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After spending a decade in Chicago, Joe & I moved to Seattle 3 years ago where we left behind our weekends of lots of cab rides, bright lights and tall sky scrapers for more outdoors oriented weekend activities (READ camping).
Yes, camping. Although I love nature as much as the next person, admittedly I was really nervous about camping!
Nervous because at the age of 32 I had never once gone camping. Not even back yard camping, glamping or even cabins. When Joe suggested spending a weekend camping during our first summer in Seattle, I had no clue what to pack, let alone what type of luggage to bring. (FYI, a suitcase is NOT the right answer.) After years of less than ideal camping packing, I’ve comprised a list of camping supplies EVERY city girls needs 🙂 .
The top items ever City Girl needs on their next camping trip
1 Not only does hiking work up an appetite, but putting a tent together??? That’s a workout in itself. You’ll want to have easy to grab snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Individually packaged snacks tend to be the easiest for camping trips and day hikes.
2 If you’re lucky enough to camp at a camp sight that has a bathroom, don’t expect a 4 star hotel accommodations. The first time we went camping I spend more time looking for a spot to place my toiletry bag than actually brushing my teeth. Let me be the one to tell you, there’s NO where to put your toiletry bag that looks appealing. That’s why S hooks are a total life saver. Hook it to the back of the stall door or on a ledge while you’re washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc. Brilliant.
3 No I’m not trying to start a new footwear fashion trend, but bear with me. These sandals are PERFECT for transitioning from your hiking shoes at the end of the day to hanging around the camp fire at night. Odds are that it will be chilly enough at night that you’ll want to wear socks, but after a long day of hiking, you might not want to slip in to another pair of shoes.
4 That feeling of just being dirty likely won’t go away until you get back home and take a shower. But having one-use face wipes will make a huge difference (and MUCH easier than washing your face). I even put a couple in clear plastic bags to take with me when we go hiking during the day. (I LOVE these individually wrapped wipes. Only bring the amount you need!)
5 I skipped the large full size hand sanitizers for several of these smaller hand sanitizers. I put them ALL over the campsite. I mean all over. One in our tent, one next to the food, one in my hiking bag and one in my toilet paper caddy … which brings me to …
6 The ONLY thing that’s worse than using the bathroom outside, is having to use damp or dirty toilet paper. Ugh. To make sure this NEVER happens to you, put your toilet paper role in an large clear plastic bag. While you’re at it, throw in your hand sanitizer and a flashlight. Remember all those times you get up in the middle of the night to use your bathroom in your house? Well it’s a little different in the middle of the night in the wilderness. Flashlight needed!
7 “Sleeping in the woods is so comfortable” said no one ever. Put your yoga matt to work and lay it down underneath your sleeping bag before going to bed. Although though it’s so thin, it makes a huge difference!
8 When we camp, we always bring so much stuff with us. Between all the food, cooking supplies, tent, sleeping bags, it takes up a lot of room in our trunk. I love using clear bags to put clothes and blankets in. Then when we’re searching for items in the trunk, we know exactly what is in each bag! (These clear bags have HANDLES. Game Changer!)
9 Impress all those serious campers with your ability to get the fire started! Plus who really has time to sit around and wait for the fire to finally start going?? Add a little petroleum jelly to a couple cotton balls. Then place several of these under the logs before starting the fire.
10 At the end of the weekend the last thing you want is for your car to be as dirty as you feel! Put those hiking shoes (or fancy sandals 🙂 ) in shower caps to prevent dirt from getting all over the floor of your car or trunk. One less thing to have to clean up when you get home! (You can buy these super cheap online.)
After years of uncomfortable camping trips, I’ve finally mastered the packing … now if I could just get wifi to work in the wilderness.
Looking at these recent camping trips, I don’t know what I was waiting for all these years!
What’s your best city girl camping tip?!?