“Nature always rules, doesn’t it?” asks actress Yvonne Strahovski. Yes. Yes, it does!

Strahovski is best known for her roles in “Chuck” as Sarah Walker, the CIA agent assigned to protect the main character; in “Dexter” as Hannah McKay, Dexter’s not-so-sweet potential victim/love interest; and currently in “The Handmaid’s Tale” as Serena Joy Waterford, wife of the commander of Gilead.

But her favorite role is that of a nature lover and explorer of the great outdoors. Together with her husband and dogs, she travels across the country on sometimes planned, sometimes impromptu road trips.

“The views, the hidden wonders, the secret corners by creeks where I take a break and sip tea from my thermos, and the fresh air are some of the best elements for me.”

On first-time camping:

“Always check the temperatures, especially in the southern states. Also, get familiar with the local wildlife and how to handle a situation if an animal gets too close.”

Travelling with pets:

“Make sure they have their own space in the car, and make sure it’s not too hot and there is some air circulating for them. Remember regular drink and pee breaks, and keep them on a leash at the campsite so they’re safe from wild animals.”

Exploring in general:

“A lot of the time I don’t really have a solid plan. I make it up as I go based on where I think looks more exciting or interesting.”

Visiting national parks:

“If you can plan ahead and you know your exact dates, book the campsites. They get full very quickly!”

What to pack:

“You really only need the basics; the rest is about good company. Make sure you have a reliable tent, a comfy mattress, and if you’re driving to your campsite, bring your pillow! Bring some amazing food and enjoy.”

For Strahovski and many other Americans, national parks are a much-needed getaway. In order to maintain their precious and unique qualities, we must care for our parks with respect.