How To Survive A Camping Trip – Camp Like A Girl

Last weekend a friend of mine admitted to me that she and her family went tent camping this summer and she absolutely hated it.   I told her that I had a completely different opinion about our own camping adventure this summer.  I loved it!

Of course, there was a small difference between their trip and ours.  Luckily, we had a very small camper to stay in, not a tent, but even tent campers can make the best of camping by planning ahead.

My friends husband suspected that it was the tent that was responsible for spoiling her camping trip so he found a used pop-up camper to purchase at an unbelievable price and bought it in hopes that it would help her change her opinion of camping.  I could see she was still reluctant.

So, as the guys drove the pickup truck to retrieve the  pop-up camper, us girls followed behind them in a separate vehicle just in case they needed our help – you never know…

On our way there I told her not to look at camping as camping, but to look at it as glamping.  I could see there was a slight hesitation in her processing what I had just said so I elaborated.

The bottom line I said, is to make your temporary home (away from home) feel like home.

Camping or Glamping








As she continued to drive, I continued to share my philosophies about camping with her.  By the end of our road trip to pick up the camper, and by the time their new camper was home and set up in their yard, I could see her perspective on their next camping adventure had already started to change.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your camping adventures here are some of my suggestions.  My advise applies if you have a small camper and electric available, but if you’re planning on tent camping make sure you add a nice air mattress to this list.

Camp Like A Girl

For sleeping, take warm and comfy blankets and pillows camping; something cozy that anyone would want to snuggle up in.  In other words, ditch the sleeping bags and make a bed.  Make sure to include a couple soft and warm throws too.  These come in handy when your sitting by the campfire or spending time in your camper on a damp and rainy day.

Sleeping area in camper

Throw down a couple soft and pretty area rugs that your bare feet will thank you for when you get up in the morning.  And don’t forget to bring large plush bath towels. Why sacrifice?

Stock your camper with nicely fragranced soaps for hand washing and  showering.

Photo of glamper bathroom

Prior to camping go thrift store shopping to find some nice and inexpensive glasses, coffee mugs, and flatware.  Sipping a hot beverage out of mug while camping is a luxury – sipping wine out of a real glass is equally as nice.  In other words, bypass the Styrofoam cups and plastic flatware.

Set the mood with real or faux flowers, scented candles, or a fragrance plug-in.

How to camp like a girl












Camp like a girl

If you know that you’re going to have electric available at your camping site like we did, and you love coffee as much as I do, then take an electric coffee pot and coffee with you. Forget making cowboy coffee cooked over the open campfire.

If possible, take an extra mini fridge.  This will allow for plenty of cold storage space.  Over the course of several camping trips it will save you from spending a small fortune on ice too.

Speaking of ice, I filled empty cottage cheese containers with water ahead of time and froze them for our trip. We used the ice to keep our beverages cold in a cooler which saved space in the mini fridges for our food.  This reduces the risk of food spoilage.  If your camper happens to have a mini-fridge/freezer combo then pack a frozen treat – something to look forward to on warm days.

A Crockpot can be a lifesaver and I can almost guarantee you will use it one time or another.  We  used ours twice in three days.  Once to cook spaghetti and meatballs  on a cold and rainy night, and the other time I made Crockpot Apple Crisp for dessert.

Pre-pack some home cooked meals to take along.  This makes meal preparation so simple and exceptionally tasty.

Pack a cooking ring with extra propane and cast iron skillet’s as well . The cooking ring makes life much simpler by keeping the mess outside of your camper.   A cast iron skillet works great on cooking rings, stove tops and in ovens,  They cook more evenly and hold the heat much longer than many alternatives.  Remember to pack the eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Carry a small table and comfy camping chairs.  The table will give you a place to set drinks and snacks while your outside and will also save you from having to set things on the ground or hold onto them.

Preparing to Glamp

Cover tables with plastic tablecloths.  This makes clean up easy.  At the park where we camped a large picnic table was part of our campsite.  Unfortunately, it was well used so the tablecloth covered the wear and tear the table had seen over the years.

