Summertime always goes hand in hand with the great outdoors, especially when many Americans have taken an economical hit and are choosing tent city instead of New York City for their seasonal excursions. Some of us run to the mountains and forests in delight, while others- not so much. If you are a self-declared “non-outdoorsy” type who has found herself along for the ride to a camping extravaganza, knowing a few things about gear and grime will help you to not only survive the camping experience, but to have a great time as well.
– Being “prissy” is NOT something to brag about. Perhaps you think it makes you more feminine or high-class, but acting like a diva is not attractive to men or women, and insisting on wearing heels in the desert just makes you look stupid. Get over the prissy act and resolve to not bitch and complain about anything, including the dirt on your shoes. Your camp mates will thank you and you might just drop the proud prissiness out of your life completely.
– Be prepared with adequate clothing! Nothing can ruin a camping trip like not having a warm enough jacket or sitting on the sidelines at the river while everyone jumps in because you forgot your bikini. Check the weather, check it twice, and then pack multiple layers including wool socks for the coldest nights. Comfortable shoes and a bikini should be travel staples no matter where you go.
– Eat correctly. At home you can get by on a diet rich with junk food and sugar highs, but outdoors you will need protein, and plenty of it- plan on eating more than you think you will, especially in the realm of snacks. Granola bars, peanut butter, beef jerky, trail mixes and protein bars will keep your energy level up. And stick in a chocolate bar or two to lift your spirits when you need it.
– Reframe your beauty routine. Although you don’t want to resemble the animals you might meet outside your tent, bringing your whole beauty regime is heavy and unnecessary. Pare down your supplies to the bare essentials, and look for products that can do double-duty like moisturizer/sunscreens and lip gloss/blush sticks. Pack cute bandannas to deal with your hair past day 3.
– Bring proper camping supplies. These will often depend on where you are going and for how long, so ask your more-experienced friends for their recommendations. Good supplies for any camping trip include baby wipes (more than you think you will need), a headlamp or flashlight, plenty of water, plastic bags of assorted types and sizes, a warm sleeping bag and a tent. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a giant tent- the smaller the better.
– Relax. At first you will be annoyed and maybe even a little anxious that you cannot use your phone, check your email or answer your Facebook messages. But soon this uncomfortable emotion will turn into something else…. is that freedom you feel? Being untethered from your normal connections will allow your mind and spirit room to breath without 800 other people chiming in, a rare experience in modern America. Enjoy it, relish it, and soon you might be asking your friends, “When are we going camping again?”