After three-and-a-half months of quarantining, I wanted to take advantage of the open road and try to find a new horizon for our family. While it seems like an odd time to consider a summer vacation, I find that I do my best thinking when I can get outdoors and into nature. I knew the change of scenery would do us (well, me) good. Traveling by road with three children under 8 is hellacious in itself, but add in a pandemic and it means a whole new set of challenges. But I wanted to get moving, and graciously, my husband obliged. So we packed up and hit the road. (Look for a blog post with information on how we traveled safely soon!)
Instead of sharing what’s on my nightstand like usual, this month I wanted to share what’s on my nightstand: camping edition. From my favorite toiletries to water bottles to apps, my bag is chock-full of travel essentials. Read on to find six of my favorite things for the next time you go exploring.
Beekman Shampoo Bar
Since it’s Plastic Free July, I’m trying to do our best at using plastic less. Everyone in our crew has different creature comforts, but we are all doing our best to make the least harmful impact on our environment. For me, I love a great hot shower and luxury bath products. This goat-milk-and-coconut-oil shampoo bar is a great compromise in the eco and luxe department.
Our family loves these reusable bags. They are awesome to hold toiletries, snacks, or even ice for a bruise. Multi-use and tough to rip, they can survive any environment—including the dishwasher.
I mean, it’s gorgeous. Yes, that’s totally vapid, I know, to look at a razor and think, “GAH, it’s gorgeous.” But it’s also great because not only does it do the trick—after not shaving for three months it made me feel good as new—but it’s a sustainable option that uses less plastic by not being single use.
Beehive Basin Brewery Growler
This has been my go-to water bottle since we visited Big Sky for New Year’s. I love that I got a second use out of it after drinking the beer it came with, and I love to decorate it with stickers of the places I’ve been.
Sky Guide app
This app is so much fun no matter where you are. We love playing around with the kids and discovering the night sky above and below us. It’s really cool because it gives a full 360-degree view of the sky, so you can see what the other hemisphere is gazing at. In addition, you can click on any stars or planets to get more information about them. It’s definitely fun and interactive for everyone.
Primal Life Organics Stick Up Natural Deodorant
I love this deodorant and its low impact on the environment. It actually works, and it makes me feel better when I use it—especially out in the woods when I’m smelling like a bear.
Tell me in the comments: What must-have items are in your camping bag?
Because of quarantine, I’ve been exploring new things to do and you’ve inspired me to go out and travel and see how beautiful nature is! Planning a road trip before summer ends! Thanks Gen ur the best! <3
I grew up in South Africa we used to go camping all the time (I can count the amount of times that we went on holiday and didn’t take our tents with on one hand). I got to see some of the most beautiful places I have ever been to on our camping trips. Some places were in the middle of nowhere. Just us, sometimes our surroundings were all nice and green and sometimes there might be one tree if we were lucky. Finding the wildlife that was indigenous to the places was always a great sport and in some cases easier said than done.
For me the most important things were/are always the usual hygiene stuff: toothbrush, toothpaste, Deodorant, that sort of thing. A waterbottel, a camera (until phones with cameras became an actual thing) and solar charger, snacks are always welcome (but no packaging since there usually aren’t trashcans and recycling bins out in nature and along hiking trails) , I also always to take a small notebook and pen with, I love making notes of things we see and do and making sketches, it makes for a great holiday journal and souvenir from our trip. Something else that’s also nice to have are those small boardgames, chess or checkers or a deck of cards. It’s something to do together while sitting down and relaxing or resting for a little while.
I was so happy to hear you had escaped into the wild. I know how you and your family bond through nature and the wonders that are all around us. I am hoping to escape and go camping somewhere during this summer break it would either be Wales or Scotland. We don’t have as much choice as you in the US. My dream is to stay in a cabin in the Vancouver mountains – who knows I may get to do that one day when travelling to other countries is not so strained. I wish you a wonderful, relaxing and adventurous summer. PS, thank you for the zoom webinar yesterday with Bryan Washington I throughly enjoyed it. Can’t wait for Monday’s discussion with Grady Hendrix, I have already signed up 🙂 lots of love to you all 🖤
A lot of my camping/outdoor activity involves paddle boarding I will pack a small cooler and instead of using ice I will freeze big water bottles to keep items cold and pour the melting water in my Yeti water jug (I love the idea of your water jug, I’m a brewery girl and have not seen that in Colorado yet. So cool) , then refill, freeze and use again. I don’t usually have to replace the water bottles all season😁
I love the idea of your water jug, I love breweries and have not seen that in Colorado yet😉 my camping/outdoor activities usually involves paddle boarding so I have a small cooler I take out on my board with drinks and snacks, I freeze two water bottles to keep items cold and poor any melting water into my Yeti water bottle. When I get home I refill and freeze again. I can usually get through the whole season just using the two water bottles so it saves on plastic and no need to buy ice😁
You didn’t shave for 3 months? If I go two days without shaving I look like an ape. 😄 Anyway, it is fun to read about your and your family’s adventures and I order many of the products you recommend. I too am trying to be more eco friendly. I don’t miss the old products or the plastic water bottles. It feels better to do something that will benefit others both now and in the future. Keep up the good work!
I just pack extra clothes and water lol
Teri Y Diggs
As a Pagan, nature is my sanctuary and when I need a ‘recharge’ I usually head to the hills of Northwest Arkansas (Eureka Springs is my Happy Place!). One thing I always take on hikes is my dry bag (like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCYF9F9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_lHJeFbZ9BG74Q) to keep all our essentials – snacks, towels, water, sunscreen, etc -dry and easy to carry. We like to kayak too so the dry bags are essential. I also recommend comfortable, supportive hiking shoes or sandals like Teva’s. I also always have my camera since I’m a photographer. 😉 Enjoy your nature time and be safe. – Teri
Reading that you didn’t shave for 3 months was surprising in a good way. I like how for you body hair is as normal as it is for me. Shave when you want to. I love that you have been out exploring nature and feeling in tune with Mother Earth. Can’t wait to read about how you traveled safely.
Honestly, the people who don’t think global warming and saving the earth is real, disgust me. I can’t stand how badly this world treats the environment and people. I’m praying things will get better for this earth before it’s too late.
I love nature but am so not into camping, though the style of camping you did in Moab I could handle!
I think the products you’ve mentioned would go well for any kind of travel, which I can hopefully do again someday soon! Looks like we Aussies aren’t going anywhere internationally for at least 12 months.
I look forward to reading your safe travelling tips.
Much love to you all.
Glad you and your family got to relax in this crazy time. We are just back of a week in a trailer on a holiday park. And I went for the first time cycling on my holiday (I’m 32 and Dutch so it’s extraordinary I haven’t before) and went to see dolmens here in the Netherlands. Was a lot of fun, with my husband, two kids (8 and 2 year old, the car ride to the park was hell to) and dog on 2 bikes with woods, farmland and little villages around us. The item we always bring us every travel is a reusable bottle called a dopper. Really good product. It has the ability to use as a normal bottle, but also a cup for the times you want to drink out of a cup. Really practical for on the road with kids. And the company has also projects in Nepal to give clean water for everybody and education projects against single use plastic.
Gen, when you use the shampoo bar, do you need to use a conditioner/detangler? My hair gets knotty after shampooing.
I don’t camp or even vacation
I love nature tho
Iam REALLY interested in the shampoo bars and always looking for ways to eliminate plastic in my life
Definitely going to be checking into this!!
Utah is an awesome place to enjoy it nature, I’ve been living here for 3 years, I hope that you guys have an amazing time here. Love u Gen ❤
What a wonderful family adventure! Wish I could go on a trip like yours!