Checking In: The Summer of Camping (Part II), and a Couple Things to Try on Your Next Camping Trip

Early morning fishing at Collins Lake

OK, I guess I’m getting better at “mom-ming while camping” because instead of needing two weeks to recover from the trip, it only took two days, ha ha ha! Ya know, when I envisioned the “Summer of Camping” in my mind, I thought we’d be going, like, every week or every other week this summer, but now I’m thinking maybe once a month?

Don’t get me wrong — it’s fun! I love it. It’s just a lot of work. The trip we just took to Collins Lake was a ton of fun. The drive is a long one if you’re coming from the Bay Area (about two and a half hours), but once we got there, wow! Our campsite was right next to the lake, and the water was SUPER warm — like bath temperature warm! Whenever I wanted to cool off, all I had to do was hobble down a hill and over some rocks for a minute, and then I’d jump right in. It was glorious! And being the water baby that I am, I went swimming quite a few times, although you know what I realized? Lake swimming is no joke, dude. When you don’t have salt water to keep you afloat, you gotta work that much harder.

The water in the late afternoon!

Ain’t no party like a West Coast party

One thing I learned on this trip is that the time you go to bed at night really depends on your neighbors and how close you are to them. The tent sites at Collins Lake are closer to each other than the sites at Clear Lake (where we camped last month), and this time around, instead of being surrounded by quiet couples and families, it seemed like all of our neighbors were partying like it was a West Coast party circa 1994. Everyone was pretty rowdy, and we heard it all night long.

The music, at least, was good! Someone nearby was playing DJ and blasting ’90s hip-hop jams into the wee hours. I would’ve totally appreciated Color Me Badd’s I Wanna Sex You Up, but instead of singing along as usually do, I kept thinking, “Oh, please, oh, please, don’t let Connor ask me what these lyrics are about.” LOL!


A portable fan is your friend

Another thing I learned on this trip? A portable fan is an absolute non-negotiable. I know, sounds so silly. Who needs to have a fan, of all things, while they’re camping? Well, apparently I do! El Hub bought me this one from a brand called Treva (it runs on D batteries, so you don’t have to plug it in), and it just made the trip so much more pleasant. I would turn it on whenever I was in the tent to circulate the air and keep things cooler, which was especially handy in the middle of the day when the tent was really hot, and at night when we were getting ready for bed. Sometimes I’d bring it outside and set it in front of me on the camp table so I’d have a breeze to cool me down (it was pretty hot) while I made food. It sounds so silly, but it was REALLY nice to have around. I don’t think I can go camping without it now.

collins lake
When you take a post-sponge bath selfie to celebrate your relative cleanliness, LOL!

A quick bedtime refresher is the key!

One last “next level up” thing I stumbled upon on this trip is what I like to call “a quick refresher” before bed. Here’s what I do: I set a washcloth or some paper towels near my sleeping bag, along with a water bottle. Then, before I go to sleep, I wet the wash cloth and quickly wipe down my face, neck, the crooks of my arms, the backs of my knees and my feet — basically, any areas that have gotten sweaty since my last shower/sponge bath.

I don’t know why, but I seem to sleep so much better when I do this! I also did the same for Connor and she seemed to like it.

Anywho, we’re hoping to go on one last camping trip in August, and if I figure out any more tips by then I’ll be sure to let you know!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. TGIF!!!