Going Camping? Not Without These 17 Products

When there's no toilet paper, there's Yes to Cucumber facial wipes.
Publish date:
July 3, 2014
skincare, bike camping, holiday beauty prep, Independence Day

Fourth of July weekend is practically here, and for my boyfriend and I, that means one thing: bike camping!

Packing for a camping trip can be tricky. If something is too heavy, too bulky, too bougie, or too fragranced, I leave it at home. Only the bare essentials make the cut. This beauty-conscious camping checklist is long, but as you'll see at the end, it packs up small. We begin with skin and body essentials:


1. Banana Boat Kids Water Resistant SPF 50: Because ain’t nobody got time to stop every 30 minutes to reapply sunscreen. The two active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so it definitely leaves a white cast on my skin when I apply it. Still, for a hard day of bike riding, this gives the exact right amount of protection--at the right price.

2. Cutter backwoods Mosquito Repellant: I’m not terribly picky when it comes to sprays that keep blood sucking mosquitoes at bay, but this repellent is the least aggressively scented one I’ve found. It does contain 23% DEET, which is something to consider if you’re against that. [Editor's note: More on this coming at you tomorrow.]

3. Repackaged Doctor Bronner’s Castile Soap: I use this soap to clean my hands before taking out/putting in my contact lenses. It also works great as a body soap or shampoo if you are camping somewhere with shower capacity. I wouldn’t recommend using it as toothpaste (as the label suggests) because it tastes foul.

4. Systane Lubricating Eye Drops: The constant airflow from bike riding really dries out your eyes. These drops help replace the moisture.

5. Say Yes to Cucumber Wipes: I use these to wipe off my face, neck, and arms throughout the day before reapplying sunscreen. I’ll also use them to clean my hands before eating, or for taking a hoe-bath before settling in for the night. And they double for toilet paper in a pinch.

6. Crystal Deodorant Spray: This comes in a solid egg shape, but I am a clutz and shattered it on my bathroom floor. So I mixed the crystal shards with filtered water inside a spray bottle.

7. DIY Lotion Blend: This is just coconut and jojoba oils, emulsified in regular lotion with a touch of A&D ointment. It's mad moisturizing and it doubles as chamois cream.

8. Chap Stick with SPF: You know what they say, once burnt, twice shy. That’s not what they say? Well, they should. Make sure you bring Chap Stick with SPF or you’ll have peeling lips for a week.

9. Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream: I think it has something to do with the grit and heat, but my nail beds always take a beating after a long bike camping trip. Using cuticle cream helps to mitigate that.

10. Advanced Healing Blister Band Aids: I recently wrote about these. They're magic. I keep them wrapped in a couple tissues and sealed in a Ziplock baggie.


11. Stila Smudge Crayon in Umber: My sister gifted this to me and it has been the best beauty find of the summer. It has amazing staying power (even in steamy temperatures), and is the loveliest shade of burnt brown verging on aubergine. I like to draw on a thick-winged cat eye and then maybe smudge/soften it with my fingers.

12. Stila Convertible Color in Camellia: I transferred a small amount into a tiny container for on-the-go application. The color compliments my skin and shows more apricot than pink or bronze. I typically dab a little on below cheekbones.

13. theBalm Staniac in Beauty Queen: I layer this over the Stila cream blush. It's sheer and lovely and it makes me look more alive after a hard day of biking.

14. Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless: Because sometimes you just need an emergency lipstick.


15. A Silk Scarf: I’ve written about how amazing silk scarves are before. At the campsite, I use them to hang goodies out of reach of critters.

16. Altoid Tin: Above, I've filled my tin with vials of jojoba and tea tree oil for soothing and antibacterial-ing saddle sores. I also tucked in bobby pins, a safety pin, a zinc lozenge, and two aspirin wrapped in tin foil.

17. Antihistamine Pills: Ugh. I’m allergic to nature.

It all packs down pretty small, right? You need it to so you have room for important things like tents, water bottles, and mace.

Are you going camping this summer? What are your camping essentials?