My yellow teardrop trailer recently returned from a trip to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It was a quick 10 days in the parks, but we packed a lot into the trip. The primary reason for the trip was to meet up with our good friends from southern Florida. Every few years we meet up at a national park and go camping together. We hope to continue the tradition since we have so much fun.
So, what's it like to teardrop in one of the most popular national parks in the nation? Here are a few things I learned while teardropping around the land of mountains and moose.
1. Bears rule
You have to be very vigilant when teardropping in bear country. Every campground you go to will be adamant about correct storage of your food, ice chests, water containers and food waste. The week before we came, a bear had to be "dispatched" since he had acquired a taste for camper food and kept returning to the campground. With a teardrop trailer, this can be a challenge. We usually don't have the room to store all our food or ice chests in the galley so we had to keep two ice chests (with enough food for four people for 10 days) in the car most of the time. Since it was warm for a few days, this melted our ice more quickly.
We also had to keep a very clean camp. I was constantly using rags and paper towels to wipe up our stove, picnic table, cooking area and the teardrop galley. We also had to put the Dutch oven in the car and the water containers had to be locked up.
2. Food shopping is miserable in the park
If you plan on going to Yellowstone or Grand Teton, do the majority of your food shopping in the small towns outside of the park. This includes the town of Jackson near Grand Teton or West Yellowstone in Montana. The "grocery stores" in Yellowstone really only sell junk food, overpriced bacon and eggs and very little vegetables or fruit. Stock up before getting your camp.
The galley of the teardrop trailer was full of food and it was piled everywhere. Having some sort of organization will save you frustration.
3. Be prepared for any kind of weather
In the course of 10 days we experienced spring-like days, roasting heat, rainstorms, hail and freezing cold nights. This area of the country has some crazy weather that can change in 20 minutes. My teardrop is waterproof which was great for us when the skies opened up at around 10 p.m. one night. Before going to bed or leaving camp, be sure to have everything tucked underneath a table or under the teardrop. Use a pop-up shelter to protect your picnic table and always close the galley hatch at night.
4. In this land of amazing things, teardrops still attract attention
On our way up to the park, we must have seen at least six or seven other teardrop trailers. We all waved to each other. I also got another six visitors to the trailer who wanted the nickel tour. One teardrop owner was nice enough to come by and show us his solar panel setup and how simple it is to hook-up to a teardrop battery. It's officially my next project.