Saturday, March 31, 2012

Further Travels of The Little, Little Trailer

As revealed in her earlier travelogue, The Little, Little Trailer is a true Girl Camping Girl--always hooked up, ready to roll, and spirits open to adventure.

The Little, Little Trailer lives in north Idaho, where the winters are long and the rainy springs seem even longer. So she's sometimes compelled to head south, to the warmer, drier canyon country along the Clearwater, Salmon, and Snake rivers.

Sabo san Lewiston, and beyond--here she comes!

The Little, Little Trailer instinctively knows how to read signs that point to awesome Girl Camping country. So she just girls-up to drive a few steep, winding grades, because paradise in Her Own Favorite Idaho is the payoff!

She has her favorite camping places along the Salmon, between Whitebird and Riggins. She sees many of her own kind all along the way, as there are vintage trailers everywhere in the remote area, or so it seems.

The Little, Little Trailer also loves to go exploring on the west side of Hell's Canyon. None of its towns are on the way to anywhere--exactly what makes them so great to experience.  No fears! TLLT can dry-camp anywhere--she invented the concept, it's what she was made for!

Something else The Little, Little Trailer loves about exploring the seldom-traveled roads of the interior Northwest--she's never far from the company of cowgirls, who are just as untamed as she is. (Plus, they have amazing wardrobes.)

Where to next, Little, Little Trailer? We will all need another trip, very, very soon!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Your Vintage Trailer Homestead: What's Your Dream?

Do you dream of owning a little piece of land somewhere, so you could camp on it whenever you wanted? Someplace where your trailer would be your cabin, and you could come and go as you pleased? (Trailer homestead above photographed near Enterprise, Oregon, with Wallowa Mountains as backdrop.)

Of course you do. (It's exactly why Girl Camping Girl has Girl Camp.) That vision of 'a place of my own' is as much an archetype as that of a vintage trailer itself.

The pursuit of this vision is what leads to vicarious real-estate shopping whenever you go somewhere interesting. Miss Patty demonstrates the browse-with-latte technique.

Here we have the Girl Camp Lodge, set up on the RV pad at one end of Girl Camp. Mountain view? Check. Nearby body of water? Check. Serious acreage? Nope--but a 100x100 piece of 'private Idaho' is enough of a wee homestead to enjoy and to share from time to time.

Where do you want your vintage trailer homestead to be? What does the vision look like?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Travels With the Little, Little Trailer

Girl Camping Girl is known to have wanderlust to such an extent that she frequently goes on girlfriend adventures even when (especially when) it's still too early for genuine camping season.

On these junkets, she leaves her life-sized trailer home and hits the road instead with that purse-sized rig known as The Little, Little Trailer--seen above as it cruises past a 'welcome, spring' arrangement in a mountain cabin rented with Miss Patty.

The Little, Little Trailer goes along for shopping, much to the delight of storekeepers such as Miss Judy, above, at Simply Sandy's in Joseph, Oregon.

Sometimes, it pulls right up onto a stack of purchases!

The Little, Little Trailer loves to park for photos in front of mountain backdrops. (Being made of china, it  can relate to the fragility of pottery.)

The Little, Little Trailer is right at home in a brew pub, documenting Miss Patty in her brand-new silver necklace.

It's also excellent for exploration of natural wonders, such as the fabled salmon streams of the Pacific Northwest.

The Little, Little Trailer has made her way to some very out-of-the-way places, such as the store and tavern in tiny Imnaha, Oregon.

Though unverified, the tavern at Imnaha is said to be the last pub for 897 kilometers.

Girl Camping Girl and Miss Patty decide to take no chances, and order up while the ordering up's still good.

Once she's back on the road, The Little, Little Trailer is oblivious to warning signs that would strike fear in the heart of The Long, Long Trailer.

'Show no fear!' The Little, Little Trailer will go to great heights to prove her ability to negotiate anything the Girl Camping Girls can throw at her.

