Tag: camping

Cosby Campground – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We recently took a last-minute trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to enjoy some fall colors. We didn’t have reservations, so we decided to camp at Cosby Campground. It’s one of the least popular campgrounds in the park. In my book, that’s a good thing. Cosby is about 30 minutes east of the tourist mecca of Gatlinburg, so we didn’t have to deal with traffic or crowds. Here’s a map of the entire park >

Camping - Cosby Campground - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It was dark when we arrived at the campground. We selected site B67. It is located in the back of loop B (Cosby Campground map). These sites are among the best in the campground. They are elevated from the road and surrounded by woods.  The entire campground is wooded, but there isn’t a lot of undergrowth, so the sites are only semi-private. Each site has a picnic table, a fire ring with a nice cooking grate and a flat, crushed gravel pad for your tent.

our-site-at-Cosby-2

We had just arrived and I was rolling out our sleeping pads in the tent when someone from a couple of sites over came over and told Billy that there was a bear nearby. She shined her flashlight into the woods and the bear was 20 feet from our tent – the tent that I was inside! I got out of the tent barefoot and walked quickly toward the car, not even bothering to zip the tent shut. Moments later the bear stuck his head inside our tent! He then circled around the tent and then slowly walked away. Our hearts still pounding, we drove over to the camp host’s trailer to let her know about the bear.

Our bear encounter was the talk of the town the following day. When we went to buy firewood, the shop owner exclaimed “that was you!?” We saw a couple more bears during our stay at Cosby, but we were careful not to leave food out so we didn’t run into any problems.

Cosby campground is very beautiful. It’s a clean and well maintained campground, including the bathrooms. The bathrooms don’t have soap, so don’t forget to bring some from home.

Camping - Cosby Campground - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

{us after five days, no showers}

There aren’t any showers at Cosby. I’m fine with not showering for five days, but if you are desperate for a shower, you can take one for $5 in the town of Cosby.

There are lots of hikes of varying difficulty that start at Cosby campground. We especially enjoyed the hike to Hen Wallow Falls and the self-guiding nature trail. Hiking and other things to do in the Cosby area >

Location: 471 Cosby Park Rd, Cosby, TN
Reservations: Only a handful of sites are reservable online. Most sites are first come, first serve. With the exception of holiday weekends, you should have no problem finding a site.
Camping fees: $14/night

Have you visited the Smoky Mountains? Where did you stay?

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite time of year to camp. I love sitting by a campfire bundled in a wool blanket on a crisp fall evening.

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Dutch Oven Pumpkin Corn Bread, Apple Cider Toddy, Campfire Baked Apples, Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate, Veggie Chili

Here are some great looking recipes that I’m planning on making this fall.

1. Campfire Baked Apples

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Baked Apples

Bake up Family Spice’s campfire apples for a fall treat.

2. Dutch Oven Pumpkin Corn Bread

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Pumpkin Cornbread

Nothing says fall like pumpkin. Try this dutch oven pumpkin cornbread from Overland Trailer.

3. Veggie Chili

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Veggie Chili

My veggie chili is the perfect meal to warm you up on a crisp fall day.

4. Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate

Check out this Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate from one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess.

5. Apple Cider Toddy

5 Fantastic Fall Camping Recipes - Hot Apple Toddy

Try an Apple Cider Toddy from The Boys Club as you sit around the campfire.

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

Hair

  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.

Skin

  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. 

Clothes

  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?