Well, friends, it happened. I went camping. Let me say that again - I went camping. It's true. And, I survived. I had low-key fears my camping experience would be like Troop Beverly Hills, but it wasn't even close. In fact, it wasn't bad at all.
So what led me to go camping? I was invited to the Devils Backbone Hoopla Festival, and I figured, why not try something new and give camping a chance. It'd been years since I camped- one time in college that I don't count because I ended up sleeping in the car, and the time before that, a handful of times in Girl Scouts.
The Devils Backbone Hoopla is an annual beer and music festival that takes place at the Devils Backbone Brew Pub and Base Camp in Roseland, VA - about 45 minutes South West of Charlottesville, VA. The weekend long festival consists of daily and nightly music line-ups, a pop-up beer festival featuring DB and other local breweries, food, activities such as brew pub tours, hiking, biking, yoga, and more, and the big kicker is everyone camps by the Base Camp grounds.
We arrived late Friday night and setup our tent in the dark, but we did a dry-run a few days before to make sure we wouldn't have any surprises, lol. We took it easy this night, since we had a big day ahead of us, so we went to check out the last band at the Base Camp and then sat outside our tent enjoying the night sky. I must say, the stars out in the country are absolutely gorgeous.
The festival on Saturday was so much fun. We hung out listening to the live music and enjoying the Devils Backbone beer in the clean mountain air and atmosphere. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try out more beers from the brewery, as before this trip I was mostly only familiar with the Vienna Lager and Gold Leaf beers. I was pleasantly surprised with all of the beers - especially the Keeler that was rolled out just for the Hoopla, and named after one of the festival performers - and during the trip, Devils Backbone definitely became my favorite VA brewery after seeing how much community means to them and their quality of overall satisfaction.
I also made this decision after receiving an invitation to the Brewmaster's Dinner on Saturday evening. The evening consisted of a 6 course dinner with beer pairings from the brewery. The Founding Brewmaster, Jason Oliver, was in attendance and walked us through the beers and history of the brewery, with food pairings. For the dinner, we sat with great company and had an extremely good time. The food was phenomenal, I was so impressed with the quality and how the food and beer pairings went together. The DB staff floated around speaking with all the guests, and I truly felt special in attendance. I've never experienced beer like this before and I will always remember DB in the most positive light for this fantastic dinner.
After the dinner, we returned to the live music and partied for our last night at the Hoopla. The bands played until about midnight and we ended the night with more star gazing, as there are some things you just can't get in the city, and starry night skies are one of them.
Thank you, Devils Backbone, for this awesome, and out of the box experience and for the invitation to attend the Hoopla. Next year, the Hoopla will take place September 27-30, 2018.
*All outfits sponsored by Ellos*
BITD Camping Tips:
1. Do a dry run setup of the tent if you've never set up the tent before. This helps get over the general WTF and where does this go? questions that come up - at least, it helped me, lol. We borrowed the tent from my in-laws, and it was great we didn't need to buy one.
2. Invest in an air mattress with a portable pump for your tent. It will make sleeping outside much more comfortable.
3. Layer up at night. The first night I was freezing- the tents don't keep in lots of warmth, so bring layers.
4. If you're a make-up/hair junkie like me, do your hair in a style that is going to last all weekend like a tight braid. I went to Illusions of Georgetown for Kim K braids to last me a few days without styling tools. This will make you feel better knowing your hair is done even if you haven't showered in two days. For makeup, I legit sat in the car to do it, and I'd do it again, but bring long wear makeup and stick to an easy look. Doing winged eyeliner in a car is not easy.
5. Bring flip flops that you don't care about. These will come in handy in the communal showers (ick). Also, mentally prepare for the shower to be cold AF.
Blonde in the District