It's your party and you can camp if you want to! One of our staff writers mentioned that she was planning a bachelorette party IN THE WOODS. Of course we were interested in hearing what her experience was going to be like, along with any and all tips and tricks learned through planning and hosting her campy celebration in the outdoors. Lesson #1: someone get the bride-to-be a waterproof case for her phone or camera! Otherwise, what happens in the woods may get rained on, and stay in the woods forever. Post written by Linni Kral, bride-to-be: Christen DiClaudio.
Camera update: “Was still unable to unearth high quality pics from my rained-on camera, but below are a few phone pics we took!”
We had a spontaneous mini photoshoot so that I had a pic with each of my bridesmaids! Here's the one of my maid of honor and I in front of our fancy tent decorations!
We’re in the thick of bachelorette party season, and if you’ve had about all you can take of penis straws and embarrassing trips to the strip club, you’ve come to the right place. Whether your crew is a bunch of hikers well-seasoned in sleeping under the stars or a crowd of newbs more likely to hit the club than the tent, we think bachelorette party camping can be a unique way to break up the monotony of drunken lady antics.
1. Lodging: Before you start planning activities, you need to know where you’re staying. Obviously this depends a lot on where your wedding party is located, but we have a few pointers nonetheless.
- If everyone lives far away, pick a spot somewhere in the middle, not too far from an airport. If your group has some money to throw around, look for glamping-style site types, like yurts, treehouses, or teepees.
- We can only hope that your group will be a little noisy, so look for campgrounds that highlight seclusion, privacy, and well-spaced sites so you girls can let loose.
- If it’s near a lake, great. Near a vineyard or distillery for day trips? Even better. Bonus points if it’s also near a tattoo parlor, because you never know when you’ll need to get spur-of-the-moment bestie tats.
- Soul Food Farm in California offers olive groves, vegetable fields, and gardens.
- Sky Valley Camp just outside of Joshua Tree, CA has vintage trailer sites, one in particular has an outdoor claw-foot tub for soaking under the stars.
- Upper Falls at Clear Creek Ranch means your own private waterfall. 'Nuff said.
- Heart of the Wild Group Camp is tucked away in the Big Sur mountains and provides an outdoor kitchen, giant wooden stage, secluded, private pond, and group campfire pit, and all of the seclusion for howling at the moon.
Pre-made pancake batter in a bag! While we admittedly found ourselves wishing we had a bit more of a protein-y breakfast before hiking, it did give me the opportunity to try my hand at making pancake art. Maybe not my best work...but definitely my best pancake work. Best part: one of the ladies had recently made her own maple syrup, which elevated the pancake experience to astronomical awesomeness.
Our version of the "s'mores box" - one of the girls made up a little basket for everyone in attendance & decorated each with flowers. Everything had to be put in plastic bags 'cause it was pretty humid and we weren't sure if it would rain. This basket idea ended up being even better than an enclosed box because then the little favors that another gal brought could be added to each girl's basket and kept together. Not pictured: a banana cut in half and stuffed with chocolate & marshmallows, wrapped in foil. We just tossed those babies in the fire, got 'em all melty, and freakin' GRUBBED on those. YUM.
- Put together a s’mores box before you leave to minimize trash and stay organized—take a large, shallow tupperware or roasting pan, line up your grahams, mallows, chocolates, and additional fun fillings, and cover! Just keep in a cool spot to protect the chocolate from melting.
- Fill 1-quart Ziplock bags with pre-made pancake batter and freeze them before you leave. In the morning, cut the tip off the bag’s bottom corner and squeeze out perfectly pancake-sized drops onto a pan over fire (throw some frozen fruit in a few bags if you’re feelin’ healthful).
- Did you know you can stretch refrigerated crescent roll and biscuit dough across s’more sticks and cook them over fire? Even cinnamon rolls in a tube can be wrapped around an appropriately-forked twig. We suggest spearing a hot dog, wrapping crescent dough around it, and thanking us later ;)
- First things first, you’re going to want to empty several dozen bottles of rosé into a cooler, bucket, watermelon, or whatever container holds the most liquid. Chop up a bunch of fruit and toss it in, spike it with a fruity brandy or vodka if your ladies can take the heat, and rest a stack of plastic champagne flutes on top with a Sharpie for labeling cups. Optional: scrawling “Summer Water” on the cooler.
- If you aren’t a pink-wine bunch, fill a cooler up with beer of varying quality levels, make sure there’s a late-night whiskey stash, and flip the bird to any would-be haters.
