:: Archive for September, 2005
September 30th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| Leave a comment
It’s Finally Friday.
I swear I never thought this day would come.
I have been so anxious to get out of my house and into the Pines that I was going crazy.
But it’s finally Friday and in a few short hours I will be pitching a tent at the Pine Tree Education and Environmental Center for a Webelos Cub Scout Father/Son Weekend.
The Burlington County Council of the BSA puts on these weekends a couple of times a year and they always do an absolute amazing job of planning and executing a fun filled weekend for about 80 dads/boys.
It’s almost as good as it gets in New Jersey Camping. The only way these activities could be any better is if they allowed Adult Beverages but since there are a ton of children around I completely understand and agree with the No Alcohol policy.
I will just have to wait a couple more months to enjoy a couple of homebrews while sitting around a campfire in the middle of the Pines.
I hope everybody has a really good weekend, I will talk to you all on Monday.
‘Till Next Time…Remember “There Ain’t No Better Camping Then New Jersey Camping!”
September 28th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| 1 comment
This post is kind of / sort of part of the Modular Checklist but not really.
This is more about how you pack then what you pack.
My wife and I have been married for almost 12 years now, we have lived in New Jersey for all but about 4 of those years. We have been camping in New Jersey and all over the place literally dozens if not hundreds of times and still to this very day we don’t agree on the when/why/how of packing.
To me, the best way to pack for a camping trip is as follows:
1. 96 hours before departure – Write down exactly what you will need.
2.72 hours before departure – Purchase items you don’t have (including food)
3. 48 hours before departure – Pack clothes and toiletries and stage near door.
4. 24 hours before departure – Gather all camping items and stage near door.
5. 3 hours before departure – Inventory staged items against master list (step 1).
6. 2 hours before departure – Purchase Ice and fill coolers/fridge with perishable/frozen items
7. 1 hour before departuer – Pack vehicle (s) with all staged gear.
8. Departure time – go potty, grab drink for the road and paperwork (directions, campground confirmation, etc…0 and head on out the door very calm and relaxed.
Now some peopel who read that will think “OH MY GOD! This guy is anal!” and you might very well be right.
But what I am not is unprepared and stressed out as you leave for the campgrounds.
Here is my wife’s idea of pre-packing/packing for a trip.
1. 4 Hours before departure – Start running around buying things she thinks of that we might need.
2. 3 Hours before departure – Start packing the clothes and toiletries.
3. 2 Hours before departure – Figure out what camping gear we might need.
4. 1 Hour before departure – Throw everything in the car/camper and pray we have it all.
5. Departure – Run out the door and start driving.
6. 30 minutes after departure – Return home for directions, confirmation and potty break.
7. Arrive campgrounds irritated, stressed out and ready to kill anybody who looks in her general direction.
This might be a slight over-exaggeration but not much.
Do your sanity and your relationship a favor and be more like me when you prep for a camping trip.
Even if you don’t tell your spouse what you are doing, it will come as a wonderful surprise to them as they start freaking out if you can say “I got that”, “that’s already packed”, “I put that in the car already” sort of stuff.
‘Till Next Time.
September 27th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| Leave a comment
I just wanted to let you all in on some new and upcoming information:
1. I will continue and complete the Modular Checklist series in the very near future.
2. I will begin an additional series that I am calling: Storage & Preservation. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to do a final cleaning and put up most of your gear for another winter. I know that some of you out there are year rounders and I think that’s great. I think you will still get some good information about camping equipment and how to get the most use/value out of it in this series.
I have already begun a series of notes on the different topics in each series and will add more info to them as soon as I get back from this Webelos Scout weekend coming up and have a little more time.
Till Next Time.
September 26th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| 2 comments
As you all saw, I unfortunately had to cancel the trip I had planned for Bellplain State Forest last weekend.
