Camping Must-Haves for the Non-Camper
As most of you know, Trevor and I just got back from a two-week long camping trip. It was insanely fun, but also full of lessons. We are not avid campers and really went into this experience not knowing what to expect. Well, boy oh boy did we learn a few things. It’s the middle of summer, so I figured there’s got to be lots of other non- campers out there about to embark on a trip they might not be ready for.
So, here is some unsolicited advice on camping. There’s still a lot I don’t know, so for the sake of others, please feel free to add to it in the comments.
These were crucial. Especially because Trevor and I’s trip was so long. Our first campsite had no toilets, not even vaults, so toilet paper definitely came in handy very quickly. Also, shout out to my mom for suggesting baby wipes because showering was limited, so with the wipes we could at least clean up a little bit and feel slightly clean.
A big thing I wish I had was my acne medication. I don’t have the worst skin, but I do get break outs every now and then. Well, I broke out something fierce during our trip and it continued the first week we were home. I hadn’t had that many zits on my face since middle school. I definitely recommend brining a cleanser to get the dirt out of your pores and then a topical gel of sorts to avoid breaking out.
Obviously, we had money with us, but we had the misconception that camping was free. It’s not. That probably sounds really naïve, but like I said, we aren’t campers. We knew we’d have to pay to get into the National Parks, but we have no idea it would cost about $20 (or more) to camp each night. We also forgot to build the cost of ice and firewood into our budget. Those are two things we spent lots of unplanned dollars on.
The Right Shoes
Between the hiking and being around a lot of water, it was important to have the right footwear. Luckily, I bought a pair of Teva’s before the trip and I pretty much never took them off the entire trip. They had more traction on them than any of the tennis shoes I brought and were perfect wearing around water when we went fishing. I love them so much and highly recommend picking up pair — camping or not. Best part is they were only $40 on Amazon! Find them here.
The minute I stepped out of our rental Jeep and started checking out the campsite I was completely eaten alive by mosquitos. We would sit around the fire dowsed in spray and they would just hover all around us and buzzing in our ears. It was terrible. Thankfully the mosquitos were much better at our other campsites, but we would have literally died without spray.
An Air Mattress
I don’t care who you are, sleeping on an air mattress is way better than sleeping on the ground. You might ask, but is it really camping if you bring a mattress? My perspective is we’re still sleeping in a tent, have to build a fire to eat anything and don’t have a working toilet. So, you tell me, is bringing an air mattress a cop out? I say no.
I came prepared with several great books and thank goodness because there was lots of downtime. Downtime was exactly what I wanted, but I don’t think we realize how much time we waste staring at our phones/computers/TVs. We would lay down to go to bed usually in the eight o’clock hour, sometimes even earlier, so I was really thankful to have some form of entertainment.
We saw a lot of people in our various campsites playing cards or board games, probably people who camp on the regular, because we did not even think about this. Next time.
The first book I read was If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins and it was fabulous. It was a fun, light, easy read and I blazed right through it. I highly recommend. I also brought along Intuitive Eating, Big Magic and The Defining Decade. All of which I’ve only heard amazing things about.
Not having a camping hammock right now is like not having a Netflix account. You’re weird if you go on an outdoors based trip without one. We had one, thank goodness. Find our awesome and super trendy hammock, here.