Category: Camping Tips

10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Most of the time I keep my cell phone turned off when we’re on a camping trip, but there are a few apps that I like to use.

10 free iPhone apps for camping

Try them out; they’re all free!

10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping


Waze is a navagation app with turn by turn directions. It will help you avoid traffic and speed traps on the way to your campsite.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Field Trip

Google’s Field Trip will notify you when you’re near interesting landmarks, historic buildings and great places to eat. It’s perfect for any road trip!


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Chimani National Parks Apps

Chimani’s apps are a great companion for a visit to a National Park. They have apps for Acadia, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains and more. Each app contains tons of features including photos, interactive maps, audio tours, sunrise/sunset times and even ranger events.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping


Gorillacam allows you to shoot time delay photos, stop motion video, but my favorite feature is it’s photo timer. I can just prop my iPhone up on the branch of a tree and snap a photo of Billy and I.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping


I use Instagram as my personal field guide. It helps me remember the names of plants I encounter. I snap a photo of the plant, identify it and post it to my Instagram account. You can follow me here.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping


Microsoft’s Photosynth allows you to take amazing panoramic photos and share them with your friends.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Coleman’s Classic Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner

This camping cookbook lets you search by cooking method, meal or ingredients. It has all the classic camping recipes.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

SkyView Free

Sky View Free is really helpful for identifying stars and constellations. It uses the iPhone’s camera and overlay’s the names of the stars.

Also check out SkyView Satellite guide. It’s free for a limited time and lets you track satellites, the International Space Station and more.


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Coleman Lantern

This cute, simple app will help you find your headlamp after dark. (hint: it’s packed in the deepest, darkest depths of the trunk of your car)


10 Free iPhone Apps for Camping

Yahoo! Weather

Yahoo! Weather is easy to use and it has all the information I need: current temp, 5/10 day forecast, detailed forecast, weather radar map, chance of rain and sunrise/sunset times. Thanks to images from flickr, it’s beautiful as well.

12 Camping Beauty Tips

It may seem a little strange to worry about how you look when you’re in the woods camping. But when you think about the number of photos that are taken on camping trips, it makes sense. Here are my tips on how to look your best, even when the showers are miles away.

12 great camping beauty tips


  1. Start Curly: If you have straight hair, curl it before you leave your house. It prevents your hair from getting really flat. I’ll often curl my hair on Friday. By Saturday it’s just wavy, and on Sunday it just has a little extra volume. I use a technique like this.
  2. Dry Shampoo: If your roots start to look greasy, use some dry shampoo. It’s super easy to use. Just spray it in, wait a few minutes and then brush the powder out. Pssssst! Dry Shampoo is $6 and it works great.
  3. Pigtails: When my hair begins to get a bit flat, I sometimes put it in pigtails. They tend to look less slicked back than a ponytail. Just make your pigtails really low or you’ll look like Punky Brewster.
  4. Hat: If all else fails, cover up your hair with a hat, scarf or bandana. I love my straw cowboy hat, It comes with me on every camping trip.


  1. Makeup Removing Wipes: Sometimes it’s hard to wash your face at night. My old roommate tipped me off to these Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and I really like them. They are meant to remove makeup, but they work equally well on dirt and oil. They are a great way to clean your face without water. 
  2. Baby Wipes: Baby wipes are useful for freshening up other parts of your body when you can’t shower. They’re also really good at removing soot from your hands. I buy them in small packs like this.
  3. BB Cream: BB Cream is great because it moisturizes and evens out your skin. It’s lightweight and perfect for a no-makeup look. I use L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic B.B. Cream in Light.
  4. Mascara: When I’m camping, I leave my mascara on for a few days. I use L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tube Technology Lash Extension Effect Mascara, Blackest Black. I skip the white base and it stays on until I wet it with warm water. Then it removes in pieces and doesn’t smudge all over your face. 


