So, you aren’t the camping type.  You’d rather piss in a porcelin toilet than squat in the woods, or curl up in your queen size bed and watch netflix than cocoon yourself in a tent.  I get it, why else would you pay rent to sleep in your fancy apartment just so that you can freeze in the mountains? Some of us aren’t the “outdoorsy” types and that’s ok.

However, spring is around the corner and your friends, significant other, dad or brother will go camping at least every other weekend this summer.  You don’t want to be left out, so there’s a part of you that wants to try to camp.  Here are a few tips and tricks that can make your experience a little less painful:

1) If you are camping for the first time, I would suggest going with people that have a tent, sleeping bags, and camping utensils.  This way, you don’t have to worry about buying things that you won’t use.  Make sure you have sleeping essentials as it could get really cold and uncomfortable.  Padding, pillow, sleeping bag and maybe an extra blanket – or extra clothing.

2) Don’t be afraid to show your uncertainty or the concerns you may have.  Chances are, the people you go with know what they are doing and can show you the ropes.  If they give you shit, then they are probably dicks so go with people that are stoked that you are joining them.

3) Leave your makeup at home! (or most of it). Trust me, if you have nowhere to wash it off at night and you are sweating during the day, there is no point in bringing it.  Camping is about enjoying your natural self and your surroundings.  If you absolutely need a little makeup i.e foundation to cover up a breakout, bring makeup remover wipes or face cleaning wipes.  They are the shit!

4) Cleanliness doesn’t exist while camping but you can bring a few items to keep the dirt to a minimum.

  • Baby Wipes: These go a long way.  Your butt, vagina, and hands will thank you.
  • Wet Wipes or Hand Sanitizer.  There is nothing worse than going to the bathroom in the woods and not having something to disinfect your hands….or for others to disnifect theirs.
  • small first aid kit that has band aids and alcohol wipes (maybe event throw in a pair of tweezers).  If you happen to cut yourself or get a splinter, you will have something to cover up the scratch to prevent infection.  *Target has some great inexpensive kits that have everything you need.

5) Warm Clothes and a rain/water resistant jacket: If you bring the right clothes, you won’t have to be miserable later.  So leave that new expensive lululemon outfit at home and think about articles of clothing that will keep you warm, keep you dry, that are comfortable and give you room to breathe if you are hot.  Extras are recommended in case it rains and you need layers.

6) Hydrate! Pay attention to your water intake while camping.  You can forget to drink enough due to the distractions from setting up camp or sitting around the fire and talking to friends and drinking.  You will feel better if you aren’t weak from dehydration.

7) Go on a walk or hike during the day: This will make your nights sleep a little easier because  you will be tired.  Sleeping on the ground isn’t the most comfortable in the world but if you wear yourself out, then you won’t care.

8) Ditch the phone: except to take pictures and watch the time.  You aren’t camping if you are on facebook.  To really have an authentic experience, you need to focus on yourself and your surroundings.  Embrace what you are experiencing, you can post the sunset picture later.

9) Bring items that will prevent you from being miserable.  Here are a few items that I always bring with me and have saved me the stress of dealing with mishaps:

– Sunscreen, Chap Stick, Sunglasses, Tennis shoes or hiking shoes (flip flops are great but there is dirt everywhere!), swimsuit, a pocket knife, a flashlight (you probably will have to pee in the middle of the night), bug spray (especially if you stay near water), extra plastic grocery or trash bags (there are campgrounds where you need to carry out your trash and sometimes your clothes get dirty or wet, so having that extra bag will eliminate the dirt in the car or bag), toilet paper (some campgrounds have toilet paper but it is usually really thin and extra tough)

10) Bring extra food and snacks.  You might be sharing meal contributions with your group which means everything you eat is limited with multiple hungry mouths.  So, it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks to munch on if you get hungry.  Nobody wants to be starving on top of being out of their element!