I went camping this weekend at Mosquito Lake. Went with some family after the idea was sprung less than a week beforehand. I hadn’t been camping (besides GiveCamp) in a few years I believe, due to problems with sleeping and comfort. But this one was forecast to be much warmer than our last numerous times of cold weather camping. I quickly bought an air mattress, camping chair, and BioLite wood stove to improve my setup. I headed out late Thursday night after spending quite a bit of time packing. We left Sunday a bit after noon.
The trip was largely spent preparing and eating food, preparing and sitting around the campfire, and talking. Ally and Dan planned and prepared a lot of the food, which was delicious and filling comfort food. They had planned three meals per full day but we only ended up doing two, and still feeling plenty full, especially with the desserts. We had oats, eggs, and potatoes for breakfast Friday and Saturday, which took until noon preparing over the fire and eating. We had smoked ribs and mac and cheese for dinner one night and camp nachos the other. The camp nachos were wrapped in foil cooked over the fire. They were a little hard to time and got a little burn on a few chips and a little cool in spots, but were pretty good. We had a foil wrapped campfire pineapple upside down cake for dessert one night. We had candy because one night was a Halloween night and some of our party bought bags to hand out to kids. We experimented with smores and various candies, as well as the “cheesy and sweet” Doritos smore (marshmallow sandwiched between two chips).
Some of us went on a short boat trip Friday. Dan and Ally brought their two seat catamaran sailing kayak. Two of sat on chairs while one human and one dog sat on the trampolines. At one point the arm for one trampoline broke, sending dog and human into the water, and they had to be helped back aboard. The arm was reattached but the trampoline wasn’t used again. We pedaled (the boat has pedaled fins) for a little while, then sailed for most of the trip. It’s been a while since I’ve been sailing, and was a little uncomfortable piloting again, but it was much simpler than the larger boats I’ve sailed before. Only one sail, but it was able to get fairly close to the wind still, and pedaling could be used to push through a tack if need be. I didn’t bring a hat or wear sun screen, and it was much sunnier than I expected, so I felt a little sick for a bit, and was reluctant to go too far out
We took a somewhat long walk along the road to a dog park on Saturday. We let the dogs hang around there and greet the other dogs. They didn’t do a lot of playing, but June did play some down by the beach. We saw plenty of interesting dogs. A kid went into the water to help a dog who was struggling with two tennis balls, trying to grab them both. We planned to go frisbee golfing as well, but Chester was tired from the walk, and it was starting to get close to time for the trick-or-treating, so we settled on just heading back.
My air mattress was rather comfortable and helped with my normal back pain issues. Unfortunately, it was took up pretty much the entire floor of my small Midori Solo tent. Not only did I have very little room for gear in there, but it was very difficult to do anything but lie down, such as change or move around or adjust my bedding. I only slept like three hours the first night. I was tempted to just buy a two person tent Friday, but couldn’t find any of the ones I wanted at nearby stores searching online. I got better at maneuvering on the mat and doing some stuff in the vestibule, and got a decent amount of sleep the other two nights. I still think I may buy a two person tent, but now can take my time to decide which one.
I hit my head on the handle of the grill that goes over the fire pit the first night. It hurt, but I didn’t realize it was bleeding until I felt something dripping down. It was dark and I was the only person still awake, so I went to my car mirror to check out the damage and then used what I could find in my well aged first aid kit to patch it up. I will need to get some newer stuff for that. The bandaids were quick to rip apart, but also would get stuck to my forehead so strongly that it took minutes of wiping with alcohol pads and picking off gooey bits to get off. The alcohol pads and antiseptic wipes were quite dry. I had one little single use thing of antibiotic to use. I bought some alcohol wipes on Friday and made do with what I had until I got home.
The weather was great. The mornings and nights could be chilly, but the fire and hoodie over long sleeve were plenty warm outside the tent, and my thick sleeping bag used as a blanket and sheet were enough to be cozy when adjusted properly overnight. The days got t-shirt warm, even a little hot in the sun. Not a bit of rain.
The sites were reasonably spacious and with decent tree coverage. There was a frequent barrage of acorns, leaves, and galls falling from above. Plenty flat with lots of good tent area.
I took one shower the whole time, at their fancy new shower house number 2. It was a fairly nice separate room for each shower with toilet and sink, sort of like a big home bathroom. It felt quite good. Of course, the shower when I got home felt even better.
Many sites decorated for the Halloween event. Some went pretty far with it. Some had big blow-up decorations. Some had moving mechanical decorations. Some had big spider webs. Plenty of other things. We checked them out over the course of several walks.
We discussed going camping again in maybe a month. As I improve my gear to increase comfort, I think I will be more willing to go and get more out of the trips.