I told the girls I wouldn't be caught dead in a tiara or sash, so one made me a flower crown from her garden! It was such a fun, forest goddess-y way of makin' me feel special without campsite neighbors having any idea what we were celebrating (which I saw as a good thing!)
- Go for a hike or walk around camp, and forage wildflowers to create a flower crown for the bride-to-be.
- Nowhere is a piñata full of nips more appropriate. Hang it from a tree branch over a soft, grassy surface, paste a few pictures of the bride-to-be’s exes on it, and take turns whacking! When it finally cracks, the ladies can scramble to pick their poison and share a toast to boyfriends of yesteryear.
- Pick your favorite tree and have the girls take turns posing for morning-after mugshots as they stumble out of their tents (for added authenticity, make ‘em hold signs that say “Boozehound Bridesmaid” or “Maid of Dishonor”).
- Have each girl write down the name of one of the bride’s exes on scrap paper, then have her pull them out of a hat, tell a story about them, and toss the piece of paper into the fire. It’s symbolic, a little dark, and just the right amount of adolescent.
- There’s no reason you can’t have a spa day and a camping trip for your bachelorette. It’s super easy to make a base for face masks & foot soaks at home using household things like oatmeal, honey, avocado, flax, or banana. Just keep them in the cooler til y’all are ready to pamper.
- Instigate a sexy treasure hunt around the campsite by having each attendee bring and hide items like fuzzy handcuffs, edible underwear, and lacey undies in the vicinity. This is a great pre-fire activity, since the teams of hunters can also keep an eye out for kindling while they search!
- You can also do classic bachelorette games, made all the more fun by the great outdoors. Ask the groom a series of questions before the trip then put the bride-to-be on the spot, Newlywed Game style, while you lounge on a dock or hike up a mountain. Have the partygoers answer questions about marriage stats or the couple’s history—the most knowledgeable responder gets to go first during late-night rounds of Truth or Dare.
Party Favors & Gifts
- Hand out a mini pink flashlight to every girl when they arrive—Martha Stewart types can even bundle it up with twine, a travel size bug spray, and a bag of sour gummy worms (bait, for the “plenty of fish in the sea”).
- Inflatable swans are all the rage, but if your party is water-bound we think pooling your resources to gift the bride this inflatable slice of pizza is waaaaaay cooler.
- Make a guestbook for the weekend that everyone can contribute to throughout your stay. The front cover can read “Camp [Insert Bride’s Name Here]” with fonts and designs akin to a summer camp logo, and the inside pages can be filled with pressed wildflowers, rosé labels, and the business card of the hottest park ranger. Riff on the classic bridal recipe book by having everyone jot down their favorite thing to cook over an open fire. Non-cooks can contribute whatever outdoor knowledge they’ve got—doodles about how to identify poison ivy, a guide to doing it outdoors, or a favorite ghost story are all acceptable.
- If your “Camp Christen” logo is badass, put it on T-shirts to send all the girls home with!
- To instill the weekend with a hint of glamour, pack some battery-powered twinkly lights to add ambience to your base camp.
- Prior to departure, grab some scrap wood and paint “NO BOYS ALLOWED” on it—the messier the font, the better for authentic teenage sleepover vibes. Post it on a tree near the entrance to your site.
- If your gang is into taking Pinterest-worthy glamp pics, have someone bring an old blanket or swath of cool fabric to drape across the site’s picnic table. Add a few lanterns or candles and stray branches, and your foil packet dinner will be ready for its closeup!
- Get your witchy woman on by sticking bundles of sage into the fire to keep the bugs at bay.
- Start a collaborative playlist on Spotify in the weeks prior to your trip and invite everyone to contribute a few songs—they can be romantic tunes, lady bonding ballads, or just a few choice selections from the Now & Then soundtrack (just be sure to bring a speaker that runs on batteries).
Last but not least? Bring a camcorder. Not everything that happens at bachelorette needs to stay at bachelorette (though some things ought to, and will)—If you’re in a beautiful part of the country, the fuzzy images and crackly sound will imbue your waterfall hikes and tent-side sing-alongs with an aura to last decades, that the bride can relive whenever she wants.
Featured photo: Hipcamp Field Scout, Nic Castellanos
Linni is a freelance writer, amateur photographer, and serial road-tripper who gets irrationally excited about cows and the color pink. When she’s not slinging chocolate & cheese to pay the bills, she can be found drinking sour beers, making butter, or building up her shrine to Louis C.K. Follow her antics in food and travel on Instagram @LinniKral