This weekend marks the (un)official start of summertime for me, as we’re going on our first camping trip of the year. One of my favorite parts about this season is the camping; I can’t get enough of it, and wish we could go on a new adventure every day. This weekend, we’ll be joining Brent’s family and some of their close family friends whom often camp together–”The Happy Campers,” as they like to call themselves. (…Who am I kidding? I like the little nickname, too!)
With the camping season now completely underway (at least in my book,) I decided to share my Top 10 Camping Essentials for 2012. These are in no particular order and, trust me, it was actually somewhat difficult for me to narrow it down to only 10. Anyway, here we go:
10. A good, quality camping pack.
This is something I think it’s worthwhile in which to invest, even if it’s not a “top of the line” model. We found our pack at Scheels a couple of years ago, and I absolutely love it! It’s heavy duty, has a bunch of great compartments, and can fit camping necessities for the two of us very easily.
9. Collapsable water bottles.
We found these at Eddie Bauer a few months ago before we took our trip to Florida. Not only are the reusable, but they can be packed into a bag without taking up much room. They are ideal for trips of any kind!
8. Reusable bags.
Reusable bags are perfect for camping adventures because not only can you tote along your food and drink, but they are also perfect for collecting garbage until you can find a trash bin.
7. Good sunscreen.
This one might be kind of obvious, but I’m adamant about wearing sunscreen during outdoor happenings; especially sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, such as this sunscreen by Jason brand.
6. Outdoor food & water bowls for Lady.
We found these collapsable outdoor food & water dishes for Lady at PetSmart, and I completely love them! Not only do they have a cute design, but they’re waterproof and very practical for camping, hiking, and weekends away.
5. Doggie bags for Lady.
One of the most practical and fun things we found for Lady was the cutest little contraption to add to her leash, which holds doggie bags to pick up her business during our walks. These are also perfect for camping because they are always within our reach when we have her outside the tent and during walks; especially because the last thing we want to do is leave Lady’s “presents” behind at campgrounds and state parks.
4. Good reading material.
One of the simple pleasures you have to allow yourself when camping is waking up with the sunrise, pouring a cup of “camp coffee,” and enjoying some good reading material for awhile. (And yes, I’m a little behind the crowd, as I’m just starting “Wicked” for the first time. Oops.)
3. Healthy foods.
Even though the notion of camping might bring images of hotdogs and hamburgers to one’s mind, one of my camping essentials is to continue to eat healthy snacks and foods, even though the trip might be out of your routine. Homemade granola, homemade banana bread, dried fruits, nuts, and trail mix are a few easy snacks to pack for an outdoor excursion. Plus, it’s easy to throw more healthful items on the grill–for example, this weekend we’re going to enjoy some delicious grilled portobello mushrooms in place of hamburger patties.
2. My favorite shoes: My Chacos!
It might not be a secret at this point how much I absolutely love my Chacos, but they truly are ideal for camping. They offer just the right amount of comfort, support, and breathing room for my feet to do whatever we please; whether it’s hiking, biking, or simply sitting by the fire.
1. Good company.
This one might be most obvious of them all (and I admit, this photo was taken at Disney World…but you get the gist of it…)…but anyway, good company is what completes the entire camping trip. Taking in Mother Nature, appreciating all you’ve been given in this world, and sharing it with close friends and family is what it’s really all about.
This Lady is ready to go! Happy & healthy weekend to you all!