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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here it is – my checklist from years of car camping! Every time I forgot something, the missing item gets added to the list. Just last weekend, I forgot the propane adapter for my camp stove, so I added it to the list.
I don’t bring each item on the list each time I camp. It would be a little silly to bring sleeping pads, cots and an air mattress. 🙂
I simply print out the checklist and cross out the items I don’t need. Once I gather all my camping gear, I check off all the items that I am bringing.
Here’s the complete list, along with my tips and recommendations.
Before you leave:
charge air pump
charge rechargeable batteries
charge camera battery
charge led lantern
freeze blocks of ice I use a food storage container to freeze several blocks of ice for my cooler. Then I release the blocks by running hot tap water over the container. These blocks take forever to melt and make it easier to pack the cooler.
get cash You’ll need smaller bills to pay for firewood, entrance fees and your campsite.
Buy near campsite:
firewood To avoid spreading Emerald Ash Borer (and breaking the law), buy firewood near your campsite.
cold beer Things that start cold, stay cold. We like to drink local beers when we’re traveling. On our last camping trip we picked up some New Glarus and Potosi brews.
Nearby in the car:
directions My phone’s GPS has a meltdown when we’re driving on country roads. Print directions as a back-up.
guidebooks The tent camping guides from Menasha Ridge Press are great. I can’t recommend them enough.
blankets Billy gave me a camp blanket like this for Christmas. It’s great for snuggling up around the campfire and we also throw it over our sleeping bag on cold nights.
beverage cooler The beverage cooler gets opened (and left open) a lot. Bring a separate cooler for food.
water jug I use my parents’ Coleman water jug from 1984. The camping tradition continues…
shovel To pull hot coals out of the fire for cooking.
tarp To keep your firewood dry.
tent I love, love, love my tent. It has huge windows, so I never feel claustrophobic. I have the older version of this tent. And just so you know, a 4 person tent will only fit two people and a dog comfortably.
hammer/mallet We picked up this mallet at Menards a while back. It’s lighter than a hammer and makes hammering and removing stakes a lot easier.
sleeping bags We got a double sleeping bag recently, and we love it. For warm-weather camping, it’s a lot better than being twisted up in a mummy bag.
pillows Mini pillows are big space savers in the car. Or, you can just bring pillow cases and stuff them with clothes.
air mattress We have been through a lot of air mattresses. The cheap ones get holes really easily. It may be best to avoid air mattresses if you have a dog.
entry rug I use an old rag rug. Great for taking off shoes and keeping dirt out of the tent. Plus I can just throw it in the wash when we get home.
stove Look for camp stoves at garage sales. I picked up a great vintage one for $5, and have seen a few others since then.
cooking grate An inexpensive grate is useful for cooking over the campfire. A grate is especially useful at more primitive campsites that don’t have a fire ring with a built-in grate.
Dutch oven lid lifter This really comes in handy when there are hot coals on top of your dutch oven.
pot with lid We make pasta a lot when we camp, so I like spaghetti pots with built-in drainers. I have this pot and this insert. I like that I can also use the insert as a colander for fruit or veggies.
cast iron pan We have this cast iron pan. It’s around $15 bucks at most stores and will last a lifetime.
saucepan Save your nice cookware for home. Goodwill has tons of saucepans for $3 or $4.
s’more roaster/pie iron We just tried this s’more maker for the first time. It’s only $4.88 and it makes perfectly toasted s’mores. We also have this pie iron. It’s an original 1960’s design, made out of heavy cast iron. Don’t forget to season it before you head out.
salt & pepper
aluminum foil Heavy duty aluminium foil works best for cooking in the campfire.
tablecloth Vinyl without a felt backing works best.
coffee/instant coffee Starbucks Via instant coffee is expensive, but it tastes great.
hot chocolate powder
flip-flops Bring some flip-flops that will work as shower shoes.
first aid kit
cell phone charger
flashlight Opt for LED flashlights and headlamps to save on batteries.