Camping Essentials Not Found in the Camping Section

Camping Essentials (You Won't Find in the Camping Section) - A Well Crafted Party

We’ve been doing a lot of camping this Summer to get away from the Portland heat. Our camping supplies have grown over the years from fairly basic sleep on the ground in sleeping bags to quite the array of convenience camping items. (Pregnant camping needs to have some conveniences!) Someday I’ll share a list of all the camping items we’ve found indispensable, however today I sort of have an ode to three items that have become camping essentials for our family and are not found in the camping section!

Three camping essentials—not in the camping section of the store!


I have not ventured to check out all of the camping stores out there, and likely there are some version of all three of these items that you CAN find in the camping section of the store. However, they’d probably cost a lot more and be a little more fancy than you really need. Here are the three items I’ll never leave at home while camping. (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help support this blog with no extra cost to you my awesome reader!)


Baby wipes are now a camping essential for me and my family.

I will never camp again without baby wipes.


These little work horses do wonders when camping. Every time we go camping we purchase (or refill, because, let’s be honest, I buy these puppies in bulk) baby wipes for our trip. The wipes sit out on the picnic table for any and all to use for cleaning up hands and messes with ease. I especially like these for when the guys go tinkle out in the forest (my son’s favorite new pastime) because they wouldn’t be likely to wash their hands afterwards if it weren’t made this easy. I’m usually cooking when we go camping and having the wipes there for quick clean up of my hands in between touching different meats/veggies/sauces helps keep things from cross contaminating or just being gross. They are great for wiping hands up after applying bug spray or sunscreen as well! Yep, never going camping without baby wipes again.

Face wipes, specifically cucumber face wipes, have become a camping essential for me!

I will never camp again without face wipes.


Seems silly to have both baby wipes and face wipes. And, before recently, I just went camping with baby wipes. However, on a recent trip a friend brought along her cucumber facial wipes and using them at night and in the morning was so refreshing that I quickly added it to my ‘must have’ list for camping. Often we camp at campsites that do not have great restrooms with showers or even sinks. We like the rustic camp sites the most for how secluded and off the beaten path they are, but can feel gross quickly without those hygiene conveniences.

While baby wipes will do the trick, the face wipes are much better for taking off the grime and leaving you feeling clean and refreshed. Last time we went camping I used as a little sponge bath to boot. I never felt gross the whole trip! (Though, better believe that shower when I got home was just as amazing as ever!)

You'll never guess how a red solo cup made camping much more enjoyable for this lady...

I will never camp again without a red solo cup.


I‘m about to get much more personal on this blog than I ever imagined. However, I am doing it for the good of womankind…

I cannot squat and pee outdoors. It is impossible for me. I’ve tried every trick out there and somehow always end up peeing all over my pants. I’m not about to go get naked in the middle of the woods just to relieve myself, but I also hate making the trek to the restrooms in the middle of a dark, cold evening of camping.

Story Break: I’ve loved camping for a very long time. So much so that we registered for a ton of camp gear when getting married and camped while honeymooning. It was wonderful and oh-so-romantic camping with my brand new husband. That is, until the first evening, when it was FREEZING at night in the mountains of Colorado in the early Summer months, and I had to pee in the middle of the night. We were at a very rustic campsite and the restrooms were way too far away for me to get there in time. I tried squatting down in the bushes and ended up wetting my PJs so throughly that I had to wake my brand new husband to help me find new pants and find somewhere I could put my freshly wet PJs so they wouldn’t stink up everything we brought. SO embarrassing.

We’ve been camping together for nine years now and I haven’t really been able to perfect the art of peeing outdoors. About four camping trips ago I decided to try peeing in a cup instead of trying to squat. We had thrown a pack of red solo cups into our camping items because we were going with a group of people and we didn’t know if they’d be prepared with water bottles or cups of some sort. I grabbed a cup and went off into the woods. I was able to easily relieve myself with little to no effort. The cup lasted the evening and then was easily disposed of the next day. Not the most eco-friendly option, I know, but it was an easy and clean way to deal with the one aspect of camping that had really been difficult!

If you are anything like me and cannot squat and pee outdoors while camping, I recommend a red solo cup. (Doesn’t really need to be red.) 😉


What are your camping essentials?


