Tent Camping for the Indoorsy

I'm not a lifestyle blogger. My lifestyle is pretty lame, so I typically stay away from posting about my day-to-day or else you'd hear a lot about coffee and my cat. But today, I'm going to pretend to be a lifestyle blogger and tell you about my attempts at camping. I wasn't raised camping. Anyone who knows my family knows we're "indoorsy." We opted for beach vacations and Disney World for most of my childhood.  Road-tripping wasn't really our thing, cushy hotels were.

When Steve and I got married, we made it a goal to visit a different national park every year. We didn't want to just visit, we wanted to experience the park and we decided we couldn't do that without tent camping. So we filled our wedding registry with camping equipment and became REI members. We became proud owners of a Coleman tent and a Rumpl blanket and decided to give national park camping a shot.

Camping is hard for me. I'm willing to debate that I am one of the most high-maintenance sleepers around. I have to have a certain weight of blankets on me, a white noise maker nearby and my feet HAVE TO BE CLEAN. I have fine hair that attracts oil within 12 hours of being washed and I'm cold pretty much constantly. This doesn't bode well for camping.

Camping is hard for me. But I love camping. I think I love it because it's hard. It's something that doesn't come naturally for me and forces me outside of my comfort zone. Camping isn't something people expect me to enjoy and I pride myself in keeping people on their toes.

Steve and I are very newbie campers. We camped at the Grand Canyon last summer and we just returned from Acadia National Park in Maine (which is amazing btw). We tent camped in both locations and I've loved (most of) it every time.

If you're like me and love the idea of camping, but struggle when it comes, here are some helpful #Newb-Tips that help me enjoy tent camping.

  1. Dry shampoo + beanie. All day every day this saves me. I love taking photos and I don't want to display my forever greasy hair in said photos so the dry shampoo beanie combo comes in CLUTCH when your only shower option is to pay 2.00 for a 4 minute shower. Nope. I currently use Dove dry shampoo (which I don't love because it's filled with chemicals, but I haven't found a natural alternative that works for me. Send suggestions my way). I love these Carhartt beanies which come in tons of colors and are ethically sourced in the USA!
  2. Burt's Bees wipes. Love these. They become my shower most mornings and nights. They help me feel even a little cleaner which makes sleeping easier for me. Again, not completely natural so I'm working on a decent alternative, but for now, these work until I find a recipe to make my own.
  3. Battery operated white noise maker. This is probably my most glamping, high maintenance item, but if you camp in the National Parks, you're likely going to be sharing nearby sites with several campers. I'm not one to fall asleep to the sound of laughing humans so this white noise maker became my prized possession. I don't turn it up super loud, just enough to distract my brain with a different sound.
  4. Smart Wool socks. Worth every penny every day. I whine a lot if my feet are cold and with these babes, Steve did not have to listen to me complain.
  5. I use this product every day, but I love it so much it's making an appearance on my camping list. The Young Living ART skincare system. Guys, seriously. I have hormone issues which leave my skin a HOT mess, but nothing beats this system which I saved my ER points for. Normally when we camp, I break out really bad (hello no shower for 4 days), but I was faithful to use these products every morning/night and my skin looks fine post-camping!

Disclaimer: I recognize this list is laughable to some and our version of camping is probably akin to a cushy hotel at times (Emily McDowell, I'm looking at you and your adventures on the Appalachian Trail), but this is what works for me, an indoorsy millennial.  

Here are some of my favorite pics from our trip to Maine! I may do another post about our trip, but for now, if you have the chance to go to Maine, do it. Do it. DO IT.

- W