Instead of being able to enjoy my favorite activity (i.e. “New Jersey Camping”) I ended up spending the entire weekend shuttling back and forth between soccer practice, soccer pictures, football practice, football games, driving to Dover Delaware to visit my mother-in-law who is recuperating from surgery and participating in a Cub Scout Car Wash Fundraising activity.
All-in-all, I would have rather been camping but it was still a fairly productive and fun weekend.
So here it is Monday morning and I am putting the last minute details on a Cub Scout camping trip scheduled for this weekend as well as beginning to plan a winter camping trip somewhere in Northern New Jersey.
There are a group of scouts and parents that enjoy winter camping (mostly the guys!) and we have begin talking about taking the older scouts up to the Delaware water gap for a one night camping excursion.
We haven’t decided if we are going to explore some of the campgrounds up in the area or “rough” it in a state park.
There are pros/cons for each argument but I think that as the “Cubmaster” I will end up making the decision to let this first winter be a little less rough and stay in campers at a campground instead of staying in tents at a State park. The main reason being a lot of the kids that will be joining us have never camped out in anything but high summer conditions and I’m afraid that a night in a tent in 30 degree weather could be a little much for their first experience.
Once we have that decision made all we have to do is found a campground that is open year round up in the Water Gap area. Here is the list of campgrounds that we have to work with New Jersey Skylands . As you will see there are lots of choices for campgrounds but I have to make some calls to figure out which are open in December/January.
Till next time.
September 22nd, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| 1 comment
Oh well, it looks like my excitement was all for nothing!
We had to cancel our planning camping trip to Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine, New Jersey for this weekend.
Multiple sports practices Friday night, Car Wash fundraiser for the Cub Scouts on Saturday, Soccer Pictures on Saturday, Football pictures Sunday Morning, Football Game Sunday morning and a Soccer Game Sunday afternoon all conspired to keep us from going.
I feel crushed!
We had previously decided to skip the practices and games but the fundraiser and the pictures are what swayed us. Also my older son and I are going camping with the Webelos (older Cub Scouts) next weekend so I didn’t think it would be a really good idea to miss two games in a row!
We told our kids last night and they were most bummed…a sentiment that I completely agree with!
So to ease the pain we are going to have a campfire in our backyard this Satruday night and allow them to invite several of their friends each. My wife and I are also going to invite some folks so we can enjoy some “adult conversation” and some “adult beverages’ while sitting around our campfire.
Until Next time,
Eric The Most Disappointed.
September 20th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| Leave a comment
I got an email this morning from Camping World about this big Sale they have going on. I checked it out and there is some pretty cool stuff over there with some pretty significant savings.
Check it out: Camping World Internet Only Specials
September 19th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| 2 comments
I hope you all had a good weekend!
I most certainly did. I had the opportunity to actually kick back and relax a little bit, which was desperately needed!
I also had the opportunity to spend a little time shopping for camping gear which I haven’t done in a while.
Wow what a surprise I had!
It seems that camping equipment is not immune from the effects of gas prices and/or inflation. Tents, backpacks, lanterns, slepping bags, air mattresses and pretty much everything else have increased in price around 15 to 20% since the beginning of summer.
Now granted it’s kind of “out of season” for camping gear in most of your retail outfits so they are running any specials or sales but still.
Back in May I helped a buddy buy a new tent. He wanted a nice large multi-room family sized tent for him, his wife and their couple of kids. We hit the usual places that sell exclusively outdoor gear and then we hit the major retailers (Wal-mart, Target, etc…) and we were able to pick him up a very nice Eddie Bauer three room tent for a little under $150. They have used it three times already and are pretty happy with it.
Why did I bring that story up? Because yesterday I saw that same exact tent “On Sale” for $179.99!!!!
That was typical of everything I looked at while I was shopping. I was completely disgusted and basically didn’t buy anything.
When I got home I decided to do a little online investigation and see if those increase in prices would be reflected online. Thank goodness I did! I found several places that had the same Eddie Bauer tent in stock and were selling it for aroudn $160 including shipping!
