7.20 What’s On My Nightstand: Camping Edition

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.  

Stasher Bags 

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.

Oui Razor

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?


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  • Michaela Kilbride

    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 🖤

  • Beth

    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!

  • Teri Y Diggs

    Hi Gen,
    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

  • Kim Jacobs

    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.

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