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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
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  1. Reply

    These are great and your story about camping on your honeymoon made me giggle but then feel HORRIBLE for you! <3

    1. Jenni

      Ha! Thanks. 🙂 it was super embarrassing. But, it sure did bring us closer fast and is now a hilarious story considering he has experienced much grosser moments with me after 9 years (ie BIRTH). 🙂

  2. Reply

    LOL! Well now I feel like I REALLY know you. 🙂 I hate peeing in the woods. The guys have it so easy. Don’t really do much (any) camping anymore but will keep your tricks in mind if we ever do. I always keep wipes in the car (for our favorite five-year-old). Facial wipes sound so refreshing. Will grab some today.
    Susan | LunaCafe recently posted…Feast Portland 2015: You Snooze You LoseMy Profile

  3. LOL – love the red solo cup! 🙂 I have to admit: I’m an Oregonian, and I did my fair share of camping as a child…and that was enough for me! Baby wipes are true essentials — for camping, and everyday life!
    Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife recently posted…How the Pour Over Brew Method Made Me Slow Down and Savor The MomentsMy Profile

    • Jenni Kupelian
    • August 5, 2015

    Oh my Jenni, that is QUITE the story, lol — that’s hilarious.

  4. Reply

    haha! Love it. Honestly, I keep baby wipes everywhere. I have them in every rom in the house (and I don’t even have babies) and car, so it makes perfect sense to bring them to camping. 🙂
    Dijana recently posted…35 Nannies Share What They Like The Most About Their EmployersMy Profile

    • Jen
    • August 5, 2015

    Totally agree on the face wipes concept, I use a bandanna at the water pump instead because it’s reusable (and I don’t really like scented things… or spending money, haha). It really saved me on our last road trip.

    And actually, they do make female portable ‘urinals’. I’ve seriously considered it, especially when we’re in poison ivy territory!
    Jen recently posted…US national parks road trip on $33.50/person/day.My Profile

    1. Jenni

      Yes, this is certainly not the most eco-friendly way of camping. We’ve found that a few of the disposable items (especially with a toddler in tow) just had to make our camping lists the more trips we took. It was a all a lot different back before kiddo, and I really admire those that can make it work after kiddo. There are are few things we still will not compromise on for environmental reasons (and for money) but, these were a compromise for sure.

      I’ve looked at the urinals and the little funnel that you can use as well. I guess I got grossed out by the idea of needing to clean it and store it somewhere in the tent. I shouldn’t I guess, technically urine is fairly sterile. I’ll likely look into those again after baby when I take less frequent trips out to the woods in the middle of the night!

        • Jen
        • August 6, 2015

        I admire that you camp with the kiddo in the first place! What a lucky little one. 🙂 Yep, do what you can for the environment but also do what you need to do to keep your sanity!
        Jen recently posted…US national parks road trip on $33.50/person/day.My Profile

  5. Reply

    Ha! I am getting a lot better at squatting and peeing in the woods. I still have to find either a tree branch to hang on to or something that will allow me to lean. I’ve found that just normal squat and peeing always leads to peeing my pants. …It’s all about the lean! I’ll have to try your method too.
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    1. Jenni

      I have a friend that swears by finding a stump to sort of sit on so that she can lean properly. I’m always afraid of touching something creepy, crawly or itch inducing when out in the woods in the dark!

  6. Reply

    Great tips! I never thought about baby wipes, though! We still have a bunch around from our diaper days and we’re going camping next month, so I’ll be sure to bring them along!
    Melinda recently posted…Book Review: “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held EvansMy Profile

  7. Reply

    This is perfect timing. I’m going camping this weekend for the first time in years. Definitely have loaded up on the baby wipes now!
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    1. Reply

      PS – hilarious story about the red solo cups but reasonable and a great idea actually! Guys have it so easy…
      Erin Mckalip recently posted…Recipe: Strawberry Tequila Spritzers with Oregon Fruit ProductsMy Profile

  8. Reply

    Agreed! Face wipes are an essential!

    • Dana
    • August 16, 2015

    I never would have thought to use a red solo cup. That is brilliant! Typically whenever I go camping, which is not often, I make the long trek in the middle of the night with a flashlight. This usually ends with me being very freaked out by whatever is scurrying in the woods and me waking up whomever is with me to “protect” me. HA!

  9. BAHAHAAAAA I was not expecting that use for the cup! But it’s brilliant, really. Just don’t let anyone drink out of it!

    Also, I agree wholeheartedly on the wipes and face wipes. I don’t fully wash my face when camping, and those wipes can be good for wiping down the rest of you, too!
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