Winter Camping

Winter Camping

I belong to a lot of camping groups on Facebook and one of my greatest annoyances is the trope that it is impossible to camp in the winter. Frankly, one of the reasons we bought a trailer is to have a heater. We have tent camped every month of the year, but our propane heater makes subfreezing temperatures not just something to endure, but a whole new season of camping that we can enjoy.

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Camping Resolution Accomplished!

Camping Resolution Accomplished!

One of our 2018 camping goals was to become better camp chefs. As tent campers, our meals were functional; what could we get in our bellies quickly after a long day of adventure? We ate a lot of simple steaks, hot dogs, and one pot meals. We also tried to minimize dishes and the amount of cooking gear we brought along. With the trailer we have been able to acquire a whole new set of tools stored in the trailer and we have really started to slow down and enjoy our meals.

So in 2018 we really invested in our technique and our tools. I spent a lot of time learning about campfire cooking and thoroughly scoured Pinterest for the best recipes. If my scale is any indicator, I would say our efforts were a total success!

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Cumberland Falls State Park

Cumberland Falls State Park

Cumberland Falls bills itself as the “Niagara of the South” and the falls are certainly impressive – 65 feet high and 125 feet wide. It is also known as one of only two places in the world to view a moonbow. On a clear night, around the time of the full moon, a faint glow can be seen in the mist at the foot of the falls. Of course the attraction draws quite a crowd in the summer. On our first trip to the region, we were wedged into a tiny tent site in the campground and watched the moonbow with hoards of others. But this fall weekend we got to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Continue reading “Cumberland Falls State Park”

Modapalooza 2.0

Modapalooza 2.0

Year two at the family garage was much less work. Our major customizations took place last year and we have been thrilled with the results. But a few problems in need of a solution have come up over the winter and we took advantage of the long weekend to knock some things out.

Our biggest complaint in the past year of trailering has been the lack of storage for all of our toys. Last year we built the kayak rack, but this cuts down on truck bed storage space. Our trailer came with a ladder rack for our bikes, but we never felt it was a particularly secure option. By the time we adequately bungeed the bikes, they tended to rub on each other and parts of the trailer. Continue reading “Modapalooza 2.0”

Ultimate Trailer Packing List

Ultimate Trailer Packing List

A first camping trip in a trailer can be overwhelming. What to bring? What to leave home?

One of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to take your first couple of camping trips within driving distance of a big box store such as Walmart. We joke that we are on a mission to visit every Walmart in the US as we have made so many quick trips to pick up a forgotten item while camping.

I also suggest making lists. I try to make a quick inventory every trip when packing up. Are we running low on soap, paper towels, or toilet paper? Right now, I jot it down in my phone, but I may try to come up with a better system at some point.

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Trailer Arrival and Departure Checklists

Trailer Arrival and Departure Checklists

Owning a new trailer can be a very anxiety-inducing experience. First-timers face a simple 46 step process to get in and out of a campsite. Skip a step or do something wrong, and you may be facing costly damage to your new investment. Don’t worry, someone from the dealer will walk you through the process once before sending you out on your own.

And if you are able to get through it the first time by yourself, you still have to remember all the steps in reverse to get back home. And then do it again in a couple weeks.

A year into camper ownership, much of this has become relatively second nature, but we never would have made it through without some good checklists. I found great lists online and adapted them to our specific needs. So now it is time to pass it on. Continue reading “Trailer Arrival and Departure Checklists”

Key Largo Kampground

Key Largo Kampground

It seems many families have a vacation spot that generations return to year after year. There may be a cabin in the woods, a city on a beach, or a house on a lake. Our family has Key Largo. My grandparents started visiting when the island was little more than mangroves and mosquitoes. I first visited almost 30 years ago and have returned close to every year since. We have stayed in a large proportion condos complexes and hotels on the island. We even rented a trailer once, but nothing was ideal. So this year we were thrilled to be able to bring our very own trailer to one of our favorite spots.

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Admittedly, it is very hard for us to be objective about a place that is so sentimental. I have wonderful memories of swimming off the beaches or sunning on the docks in nearly every stage of my life. But visiting as a recent blog-writer allowed me to view the campground with an outsider’s lens. And I feel that I must share some of downsides of the campground. Continue reading “Key Largo Kampground”