The Painted Hills + What I Brought On My First Camping Trip

Last weekend was my first time.

My first time camping, that is. I know what you’re thinking: you live in the PNW how could you have NOT camped before?! There’s a simple answer to that: I. HATE. Bugs. Despise them. I’m that obnoxious person at the picnic table that runs for the hills when a fly buzzes past! But I decided to let my fears go for one night in the woods because I just HAD to go to the Painted Hills in Oregon. My best friend Eva and I found this place on Instagram and decided we had to make the trip for the pictures! The warm, earthy tones were perfect for my aesthetic (peep the ‘gram).

girl walking with map

A little background:

Residing in Central Oregon, the Painted Hills are one of three units that comprise the John Day Fossil Beds. There is so much scientific history embedded in the landscape that even pictures couldn’t capture it’s beauty. The name comes from the golds, reds, blacks, and browns that paint the soil. The coolest thing about it all is that each layer corresponds to the changing climate over time.

the painted hills

The Journey:

Saturday morning, Eva and I woke up super early and got on the road. To get there you take a highway that is literally named the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway. You can imagine how beautiful this drive was! You’re driving down the highway and the terrain totally changes from the green lush forests us PNWers know to the dry hills and valleys  of the desert. The six and a half hour drive is all part of the trip and was well worth it! We spent every minute ooh-ing and aah-ing at the abandoned homes and small towns we passed. I could go on and on about how breath taking that weekend was but I still wouldn’t be able to do it justice.

portrait at the painted hills

What I Packed:

If you’re like me, you’re nosy and love to know what people stash in their bags. Keep in mind, though, that this trip was essentially a photo shoot and we camped because we didn’t want to pay for a hotel or drive the 12 hour round trip in one day. What I’m saying is – don’t judge me for how extra this packing list is.

  • 1 sleeping bag
  • 1 pillow
  • 1 pair of ear plugs (These were a lifesaver. Without them, the noises of the great outdoors would not have let me sleep).
  • A full face of makeup and brushes (WE WERE TAKING PHOTOS DON’T JUDGE US).
  • Dry shampoo (literally the BEST dry shampoo out there)
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 jumpsuit
  • 1 summer dress that I borrowed from Eva
  • 1 pair of denim shorts
  • 1 tank top (similar here)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • All necessary toiletries

flatlay of outfit

The jumpsuit has quickly become one of my favorite pieces for the summer and I doubt this is the last time you’re going to be seeing it. Alright, now I’m going to leave you with a few of the million pictures we took that weekend (most of which were taken by Eva!) Oh! Enjoy xoxo

portrait at the Painted Hills

The Painted Hills The Painted Hills



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