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March 2011

The Manual: Couples Camping 101

Use these proven methods to make sure your first romantic camping foray into the wilderness isn't your last.

Go Ultracomfy, Not Ultralight

Review your partner’s gear list (or pack together) so you can add items a
backpacking novice might forget: headlamp, extra socks, moleskin, camp shoes. Then weigh his or her pack. “It should be no more than 25 percent of his or
her body weight,” says Michelle Waitzman, author of Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple’s Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature ($15, And since comfort is key, here are Waitzman’s eight essentials for canoodling campers.

>> Two plush sleeping pads, plus a coupler strap We like Cascade Designs’ 2-inch-thick
Therm-a-Rest TrailPro (reg. length: $80, 2 lbs., and its Therm-a-Rest Universal Couple Kit ($17, 2.4 oz.) to connect the pads.

>> Pillows Such as the Feathered Friends Geoduck ($35, 6 oz.,

>> Double sleeping bag Good bets: Big Agnes King Solomon ($330, 5 lbs. 3 oz.,, the Sweetie Pie Bag Doubler (summer: $39, 19 oz.,, or two bags that mate

>> A silk double-sleeping-bag liner This makes your old down bag feel like satin sheets and keeps it clean. We like Cocoon TravelSheet Double Size ($100, 12 oz.,

>> PJs to replace sweaty clothes Try Patagonia’s saucy Active undies ($20-$39,

>> A home comfort “This could be fudge, cream for your coffee, even a hairbrush,” Waitzman says.

>> Mood lighting Think a candle lantern, bandanna over a headlamp, or LED tea lights.

>> Fresheners Breath mints, lip balm, and wet wipes like SweetSpot On-the-Go Wipettes ($5, And for a fresh aroma, place a bundle of cedar or pine needles in the tent.

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