Use an awning or take a pop-up canopy with you.  We actually made an awning for our camper using an inexpensive tarp.  This will save you on a wet and rainy day which is almost always guaranteed to happen at one time or another when you camp.  With an awning or canopy you aren’t confined inside your camper or your tent the whole trip.  We even cooked under ours.

Don’t forget to pack a variety entertainment.  Board games, cards, a good book, and/or a television and DVD player with movies will help keep you occupied if the weather isn’t cooperating, or you just want to kick back and relax after a long day of hiking or exploring.

And lastly, if you don’t have the luxury of a bathroom in your camper then I  recommend a cheap  Porta Potty. Why?  To save you from having to trek through the park  to the public restrooms in the middle of the night.

Our first camping trip gave us the chance to see what worked and what didn’t for us.  Unlike my friend, I don’t think we were disappointed with anything about our first trip.  The important thing to remember is that if you don’t like rustic camping then don’t torture yourself.  Plan ahead and think about the things you can do that will  make your camping experience pleasurable.  It’s okay to camp like a girl!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars For Glamping

Homemade Cookie Bars Recipe

It won’t be long and hubby and I will be off camping, or glamping (glamorous camping) as I prefer to call it.

We’ll be living it up in our pink and white camper decorated with throw rugs and a real (small) mattress covered with lots of comfy blankets and pillows.  Other amenities include a private and very cute cedar bathroom, a mini fridge/freezer that will be packed full of home-cooked food and wine, and a single serve coffee brewer that produces coffee quick on demand.  True glamping necessities!

Cute vintage camper remodel








Glamper Bathroom










Of course there is rain in the forecast which comes as absolutely no surprise to me.  Did I ever tell you about my camping trips as a Girl Scout?  There was actually one trip where I thought we might need to build an ark in order to survive!

In preparation for this trip hubby and I have made a list of things to bring, and things to do.  This list plays on both our strengths and weaknesses.  For example, cooking appears on his list, while baking appears on mine.  Just as making sure the lights are working properly on the camper is on his, while making sure the bed is made nice and cozy is on mine.

Most of my baking has been done in advance and it’s now stored in the freezer.  We are hoping to make this as trip as easy and effortless as possible – I’ll let you know how that works out.

In the meantime, here is one of the recipes I prepared for our adventure.  These bars are loaded with mini-chocolate chips.  They taste great with a cup of coffee, a cold glass of milk, or under a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Your choice!

Homemade Cookie Bars Recipe








Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
These chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make and make a great snack or dessert for camping or gatherings.


  • 2 Small eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips


Step 1
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 9x11 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and then line pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 2
In large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, eggs, sugars, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
Step 3
Beat in flour until thoroughly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.
Step 4
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 5
Cool before cutting. Store in airtight container.

Mini chocolate chips make these bars tasty








A recipe from The Joy of Caking











You know you can always use different flavors of chips in these too!

So, tell me, have you ever camped?  Was it fun or a disaster?



Table for Two in The Pink Paradise

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Pink Paradise this year – as usual.  And while she hasn’t actually seen the pavement yet, she has come in quite handy.  I love to spend time in her reading, napping, and hosting cozy dinner’s.  This table for two is my idea of a perfect picnic.  No bugs, a nice summer breeze coming in through the window, keeping undercover in case of rain, and of course electric if we need it.

Sometimes I wonder if I should sell her and move on to my next project, while other times I think that is an insanely crazy idea.  Especially after enjoying a nice dinner and playing cards in her like we did tonight.  If I do decide to rehab another camper I’ve already made up my mind that I’ll pick a completely different theme, different colors, and select one that has a little more lounging around space.  

If you were going to restore a camper what would you want it to look like?

Share Your Vintage Camper Story

Pink Paradise 2014

Since hubby and I remodeled the Pink Paradise I’ve gotten several emails from other vintage camper enthusiasts.  Let me just say how much that I love hearing from people that share my passion for these old beauties like I do.

My camper is about 90% finished and I’m already looking forward to warm spring days when I can get back to working on her. 

In the meantime, it’s going to be quite some time before spring arrives here in the Finger Lakes, so I’m looking for other vintage camper stories to feature here at The Joy of Caking.

