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!
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!)
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.
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!)
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.) 😉
Having family visit for this fun three day weekend has just been amazing. And, even though most of us have been working hard trying to get over an icky Summer cold… we have been having a great holiday weekend. Of course, any weekend that starts with 3 hours of my enjoying alone time being pampered at the salon is going to be a good weekend.
After really wanting to go blond for a while Dosha salon sent me an email sharing a fantastic 50% off special for July 4th. Seriously, if you like Dosha then you want to get on their email club list. I’m always getting great deals through it! (Not sponsored- just like a good deal!)
Anyways, Friday morning was spent getting pampered at the salon while the family got everything ready for a potluck holiday lunch with friends. After playing at the park and eating lots of great food we had fun with a few sparklers at home and hit the hay. Kiddo still isn’t a fan of the loud bang of fireworks, so some major cuddling was happening as well.
Saturday was spent traveling Oregon. We started by touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory and heading out to the beach for an easy afternoon. We went out to Netarts, Oregon where we found a small little beach to sit and enjoy the ocean for a while. I don’t know if there is anything as restorative to me than the ocean. The sky in Oregon was brilliant yesterday and made for some great photographs. When I went to post one on Instagram my feed was filled with local friends posting photos of the sky as well!
We stopped by The Schooner in Netarts for dinner and sat at a HUGE outdoor table for a meal. The food was decent, but the presentation was awesome. A lot of thought had been put into the presentation of the meals making for a not quite practical, but fun dinner.
Today we are heading out to a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration. I’m sure my Instagram feed will be filled with cute little party details. Follow along if you wanna see!
Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free trip courtesy of Amtrak for review purposes. The photos, videos, and opinions are entirely my own, based on my experience.
Yesterday I spent a lovely day traveling to and hanging out in Seattle, WA. I’ve never traveled on a train before. Sure, I’ve ridden the MAX (Portland’s Light Rail System) but, that isn’t the same.
The trip was one of my more relaxing and enjoyable trips I’ve ever had. I didn’t have to deal with traffic or making sure I had enough gas in the car. I was able to easily get up and walk around. The dining selection was tasty. The seats were big and comfortable. And, I had an outlet to plug in my phone. I will be riding with Amtrak again.
I had been super excited about having wifi on the train and being able to get some work done while traveling. Unfortunately, the wifi was a little spotty on the way up to Seattle and nonexistent on the way back. The conductor came on overhead and conveyed apologies for the problem, and several signs explained that having more reliable wifi was one of the things that Amtrak is working on. Honestly, if I had driven or flown I wouldn’t have had the option for free wifi either. So, I wasn’t too fussed.
Amtrak’s website even added a handy dandy guide of things to do when visiting Seattle. Next time I take a trip up I’ll be bookmarking this page as well and making sure I visit more of Seattle!
*** CONTEST OVER: Currently Amtrak is having a promotion trying to find the best photo or video for promotional purposes through its Instagram fans hashtagging “#amtrakgram” until August 11. Winners will receive travel vouchers! Check out the AmtrakGram website for more information.****