Girly Girl's Beauty Guide to Camping & Outdoor Vacations

 If you want to maintain your beautiful image, never go camping. You may be able to survive a hike of beauty with some waterproof makeup products that can stay put for up to 18 hours. But if you'd like to experience Yosemite or Yellowstone and would rather sleep under the stars than at the Best Western, you don't have to give in entirely to Mother Nature's plan to cover you in dirt, sweat and mosquito bites. Read on for tips to being as gorgeous as possible at the campground of your choice.Ideally, you can start each day with a warm shower.

Look for campgrounds that provide running water and "comfort stations", bathrooms with showers and sinks. Hot water (or warm water, in a pinch), is a great cleanser for a gal who's spent the days wandering through the underbrush. If you must, even a cold shower may be preferable to none at all. Most national parks have campgrounds with restrooms, but they get booked up early, so make sure when planning your trip to make your reservations in plenty of time to get a prime location.
Now, here's what to bring with you when you meet Mother Nature face to face.
1. Bug repellent
If there's a lake or a river, if temperatures are in the seventies or higher, if humidity is over 50%, you'll be wanting mosquito repellent. If you're planning to have children ever, read the label before buying repellents: some can cause reproductive harm. (Let's not take this particular moment to discuss why the FDA allows the sale of products that are known to cause birth defects. Then, we'd have to talk about the tobacco industry, and the petroleum industry, and we don't have time for that just now.)
After three days in a national park and a couple of five-mile-hikes through mosquito-infested meadows, I found a product called Herbal Armor, (available from a combination of citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemon grass and geranium oils in a base of beeswax and natural vegetable oils that kept me bite-free for the rest of the trip. I didn't test it at peak bug times, but I liked its natural, petrochemical-and-cruelty-free makeup. With the West Nile virus still growing and spreading west, bug repellents are becoming more than comfort products--they're important protection from a nasty illness.
2. Wet Wipes
A way to wash without running water. Nice smell, antibacterial. Portable. Perfect.
3. Water, and Lots of It
Drinking water is always important, and if you're hiking, you'll need even more of it. Best-case scenario, you'll have drinking water at your campsite and will just need to pack in enough for the hike. If you happen to have water for washing too, that's even better.
You can wash in streams (use biodegradable soap) and lakes, but don't drink water unless you know it's potable (there are signs at campgrounds saying whether the water is potable and can be drunk, or not). Water fresh from a bubbling spring is certainly attractive, but if a deer or raccoon (or gopher or bear) has also been attracted to water upstream from you, it may very well be contaminated with bacteria and parasites. If you're in parkland or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas, or even federally managed "wilderness", the water may also be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, runoff from logging and mine tailings, and god-knows-what. I guess the lesson here is, find out as much as you can about where you're going before you leave, and make your bathing plans accordingly.
4. The Right Clothes
You can buy clothes with UV protective qualities combined with breathability. Try REI or other outdoor clothing retailers. You should have a hat, not only to keep the sun off, but to protect your head from hanging brambles, and, in cold weather or rough country, a knit cap to sleep in is also a good idea. (I have a friend who once woke screaming because a field mouse, also screaming, had gotten tangled in her long hair.)
Clothes should fit closely enough that they won't catch on things when you're running from a bear, but loosely enough so that nothing chafes. People with sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate long hikes in heavy denim, the seams of which can rub delicate skin. Cargo pants in cotton blends may provide smooth fabric with extra storage space in the form of pockets. (But if you're more concerned about looking svelte than in extra pockets, skip the cargo pants: they tend to make most of us look hippy.)
Layering is crucial, because you're going to heat up when hiking, cool down after camp's setup, and maybe get really cold in the mountain evening. My favorite outdoor piece is an ultra-thin, silk long-john shirt I found at a thrift store five years ago. It weighs about an ounce, but slipped on under a shirt, provides the equivalent of a whole sweater's worth of warmth.
5. Animal Repellents
Animal repellents such as pepper spray, bear spray and dog spray can all be essential safety and self defense items that are perfect for the outdoors. You never know what type of dangerous situation your could find yourself in out in the wilderness either with a human attacker, wild bear or vicious mountain lions. A defense spray on hand will give you time to escape to safety.



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