Camping season is upon us! Now with more shelter! My husband and I have always been tent campers, but as fate would have it, this spring we found and purchased a camper (I don’t mean to brag, but it’s not just any camper… it’s a 1972 Airstream!!!) Tent camping – you’re dead to me. Even still, many of my camping essentials remain the same. Here are some of my requirements to survive a long weekend in the woods.
Coffee – More than likely I’ll sleep not quite as good as I do in my own bed at home. You know….. that bed, that is in a house, not on the ground or a less than comfortable mattress of sorts. While I love camping, getting a good night’s rest is a challenge for me. I require lots and lots of coffee in the AM. We always bring pre-ground beans and a french press, which is how we have it at home. Just add hot water and you’re good to go.
Easy foods – A lot of prep goes into meal planning when you decide to go to the woods and live out of coolers for 4 days. Of course in the back of my mind I always know we can drive into town if we need anything (donuts!), but I try to be really prepared with food, if not somewhat healthy as well….. I don’t want to be eating hot dogs all weekend. This year I’m trying a couple of new things that can be pre-made and then just be reheated or toasted over a cook stove or a campfire. Like these cauliflower breakfast muffins. Recently I had received some rhubarb from a coworker, so I made rhubarb scones – which were perfect with the coffee I cannot live without. Raw veggies and hummus or some other dip is great – you can pre-cut everything and store in air/water tight containers. Lunch meats and lettuce for wraps (I try to leave bread products behind.) And possibly the easiest meal, burgers and portobello caps grilled over the fire, served with lettuce, tomato and avocado atop a couple of leaves of romaine.
Drinks! – Water – we bring a few jugs, freezing one or two before we leave to keep in the coolers as our ice packs… as they thaw over the weekend, we drink them up. Beer. Whiskey. Champagne. Wine. We’re on vacation – don’t judge us.
Clothes that look good but you don’t mind getting dirty and smoky – My clothes are going to get smelly and dirty. If I am being honest, I feel like campfire smell is the worst and it never comes out of my clothes until the second washing – I’m wearing a clean hoodie as I type this that still has a lingering smoky smell. I try to pack for what the forecast looks like, but it’s often a gamble, so I try to bring things I can layer (dress like an onion!). Some sweatshirts, a pair or two of jeans and shorts and a variety of t-shirts is what I fill my bag with – I lean towards darker colors (white is just a really bad idea) – along with an assortment of scarves and bandannas to accessorize with. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off (VANS and flip flops) are my best bet, as I go in and out of the tent or camper I want to avoid carrying too much dirt and sand into my temp living quarters. And a hat of some variety is never a bad idea. No, camping is not a fashion show. Yes, I still like to look cute.
Running water – I NEED a real sink that produces running water that is, if I’m lucky, hopefully even warm at times. This is one of the first things I look at when booking our trips. Even with all the amazing pre-moistened, packaged cleansing cloths out there, I will at some point want to wash my face with real running water. And flush-able toilets. I can only handle the vault/pit toilets in emergencies. If there is also a shower, huge bonus!
SPF – Don’t forget your sunscreen! Even in the dappled light of the forest, you are still getting sun. UV rays don’t give a crap if you’re in the shade….. they are still reaching you and your delicate, youthful skin.
So, how about y’all? Do you camp? Do you think I’m crazy? What things do you absolutely need to live in the woods for a weekend?