Staying fresh during an outdoor trip can be a real problem, especially if you are a woman. I have to admit, when my boyfriend told me we were going camping for a week in Yosemite National Park, my stomach immediately started to turn, and my anxiety about staying clean took a hold of me. Long day hikes through the forest meant sweating and hiking through bushes, mud, and dirt. Yuck! Not my idea of a romantic vacation together. He reassured me that it would be the ultimate life experience, and we would create some wonderful memories together. I didn’t want to believe him, but he was right. This trip has brought out a whole new appreciation for the beauty and relaxation found in nature. I’ve complied the essential girl’s guide to staying clean, feeling fresh, and looking great in the outdoors so you can enjoy it too.
- Sunscreen- I can’t stress how important sunscreen is for you. Getting a nasty burn can seriously dampen a great hiking trip. You should always apply a SPF of 30-60. The higher the number, the longer you can remain in direct sunlight without burning. Sweating and swimming can wash away your protective layer, so it’s important to reapply throughout the day. I like to use an SPF moisturizer that has a tint in it, so it doubles as makeup coverage. My favourite product is Origins Ginseng SPF 40 Tinted Moisturizer. This keeps my skin protected and looking vibrant. Sunglasses with proper UV protection are also a great way to look fabulous, even if you didn’t sleep a wink.
- Baby Wipes- No showers around for days, and sweating in the hot sun can leave you feeling sticky, and not so fresh. Unscented baby wipes are the best way to stay clean, as they double up as toilet paper, cleansing wipes for hands & body, and makeup remover. I recommend unscented baby wipes, as bears can be attracted to scented ones thinking they’re food. Make sure to bring plastic bags for your garbage so you do not litter. Hand sanitizer is also perfect to kill any germs, when washing your hands with soap and water is unavailable. Soap can cause lots of issues, harming the aquatic inhabitants. Remember you are a guest in nature, and stick to the leave no trace guidelines.
- Loose, comfortable lightweight clothing – On some parts of your trip, the temperature can fluctuate over 20 degrees depending on the altitude, so it’s important to pack multiple layers. Strenuous hikes can also make you sweat more than usual. Wearing a sport tank top with added bra support works great, as it takes away from wearing too many layers, but gives you the comfort and coverage of a sports bra. Also, pack breathable, long sleeve shirts that you can remove, or put on if it gets too chilly after the sun goes down. There are also convertible shorts to hiking pants that are great when heading out on multi-day trips. Hiking boots can make a huge difference on difficult terrain, especially when trekking down mountains. Make sure to break in new boots, and get ones that give you extra ankle protection before going on any long hikes.
- Hats/Bandana Accessories- What are the best ways to manage those wild manes, you may ask? Baseball hats, light beanies (for at night), headscarves and bandanas work great for keeping hair out of your face and soaking up any sweat. Braids can work well too, without comprising your style. If you also want to keep cool during your hike, simply wet your bandana with water and put it on the back of your neck. This can help drop your body temperature quickly and prevent any heat stroke.
- Bring a Camera- Having a good quality camera can make all the difference in your photos. There is nothing more stunning than the landscape of mountain ranges. Make sure to capture and enjoy these simple moments.
These are just a few tips to keep you looking and feeling your best in the great outdoors. Remember that these trips are not about the destination, but about the journey. Take time to relax and embrace sweet Mother Nature. Happy trails!