The girly girl in me has fallen in love with the manly man in Mark. The manly man in Mark likes to spend the summer camping. Luckily his version of camping involves an air mattress, unlike my childhood version of camping where my dad would lay down a yoga mat for us (oh, Dads). But his version of camping also involves sleeping in a tent rain, shine, 90 degree heat or 30 degree evenings. It involves not always having running water or electricity, things that a girly girl like me tends to need.
That being said, I have really enjoyed the two times Mark and I have gone camping. We are heading out for our third trip this Fourth of July weekend and have a FULL WEEK planned to go later this month.
But part of the reason why I enjoy camping with Mark is that I do it my way. I refuse to live off of only cheap hot dogs (as delish as they are), to neglect my beauty sleep, and to spend my time in nature chopping wood.
These are my camping essentials:
Skincare – I do NOT neglect my skincare routine when I go camping. I pack it all! I don’t wear makeup when camping, but my face feels coated by all of the elements at the end of the day, and by the must of the tent in the morning. Since it’s unlikely to get a good shower while camping, maintaining my skin care routine helps me feel refreshed. Not to mention it adds a little luxe to the experience!
A suitcase full of cute bathing suits and loungewear – We always camp near water, and I tend to trade bras and underwear for bathing suits. At first this was because I would lay out and tan near the water. But usually a day camping leaves you a little sweaty and dirty and bathing suits are more durable than underwear.
In terms of loungewear, I bring LOTs of it! A set for every evening may be excessive, but it is usually what I do. For starters, I’m always more comfortable in a sweatshirt and sweatpants at night. Aside from being cozy by the fire, they keep the bugs away. But similar to doing my skincare routine every night, putting on a fresh pair of clothes each evening makes me feel refreshed and helps me forget how long it has been since I’ve had that good shower.
Home-baked goods – I love s’mores, but there is something about a freshly baked cookie that makes you feel at home. Camping can involve so much pre-packaged food that a home-baked cookie, though not healthy, feels more wholesome. Big chewy cookies also feel more indulgent than a thin, crisp graham cracker. Indulgence = luxury…are you catching on yet?
Fresh Veggies – Similar to my point about home baked goods, you are likely eating a countless amount of hot dogs when camping. It’s easy to stick to a bag of potato chips and call it a meal. But if you’re like me, eating lots of processed food days in a row bothers my stomach. If I’m going to be living in a bathing suit during the day, I don’t want to feel bloated!
Fresh veggies are actually a very easy campfire dish. Mark and I slice them and throw them in tin foil with salt, pepper, and either olive oil or a chunk of butter. You can either put the tin foil directly next to the fire, or you can put a metal grate over the embers and put them on there. The vegetables will steam themselves in the foil! Our go-to veggies are ones that don’t need to be kept in the cooler to stay fresh: zucchini, summer squash, sweet potato and white potato (make sure you dice the potatoes up small so they cook in a reasonable amount of time!)
A good Book – A good book is a must for me no matter where or when I travel (even if I’m just going to Mark’s for the night, I bring my book even though I know we’ll probably binge Seinfeld before bed instead). The best reason for bringing a book camping? To have something else to do with your hand when the others start collecting and chopping up firewood 🙂
These five essentials make Mark’s version of (real) camping feel a little more like the glamping I used to envision.