  1. Running Gear & Yoga Clothes: In addition to my usual jeans and shorts, I love to pack a running tank top and shorts. They’re flattering and work well whether I’m hiking, kayaking or biking. I even sleep in them at night. In colder weather, I opt for yoga pants, a tank top and a fitted sweatshirt. Pick synthetic fabrics if possible. If you get wet they’ll dry quickly. Target has some nice, affordable activewear.
  2. Flannels: Flannels are the quintessential camping shirt for a reason. They are cosy, lightweight and perfect for nights around the campfire. I find most of mine at Goodwill.
  3. Tank Tops: I always pack a few tank tops for every camping trip. I like the fit of AE tank tops. These racerback bras work really well under a tank top.
  4. Flip Flops: In addition to hiking boots, it’s great to have a pair of flip flops that you can slide on when you step out of the tent. I’ve had these
    Reef Stargazer flip flops
    for years. They’re durable, comfortable, cute and you can hose them off if they get dirty.
    Also check out my camping checklist for a complete list of what to pack.

What’s your secret to looking cute while camping?

10 Dehydrated Recipes for Camping

Billy and I are planning a camping trip to Yatesville Lake in Kentucky. Our site is a boat-in site, so we’re bringing our kayaks. We’ll need to pack light so we can fit everything into our kayaks’ hatches. There is an access trail to our site, but we think it would be more fun to boat-in with all our gear. Our campsite is primitive, but within the state park there are also sites with RV hookups, hot showers and even a golf course. I keep joking that I am going to sneak off and take hot shower while Billy is roughing it.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

If you’re headed out to the backcountry or you just want to pack light, dehydrated meals are the way to go. I am planning on bringing an assortment of dehydrated meals for our trip. I don’t want to weigh our kayaks down with heavy cans and jars of food. I’m dehydrating a jar of our favorite spaghetti sauce right now. It’s really easy, and when it’s done dehydrating, it will be small enough to fit in my pocket.

You don’t even need a dehydrator to make dehydrated foods. You can just use your oven on its lowest setting, with the door cracked slightly. If you don’t mind spending a little more, REI has some freeze-dried meals that are pretty good, though I tend to prefer my own cooking. I think the Mountain House meals are the best of the bunch. I really enjoyed their dehydrated eggs when I went backpacking in Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks. I just topped the eggs with some Taco Bell taco sauce and they were awesome. The Mountain House Pasta Primavera was decent as well. Another option is to find dried foods at the supermarket or bulk food store.

Readily Available Supermarket Dried Foods

  • dried tortellini
  • soup packets
  • dehydrated chili mix
  • ramen noodles
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • wasabi peas
  • dehydrated onions (spice aisle)
  • dried fruit
  • oatmeal
  • cous cous
  • minute rice

If you decide to dehydrate foods at home, there are three rules you should follow.

3 Rules of Dehydrating

  1. Prevent Spoilage: Keep all dehydrated foods in the freezer until you are ready to head out. Oil causes dehydrated foods to quickly become rancid. Try to cook with a minimal amount of oil. Rinse greasy foods like ground beef with water before you dehydrate them.
  2. Don’t Mix Flavors: For example, don’t dehydrate bananas at the same time as onions – you’ll end up with banana-y onions and onion-y bananas. Nasty!
  3. Use the Right Temperature: Foods like meats have to be dehydrated at a higher temperature to make them safe to eat. Other foods like fruits and vegetables can be dehydrated at a lower temperature. Refer to the manual that came with your dehydrator for the exact settings.

Hungry yet? Here are some recipes that look especially tasty.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Dirty Gourmet has a lot of really good recipes for dehydrated meals and snacks including this Coconut Curry Soup.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Ramen noodles aren’t just for broke college students. Check out Dirty Gourmet’s Not Your Average Ramen.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

These Maple Olive Oil Apple Chips look delicious as well.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Dehydrated Bushwalking Food has some great dinner ideas, including this Tikka Masala.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Check out this savory Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic, and Goat Cheese Rotini from Happy Tramper.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Or try this healthy Lentil Soup from Powered by Plantz.

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating  10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Laurie Ann March authored two backpacking cookbooks. Take a look at her recipe for Sunny Garlic Hummus.

Backpacker’s Packable Dehydrated Salads look great if you can’t live without salad when you’re on the trail .

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

Their Spicy Curry Noodles look great as well!

10 Dehydrated Food Recipes for Camping & Backpacking, Plus 3 Rules of Dehydrating

This One Pot Vegetarian Chili mixes wet and dried ingredients and looks incredibly healthy.

Check out YouTube for tons of step-by-step videos on food dehydration.

Do you have any go-to recipes for packing light? I’d love to try them out on our trip!