February 10, 2017

Campsite for Two Please

Stars hover across the night sky, a fire crackles in the background as you and your special someone sip glasses of wine in the soft dancing light of flames refracting off the rocks around you. If the thought of breaking away from the madness of work and obligations for a relaxing trip with your significant other sounds appealing then keep reading. Romantic camping getaways are easier to plan than you might think and they’re a great way to enjoy some quality time out in nature with your partner. Whether you’re trying to spice up your normal routine or looking to woo that cute climbing partner, nothing says, “I’m into you” like a gourmet meal for two prepared over your fancy camping stove.

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Location, Location, Location

The most important component of any star-crossed car camping adventure is choosing the right spot. That Kampground of America right off the freeway with the large boy scout troop running around might not have the same vibe as the secluded site overlooking that gurgling stream. Some areas like Joshua Tree and Yosemite are often crowded, but if you do a bit of research you can usually get a spot with enough lead time. If your partner’s the type of camper requiring a hot shower and flushing toilets, make sure to scope the amenities beforehand. While these requirements may narrow your options, better to find out in advance than be stuck apologizing for the “hobo sink shower” and smelly pit lavatory setup. For ocean breezes and hot showers, check out El Capitan State Beach, tucked into the rolling green hills just north of Santa Barbara. If mountains are more your scene, you can’t go wrong with any of the campgrounds inside the wonderfully diverse Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Whichever way you go, a little forethought goes a long way towards a special weekend!

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Decadent Dinners

One of the easiest ways to transform a run of the mill camping trip into a romantic weekend is by preparing something scrumptious for dinner. If you’re a planner, lots of the prep work for fancy meals can be done at home, saving time and peace of mind at the campsite. No matter what you decide to make, half the battle is presentation, which is good news for you since the standard away from home is quite low. Most importantly, store a compact table such as this multi-use offering from Helinox and dress it up with a tablecloth; candles or an exceptionally handy Luci Lantern will add to the ambiance. Mason jars up the ante on class and while not as fragile as wine glasses, are far superior to toasting while sharing your favorite bottle of red wine. Compact camp chairs such as the Calpine Chair from Alite are the perfect minimalist complement, stowing away very easily when not in use while effectively keeping you and your loved one out of the dirt. Don’t forget cheese and crackers or the hot chocolate and s’mores; nothing says pampered camping like multiple courses and dessert by the fire.

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Partner up on Passion

The beauty of camping with your significant other is finding activities you both enjoy and spending time in each other’s company. Whether you’re tying into a rope together and embarking up a multipitch climb or simply relaxing in a double hammock while catching up on reading, trips are a great way to reconnect and spend quality time together. Go for a hike, jump in a lake, go fishing, or just lounge around camp and let the day unfold. If you’ve convinced your special someone that sleeping under the stars is better than a fancy hotel, chances are you enjoy being outside together anyway. Bring a deck of cards or your game of choice as an insurance policy against the rain as well as a tent comfortable enough to weather a surprise deluge such as Big Agnes’ Fly Creek. If separate sleeping bags are the Capulets to your Romeo intentions, consider investing in a double sleeping bag like The North Face’s Dolomite Double, sure to keep both of you warm without the pesky interference of needless nylon and zipping bags together. Waking up to the sun, birds announcing morning, and crisp air reminding the tips of your nose and ears where you are is a wonderful experience to share with your partner, so get off your couch and plan something grand for a weekend outside and unplugged.

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Pictured above: Grand Trunk Double Trunktech Hammock