If you have a great vintage camper story that you’d like to share then I’d love to hear it! 

In the Pink–No More Ugly Duckling!

The day has finally arrived to unveil the Pink Paradises’ (Pinkie for short) new paint job – yea!!!

Do you remember the ugly duckling before?


And here are pictures showing our work in progress.

Take a look at her after!

There are still some things that we need to do to finish her up, but what’s a little more work at this point – right?  I’m very happy with how she looks.  She turned out exactly how I envisioned she would – BEAUTIFUL! 

Before and After – 1972 Frolic Camper Remodel – Bathroom Door

If you’ve been following my 1972 Frolic camper restoration project then you’ve seen a lot of our before and after pictures here.   And at one point I even said that you’ve probably seen the last of the inside work, but there was one last project that had to be dealt with in the Pink Paradise.  The bathroom doorway and door.

The door was heavy, ugly, and to be honest, I just didn’t like it.  Not to mention that both had been chewed on by rodents..  I saved the door project for last hoping that as the rest of the remodel came together I’d know exactly what I wanted to do about the door.  Hubby and I were discussing what we were going to do with it one day and I told him I’d like a Dutch door, and nearly at the same time he suggested building a French Door. 

And here is what we created after putting our two heads together.

Hubby made the trim and the doors; I painted them.  I  just love the cottage look it gives the camper.  Plus, we can still see all the hard work we did remodeling the bathroom.

I’m now in search for some old door latches that will work on the doors.  Always another adventure!

Coming soon – pictures of her new paint job!

Tin Can Tourist’s Return to the Finger Lakes Region

Last September I was elated to go to my first Tin Can Tourist Rally to ogle over the most vintage campers that I’ve ever seen in one place at one time.  And as you might imagine, I didn’t miss my chance to ogle this year either. 

This weekend Sampson State Park in Seneca County is playing host to yet another Tin Can Tourist Rally.   Today was the open house where the proud owners of these campers opened their doors and shared glimpses of them with the public.  If you have a interest in anything vintage, enjoy camping, or love the Finger Lakes Region Region, I can almost guarantee that you would enjoy this event.

Here are some of the great campers and vehicles that caught my eye at the open house.  Check out my pictures and tell which one catches your eye the most.

Thank you TCT for opening your doors to those of us that admire your wheels.  Happy Camping! 

1972 Frolic Camper Restoration Project

I’ve been tracking down (affordable) paint for the exterior of the Pink Paradise and as soon as she’s painted I’ll be sure to share her new coat with you.  I’m pretty certain that this will be the last post you will see about her interior restoration.  It’s been a long haul; and she took more time, money, and determination than I originally expected to put forth to finish her up, but I’m so happy with the “new” her.

I couldn’t resist sharing a few before and after pictures of her with you before I close out this chapter of the Pink Paradise.

Tell me, from the pictures below do you like her made into a kitchen or a bedroom better?

As I’ve mentioned before, the bathroom was the biggest challenge since it required a complete tear out, new plumbing and electric, and a remodel.

And what do you think of her new bathroom?  The cedar was hubby’s idea and I absolutely love it.  Smells great and looks so cute!  I’m still looking for the perfect mirror to put in the bathroom. Any ideas?

Thanks for all of your interest in the transformation of the Pink Paradise.  She is a celebrity in her own right.

I’m thinking of turning my love for these old campers into a small business.  If you’re in the market for your very own glamper then please contact me and let’s talk!

My First Night of Glamping!

Ready or not – glamping here I come!

Just so you know, I’m writing this post from the Pink Paradise!

With today being the last day of July, I was slightly discouraged because the camper remodel isn’t completely done.  Of course there are a number of legitimate reasons for this.  The extreme heat this summer has slowed us down, family emergencies, illness, broken down vehicles, and lack of money are just a few of the things that have kept us from finishing her up.  Hey, it happens.

And then I had an epiphany… Why does she have to be completely finished to enjoy her?

