Ladies, lets admit that for most of us the idea of camping sounds like a nightmare; sleeping on the ground outside, hangin with spiders, mosquitos, dirt under your nails and fishing- forget it! But never say never.
When I decided to go winter camping with my boyfriend and his friends last winter, I received countless laughs and secret bets on if i’d make it through, how much I would complain, etc. I am an ultimate girly girl on the surface. But I spent several days in 30 degree weather earning all of my metaphorical camping badges, had such a great time and impressed all of the guys I was with! I couldn’t wait for my next camping experience- especially a slightly warmer one.
British adventurer Alastair Humphreys of National Geographic fame popularized the idea of taking short “micro-adventures” close to home. If you are in need of a cheap getaway close to home, round up a group of friends and follow some of these tips to ensure an amazing experience.
Do your research. ReserveAmerica is a great resource to start with. You can type in a location and it will give you a list of nearby parks and recreation areas and you can reserve your campsite through the website. Plan on spending around $15/day for your campsite.
Plan out your meals and make sure you have everything you need in order to cook them. You can keep it simple and bring canned foods, hot dogs and s’mores but I recommend letting Pinterest be a fun planning tool for you and see what kind of gourmet camp food you can whip up! A quick and easy camp dinner is walking tacos. Only a few easy steps and minimal cooking time.
Dress for the occasion. It is very important to check the weather of where you are camping. Plan for the unexpected- It could be 80 degrees during the day and then 50 degrees overnight. For my micro-adventure to Rock Cut State Park, I wore my AG distressed jeans, my Happy Camper T-Shirt, Flip Flops and a sweater.
You always want to have comfortable shoes to hike in or if you are walking through untamed fields or mud. Lucky for me, the weather was great so I never changed out of my flip flops. If you don’t feel like investing in hiking boots for your first camping experience- go for a pair of converse or gym shoes alike.
Bring Games. Camping is a time to disconnect from social media and e-mails and live in the moment. Pack a few board games or outdoor games such as bags or frisbee. Bring a radio as well so you can listen to some tunes, just be courteous of your neighbors.
Camp Furniture. Don’t be afraid to Glamp it up! Bring fold-up chairs and throw blankets, some old pillows that you can wash when you get home. You can even bring a mini fold up table and set up an area with candles, a mirror, hair brush. Set up a cozy space for you and your friends to make your home the next few days!
Be mindful of the environment. Don’t bring glass bottles, always bring a garbage bag to throw all of your trash out in, DO NOT LITTER.
Between food, beverages and your campsite- you will end up spending about the same as if you went out to dinner and drinks for a night, so why not take the leap and try something new?
View & Print Out my Girls Camping Checklist Below!