Yeehaw! Thrills--adventure--intrepid travels to the back of beyond--memories to last until the rocking-chair days--it's what Girl Camping is all about!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Gifted (and Gifting) Nature of Girl Campers

The first time it happens to you, it comes as a surprise: For no reason other than that she feels like it, a fellow Girl Camper presents you with a special gift. Like, perhaps, an eyeglass case that she has designed to resemble your favorite horse.

Or a wine glass with your initial on it (the better not to lose it amidst a sea of lookalikes at a campout).

It could be something like a great vintage purse she's found for you at an antique store.

Or a souvenir plate, after she's learned that you collect them.

It could be a kitchy crocheted wine bottle cover that reminds her of your dog.

Or a pair of fancy flipflops that are sure to make you squeal with delight.

Perhaps she's stumbled onto an old license plate that's the same year as your trailer.

Maybe a glass decanter for your camping bar, or a flamingo to add to your flock.

Or a piece of hand embroidery that she has lovingly stitched up to echo your Girl Camping abode.

Eventually (and this is the best part), you will find yourself wanting to pick up this charming habit, too. You will see something that doesn't go with your trailer, but that's just perfect for someone else. You'll buy it and hang onto it until the next time you see her. You'll enjoy her surprise and appreciation so much that you'll want to do it again, for someone else. And someone else after that.

Clearly a case of 'what goes around comes around.' And isn't it just grand? (We definitely think so!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cute Wee Trailers That Are For the Birds

Have you ever noticed how the form and shape of a vintage travel trailer lends itself perfectly to ...

...tiny little homes that are for the birds?

And have you ever noticed how these little houses just seem to follow you home when you run across them?

And/or, have you ever discovered a little trailer casa that bears an amazing resemblance to...

...your own bigger trailer casa?

And that certain homes for birds have every bit as much exterior decor as...

... a beloved trailer of the non-feathered Girl Camper?

And that birds are just as drawn to classic canned hams as we are?

Happy first day of spring, everyone--and that includes our fine feathered friends!

Monday, March 12, 2012

For Campouts: Remember to Pack the Whimsies!

As you get yourself organized for camping this year, I want to give you a tip:

Bring at least one thing that's a whimsie!

A whimsie is something that's not a necessity in the usual sense, but that's purely for the fun and entertainment of your fellow campers--like a pair of 3D glasses.

Or a metal cutout of a wine goddess (when Girl Camping, there should be no such thing as a whine goddess.)

It could be a package of paper tiaras to share.

It could be a cute cake, or a photo that'll make people smile--like the camping granny with a string of fish.

Maybe it's a funny homemade sign.

It could be a blow-up flamingo in its very own 'body of water.'

Or even a branch with a bird nest! (Proving you needn't go to great expense to join in on the whimsical part of Girl Camping.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 Tips for the Girl Camping Hostess

Are you ready to share your yen for camping by staging a gathering for fellow Girl Campers? If so, we salute you--because someone has to be the hostess if there are going to be camping parties for others to enjoy!

These are some tips you might find helpful as you make your mostest-hostess plans:

1. Let your guests know what to expect/what to bring. Examples: Are pets OK? Are meals provided, or are you planning for potluck contributions? Are water and power available, or is this a dry-camping event? Will your guests need any special clothing or gear--swimsuit, party outfit, fishing gear, etc.? Should they bring firewood? Will they need money for meals out, special entertainment, campsite fees, shopping?

2. Provide a GPS address in addition to written directions. It's now very common for drivers to use a GPS rather than written directions, and we understand why, especially when towing a trailer. It's not always easy to turn a trailer around if you take a wrong turn, nor to read from a sheet of paper while doing the driving. You will have happier guests if they don't have to 'undo' being lost in the effort of trying to find you.

3. Post signage at the last couple of intersections. Put yourself in a first-timer's shoes--even with a GPS, it's always nice to know that you're going the right way as you get close to an event site.

4. Be ready to help with parking. Many gals are rookies at parking a trailer, and even the more experienced ones will appreciate having a spotter as they do their maneuvering into a parking spot.

5. Provide a nametag for every guest. These can be as simple or as creatively elaborate as you wish. They're important, in any case, because they help to break the social ice and make it easy for everyone to  learn and remember names. (Of course, if you're only inviting those who know each other already, this step isn't so important.)

