Camping isn’t for everybody.
When I’m camping, I’m not interested in “roughing it” for the sake of having a story to tell. I’d rather be reasonably comfortable to the point where I can get a few hours of sleep and am not in tears because I’m frustrated/pissed/hungry/cold/wet. I just need someplace relatively comfortable and maybe something warm to eat…maybe. Thankfully, t’s easier to have a few extra comforts when “car camping” than when backpacking (an extra blanket would be nice in the backcountry, but I’m not willing to carry one!). After a very comfortable beach camping experience last month, I wanted to share a few quick tips that will make your next camping trip a little cozier.
3 Ways to Stay Comfortable While Camping
Pack an extra blanket
When I go camping (car camping, not backpacking) I like to bring an extra blanket (or two!) along “just in case”. I like to be comfortable and knowing I have an extra blanket in the car sets me at ease. I can drape the blanket over me while I sit around the campfire, I can put it underneath my sleeping bag for extra comfort, or I can sit on it at the top of a hill as we set ourselves up to watch the sunset. The Henry David Throw from Ticla is on my wish list right now…I chatted with Rich (the founder of Ticla) at Outdoor Retailer in August and the design of this throw is simple but genius and the fun designs that Ticla is known for will really spice things up around my otherwise-boring camping supplies. And yes, Ticla DM’d that photo with the Walden filter after some joking. Our current blankets are a gas station blanket Alex picked up outside of Zion a few years ago and this yoga blanket from Hugger Mugger (ours came in red).
If you’re not a blanket person, maybe you need to pack an extra pair of socks to feel comfortable. Or an extra pillow. If you have room in your car, pack that one item you’re having a nagging feeling about. I’m sure you’ll survive the night without it but if it makes you feel more comfortable to have it handy, then why not toss it in the backseat?
Bring your favorite coffee or tea
I have a love/hate relationship with early mornings and camping. It’s cold outside, I look like I was up all night devouring souls, and a warm breakfast isn’t going to make itself. But it’s also peaceful and it’s easier to understand the “each day is a new start” sentiment when you’re brushing a layer of dew off of your camp stove and there is coffee brewing over the campfire. Don’t ruin the morning with crappy coffee that’s just going to put you in a foul mood…bring beans, a small grinder (we use this one), and an aeropress or portable pour-over method (which is what I used in this photo and demonstrate how to use in this photo/gif) to make what may be the best cup of coffee you can remember (everything tastes better outside!). If you’re a tea drinker (like me most days) make sure to bring a bag of your favorite tea along for the trip. Careful: you may over steep your tea as you gaze at your surroundings! Doesn’t starting your day with a mug of something warm as you walk along the beach or sit on a log overlooking a meadow sound really nice right now?
The same is true for any road trip snacks you enjoy! We’re big fans of dates, maui onion flavored kettle chips, and fresh fruit.
Keep your (part of) your routine
If you wash your face every night before bed and cannot image going one night without your routine, go ahead and pack the face wash, toner, and moisturizer…but only if you have the facilities to use those products without hurting the environment. That means you should be at a campground with a proper washroom with a sink. Using soap and other cleaners in lakes, rivers, and streams is bad for the environment (and um…fish poop). If you can hold off on your full routine for a night, bring baby wipes to give yourself a quick wipe down before bed. Sticking to a few pieces of your normal routine will help you relax and you’ll sleep better.
If you listen to music to help you fall asleep, you better make sure your music player has enough battery life left and don’t forget the headphones! Keeping routines at home make us feel more in control of what is going on and sometimes we need to keep up at least part of those routines when we are away from home…why should camping be any different? Wash your face and listen to music if you want to!
What advice would you give to new campers?
Are you new to camping?
- Free printable camping packing list
- These campfire cookies and these s’mores popcorn balls travel well!
- Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit — try these campfire orange cakes on your next trip
- A non-outdoorsy girl’s guide to the outdoors
- 6 survival tips for the anti-camper
The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. I earn a small commission from the purchases made through these links. I appreciate your support. The Melitta cone linked above was sent to me for a review on Instagram, which can be viewed here. Opinions are my own.