Travel & Packing

Do the Great Outdoors in Style!

A New Camping Packing Capsule

Happy day, Reader Dearest!

Are you a happy camper?

Not meant in the cute Kindergarten way, but in the actual going camping in the outdoors way.

I am. It was a treat to go camping with my six year old grandson, Linus, recently. We had a fabulous time!

Woods. Lake. Rain. S’mores. Campfire (sort-of). Hiking. Hot dogs. Sleeping bags. Tent.

Yes, tent.

Surprised? You’re not the only one! I laughed out loud at an Instagram comment saying Sweet! I wouldn’t have figured you for a tent gal, but that’s the problem with assumptions about others, right? after I posted a little video from our trip.

Yup. For a girl who loves style, fashion and keeping clean and tidy, the woods seems like an unusual happy place. It’s okay! We all get to be multi-faceted.

After our weekend in the woods, though, I decided my camping wardrobe needs an overhaul.

Yes, I have a camping wardrobe. It lives in a box under our bed and sees the light of day when we camp or I have to do yard work. Yes, have-to-do is how I feel about yard work. I’d like to be a gardener, but hot and dirty are two of my least favorite things to be! So camping as my happy place makes NO sense at all.

That’s okay. We humans are messy.

Back to the camping wardrobe, though.

What I Packed

Clockwise from top left: Swimwear and Towel. Rain Jacket and Sunhat. Denim Jacket. Travel Bag with first-aid and bug bite supplies. Shorts and Skort. 4 Tees: 1 Sleeveless, 2 Camis, 1 Long Sleeved. Shoes (Obvs). Sleepwear/Sweater. Yes, I packed underwear, but you don’t need to see that.

I neatly threw it all in my duffel bag and grabbed a bucket for my toiletries. It was time to pack the car!

That’s Linus waving Hello!

What Happened Next

We camped. I had what I needed for the weather and activities. But… I didn’t feel comfortable in my super (physically) comfortable clothes. Then my son shared a picture he snapped while we were out hiking. The sport bra and cami. The rolls. I hate tees and the way they cling. Why did I pack so many? Well, that’s what people wear when camping, right?

Fast forward to house home. We are unpacked. Camping gear is stowed. Laundry is done. I am meeting with the Style Resetters for a Q&A about Wardrobing (It’s our last unit for the year.) As you do, we chatted while waiting for others to log on. The conversation turned to tents vs. campers and camping in the US vs. camping in Europe. Someone asked how it was different.

(This may make NO sense at all to you. Especially if you don’t camp.) I remember camping in Europe feeling different than camping here in the US does. Why? Camping there didn’t feel like the point was to be all rough and ready woodsy. It felt more like you were visiting the area and camping was simply your lodging there. And the light went on.

I’m not camping to roll in the dirt or hunt. I’m camping to hang out with the people I love out in nature. I don’t have to wear tees or dress like I’m out for a run or embarking on a military mission. I can hike and still wear what makes me happy. No wonder I felt so uncomfortable in my skin. I wasn’t honoring me.

What I’d Like

To look and feel more like me AND be able to hike, bike and generally hang out in the great outdoors. Here’s what I would choose to replace all those tees and the not at all in my color palette tan shorts. (Yes, I’ll keep the grey one; it’s loose and flowy.)

I avoid bright tops to keep the bugs from deciding I’m a flower!
The less attention they pay me, the better.

If this looks too fancy for camping to you, let’s take a look back… They even have a phonograph! Early evidence of glamping!

I can do without the smokes, though.

How about this?

Love the campshirt and shorts. Yes, they call those campshirts for a reason!

Maybe my fave…

Look at that fabulous shirt collar!

How About You?

Do you camp? Did your family camp when you were a child? What does camping mean to you? Tent? Camper? Cabin? Is your idea of camping staying anywhere less than 4 Stars? Where do you like to go to get back to nature?

Stylishly yours, (Now even when camping!)


  • Rebecca

    Hi Liz, I enjoy all your posts,you do a great job! My husband introduced me to camping many moons ago, we started out going with our children ( 3 girls, 1 boy ) to state parks. At that time it certainly was a lot of work but we always had fun. We continue to camp with our kids, grands and friends! We now travel in a wonderful 32 foot Class A! Heading out soon for holiday weekend!
    Happy trails,

    • Liz K

      Enjoy your trip, Rebecca! So glad this post worked for someone! That’s quite a rig to park… Hope you have a pull through site!

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