Are you as inspired as we are by Reese Witherspoon’s latest film Wild? It makes us want to pack our backpacks and explore the wilderness. Of course, even Reese’s character wonders, “Oh my God, what have I done?!” The great outdoors can be, well… wild. And while that’s something you should embrace on a hiking, camping or other outdoorsy trip, we say there’s no shame in taking along a few of life’s little luxuries, so you can spend less time worrying about your look and more time enjoying the experience.
1. Dry Shampoo ($5): If you bring only one item, bring this. Even if you’re living a happy life free of shampoo, we’re talking about sweating it up in the great outdoors with limited access to running water. Pro tip: Apply dry shampoo before bed to combat the overnight greasiness, then touch up in the morning.
2. Side Braid: Ever wanted to go full-on Katniss Everdeen? There is truly no better time than when you’re roughing it in the wilderness. A braid will keep your hair comfortably off your neck, tangle-free and cleaner. (Photo via Lionsgate)
3. Bandana: Who hasn’t done the “handkerchief to cover unwashed hair” look before? It definitely helps you look more presentable, and the bandana itself can come in extremely handy on the trail. (via Cute Girls Hairstyles)
4. Face Wipes ($15): You’d never go to bed without washing your face back in the comfort of home, so why start now? Never has the phrase “removes dirt and oil” been so apt than when camping or hiking. Pick up these wipes to stay oh-so fresh and clean.
5. Trekr Travel Washcloth ($6): This is actually a self-cleaning washcloth, made of quick-dry nylon, so you don’t need to worry about rubbing a smelly, dirty towel all over your face.
6. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen ($10): We KNOW we don’t need to tell you to use sunscreen — it’s basically Great Skin Rule #1. Make sure you don’t forget to pack some oil-free stuff for those sweaty hikes.
7. SPF 30 Powder Sunscreen ($30): Another way to add some SPF is through mineral powder brush applicators, like Peter Thomas Roth and Sunforgettable ($52). They cover several beauty steps in one (sun protection, blemish control and a matte look that can be reapplied over makeup), so it’s a great idea when you’re packing light.
8. Fakeup Concealer ($24): Going foundation-free for a few days is definitely freeing, but just in case all that sun and sweat aggravates your pores, a little concealer is good to have on hand.
10. Benetint Stain ($30): Need one good reason why you should spend so much on a small bottle? We’ll give you three: 1) This universally flattering pigment covers your lips AND cheeks; 2) It goes on sheer to give you a natural blush, so no one has to know you’re wearing anything; and 3) The bottle is so small because all you need is a dab on each cheek.
11. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer ($4): We definitely think you should take it easy on the makeup for the majority of your adventure. But when you reach the mountain summit and want a special photo to remember it by, we say go ahead and swipe on some lip shimmer Hey, at least it’s all natural.
13. Compact Mirror ($13): This may sound obvious, but there are no bathroom vanities in the forest. If you’re going to cover up, you’re gonna need one of these.
14. Towel Organizer ($10): When backpack space is so limited, everything you pack has to have some purpose. That includes a toiletry kit that doubles as a facecloth. Check out this easy peasy DIY from Whimsy Love to make one of your very own.
15. Hand Sanitizer ($3): Hand sanitizer is a must on treks, especially if your travels are taking you across the globe.
16. TOOB Brush ($6): This space-saving item hides your toothpaste inside the handle of the brush and comes with a cover. So. smart.
18. Minimergency Kit ($16): We typically recommend this kit for bridesmaids and holiday gifts, but they would also be totally useful on the trail. Dental floss, stain remover, safety pin, mending kit, bandages — you basically ARE MacGyver.
19. Anti-Itch Cream ($6): Ahhh, nature… we love you until you rub poison sumac all over our legs.
20. Feminine Wipes ($5): No need to be embarrassed. Stay fresh, friends.
22. DIY Mosquito Repellent: Do NOT allow mosquitoes to ruin your much-anticipated trip. DO skip the chemicals and make your own bug-be-gone spray.
What must-have items do you keep in your backpack for a happy outdoorsy trip? Tell us your essentials in the comments.