We are about to hop the Amtrak Southwest Chief train from Naperville, Illinois to Albuquerque, New Mexico on our summer vacation to Sedona, Arizona. There was quite a lot of planning and below is my overnight packing list for our train trip which is about a 20 hour train ride.
Overnight Train Trip Packing List
headphones or ear buds
sheet, micro-fiber or thin blanket or light sleeping bag
comfy shoes aka crocs
cell phone, charger cable with USB block and portable charger for cell phone
laptop and charger
toiletries – in small bottles for flying too including bar soap, toothpaste and brush and deodorant
something to read, something to write with and journal
a few DVDs or download your fav neflix or Amazon Prime movies ahead of time onto your mobile device
wallet, ID and cash
disposable water bottle, because we will fly and will throw this away at end of trip
I found a gem! I’m camping out of my truck on the shore of the Mississippi River! This $15 campsite is at Miller Riverview Park, 1851 Admiral Sheehy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001, USA, located next to W Casino. This municipal park includes many RV campsites and a small loop of primitive campsites. Make a reservation here.
My site is #55 and is located on the water. I’m up early and every few minutes I hear a fish jump. The train tracks across the river are active, but not noisy, with a train passing by every hour or two. It’s amazing that one train engine can pull so many train cars which seem to go on and on! Downriver, about a half mile is the Hwy-151 bridge which is also not load but busy with semi trucks and vehicles.
I’m here in mid-May (2021) so the daytime temperatures are 50-60’s F and there are no bugs and some sprinkles and cool breeze. I’ve made special provisions of lots of campfire wood, food, camp tools, and just the basics, as I’m camping alone. This overnight trip was intended to discover if this campground and campsite are worthy of returning with my family.
Besides the campsite needing to be picked up from the last litterbug guests, the cell signal here is super slow which is okay because I’m camping, not working. I have my truck set up for sleeping in and I built a tarp house off the back of it, it’s pretty big about 20‘ x 20‘ with the fire pit just outside the tarp. My shelter has sloped sides to stop the wind which I’ve anchored using two picnic tables. I’ve placed my firewood under the tables. The fire ring is not small and includes a nice fold-over bbq grill grate which needs cleaning. It’s 4am now and the river has dense fog except by the highway bridge.
For this one-night camping trip, I decided to sleep out of the back of my truck using a queen-size sleeping bag and air mattress. That worked well!
Here’s my truck camping packing list for this weekend!
Van or Truck camping must-haves summer travel packing list
My view is beautiful, on the Mississippi with lots of room and plenty of shade. The riverbanks is rocks in the grass and sand and water. There is no swimming here but you could launch a canoe and I see lots of campers fishing! There are lots of rocks and shells and plenty of space to hike off my campsite. There is lots of boats, bald eagles, swans, geese with babies, swallows, cranes, pelicans and many songbirds. The campsites are open but very spaced out and Site 55 is huge so it’s still private. 5 tents would easily fit in this campsite with vistas, however. This campground faces East and is open to the sunlight so I would imagine it may get very hot here in high summer.
Campsite Pro Tip!
Don’t situate your campsite too close to the fire ring. This way, when the wind shifts, the campfire smoke doesn’t ruin your camp!
I love that this campground is 45 minutes from Mineral Point, Wisconsin and in town in Dubuque yet I’m still in the woods— it’s amazing and I love the Spot!