We’re now half-way through August people and I’m urging you not to waste these last few weeks! If you haven’t done anything really cool this summer, may I suggest seeing a bit more of the great outdoors?

There are plenty of activities to be done outside around Ann Arbor but it won’t count as having ‘done something cool over the summer’ if you only make day-trips!  Instead, I recommend you check out any of the numerous campgrounds in the state, many of which are only a short drive from Tree City.

Floral Box Teepee - I don't know what those pioneers were complaining about, this is fabulous!

Though most of my camping exploits are associated with my stint in Girl Scouts back in the day, I’ve recently been inspired to have another stab at it.  Mainly because of all the cute camping gear that you can find online or at stores near you, but also because the weather’s been really nice.  And because it’s funny. If you’re unsure about what to pack, try guides like Camping 101  but in general, I think you can get away with a much smaller amount of equipment.  Especially if you watch Man Vs. Wild. And don’t forget – it’s okay to be a glamorous camper – it’s called “Glamping“!

For starters, you’ll need a tent.  I’m in love with the Box Floral Teepee  from Cath Kidston who reminds me a bit of Rachel Ashwell.  Shipping might be tricky as they ship from the UK but can you really put a price on style that cute? 

Absolutely hilarious, the Great Sleeping Bear! I wonder if it will scare a real bear away...

If you’re not into flowery stuff, you might be interested in the Great Sleeping Bear sleeping bag by Eiko Ishizawa.  Based on an Alpine fable, the sleeping bag is costume-like and only resembles the skin of a bear.  Okay, so it’s not for sale yet, but I really love this concept.

And since you’ll be doing your own cooking, you might want to think about bringing a portable fire pit, like this one from Sundance .  Yes, the same Sundance as the film festival founded by Robert Redford.  Everything in the catalogue is hand-crafted, some of it designed especially for Sundance and the proceeds benefit the arts.  You might also want to look into purchasing a durable set of dishes.

Robert Redford probably has one of these

And you can find any other accessories you might need at outdoor stores like Coleman’s, REI, and Bivouac. Don’t forget to check out Ikea or Meijer too – they’ve all go t some pretty neat products that are inexpensive.

Hopefully the above has provided you with some inspiration for a camping trip before autumn sets in.  Remember – it’s fun to have sweet looking gear, but the important thing is that you have fun!

-B.C.Bodnar

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