It’s one thing when you can “get away from it all” by taking several days off for a camping trip or vacation. Though – to be honest – getting gear/clothing together for several days and making appropriate lodging plans and reservations can be quite the ordeal! Not to mention weather potentially ruining your tent camping trip – which brings to mind being forced to stay in what was essentially Rogers City’s ONLY motel for $100 a night because torrential rains flooded our campsite right after we set it up (grrr)! The park ranger let us move our tent to a site on higher ground for one night while we were able to dry all of our gear in the overpriced motel room. On the up side, we found a bar within walking distance of our motel that allowed us to drown our weather-related woes a bit!
Packing a car (and its trunk) for a camping trip is truly an art form! You can’t just “put things anywhere.” Possible future blog topic?
That trip to Rogers City – and many others – really brought it home how “planning” a camping trip can be a recipe for disaster. You pay the extra money for making a reservation, you put the dates on the calendar, get the time off work and you drive to your camping spot…only to realize the next morning that you’d screwed up the dates on your reservation and you’re booted off your site (Tippy Dam trip 2019). The ranger offers you another site in the campground, but when you’re certain it’s going to rain that night anyway, you vainly search for a motel for the night in a resort area only be told nope, nope, nope – NO VACANCY. Or if there is, it’s way too much for you to want to pay. So you, in desperation, call the in-laws and stay with them for the night.
Kind of makes you wonder if you’d be better off just staying home…The only way you can really “plan” a camping trip is if you have an RV (you can go inside when it rains) or if you’ve rented a cabin (ditto…you go inside when it rains).
This year, I’m trying to do the camping plans a bit…different! Keep a vigilant eye on weather, not plan to go for sure until at least three days ahead, trying to stick to first come, first serve campgrounds and getting in on weeknights if we can (such as a Wednesday or a Thursday). This is going to be trickier to do now that I’m working again, but not impossible! Keeping “essential” gear in easily accessible spots will be key to being able to say “Hey honey, let’s go camping” on short notice.
Which brings me to the blog topic at hand – one-night local camping trips! Find a campground within an hour of home, pack just enough gear for an overnight – and have a “slumber party in the woods!” It’s easy enough to find one night where weather is going to be favorable for tent camping and if you’re lucky, you just might land a sweet campsite overlooking a lake! We would have liked to have camped Friday night too, but man…those storms that blew through last night made me happy to NOT be in a tent.
On that note, I have “just a bit” of packing to do! But not very much 🙂