Preparing For My First Camping Trip | Pacific North West

Fun fact that I just learned: my mom didn’t stay in a hotel until she was near adulthood.  Up until then, if she went on a trip – she camped.  I loved hearing this, as I’ve become more and more interested in trying this out for myself once and for all.  When I told a few of my friends, they laughed under their breath at the idea of me camping, which I suppose I sort of understood since I’m definitely one for comfort.  I don’t need much (clearly), but the idea of sleeping on the ground, in a tent, no real shower and no instant coffee maker wasn’t really appealing to me until recently.

Perhaps it’s due to spending more and more time up in Northern Michigan where the living is easy and being one with nature is pretty high up on the to-do list. I’ve become more comfortable with walking around barefoot, working outside whenever the opportunity presents itself, and more than anything — watching Jasper get to be an actual DOG :) It’s been such a blast to watch him roll around in mud, eat sticks, go swimming in the lake, and be without his leash. Nothing wrong with a city dog, of course, but it’s been so therapeutic (for both of us) to have a place to go where it’s quiet and he can roam free.

All this to say – a while ago, Chris was asking what I was wanting to do for my birthday (which is tomorrow) and the words “I just want to wake up in a tent on my birthday” came out of my mouth. I think we were both a little taken aback, but within minutes, the planning began.  One of my good friends is getting married in Portland in a couple of weeks, so we figured it was a good a time as any to head to the Pacific Northwest, a place that’s been on my bucket list for what feels like forever, and make a road trip out of it.  The real tricky part wasn’t finding out where to pitch our tent, rather what the hellll do I even pack? Again, I’ve never done any sort of trip like this, and I definitely don’t want to over-pack since we’ll be doing a bit of hiking away from our car, so I had to have a real, honest pow-wow with my closet about what was truly necessary, and what could stay behind.

Here’s what I’m bringing for a 3 day camping trip:

As you can see, I stayed with the usual color palette of black, white & tans.  This makes packing so much easier, since you can effortlessly mix and match tops and bottoms.  I’m not bringing much jewelry other than the gold studs I’ve been wearing on repeat, and my watch.  I really didn’t want to risk losing anything on the trip that was ultra sentimental since there will be lots of hiking and dips in the springs, so my daily rings and necklace are staying behind.


I also focused on bringing some of my lighter weight items.  My favorite workout pants from Lululemon weigh next to nothing, so I was able to bring a couple pairs of those, as well as my favorite pair of Levi’s. They’re stretchy and thin, which makes them insanely easy to pack. The sweatshirt you see above is a crop sweatshirt, and is probably the bulkiest item I’m bringing aside from my ankle rain/hiking boots, and the down jacket is a packable down (best invention ever!)

Also, quickly, I need to talk to you all about this Patagonia bag. My friend Lauren had one when we went on yacht week earlier this summer, and we all couldn’t stop talking about it. It was NUTS what she was able to fit in there for an entire 10 days away from home (she had the size bigger than what I have – which is the 90) The best part is that the bag turns into a backpack, so it’s perfect for trips such as these where you’ll be hiking to your camp ground.  It’s also waterproof, and the weight of the bag by itself feels like air.  So if you’re in need, look no further.  I’ll never go back. (oh, and Patagonia has a lifetime guarantee, so if the zipper ever breaks or the bag is damaged in anyway, they’ll replace it for free!)

What To Pack For A Summer Camping Trip In The Pacific Northwest - The Calm Collective