Team name: Tropic Like It’s Hot
Participants: Stephen & Julia
Starting in the bayous of New Orleans, Julia and Stephen stopped by alligator farms, made their way through Alabama, camped in the Everglades, and finally down onto the beaches of Key West where they swam with sharks and explored the tropics!
2018 Road trip details: We chose to head to the Florida Keys because ever since we moved back from Bali, Indonesia we have craved being back in the tropics and taking another mini break from reality. We plan on hitting the bayous of Louisiana, driving through Alabama, and heading towards the Florida Keys to swim with sharks and explore the tropics and some of the major Florida parks! We are excited to get to go on this adventure and take Tepui with us!
Can't leave home without:
Stephen: Can't leave home without his camera
Julia: Can't leave home without her tanning oil (and attitude)
Favorite tune to listen to on the open road:
Stephen -California love *cue Julia's eyeroll*
Julia - anything Randy Rogers
Signature/go-to camp food:
Stephen - Julia's homemade chili
Julia - S'mores with a burnt marshmellow
"Best known for"/"claim to fame"/"trip role":
Stephen - driver, cameraman, fire starter, tent setter upper.
Julia - co-pilot, DJ, the daredevil, direction giver (not always the right direction), comedic relief
A perfect trip would include these three items:
Stephen - a perfect view of the stars, Julia, and a cold beer (not while driving) Julia - the beach, warm blankets, and a huge fire.
Recreate their trip
Most people hate driving to the food store or anywhere more than 5 minutes away from their house so when I tell people I just got back to Austin from driving to Key West, they think I am crazy. Approximately 50 hours and 3,012 miles is the round trip on four wheels. Now when you think of a trip like this, the first thing that comes to your mind is cheap motels and gas station tuna melts. Not this time I say.
What is the difference maker you may ask? 120 pounds. 100lbs on the roof and 20lbs in the back seat. Let me explain. Tepui is an adventure company based out of Santa Cruz, California that creates incredible roof tents for most travel vehicles that allows explorers to take the adventure wherever the heart desires. Yeti is a premium cooler company based out of Austin, Texas that will keep your food on ice for an entire summer. Yes, literally that long. With a Tepui tent of the roof of my 2014 Jeep Wrangler and a Yeti cooler in the back seat, cheap motels and disgusting tuna wraps were a thing of the past.
Traveling south of Austin through Houston and Baton Rouge then down the Gulf Coast of Florida during what seemed to be the rainy season was a hell of a ride. From national forest to coastal town beaches, my girlfriend, Julia, and I conquered the entire Gulf Coast until finally reaching Key West. Having the Tepui tent was more than a blessing, it saved us time, money, and space in the car. It was incredibly easy to set up and the tent comes with a built in mattress which is incredibly comfortable. This means no air mattress and no loud battery powered air pumps that wake up the monsters in the forest that you think are outside your tent. Each night was a slumber party on the roof filled with campfire stories and s’mores. The tent raised the roof to our camping adventures, literally.
Once we arrived in Key West, we settle at Sugarloaf KOA for a couple days and soaked up the sun. Luckily, we found ourselves between two hurricanes which made for some great weather. During this adventure, we discovered that most of the national forests and campgrounds in Florida were either closed or still being repaired from last year's devastating hurricane Irma. This really forced us to that the road less traveled and forge new paths through mangled but beautiful landscapes.
The Tepui tent really is something. I can not even begin to count how many travelers and locals approached us asking about the tent that sits on the roof. The game of choice was 21 questions. What is that? How does it work? Where do I get one? These we just some of the responses we got from inquisitive explorers. At the end of the day, I do not know if we would have had the adventure we did without the Tepui tent. I would highly recommend this roof tent to anyone who is an frequent camper, explorer, or trailblazer of nature and its beauty. Oh yeah, and our Yeti cooler still has ice in it.