This past weekend Vince and I went winter camping at Clinton State Park! Yes, you read that right. We went camping in December! And no, we're not crazy. The weather was actually perfect given the time of year. I've never been camping in my life. (Well, there was this one time when six of my girlfriends and I went one-night camping in high school but I kind of don't count that. The whole thing was rather comical between the difficulty making a fire and the sloped tent locations that pushed everyone to one end.)
I've always wanted to go camping, so I keep pressuring my two outdoorsy friends to take me! They have all of this great gear (and I mean all of the gear) so I basically mooched off of them this whole weekend. Vince was basically along for the ride, but I like to think he enjoyed it.
We were all a little nervous about attempting winter camping on our first camping trip together, and we all agreed that if it was raining or downright miserable we'd back up and wimp out. Thankfully we didn't have to do that! It was low 40s all evening while we sat around our robust campfire and only dropped to the mid 30s that night. Under our warm sleeping bags, we were completely comfortable :)
Where: Clinton State Park When: December! Duration: 1 night Fees: $20 for two cars, 4 people Temperature: low 40s - high 30s Group: 4 fun-loving campers & 1 lovable dog Car: Mini Cooper (another #MiniAdventure!) [space_20] [space_20] [space_20]
[space_20] Camping - especially winter camping - can call for a lot of gear. I never knew there was so much to bring! Granted, we could have "roughed it" a bit more. We didn't bring the kitchen sink, but we didn't bring just a backpack either. We packed the trusty hammock, two 2-person tents, their rain covers, therm-a-rests, 20 degree and above sleeping bags, extra blankets, and pillows for our sleeping needs. [space_20] [space_20] For the evening's festivities, we packed folding chairs, firewood, a cookware set, a stove, and a giant water jug. [space_20] [space_20]
You've got to keep yourself warm and dry when camping - especially when winter camping! Once you're out in the elements (or 15 minutes away from Lawrence) this is crucial. Vince and I wore a lot of the gear we'd purchased for Iceland. It was great to get to use it again! I wore my non-cotton base layer pants, hiking pants, hiking socks and boots, Smartwool pullover, and Columbia rainproof jacket. I also wore my warmer Nike running gloves since I couldn't find my regular pair of gloves. They worked fantastically well! My hands were never cold. My hat was from a company in Iceland called 66• North and my neck gaiter was also from Iceland. Overall, I stayed surprisingly warm considering my proneness to the cold. [space_20] [space_20]
We were woefully unprepared for the feast we could have had for dinner this weekend, but we still had plenty of food! On our way to the campsite, we got steaks and potatoes, s'more supplies, and chips from the grocery store. After we set up our tents and lit the fire, we got to work prepping the steaks and slicing the potatoes to cook over the grill we brought. In hindsight, we probably could've just used the fire pit since it had a small grill built over it, but why not use the tools at our disposal? [space_20] [space_20]
As always, I had my trusty Canon 7D with me! I was curious to see what I could capture in such a dark setting. Thankfully Jon lent me his tripod and we both had a good time experimenting with the camera. We were limited on subjects since our main source of light was the fire, so most of our photos centered around that. [space_20] [space_20]
I didn't even think about these details, but it's important when camping to remember: • toilet paper • paper towels • plates • utensils • cutting knife • seasoning for food • cups
Without these things, you're in for a lonnnng night!