We’ve all seen some crazy camping photos, and I just had to write about what not to bring on a camping adventure.
Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE the idea of glamping and would love to set something fancy up in my backyard because, wow, some setups just look so freaking cute, right? But, when it comes to camping with my men, I have to camp smart, and ladies, you should too.
Here’s what NOT to bring on your camping adventures:
Perfume, of any kind. Yes, I know how badly you want to smell nice for your beau, I do, especially when you’re roughing it. I’d like to smell nice outdoors too but you’ll attract something else instead. Mosquitoes. In fact, bugs of many kinds will be more attracted to you if you wear any kind of scent. Stick with a basic soap like Ivory or Dove and keep it simple. If you MUST bring something to smell nice, make it Original Skin-So-Soft by Avon. This is the last thing I apply before getting out of the shower, because bugs don’t like it.
Valuables, of any kind. If you would be devastated to lose it, don’t bring it. This goes for electronics and designer anything… if it’s a must, keep it locked in the car, but it’s really recommended that you just leave it at home. Camping is not a cushy activity. It’s full of dirt and mess and wildlife, and if you are worrying the entire time about your valuables, you won’t enjoy yourself. Trust me.
Jewellery. Ladies, camping is not the best opportunity to accessorize. Just like perfume, you want to keep it as simple as possible. I always wear earrings on the way to our campsite and I never use them again until we get home. Your promise/engagement/wedding rings are obviously a must but beyond that, leave it at home.
Excessive food. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now, you know I’m a planner. And if you haven’t been, let me just point out that planning your meals ahead of time is truly your best bet. There are a few reasons for this, but of the major ones, there’s space. I’d much rather bring fewer food items if it means bringing the fishing rods or an extra tarp. Secondly, it’s wasteful if you have to bring it all back home with you (which underlines the fact that you didn’t need it). Plan your meals well in advance, I show you how here, here and let’s not forget, here.
Uncooked meat. This depends on how far you’re traveling and when you plan to cook it. Yes, I have thrown away food because it became contaminated and I wasn’t willing to risk our health. I learned not to bring so much next time. If you’re camping a few hours away and it’s frozen rock solid before you leave, it should be good for a day or two AT MOST. I wouldn’t plan more than two meals with frozen, uncooked meat. When in doubt, don’t.
Contraband of any kind. Drugs, firearms, and fireworks are good examples. A lot of campgrounds also don’t permit alcohol (check with the campground before you make reservations). If it’s illegal, it’s not wise to take any chances, and no, it won’t create laughable memories. It will be etched in your mind forever as the trip that sucked because you were kicked out of the campground. Camp smart!
Excessive cooking gear. As the boys scouts say, always be prepared. However, you don’t need five frying pans of varying sizes or 20 plates for a family of four. If you can’t fit it all into one large tote, reevaluate whether it’s necessary to bring on your trip. You’ll be washing your dishes after each and every meal anyway, to keep the critters away. Otherwise, you’ll be taking my advice and bringing paper plates, bowls, cups and recyclable cutlery instead. Even so, plan to have enough for each meal (plus a few extra in case of mishaps).
Heels. Yes, I’ve actually seen this, and it was really tough to not laugh in her face. Wait, maybe I did. I don’t remember. Ladies, a camping trip is not a fashion show, and heels are not practical footwear for anyone on the best of days (they really are bad for your feet, but damn, we all love them anyway, right?). You need two pairs of shoes: flip-flops and solid running shoes. Nothing else. Leave the heels at home if you don’t want them caked in mud or soiled from lake water.
In conclusion, less is more, really. There’s only so much you can fit into your vehicle and if it’s a family trip, bring a family activity instead of the double-boiler or a lighted make-up mirror. Your best bet for a fun-filled, adventurous camping trip is keep everything to a minimum*.
*(This does NOT apply to medication, btw… just make sure you store it in a cool, dark place so as not to diminish its effectiveness.)
Thank you MrsAOK from A Work In Progress for featuring my post!