Ditching the City Trip for a Camping Excursion This Year? Survive an Outdoor Trip in Style with These 11 Creative Camping Accessories


Updated July 28, 2020

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Your vacation plans might be getting an overhaul this year. Sadly, the cosmopolitan trip involving city sightseeing and meals in chic restaurants could put your health at risk. But you don’t need to ditch your getaway plans entirely: You could always go camping.

Admittedly, I’m not a person who loves camping. Outdoor exercise, yes. I’ll kayak, hike, mountain bike, and even swim in lakes. But I prefer a big, soft hotel bed over sleeping on the ground, and a hot shower over a cold rinse. And while I’m not fully committed to following my full beauty routine daily, I don’t like to throw all style concerns and daily comforts out the window either. There is a balance between those two extremes, and it can be achieved by having the right camping accessories on hand.

Here are 11 must-have camping accessories for the stylish traveler who prefers a softer approach to “roughing it.”

Fashionista-oriented camping accessories

1. Stainless steel water bottle

Being outside all day without a chilled beverage on hand is, frankly, miserable. Keep your tea or water chilled for up to 16 hours with a pretty insulated water bottle from Iron Flask. Stainless steel water bottles are perfect camping accessories because they’re easy to clean and practically indestructible. This one has a lifetime guarantee and comes with three lids for $18.95.

2. Facial cleansing wipes

No running water, no problem. Did you know washing your face with tap water can lead to breakouts? That’s a fact. You don’t have to worry about that with water-free micellar cleansers. And this pack of cleansing towelettes is ultra convenient for cleansing on the go. Simply swipe over your neck and face to clear away outdoor dirt and sweat. If you’ve been outside for days, it’ll feel as luxurious as a spa treatment.

3. Lotion with SPF

A good daily moisturizer with SPF is a must if you’re heading out to enjoy nature. You’ll want a lotion that doesn’t leave a sticky feel either, which is a common problem among SPF moisturizers. Believe me on this one: Use a sticky lotion and you end up with a thin coating of dirt stuck to your face.

My choice here is Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50. It goes on smoothly to provide an indulgent dose of moisture that absorbs quickly. If you prefer a lighter feel, try the version of this product that’s designed for normal-to-oily skin — it’s practically weightless.

4. Eyelash curler

I don’t bother with mascara if I’m doing anything that involves sweating. Waterproof or not, mascara just doesn’t work out for me when sweat is involved. But I do like having an eyelash curler on hand. It’s a $5 investment that makes you feel like a fashionista, even when you’re going au naturale.

5. Tinted lip balm

Like the eyelash curler, the tinted lip balm is a nice substitute for the real thing. You might feel silly applying a full-blown red lip color at the campsite, but you can add a little blush of color and much-needed moisture with a tinted lip balm.

6. Cute cap

Here’s a hair trick that’ll keep you feeling chic on your camping vacay. Combine two low pony tails and a cap for an casual look that works as well with a sundress as with running shorts and a tank. I like the newsboy cap style, since it’s a tad more feminine than a trucker hat or a true baseball cap.

7. Drybag

If your smartphone is always with you, you need a drybag. It keeps your electronics dry as can be, even if you drop the whole thing in the lake while trying to snap a selfie. Pick up one on Amazon for about $20, a bargain price if it spares you from destroying your phone. If you’re planning any rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding or boating, the dry bag is a must-have.

8. Fanny pack

Fanny packs may have been a joke in the ’90s, but they’re a fashion statement today. A cute fanny pack is ultra convenient for hands-free walking, hiking or even light biking. Pop your phone, lip balm, water bottle, and a snack in there, and you’re ready for the day. You might even get hooked, and continue to use your fanny pack long after your camping trip is over. I have one that I use regularly for walking the dog, walking to Starbucks, and even shopping.

9. Clothes with sun protection

Change up your outdoor style with garments that offer sun protection. These loose-fitting capris are perfect for a camping or hiking excursion — they deliver on style, they’re lightweight, and they wick away sweat and moisture. Plus, they have zipper pockets and a sun protection rating of UPF 50.

I have several UPF shirts from Baleaf, and I’d love to add these capris to my collection.

10. A bed to sleep on

A raised camping cot is an indulgence that’ll cost you about $90. But it spares you from sleeping with rocks jabbing into your back or bugs crawling on you. Seriously, I don’t know why no one picks a raised cot as their “tool” of choice on Naked and Afraid. For me, a bed makes the difference between an enjoyable camping trip and a miserable one.

If the price point is outside of your budget, you can pick up an inflatable air mattress for around $30. Just be careful to put it on a smooth surface where it won’t get punctured accidentally.

11. Coffee maker

A cup of espresso is just what a girl needs to take in the great outdoors. This clever device works without a battery or electricity to press you a perfect cup. Just boil your water on the camp stove, add your coffee grounds, and start pumping the piston on the Nanopresser. It takes about 20 or 30 pumps to express a full cup.

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By Catherine Brock

As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.