Instead of glamorous getaways, my friends and I prefer camping weekends as an affordable alternative. Usually this means heading off to Big Sur, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe. But this past weekend, we visited Morgan Hill, specifically the Henry W. Coe State Park. I packed my summer camping essentials and carried it all on my own.
More glamping than camping, we went hiking and took a dip in Anderson Lake. We did some cooking, played a few games, and just had a blast despite the 100+ degree weather in the afternoon. I overpacked but it wasn’t too much since I didn’t anticipate how hot the weekend would be, especially at the campsite.
My lifesavers during our 6 mile hike were my hat, water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant. At the lake, I really appreciated my sandals for walking into the rocky and muddy lake floor and my quick drying camp towel. We limited the amount of super sweet and salty snacks we consumed so that we wouldn’t be so thirsty. Staying cool and hydrated was probably the most important part of our trip to stay healthy and energized.
Clothing Packing List
The weather was expected to be in the mid-90s during the day and low-60s at night, so I had to pack for all situations. I brought my workout gear for day hiking and some warm yet lightweight items for the evening. I wish everything fit more compactly, but until I get one of those ultra light down jackets and fleeces, I’ll make do with what I have. I wore everything except one outfit. It was surprising how hot it was during the weekend and on the last night, it rained a bit so it was definitely cool in the evening. Next time, I should bring one less outfit and add a lightweight rain jacket instead.
- 2 Hot Weather outfits: 3 tank tops, 2 sports bras, 1 capri leggings, 1 pair shorts
- 2 Cold Weather outfit: chambray shirt, sweatshirt, leggings, mint jeans, khaki jacket
- Accessories: 1 scarf, 1 hat
- 1 floral sundress
- 1 swimsuit
Summer Camping Essentials
Everything I brought fit into a backpack and small bag for shoes. I have some pouches to pack everything neatly without digging around for my items. There weren’t any shower facilities so I didn’t make use of my shampoo and soap. But a dip in the lake was quite refreshing and it made me feel cleaner. I relied on wet wipes and dry shampoo to look and feel more refreshed during the trip. It’s a little vain, but if there are photos to take, it makes sense to look halfway decent. It’s amazing how much we take everyday conveniences for granted until we don’t have it anymore.
- 3 pairs of shoes: Vans slip-ons, Reva sandals, hiking boots
- 3 days worth of undergarments and socks
- Shower essentials: camp towel, travel shampoo and soap
- Toiletries: travel makeup kit, deodorant, wet wipes, dry shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste
- 1 pair of pajamas
- 1 water bottle
- 1 flashlight
- 1 backpack
- 1 cross body bag (check this post to see what’s in my bag)
- 1 Polaroid camera and film
- Not shown: sleeping bag, tent, sunscreen, insect repellant, food, etc.
What do you bring when you go camping? Do you take everything with you or are you an ultralight packer?