One of the things no one tells you about moving to Hawaii is that when you post amazing pictures of your life, people will start visiting you and expect you to be their tour guide.
I recently had one of my good friends from high school come visit me for a week with her boyfriend who had never been to Hawaii. I immediately began writing a list “must dos” for Hawaii first-timers (or really any-timers) for their vacation, and beach camping topped the list.
Rather than telling my friends to fly out with all of their camping gear, I directed them to the OJz website and told them how we could simply rent whatever gear they needed here. This would save them the trouble of having to check extra luggage and save more room in their bags for Trader Joe’s chocolate peanut butter cups for me!
Being the camping and tour-guide amateur that I am, I messaged the OJz team and asked their recommendation for the quintessential Hawaiian beach camping experience, and man, did they deliver. Living on the East Side of Oahu, I decided to take my friends to Bellows Beach for the morning because it’s literally heaven on Earth. Rather than having to drive into town to pickup the equipment, the OJz team responded with, “we were already planning on heading that way for a beach day- we’ll meet you there!” We shared some poke and boiled peanuts (do yourself a favor and go buy some) and they gave me some campsite suggestions. They went so far as to disclose the location of their “Secret Spot” on the North Shore, and said that would give my friends the impression that I’m actually a really good tour guide.
The gear they recommended was the Big Agnes Elkhorn 2, a 2 Person Sleeping Bag, this rad little Igloo cooler backpack (my personal fave!), and a sick little LED lantern – all of which were simple, lightweight, and exactly what we needed to be comfortable but still feel very much in nature. The tent popped up in minutes, even in the dark (again, camping amateur), while we collected firewood, jammed out to some wilder beats, and pretty much had our own mini full-moon party. The Igloo cooler kept our Coronas ice cold throughout the night so we were able to fully enjoy them the next morning for breakfast – who said being a tour guide didn’t mean I get to pretend I’m on vacation too?!
We started heading North kind of late and the weather was perfect. I started to get pretty anxious as we were driving up, both sides of the road were jam-packed with cars and people were already setting up camp sites. I thought to myself, “oh man I’m totally about to blow this ” as we looked for a place to park among the chaos of cars. After parking, we reluctantly walked along the hillside and found that the “secret spot” had lived up to it’s reputation. There it was, unoccupied and waiting for us to set up in time to watch the sunset! Unlike most other campsites where you’re parked 10 feet away from your neighbors, we had our own private little cove and felt like we were the only people for miles! Which is novelty on the populated “Gathering Isle.”
Outside of the quality gear, one of the most valuable parts of my OJz rental experience was talking story and having them share their camping knowledge with me and my friends. Thanks to their recommendations and camping knowledge, I have passed the tour guide test and helped my friends create Hawaii memories that will last a lifetime.