The Girls’ Guide To Camping

Cabins & Camping, Lost Girls, Planning, United States, Websites and Blogs, Wildlife & Animals — By on June 9, 2009 at 7:40 am

Britt ReintsOur guest blogger today is Britt Reints, who has been blogging at Miss Britt since 2005. Offline, she says she has a fancy title that includes words like “VP” and “marketing” – which essentially means she sells stuff. Online, she’s says she’s entirely too open about her personal life and has embraced the motto, “Dignity is Overrated.” She neglects to tell any of this to her editors at her paid blogging gigs where she writes about vacations for the travel site Uptake. If you’re a camping virgin, check out her tips for what to pack and how to find a campsite near you (with showers!).

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“I remember the first time I asked my mother if I could go on an overnight camping trip with friends. She raised an eyebrow, titled her head, and asked me where I was really planning to spend the night.

“You hate nature,” she reminded me. “You hate bugs and trees and dirt. You do know that camping happens outside, right?”

Her surprise hasn’t wained in the 15 or so years since I made that first request. Every single time I recount a camping trip to her, she laughs out loud and shakes her head. “You hate nature,” she repeats.

While hate is a rather strong word, it’s true that I am not what you’d call an “outdoorsy” girl. I am certain that I am both allergic to mosquitoes and genetically engineered to attract them. I spend most of my days in high heels and prefer Kenneth Cole to Coleman. And still, I have grown to love camping.

camping beachesI like being temporarily disconnected from the real world and circling a campfire with good friends. I like seeing new things and having grand adventures – even if that requires enduring a night or two of sleeping on the ground. While most of my time is spent reveling in being A Girl, I have learned how to make the most of any camping trip. Here are a few tips:

I highly recommend staying at a campground with showers. At the very least, a campground with bathroom facilities are nice. State and county parks often have large, well maintained bathrooms and showers for campers. If you’re forced to camp without the convenience of indoor plumbing, make sure you locate a water source of some kind and pitch your tent as close by as possible.

The most important part of any camping trip for me is the packing process. I actually have a camping tub that I keep stocked with camping supplies.

Every camper, whether male or female, should bring a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, garbage bags, food for dinner AND breakfast (the meal most commonly forgotten by amateur campers), plenty of water, camping chairs and a lantern. Those are the minimum requirements for a camping trip.

camping familyIn addition to bringing food and shelter, remember to bring all of your necessary toiletries. Bring deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush. It’s also a good idea to bring feminine hygeine products if there is even a remote chance of you needing something while you’re camping. I also bring body spray and hand sanitizer, because it’s nice to freshen up a little bit in the morning. If you have a campsite with a shower, remember to bring shampoo and conditioner and a brush or comb. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cleaning up while you’re camping. It doesn’t make you less of a real camper, and will probably make you more comfortable for during your trip.

Do not bring mascara on a camping trip. Seriously. The squirrels do not care how long your lashes are. However, it is a good idea to bring some type of lip balm and sunscreen to keep you protected from the sun and wind.

When it comes to packing clothes, remember that you’re dealing with nature in it’s purset form – without heat or air conditioning. Bring long pants, sweatshirts and socks to keep you warm when the sun goes down. Bring lighter clothes for the heat of the day. It stands to reason that you should wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. It’s also a good idea to bring at least one more change of clothes than you think you’ll need, just in case. For footwear, I always bring one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of flip flops. If you’re planning to hike, you’ll want a supportive pair of hiking boots as well.

The main thing to keep in mind is that it’s perfectly acceptable to make yourself comfortable – within reason. There’s no shame in taking a break to clean up or bringing a brush to comb out your hair at the end of the day. Take the time to plan for the elements and bring everything you’ll need to stay warm, fed and hydrated for the duration of your trip.

And of course, bring plenty of bug spray.

To find a campground in your area (with showers!), check out KOA Camping and Reserve America.

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    7 Comments

  • Powered by Tofu says:

    lol, it's interesting to see camping from the perspective of an "indoorsy" person (you have to watch the Jim Gaffigan camping segment on YouTube )

    I'd add a self-inflating sleeping pad to your list too (Mine weighs less than a pound). It makes you a happier morning person. 🙂

  • Corrin says:

    Roughing it to me is the Holiday Inn. I do not do outdoors. It makes me itch just thinking about it.

  • giak says:

    Very cool and inspiring blog!!! I was blog surfing when I came across your blog!!!

    ~Gia K. ( Angela )
    http://www.stonedsoul.com

  • Everett says:

    Great stuff. You girls are very adventuresome! If you need camping gear, look me up. http://campinggear4you.com

  • Nilz says:

    I have always found it very exciting to spend few days outdoor. This is rejuvenating, and those moments are unforgettable. Packaging is beyond doubt the most important component. I have always prepared a checklist of items I need to carry to keep all my essentials handy.

    Nilz

    …………..
    Brigade-QM

  • lynne b. [my life in blog] says:

    i love this! like you, im kenneth cole meeting coleman. however, i do not leave home w/o the mascara 🙂

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