With that thought bouncing around in my head I quickly tracked down some bedding that would fit the camper bed.  I then asked hubby for a few minutes of his time so we could convert the dining table into the bed; he graciously obliged.  As he disappeared to work on another project that was calling his name, I lit my new Yankee Camping Out candle, poured a glass of wine, cranked the tunes, and hopped up on the bed with my computer to write.  Yep, it’s just me and PInky.

Between the smell of the fresh linens and fresh air I am in heaven. The temperature inside is perfect, the dimmed lights in the camper project a warm and cozy feeling, and looking outside all I see is darkness.

I  remind myself that one of these days soon we will finish this project.

In the meantime, I will sit back, relax, and enjoy using her just the way she is.

I only wish that all of you could be here glamping with me.  What fun we’d have!


Camping without the C, just add a G!

Stick with me as you read this post because there is a fun giveaway involved.  But first, let give you a little background.

I got my first taste of camping, not to be confused with glamping, when I was a Girl Scout.  I can still remember my mother helping me compile all of the gear that she thought I was going to need before sending me out the door to some God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere.  The place where I’d live for a week without running water, my nice comfy bed, less than average meals, and my younger sister to antagonize, or vice versa.

It always seemed like the planned group camping trips were like living nightmares.  Too many bugs and humidity, what seemed like never-ending rain storms, burnt marshmallows (and food), and back aches from sleeping on the ground for one too many days in a row.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized that camping could be fun.  Especially, if you were the one planning the adventure.  A few of us girls would occasionally load up our backpacks and hike into the wooded hills behind my house.  Once we located the perfect spot to set up camp, we would build temporary shelters, start our own campfires, cook our own meals, share ghost stories,  and experience our first real taste of independence.  Looking back, I’m surprised our parents let us go, but I am so glad that they did.

Now, fast forward about thirty plus years.  One of these days (soon) I hope to experience my first taste of glamping.  Camping without the C, just add a G!  To glamp means that you don’t have to live without some of the comforts of home. When I glamp it will be in the Pink Paradise.  I’ll have bed with comfy warm blankets to cuddle in, a small kitchen to cook in, a table to play cards and games at, a stereo to rock and roll too, lot’s of wine in the fridge, and yes – even a flushing toilet.  Running water – yea!

So, what does a girl (like me) that wants to glamp do to prepare for her first glamping trip?  She seeks out expert advise on the subject, more specifically – advise from the popular MaryJane Butters.

Most of you are probably very familiar with MaryJane Butters.  She is a very impressive and successful lady.  I was amazed as I read about her life and all of her accomplishments.  So, trust me when I tell you that she is the authority on glamping.   And I know this because I just finished reading her book – Glamping with MaryJane!

MaryJane’s book covers (pretty much) everything you will ever need to know if you want to glamp – seriously!  She will tell you how to buy and restore a camper, hitch one up, and winterize it to boot.  If you don’t have a camper, don’t shy away, she also has a section on backyard and tent glamping too.  And if you’re looking for tips on housekeeping, laundry, bathing, decorating, crafting, what to pack, safety, mechanics, cooking, recipes, entertainment,  junktiquing, places to glamp, and traveling with kids and dogs you will find it in this 224 page book.  Need I say more?

MaryJane recently sent me a signed copy of her book to scour through.  I am so grateful for the chance to have read it.  As part of our agreement, I am ready to pass this book on to one of my lucky readers.  While I’m sad that I will be parting with it; I’m as equally excited that I will be passing it on to one of you.  And I know the lucky winner will appreciate it as much as I have.

To enter this giveaway simply tell me this…  What is the one thing you could not live without if/when you camp or glamp?

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway will end on Sunday, July 28, 2013.  The lucky winner will be announced sometime thereafter.  Spam comments will not be published. Good Luck!

*Please note that when I opened the box that this book was packaged in, I found slight shipping damage had occurred to the top right corner of the book.  I just wanted to let you know this so there isn’t any misunderstanding when you open the package that I send to you,  you find the same damage, and want to scream at me.  Just saying…

I received this book to review and giveaway.  I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions herein are all mine.

Comments are closed, and this contest is officially over.  The lucky winner is Wrangler Mama.  Congratulations!!!