Meet Carrie and Gabrielle of Weekend Babes, two buds from Los Angeles who spend their off-time wandering near and far. Think about it: if you work a regular 9-to-5 job, there are sixty-four usable hours between when you leave the office on Friday evening and return on Monday morning. That time away from the office, Weekend Babes say, “is so important.” In their off time, these two friends have camped in Zion, Bryce Canyon, Big Sur, and Kauai, among other locations, and shared their adventures on their website and on Instagram. We are so excited to highlight two campers who really make the most of their Saturdays and Sundays.
Where do you pitch your tent?
All over! We don’t actually find ourselves back at the same places too often since we’re usually sort of in exploration mode. We love any and all National Parks, but we like to camp at some more than others. Zion was definitely a highlight this year. Big Sur and Joshua Tree are places we love deeply and will be returning to for many years (we hope).
The weekend goes by so fast! How can we make the most of Friday-Sunday?
We definitely think that how you can make the most of your weekend depends on what you need, which requires some degree of honesty with yourself. If you’re tired: rest! If you’re bored: explore. When we’re feeling more like the latter, the two biggest hurdles (for us, anyways) are really 1. deciding where to go, and 2. just going. It’s easy to dawdle around and then feel like you don’t have time for a trip. The great thing about being in Southern California is that you can get to a place that feels really different (like the mountains, the beach, or just a new neighborhood) in around an hour, give or take. Even if it’s 1pm on a Sunday . . . you usually have more time than you think.
Do you have any tips for hitting the road on Friday instead of Saturday morning?
Leaving from any city, but especially LA, on a Friday can be hard. If your job happens to allow you to take time off, taking a Friday or Monday off is, probably obviously, a great way to get more out of a short trip. Of course, that doesn’t always work out. We don’t go overboard with planning, but we are pretty organized. When we do leave after work on a Friday, we pack ahead of time, but we often find ourselves hungry just as we’re on our way out of town. Stopping at your favorite pizza place (or other low key dinner option) is a pretty nice way to start a vacation while waiting out the rush hour traffic. If you’re going to get to your destination after dark anyways, an hour or two won’t really make a difference. If you’re behind schedule and feeling stressed/discouraged . . . just remember how great it is to wake up in a new landscape.
Sometimes I hear from female friends that they’d hike or camp more . . . if they had someone to go with. Any suggestions (or encouragement) for first time trekkers going it alone?
Yes! Such a good question. There really are unique joys to wilderness adventuring alone. If you’re sort of new to camping/hiking generally, choosing a place that isn’t super remote is a great place to start. Lots of campsites feel remote, but are actually not too far from civilization, which is great when you forget a lighter (or something), which will inevitably happen. It might seem obvious, but being prepared (with appropriate food/water/navigation at a minimum) will assuage some of the anxiety. There are lots of YouTube videos about what and how to pack for different trips. That’s a wormhole we’ve been lost in more than once.
If you’re more confident in your ability to hike or camp alone, and are just struggling with the mental aspects, we definitely get that — it’s understandably intimidating. When you’re camping/trekking alone you’re really confronted with your own loneliness, boredom, physical limitations, or newfound fears (funny things happen when you’re in the wilderness by yourself) . . . and you’re alone to deal with those problems. The other side of the coin is having a lot of time to think and feel and overcome your anxieties, which often serves as a nice metaphor for challenges you face in life generally. Going alone does require bravery, but you’ll feel accomplished when you come out the other side. And if you need one last push: people find that kind of independence really impressive!
You recently went camping in Hawaii. How did you prepare for your trip? Did you pare down your gear?
Yeah, that was an awesome trip. We definitely pared down our gear just for convenience during travel — we brought a similar assortment of gear to what we would bring on a backpacking trip, and actually brought it in our packs despite not actually backpacking (some day we’ll do the Kalalau trail, we swear). One problem was finding the small fuel canisters that are compatible with my tiny camp stove on the island since you can’t fly with them. We had to go to several different stores to find them, and almost gave up.
Where are you camping next?
We’d love to do some more beach camping — we’re thinking somewhere in Baja. If you or any of your readers have tips on a trip like that, we’d love to hear them!
You can read more (lots more!) about Weekend Babes’ trips near and far. They’ve recently started a new guest series and are excited to hear and share how you spend their time away from work! Have a trip that you’d like to share with them? Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.