Camping Gear: How Important Is The Cute Factor?
I recently returned from a camping trip to Priest Lake, Idaho, and now I’ve got camping fever (the kind that makes you want to do more camping. Not sweaty-with-chills where you can only drink Sprite and watch TV.) Even after almost two years in the Inland Northwest, I still underestimate the weather.
I’m from West Virginia, where the summers are muggy and hot, even at night. I’m still getting my head around the idea that you can camp by a beach and need your fleecy pants and ski jacket more than your swimsuit (I brought two). I’d intended for my fleecy pants to be my pajamas. But after the first evening’s skirmish with mosquitos, I didn’t remove my tights until I got home (even after our friendly camping neighbors gave us some bug spray and fragrant white pine for our fire pit).
I could write praises unto my black fleecy tights. I will love them for the rest of their life. Still, my wandering eye couldn’t help notice these Poconos Sweater Pants (both photos below from Refinery29’s article about Extra-Cute Camping Gear.)
On a 7-mile hike at Upper Priest Lake, I carried my 2-liter Camelbak, which I also love. My hiking companion grabbed the little bright grass-green Embark pack I’d picked up at a thrift store. I have to say that this LeSportsac Ikat Print backpack also calls out to me. There’s gear I’d buy before another pack, but I’ll add it to my wish list.
The comments section of Refinery29’s article surprised me. Take, for example, this response: “i feel like if you need cute camping gear you probably shouldn’t go camping?” or “this list is good only if you’re ‘camping’ in an arboretum. I go cute in the city. I go rugged in the forest.”
Granted, if you’re really roughing it, then yes, you want to make sure that the gear you buy will withstand the hardships of the out-of-doors. But to claim that a desire for cute threads is incompatible with Real Camping seems wrongheaded to me. So the article includes more outdoor-inspired treasures rather than hardcore backpacker’s accoutrements. It’s a fashion site, not an REI catalog. If you don’t like cute, maybe you should find your own ugly forest (good luck).
Now I’m all worked up. Pass me that camp-friendly unicorn flask.2 comments