6. Create a central gathering spot and mark it. Everyone likes to know where they can go for questions, meals, departures for activities, and so forth. We love using a large stand-up chalkboard for this purpose--messages and memos can easily be changed--but do whatever works for you.

7. Make the first night's meal flexible and easy. Chances are your guests will be trickling in over a span of time (some will arrive late if they've had to work that day), and that they'll also be consumed by getting set up once they do arrive. A wienie roast is a good way to go, with or without some crockpot dishes that don't have to be served at a specific time. If the first night will be an 'on your own' meal night, be sure to let everyone know that ahead of time.

8. Set a time for trailer-touring. Every Girl Camper we've ever met just loves to show off her trailer and all its goodies to her fellow campers (if not to the general public). But let's face it--when you're camping in a trailer, it's not always as tidy as you'd like, and it takes a little time to glam it back up. So it's just nice for your guests to know when they can expect to have camera-toting company!

9. Take good care of your newgals. Think back on the first time you took your camping rig somewhere public, and/or the first time you camped with women you didn't know. Were you uncertain? Shy? Scared you wouldn't fit in? Worried that you didn't have everything 'perfect'? Afraid to ask any questions? This will help you remember to pay extra attention to those who are new and to keep them under that welcoming wing.

10. Prepare for the unexpected. It's always a good idea to keep a first-aid kit handy, and to keep an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number for every guest. Emergency-room address/directions can come in handy, too. As careful as we all try to be, accidents and injuries can and do sometimes happen, and as hostess, you'll be the ipso-facto person in charge.

Now--add in your own special planning, get those invites out, and get ready for an awesome time!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Answers to Some of Your Girl Camping FAQs

Q: Is Girl Camping a club I can join?

A: Girl Camping isn't a club in the traditional sense. We don't collect dues or hold meetings, we don't issue numbers, and we don't ask for nor store your private contact info. While this not-a-club status could change sometime on down the road, more formal organizations already exist in the camping genre for those who want that structure.

Q: So what is Girl Camping, exactly?

A:We think of it as a state of mind and a hobby to be shared. Our mission is to encourage your camping interests, and to offer useful info and a supportive community via our blog here, and the Girl Camping page on Facebook. Anyone is welcome to participate, even if it's just to fantasize or get ideas for camping sometime in the future. We'd rather be inclusive than exclusive, and we love getting to know you.

Q: Do I have to be a vintage trailer owner in order to participate?

A: No, not at all. (This is true of the popular club Sisters on the Fly as well, though many would-be members aren't aware of it.) Vintage trailers are popular, but you can camp in any kind of RV, van, tent, or even a rented cabin or motel room.

The point is to have fun--you get to determine the best vehicle for you to do that (literally and figuratively).

Q: Is Girl Camp a real place?

A: Yes. It consists of two privately owned camping lots in a small town in northern Idaho. Pictures are available in previous blog posts and in the photo gallery of the Facebook page. It has room for about a dozen small trailers or tenting sites.

Q: Who gets to visit Girl Camp?

A: We invite people we meet in our camping travels, who are willing and able to make the drive to get to Girl Camp. The owners have fulltime jobs elsewhere, meaning Girl Camp can only be open on selected summer/fall weekends or holidays.

Q: How do I get on the invitation list?

A: This is a work in progress, as we certainly we can't claim to already have met everyone who would like to visit Girl Camp someday. For now, you are welcome to introduce yourself and tell us about your camping interests by sending an email to Let us know your ZIP code, and we can tell you how far you would have to travel.

Q: I live too far from Idaho to realistically be able to camp there. Could I host something on my own, in my own locale?

A: Absolutely--the more the merrier, as is said, and we hear all the time from people looking for camping friends and venues in different areas. Please feel free to post your invite-information at the Girl Camping Facebook page and to ask who from your area would like to come.

We might suggest that you look into doing something during the first weekend in June. That is National Glamping Weekend, with events small and large being planned all over.

Anything else you'd like to ask us?