Glamping - Packing Edition

So as you may know, I’m a chronic overpacker - I even wrote some blogs about it when we went to Europe last spring (1, 23, 4, follow up). For that trip, it was super important that I was able to fit everything in a carry-on backpack, so I did tons of research, made lots of lists, and ended up coming up with a pretty decent capsule wardrobe, and totally succeeded in saving space.

The packing process can be very chaotic

Cut to a couple weekends ago - we went camping for four days. We drove, so we had an entire car to pack into, so I didn't feel the need to limit myself too much, as long as I didn't pack more than my duffle.

As far as toiletries and makeup go, I think I did pretty good! I didn't bring any makeup at all, since we were in the middle of the desert and it was just with friends and family who were all doing pretty much the same. I only brought a few toiletries that I didn't use, but I will say that those things took up minimal room, and all could have come in handy, so I might pack things like that the next time we camp anyway.

Used
Didn't Use
Hairbrush Moroccanoil
Wide-toothed comb All-purpose soap
Toothbrush (Sonicare, battery lasted all 4 days) Tampons
Toothpaste Wash cloths (2)
Deodorant Body towels (2)
Face wipes Large hair clip
Multi-purpose wipes Powder sunscreen (for scalp)
Dry shampoo Wide fabric headbands
Hand sanitizer Bandana
Sunscreen
Skin Trip (lotion that's particularly nice on sunburns)
Pack towel (small, super absorbent)
Hair ties
Bobby pins

I probably brought twice the amount of clothes I needed, but with Utah and the desert, the temperature can potentially swing wildly. It can rain (it did a little on us). It can be super hot. It can be quite chilly at night. So, for just 3 nights/4 days of camping, here’s what I brought vs what I actually used:

Item
  Brought  
  Used  
PJ Pants
1
1
PJ Shorts
1
0
Hoodie*
1
1
Zip up sweatshirt
1
1
Long Sleeved athletic shirts
4
2
Long Sleeved button-up shirts
3
3
Cotton Tank top
1
1
Athletic tank tops
2
2
Athletic shorts
1
0
Sports bras
4
2
Bralette
1
1
Underwear
8
4
Socks
7
4
Long warm wool socks
1
1
Shorts
2
1
Sweatpants*
1
1
Baseball hat
1
1
Floppy hat
1
1
Beanie
1
1
Long leggings
3
2
Capri leggings
1
1
Buff
1
0
Swimsuit
1
0
Gloves
1
0
Open-finger Mittens
1
1
Sunglasses
2
2
Down jacket
1
0
Rain/wind layer
1
0
Trail runners/hiking boots (water resistant)
1
1
Crocs (for water)
1
1
Flip flops
1
1

*worn by the fire so they could get embers on them

Of course there are always the odds and ends, too:

Odds & Ends
iPhone & charger
Apple Watch & Charger
GoPro & Charger
Extra battery chargers (+ car kit battery)
Instax & film
Headphones
Large ziplock bags (water protection)
Journal & pen
Glasses
Yoga mat
Ukulele
Books

Why did I bring so many chargeable things? Well, my iPhone doubled as my main camera, the GoPro is super fun, and, while I probably could have let the Apple Watch fall to the wayside, I really liked seeing how far we went and I like to keep reaching the daily goals it sets for me (we got up to 26,000 steps one day!!)

I learned that I could re-use a lot of what I brought, and I probably could have gotten by with even less than what I used. Some things, though, I wouldn’t leave behind just because I didn’t use them this time. We don’t typically go camping for more than a few days (because of our schedules, and because it gets difficult to live out of a car and cooler for much longer without finding more modern amenities). After this experience, I think my ideal complete packing list would be the following (and this is not including things like tents, kitchen gear, etc. - that’s hubby’s job)

As I grow older, I find myself more at ease in the middle of nowhere. I used to be so concerned with how I presented myself and I wanted to be perfect all the time. Camping with my husband has shown me that I really don't need all that much, and that it's good to disconnect a little now and then. While I do still want to look cute (because pictures last forever), a more natural approach to that seems to fit into my lifestyle as I get closer to 30.

Goblin Valley

Most days (actually, pretty much everyday) I identify as a girly-girl. I like to be able to wash my face and brush my hair and I typically make sure I look and feel clean. Camping sort of goes against these general feelings of cleanliness and girliness, but my boyfriend grew up going camping with his family, so he's dragged me a couple times.

In March, we went to Goblin Valley in Utah, about 6 hours west of Boulder. We stayed at a campsite that he named Vader Rock, because the big rock formation next to it looks like Darth Vader's helmet (see pictures above). While we were there, we did some hiking (up Vader Rock and in Little Wild Horse Canyon), shot some guns, and had some nice big campfires.

The Little Wild Horse hike is a pretty good one. It's not too technical, but you either need to wear shoes that can handle getting wet (like Teva's or Chaco's) or be willing to take off your shoes and socks at a certain point because there is usually a bit of water in the narrowest part of the crack canyon. I ended up taking off my sneakers, but I think I might invest in some Chaco's for next time. Climbing Vader Rock was not my cup of tea at all. Because Utah is a lot of sandstone, most of the steps you take end up breaking a little (or a lot) beneath your feet. Having to be cautious of the way my knees twist, this type of hike freaks me out a bit. We did get to a nice overlook, though, and I was able to unwind with a nice cold Woodchuck Cider once we got down.

I was impressed with the level of food we ate. We had mac and cheese, hot dogs, fajitas, gumbo and sausage! Not a bad menu considering there was no electricity or running water. Just coolers and a nice camping stove. For breakfast I had fruit and instant coffee, and for lunch, snack foods and sandwiches.

We also explored Goblin Valley itself. It looks like a bunch of stacks of rocks, and I guess someone thought that they looked like goblins, and the name stuck. They are pretty huge - I wouldn't want one to fall on me - and there are just so many! I think an epic game of hide and seek might be in order someday. I heard that a Boy Scout Troop knocked one formation over and got in trouble. I can't imagine ruining something so naturally beautiful! This park is also other-worldly - some of Galaxy Quest was filmed here!

Another thing about being a girly-girl: I don't like guns. However, a bunch of the men we went with do, so we went far from camp and shot at a pile of dirt. I suppose it was kind of exhilarating, but I don't think it's ever something I would choose to do on my own.

1911 .45 Auto in slow motion, shot by my guy, Nathaniel

I am glad I went, but I look forward to my next vacation being somewhere less dusty (maybe Disney World).

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