Sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t want to cooperate. She can be quite fussy, but as long as you’re prepared you can handle almost anything. I was so excited to head up north for our first camping trip of the year. We tried out Temperance River State Park in Schroeder, MN with friends. While it was still fun, it rained THE. WHOLE. TIME. Until Sunday morning when we were packing up to leave and it was sunny and beautiful of course. Definitely not ideal. BUT, we brought the right gear and more or less made it out alive.
We have a big camping trip to Glacier National Park at the end of the month, so I guess this was a good time to test everything out. It all passed with flying colors, so I thought I’d share some of our camping essentials to keep you dry if you get stuck in the rain like we did!
1.) This tent has never led us astray. It survived borderline tornado conditions at Mumford and Sons Gentleman of the Road tour in Waverly, IA last summer while keeping us totally dry. I’m still amazed at how great it’s been considering the low price!
2.) I never want to get out of this sleeping bag. I strayed away from the popular mummy-style bag because I like to have freedom to move my legs while I sleep. I’m so glad I did. This one is also great because it’s not the slippery, polyester material of a typical sleeping bag which makes it feel more comfortable in my opinion. It also has some extra material to surround your head and prevent you from slipping out of the bag while you sleep. (Apparently this is very common.)
2.) I love this jacket because it’s super light weight so it doesn’t restrict your movements at all, which is awesome for hiking. I got a size Medium so there was still some room to layer underneath if you’re in cooler temps. It also has a hood that you can roll back up into the collar when you don’t need it which is really cool. And, waterproof. Duh. Keep in mind, there is a difference between Water PROOF and Water RESISTANT, so just keep an eye out.
3.) I don’t think I would have survived this weekend without these waterproof pants. I just wore leggings or sweatpants underneath, and they kept me totally dry. Pro Tip: I bought a girls’ size XL and only spent $25 vs. the $60 price tag on the Women’s size! Something to think about if you’re shopping on a budget. Don’t forget to check the boy’s department too. They usually have the same items!
4.) This was my first time wearing these new hiking boots, so I was a little nervous about getting blisters. I am so impressed with how comfortable these were without having broken them in yet. We did about a 3.5 mile hike and I have no complaints (other than I am obviously out of shape). I like the high tops because they provide ankle support and the traction was great for all the wet, slippery ground we were walking on. Bonus, they fit true to size, which is not super common in hiking boots, and helps take out the guess work on what size to order.
5.) If you plan on doing any kind of hiking, you’re going to need something to put your things in. I love my cross body that I got from Eddie Bauer. It’s small so it’s light, but it also has enough room to fit everything you might need for a day hike. It has a spot for your phone on the strap, a pocket for your water bottle, and several internal pockets to hold snacks, camera, first aid, etc. I found mine at the outlet store, but here is a similar one.
Moral of the story is, be prepared! Check the weather, but bring several “just in case” items. I would have been miserable otherwise!
Any camping trips planned for this summer? Where are some of your favorite spots?