amy Smilovic of TIBI game writes often that one should wear their clothes for all situations and not abandon their fashion preferences to wear specific “ gear “ if that’s not your style . I’m not great at paraphrasing , but the gist of it is that one should wear the cashmere or wool or jersey tops and nylon pants out for a walk and not think you have to buy gear that is so far from your own style that you feel inauthentic . Does that make sense ? It did to me and it’s my new goal : wear the clothes , for everything . With adaptations of course . ETA: she refers to it as the bifurcated closet and has a reel up right now on IG about this.

  • Laurie replied 1 year ago

    Lana, thank you for sharing both your wardrobe journey and your full journey with us. Your camper looks like the only kind I might be able to actually drive! What a fabulous and amazing trip, and I love how you documented it. The map view really shows the magnitude of the miles you traversed.
    My husband and I would love to take a trip like this soon. Not sure we could transport our 2 cats though....talk about panicking when the camper doors were open.
    You are stunning in the teal jacket and silver boots! And, yes, from the terrain you took photos of in almost every location, sturdy hiking shoes/boots were needed.

You need to be logged in to comment