So I expanded my investigation to include all forms of camping gear not just tents. It seems that the online retailers are also feeling the effects of the gas craziness but not quite as hard. The prices were a little higher but not as drastic as the tent scenario.
So I guess what I am saying is: make sure you shop around real-world and online before you decide to buy something new, you can save yourself a ton of money over time.
Till next time,
September 14th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| 1 comment
I know I have talked about this a little bit recently but I felt it necessary to talk about it again so please just bear with me.
I have received sevearl emails in the last week asking “what is there to do when you are camping” or “how do you occupy your kids while camping”.
My guess is that these people have never been camping and so have no idea the variety of activities available at most campgrounds and/or state parks.
If anything when we go camping it’s not a matter of there isn’t enough to do it’s more a matter of there isn’t enough time to do everything.
Here’s just the first couple of things that pop into my head:
fishing, swimming, hiking, canoing, whitewater rafting, arts & crafts, organized games, crabbing, surfing, eating, tennis, basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer and shopping.
Sounds pretty impressive right? Well it is.
And the best part is that most if not all of the stuff on that list is at or near just about every campground that you will find in New Jersey.
Private campgrounds tend to have more organized activities then State Parks do. Actually to be brutally honest State Parks don’t have anything organized. Combine that with the fact that you don’t have any hookups or other amenities and you know why you only pay $15 a night at a State Park Campground.
Don’t get me wrong, if you look at my Site Reviews section you will see that I sincerely enjoy camping in State Parks. But, it does take a little more planning and organization to keep the kids occupied and enjoying themselves if you are camping in a State Park then if you were in a private campground.
September 12th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| Leave a comment
I absolutely love this time of year!!
I don’t know so much about the rest of the country and world but here in New Jersey it’s quickly turning from summer to fall. Which means that the daytime is sunny and warm with a hi in the low 80′s. At night, well the nights are perfect! The nights here in NJ get down into the mid-60′s which is absolutely perfect campfire and sleeping weather.
No more hot and muggy nights! YEAH!
In the summertime I look forward to this weather and in wintertime I look foward to similar weather in the spring. New Jersey may have it’s faults but during those two magical times of year there is nowhere in the world that I would rather be!
Where else can you go and pitch a tent or anchor a trailer, sit around a campfire enjoying good company, warm cocoa (or your favorite adult beverage) and go to sleep in a nice warm sleeping bag snuggling up next to your significant other. Wake up to a clearp and crisp morning and day a relatively short journey to a beach, a river, a mountain, a museum, a major metropolis or just sit around the pool at the campgrounds.
By now, alot of you are probably wondering if I camp exclusively in New Jersey based on what I have been writing about, the answer is no. I camp all over the eastern seaboard and will eventually write about some of those experiences. But I prefer camping in New Jersey. For every trip I take out of state I usually take two or three in state. I just love it here and think that it can be one of the most beautiful states in the country so why leave?!
September 9th, 2005 | in NJ Camping
| Leave a comment
This campground was an absolute blast!
My wife and I went there back before we were married or had kids.
It was just the two of us, a tent and a canoe. Please note that this campground (at that time anyway) was primarily an RV and trailer campground. They do have some tent sites around their fishing pond and I think somewhere else but it’s primarily setup for their year-round or seasonal visitors.
We decided to go camping for the weekend when we were dating and figured we would go canoeing while we were there since the campground is right on the Wading River.
I won’t get into too many of the details as my wife is really tired of hearing all the stories, let’s just put it this way – it was my wife’s first experience camping and she really had no idea what to expect!
The facilities, restrooms and amenities at this campground are nice. They were a little bit run down but most definitely in working order and clean.
Please note, this is definitely a party campground. If you want to go somewhere for some peace, quiet and relaxation I would not recommend this location. Nobody was obnoxious, mean or disgusting but they also weren’t very observant of the quiet times within the camp.
Would I stay there again? Most likely, especially now that I have a trailer of my own.