I’m not high maintenance. It doesn’t take me long to get ready in the morning, and I survive without my face plastered in foundation. That being said, the idea of camping in a tent comes with some..um..reservations :-). Warm beds and city living usually trump spiders and dirt. My parents tried, they really did. I’ve been told stories of camping as a baby in the middle of cow fields, and living in Montana as a toddler, so shouldn’t that automatically entitle me to the rugged outdoor girl gene?
Although rugged I’m not, I am in awe of nature’s beauty, and the Pacific NW is full of gems. Not to mention the welcomed nostalgia of campfires, time away to unwind, and the feeling of accomplishment from a good hike.
Here are tips from someone who’s fairly clueless when it comes to camping, but who’s determined to enjoy the outdoors and life’s creature comforts at the same time.
Fail to plan, plan to fail right? If I don’t have healthy snacks on hand I am too easily enticed by fast food land. Larabars are my go-to healthy snack for road trips or on a hike, and how can you have hiking without trail mix? Homemade trail mix is cheaper than store-bought, and you can tailor it just for you. Head to the bulk bins and create! My co-worker added cocoa dusted almonds for a healthier alternative to chocolate chips.
Speaking of homemade, I whipped up some bug spray, and did not end up with a single bite! Here’s the link I followed: http://wellnessmama.com/2565/homemade-bug-spray/
Make sure to bring hand sanitizer and/or soap. We were “lucky” enough to have a bathroom, but there was no soap to be had. Yuck. Side note, I really detest campground restrooms.
Warm clothes and blankets. I can’t say this enough. When in a forest at night it can get pretty cold. I thought I had packed enough warm things and I was wrong. Bundle up. Bring an extra comforter (or two!). And if your sleeping bag is mummy style like mine, and your husband wants to use it as a blanket so you can cuddle, it’s not going to be nearly as warm (I found that out the hard way). So if you’re the spooning type, load up the blankets!!
Facial wipes (I like grapefruit anything) so you can spend less time in those bathrooms, and tinted moisturizer (to limit the makeup, but add sun protection and a dewy finish) are must haves. A small magnifying mirror to set up in the tent would also have been helpful instead of my iPhone’s camera ;).
Cash. Although we had some healthy snacks, when we needed a meal on the way there the tiny town had cash only places, or fast greasy food. Packed meals would have been even better.
Borrow what you can! We don’t tent camp or go on intense hikes regularly, so for us to buy the essentials was steep. Luckily this area is full of people who do, and we were able to borrow a tent and two Camelbak backpacks. Thanks friends!
DustBuster. Yes, you can also bring a broom and dustpan, but it’s not the easiest thing to brush a bumpy tent floor. If you have one, why not?
Pillows. We forgot. Enough said.
It’s hard to imagine places where there are no service, but they do exist! Err on the side of caution, and assume you will be out of range. Kind of a bummer when you reach the destination of your hike and you can’t Instagram it!
Set your phone on airplane mode, or get a cordless charger that will get you an extra day of battery, it’s even in pink! How cute is this? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EET7UHE/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A294P4X9EWVXLJ
First off, if you are borrowing a tent or it’s your first time using it, practice putting it up once. Take pictures. Not that having a marital lesson in communication in front of others isn’t entertaining, but it may save some tense moments. Communing with nature should be stress free right? 😉
Tent Smell. You know it, that musty smell the next day you wake up in a tent. Besides leaving part of the tent open with just a screen, my homemade bug spray was with lavender and served double duty as an air freshener. You could also bring your favorite spritzer or essential oil.
– Hiking Helps
Hiking sticks are for real! When the steep snow banks came I was happy to have one. It even had my name engraved on it;).
A water delivery system is nice to have so you can sip while walking, and prevent those frequent water bottle stops. We bought alkaline water to fill our bladders (the reservoir that holds the water inside he backpack), but you could also freeze water at home and let it thaw on the trip. Either in bottles or a big plastic water dispenser (which can easily be found on Amazon.com).
Protection. I thought about doing a cute Bohemian head wrap, but not only was that tricky in my iPhone’s camera, but it was not enough protection for this ginger head. Hats and lots of sweat proof sunblock. Even on the lips. The snow reflects the sun!
S’more sandwiches anyone? My boss had this ingenious way of making s’mores. If you like your mallows charred this is not for you, but for all the golden lovers this is divine! Just get a broiler basket like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009PUR0O/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER,or one made just for s’mores. Th key is flattening the marshmallow so it evenly covers the chocolate as much as possible. You end up with a delightful, evenly distributed, golden treat!
Credit goes to Dr. Lloyd Tucker. If you think he’s good with s’mores you should see what he can do with your teeth and gums! www.drlloydtucker.com
Good things come in small packages. Or doses. I usually get my tent camping fill in 2-3 days. Otherwise, I recommend scheduling a massage upon coming home. Now lodges are a whole other story. I’m all about the glamping;-).