The Lie –
People, even your parents, friends and loved ones, will lie to you. Especially when it comes to the importance of looking good while camping. Here is what they’ll tell you (actually, this is common “knowledge” about camping): “It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you look like if you’re camping. It’s about roughing it and getting dirty. It’s not about appearance.”
You may agree with that statement, hell, I used to agree. In fact, I was raised this way but recently I’ve come to my senses.
It does matter what you wear and how you look when you are camping. Wanna’ know why? Pictures. Yes, we are on vacation and on vacation whether in Paris or Bloody Dick Creek Station in Montana, we will take photos of our vacation. Why do we take pictures of our vacations? So we can remember how much fun we had and to share the photos with our friends, relatives, loved ones and now, thanks to social media, all of our acquaintances, colleagues, potential employers and strangers!
So now, go ahead and tell me it isn’t important how you look when camping. Do it. I dare you.
The Lesson –
Case in point. I just got back from a super awesome camping trip in the mountains of Montana. Before-hand, I did some careful packing but remembered that “It doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re camping!” so I broke one of my cardinal rules for myself: the no-shorts rule. I packed, and wore, some khaki shorts that my mom picked up for me at a garage sale somewhere. “No big deal,” I thought, “I’m camping and no one is going to see me, and if they do, they’re only other campers I might run into and I’ll never see them again.” Well, I was very wrong. Well, I was right about never seeing those campers again (actually didn’t see many people at all. No one lives in Montana. Seriously. The whole state has a population of one million) because we had our digital camera.
After reviewing some photos of myself in a ghost town named Bannack I just about keeled over. No one of my party cared enough to tell me I looked terrible. Like a middle-aged, overweight, 3rd grade teacher and mother of 5 with a major gut…..in shorts that magically managed to be both low-rise AND high-waisted. When I saw these photos I considered crying then decided to take action. Like the princess I am, I demanded that we delete all photos of me from that time. For the rest of the trip I got to be photo editor of our camera and I learned a valuable lesson: It’s good to look good while camping.
Luckily for me, I packed a pair of fairly flattering, extremely comfortable black yoga pants. I wore them for the rest of the camping trip. I wore them hiking, fishing, cooking, whilst gathering firewood, going to the outhouse and just general sitting around on logs and dirt. The great thing about black, besides the fact that is is supposed to be slimming? It doesn’t show camping dirt! Also, it matches (sorta’) all the other mostly black shirts I brought with me.
New Truth and Guidelines –
Think about what you are wearing on vacay because there will inevitably be pictures taken for posterity and you don’t want to be remembered as the fat, dumpy woman smiling next to your tan, healthy outdoor-sy friends and husband.
- Black is your friend while camping. So are yoga pants. They’re comfortable and flexible. (Probably don’t wear them if horseback riding. You have to wear jeans if horseback riding)
- A baseball cap is your friend. People will say “Oh, look at you in your baseball cap! You’re so cute. You never ever wear baseball caps.” Then you’ll say, “Oh, well, I wear them when I am camping to hide my disgusting greasy hair.”
- Washing your face helps get the campfire grit that has merged with your natural face oil off your face. It’s ok to wash your face.
- I may have reconsidered my thoughts on clothing but not on makeup while camping. Makeup may make you look better but really? You’re camping. You’re sweaty and dirty and there are not any mirrors and everyone will judge you if, before heading out the door to fly fish, you say “Oh! Just give me five minutes to put my face on!”
That’s it. Be careful out there.