2020 has been a crazy year….beyond the pandemic, the fact that it’s an election year, Black Lives Matter movement, the list goes on and on, I do feel as though we’ve reached a boiling point where maybe this is the wake up call we needed to go back to the basics. A reminder that we are not invincible and the many things that we were so caught up on means nothing without good health. Back to the basics of caring for and spending time with the ones we love, finding peace and joy in the outdoors and being grateful for the unspoken privileges we often take for granted.
Setting the tone for this blog post because I really wanted to capture the context of our camping trip. After being cooped up for over 6 months, my fiancé and I finally decided to take a little vaca 40 minutes from where we live! Also, it was a great way to celebrate his birthday- surf, bomb food, and family/friends!! To be honest, I wanted to write this blog post mainly for my own sake…it’s like a digital diary, I love having memories to look back on! But hopefully you’ll also take away some tips and tricks for camping because this was our first time camping as adults!
Disclaimer: CAMPING IS A LOT OF WORK but TOTALLY worth it! I’m not going to sugar coat it…it was a lot of work to prep for the trip because unlike normal trips where you just pack your clothes/toiletries and you’re pretty much ready to go, camping is a whole different story! You are bringing EVERYTHING, including your accommodations AND food! Therefore, first tip is, make sure you have a big enough car to hold all your necessities! And don’t underestimate the space you need haha! We had two full SUVs PACKED TO THE RIM and luckily everything fit!
What to bring?
- Tent, sleeping bag/bedding, pillows, mattress, pump to blow up the mattress AND make sure you have a way to source POWER for the pump! We had to get this last minute because our pump needed an outlet! We ended up going with this power cord shown below, which connects to the car!
- Bring your kitchen essentials (knives, cutting boards, spatula and tongs (to cook/BBQ with)), eating utensils, plates, cups, saran wrap, ZIP BLOCK BAGS (came in really handy for us!), LOTS OF PAPER TOWELS, portable stove top and make sure you have propane for the stove top, a small little BBQ if the campsite does not supply one! BRING LOTS OF TRASH BAGS TOO!
- Beauty items: sun screen, BUG SPRAY (lots of it), shampoo, conditioner, face mask (hydrating one if you’re out in the sun a lot! I used a mask on days when my face felt burnt by the sun), make up wipes, sanitary wipes, TP!!
- Other miscellaneous items: beach chairs or just portable chairs, small portable table (comes in handy if theres only one bench/table per campsite, beach towels or towels in general, HEAD LAMP! (this was so useful in at night- we bought the one linked below), LED camping lamp (linked below as well), special bug candle (when lit, it deters the bugs away), extra portable phone chargers, wood for bonfires, LOTS OF ICE to keep the food cold! BOARD/CARD GAMES are great during camping! (we played Monopoly Deal).
- Food ideas: burgers, steak, hot dogs, tacos, bring lots of water, canned drinks (more sharable), fruits (we brought peaches, cherries, watermelon), SPICES TO SEASON THE FOOD, eggs, bacon, toast/bread!!!
WHERE DID WE CAMP?/WHAT DID WE DO?
We camped at San Onofre and it is honestly SOO beautiful there! There are 6 trails you can hike down to get to the beach and you feel TOTALLY removed from the rest of the world! We actually didn’t have to leave the camp site ONCE during our trip 🙂 Luckily we had friends/fam that visited and brought us extra ice and fire wood (although they actually sell fire wood on site!).
TIP: LOOK FOR CAMPING SPOTS CLOSE TO A RESTROOM (IF YOU USE IT A LOT) OR CLOSE TO THE ENTRANCE OF TRAILS, SO ITS A SHORTER WALK DOWN TO THE BEACH
The hike down to the beach is pretty easy but the hike up can be a little tiring if its HOT or if you’re carrying massive surfboards haha! But its not treacherous at all (I think anyone can do it)- we wore our sandals and had no issues!! Depending on the time of day/tide of the ocean, where you lay out on the beach matters…have to move closer to the cliffs when the tide is high so you don’t get wet!! And as far as I’m aware, there are no shops on the campsite. So, if you wanted to rent a surf board or paddle board, you might be out of luck!! (Thought I would share this in case you’re interested in doing some recreational activities!)
So you probably already guessed, we went down to the beach.. A LOT, twice a day!!! And my sister, dad and I all tried to surf! We also brought our dogs with us so they were quite the entertainment haha! When we weren’t in the water, we took it easy, chilled at the beach or at our camp ground, played some games at night, and one of my friends even came with a telescope!! We saw Saturn’s rings!! Camping is relaxing because there really aren’t too many activities you can do (at least not where we camped), but it feels nice to just take your time/days slower. Oh and might I add that my dad is hooked on surfing, he is determined to learn it this year!!!
TIME FOR THE PHOTOS!!
All in all, it was such a fun trip!! A little bit physically exhausting because I attempted to surf and we hiked down to the beach twice a day but it felt so good to be active and OUTSIDE! We also had DELICIOUS FOOD and my fiancé said it was one of his best birthdays yet!!! (p.s. mom is not in any of the photos because she only came to visit us for a day or two!! Camping is not for her! haha but she did bring us a delicious cake!)
Stay safe and I hope this blog post inspires you to explore your own backyard!!