Our family has been especially busy traveling this spring. While we don’t have soccer gear to haul, our van definitely has been loaded for work! This video shows us unloading and reloading from one match to head to another, and also shows us practicing for 2 big events. Obviously, finding all the targets, pasters, rain gear and sorting the road trip paraphernalia takes some time … we’d really love a garage – because it would make our lives so much simpler!
Our Honda minivans’ odometers, combined, currently show 600,000 miles. This van is about 341,000. It’s on its 2nd transmission, but until recent updates by Tim, it had all original suspension. We’ve been using fully synthetic oil, and have been pretty good about regular oil changes. This is the 3rd of 4 Honda’s I’ve owned with more than 200k miles. They drive forever and hold a lot of shooting gear!
We literally almost drove off with the camera still sitting there filming, which was very fitting to how hectic things have been this month. But we’re off in a few more days for another big event and then we’re headed to Russia and the the Rifle World Shoot for our oldest son and me! Go USA!
Traveling with kids – either with your real kids or grown-up kids who are your friends – calls for extras. When your traveling party grows beyond yourself and a road-ready partner who will listen to your music and drive at your pace, you need to mellow out a little, and embrace the “extras.” Most people will NEVER take their kids on a cross-country road trip where they live and work out of their vehicle, much less do that on basically a full-time schedule. We do.
So I’m going to tell you – budget extra everything: extra time, extra stops, extra meals, extra sleep, extra gear, extra planning, extra patience, and at the end of it all, extra down time.
So, if your kids are 5 or 50, here are a few things to pack to make travel easier, especially for shooting competitions.
Starting with the gear, pack in segments: 1 week out, 2 days out, night before and packing the vehicle. Looking for those lost mags or a rifle sling when you have to leave in an hour is killer on road trip moods. Make a list and gather it twice. If you task kids with gathering gear, know that they will fail, and you will be searching for slugs for your shotgun at 6 a.m. on the day of the match from your friends (and they’ll laugh). But if you can plan for that and have some emergency slugs always in the car, all the better!
Becky Yackley primarily competes in 3 Gun, USPSA, Bianchi pistol, but has competed in shooting since 1989 in disciplines from service-rifle, to NCAA Air Rifle and Smallbore, air pistol and a little bit of long range rifle. She shoots guns and cameras at competitions around the country, and writes in her fictional spare time. Her writing can be found here The WON in her column titled "Not a Soccer Mom" and sponsored by Jagemann Sporting Group, as well as Guns America and Gun World. View all posts by Becky Yackley