I’m assuming that you’re just car-camping, and not hiking with all your gear. If so:
First, a little story:
When I was in the military, 5 of us went on a camping trip, with our girlfriends. It was 2 nights, with 2 days of whitewater rafting, so park the car and camp close to the river, and raft during the days.
The 5 of us had a lot of very good, high-dollar, but utilitarian gear. (North Face tents, gortex, nice sleeping bags, etc…) 4 of us packed the way we would if we were hiking in; all good-quality stuff, but sparse on the luxuries.
The first night, the temperature drops an extra 15-25 degrees over predictions, so it got a little chilly. No problem, we thought, we rolled an extra poncho liner in the sleeping bags and dealt with it; no drama, we were fine.
The next morning, we could see 4 of the girls in a corner, looking over at us, then talking among themselves, look, talk, glare, talk, glare harder, talk faster, etc. It seems that what we considered ‘fine’ was NOT. They were not used to sleeping on hard ground, what we thought was a little chilly was bitter cold, etc…
Bottom line, we went rafting, but that night, we all had to fork out for cabin rooms, because they unanimously decided that they were not freezing their asses off again because we were hardcore. End of camping trip fun…
I did mention that 4 of us packed hardcore. The 5th guy pulled up his truck and unpacked his tent. He then started pulling stuff we couldn’t believe out of his truck. He had a giant airmattress, an electric pump, A DOWN COMFORTER!!, sheets, pillows, little shower kits, and God knows what else.
That night, we around the campfire laughing at him adn calling him a puss. He just smiled. The next morning, he was cooking tea on his stove, and she woke up all chipper.
Bottom line: he was definitely the smartest man.
Now I’m older, and I’ve learned my lesson. You don’t take a beginnner on an all 1RM workout on their first day, and you don’t start off by camping lite. i assume you’ll have the basics (tent, bags, cooler full of food/drink, flashlights, fire-starters, etc.), IMO, if I had less than $100 extra to make the trip twice as fun, I would throw in these items:
Air mattress - $19.99 Wal-mart (will work for 4-5 camping trips before it develops a hole)
Pump - electric is nice, can save youif you’ll use again ($19.99, cheaper for foot-pump). Be sure to charge the batteries! if it’s rechargeable, but this is really budget-dependent.
Pillows- bring them from home, makes a huge difference for someone not used to the field
Sheets - from home, no extra expense, but will make the air mat feel more comfortable to lay around on (especially if it’s hot). You want her to feel comfortable laying down on the mat…
Camp chairs (19.99 for 2 - probably cheaper) - lay on the logs by the fire if you like, but give her the option to sit in a regular chair…
Lantern - (less than $20). You can go cheap batttery-powered, or a stronger, white-gas powered one. Turns out some women like being able to just hit a button adn turn it on, instead of priming, messing with fuel, lighter, etc… I never would have thought anyone would prefer a battery-powered lantern, but there it is; ease of use over horsepower. Now she can walk around and not feel like it’s always dark, especially if she’s used to city life; she’ll end up walking to the bathroom, tent, etc. using a simple lantern. Also, she can get stuff in the tent without having to point a flashlight around, read a book, etc… A nice comfort-item.
Bottom line, I would vote that for your first trip, approach the trip as a wuss. These small comfort items will make the actual ‘camping’ portion of the trip much more enjoyable for people not accustomed to ‘roughing it.’